Change Management & Cultural Transformation

Overview Focus Areas Frameworks & Tools Learning Programs Case Studies Insights

Learn how we have helped our clients transform their business:

Accelerate Leader Behaviors and Advance Culture

Background and Challenge

A global pharmaceutical company seeking to change its organizational culture developed a set of core leadership behaviors. The six behaviors chosen by the high-level task force reflected a critical evolution in the beliefs and behaviors for the company as it accelerated its growth strategy. WLH’s long-term and in-depth involvement in this initiative illustrates the integration of many of our capabilities: diagnosis, planning, design, implementation and facilitation.

Approach and Deliverables

WLH collaborated with the Organizational Effectiveness function to develop the Leader Behaviors 360° Instrument and various tools to drive cultural change. WLH:

  • Helped craft general categories and determined specific behaviorally-based items to reflect key values and strategic focus

  • Developed data collection and feedback process for leaders and direct reports designed to create Individual Development Plans

  • Created a suite of “leader-led” modules to reinforce key leader behaviors and improve team performance. These modules were used to produce immediate, measurable improvements in team effectiveness and to integrate new team members. These modules remain part of the field manager’s toolkit when working with their team. The modules provide an easy, step-by-step guide for ease of facilitation and targeted learning.

  • Created a Manager’s Toolkit to accelerate the practice of the Leader Behaviors which included:

  • Learning activities in each of the modules that clearly linked back to the specific items in the Leader Behaviors 360° Instrument

  • Assessment checklists for line managers to quickly and accurately identify which of the Leader Behaviors they wanted to concentrate on developing with their teams in order to improve performance

  • Created and conducted a “Mastering Leader Behavior Development Workshop” which was used as the model to cascade the program to 50 countries

Results

  • The organization’s new Leader Behaviors became the foundation for all Leadership Development initiatives

  • Colleague engagement in the annual Individual Development Planning process increased from 50% to nearly 75% globally in less than 18 months

  • WLH was subsequently engaged to provide executive coaching to selected high-potential leaders. Two of the leaders were promoted into Sr. Director and VP positions during the engagement

Field Force Effectiveness and Redesign To Meet Evolving Healthcare Environment

Background and Challenge

A pharmaceutical company was undergoing a major transformation in response to market force dynamics that negatively impacted the performance of its field force. The client restructured its customer-facing roles which resulted in new territory alignments, new targets, and a new matrix team configuration. In addition, the client wanted to improve regional business planning to address the evolving healthcare marketplace consolidations and reduced access. The client was concerned that simultaneous initiatives would overwhelm field leaders and therefore recognized the need to enhance the overall change agility skills of all leaders. The client relied on WLH to provide a structured change management framework that would empower leaders and their teams to maintain focus and effectiveness during extensive transition.

Approach and Deliverables

WLH demonstrated how many organizational change efforts fail because leaders lack the skills required to execute change and lead team members through transitions. To ensure the client achieved the desired results, WLH leveraged its framework, “The 5C’s of Transition Leadership® which provided a structured approach to help leaders improve their change agility capabilities and more effectively lead others through transitions.

WLH partnered with the client to:

  • Design the change execution strategy and organizational learning cascade targeted at regional and district managers

  • Define the business case for change and the communications plan

  • Create customized training, Leaders’ Guides, and individual transition plans for each team member based on The 5C’s of Transition Leadership®

Results

With WLH’s support, the client effectively readied its sales leaders and field teams to execute the business strategy. Individual leaders used the customized Transition Toolkit to help them identify business risks related to customer transitions and address employee issues. Additionally, direct managers were equipped with the skills to effectively coach individual direct reports through the transition and create specific learning plans to close capability gaps. Senior sales leaders were able to manage the variability and provide the necessary direction and oversight. Collectively, the organization reported less disruption as a result of the change initiative. More importantly, the organization’s leaders developed their overall change agility capabilities.

Market Access Organizational Redesign and Talent Development

Background and Challenge

External marketplace forces encouraged a leading global specialty pharmaceutical company to evaluate its US Market Access strategy and organizational structure. Internally, the organization was preparing for a series of product launches and new indications. The primary goal was to accelerate access for ground breaking therapies and to enhance the customer experience. Through WLH thought partnership, senior leaders evaluated options and decided to create a regional structure that would be more responsive to healthcare ecosystem dynamics. To ensure account executives effectively drove results with larger organized customers, the client expressed a need to develop a streamlined business planning process. At the same time, it was determined that account executive competencies needed to be redefined to reflect the business acumen, planning, relationship management, execution excellence, and account management skills that were required to drive results.

Approach and Deliverables

This project included various work streams related to senior team alignment, stakeholder engagement, human capital strategy implications, competency model development, communications planning, and learning curriculum redesigns to close group and individual gaps. WLH was also instrumental in the design and facilitation of a national market access meeting where employees were given the opportunity to operationalize the approach while jump-starting newly configured teams. Throughout the project, enabling functions were involved to further understand implications and make changes to support the overall strategic vision.

Results

WLH worked closely with the leadership team and field leaders to ensure they were ready to translate the strategic vision and execute the change:

  • Created an organizational design and identified coordinating mechanisms across functions

  • Developed a business and account planning process to ensure strategic account executives were able to rapidly identify opportunities and ecosystem interconnections; provided extensive profile guides for three channels – Payers, Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs), and Medicaid accounts

  • Designed an account transition process and supporting tools to ensure seamless customer transition and continuity

  • Leveraged “The 5C’s of Transition Leadership® which provided a structured approach to help leaders improve their change agility capabilities and more effectively lead others through transition

  • Created Leader-Led Jump Start workshops for new directors to conduct with their teams. These workshops focused on: adapting to change, building high performing teams, transitioning accounts, and developing business and account plans

  • Developed competency models and assessments for each of the functional groups within the Market Access organization, all of which were used to identify transition learning gaps and to ensure development plans were in place for all individuals

  • Partnered with Human Resources to ensure the Human Capital Strategy aligned with the new strategic direction. Deliverables included revised role descriptions, competency-based interview guides, and supporting materials to clarify HR policies related to the organizational redesign

Organizational Redesign and Business Planning

Background and Challenge

External marketplace forces and plans to grow the company through product acquisitions encouraged a growing biotech company to evaluate their field organizational structure. The primary goal was to become a more dominant player in a therapeutic area. Through WLH thought partnership, senior leaders decided to create a regional structure that would be more responsive to healthcare ecosystem dynamics. At the same time, the organization was seeking to enhance business planning and execution efforts to ensure tighter field coordination and resource optimization.

Approach and Deliverables

WLH recognizes that a major redesign is more than reconfiguring boxes on an organizational chart. WLH conducted a diagnostic to identify opportunities to improve business and account planning as well as field collaboration and coordination. This input, combined with WLH’s change management expertise, led to the development of a strategic implementation plan. Business risks were identified and risk mitigation strategies were developed to breakdown silos and encourage more effective planning. This project included various work streams related to senior team alignment, business and account planning processes, stakeholder engagement, human capital strategy implications, communications planning, and business acumen skill development.

To ensure the client achieved the desired results, WLH leveraged its framework, “The 5C’s of Transition Leadership® which provided a structured approach to help leaders improve their change agility capabilities and more effectively lead others through transition. WLH designed the roll-out for the commercial organization which included senior leadership, regions, and districts where employees were given the opportunity to operationalize the approach with their newly configured teams. Throughout the project, enabling functions were involved to further understand implications and make changes to support the overall strategic vision.

Results

Throughout the course of the project, WLH worked closely with the leadership team and field leaders to ensure they were ready to translate the strategic vision and execute the change. WLH provided counsel and support for the following:

  • Provided counsel and led the organizational redesign and identification of coordinating mechanisms

  • Developed a business and account planning process to ensure regional business plans were developed in a compliant manner

  • Defined contracting processes to ensure consistent execution across the nation

  • Created leader-led jump-start workshops for new directors to conduct with their teams (focused on adapting to change, building high performing teams, transitioning accounts, and developing business and account plans)

  • Provided facilitation and support at the National POA for change implementation workshops

  • Revised role profiles to reflect how roles needed to evolve given marketplace changes

  • Partnered with Learning and Development to identify solutions that would enhance core competencies related to strategic thinking, business acumen, and customer focus

Organizational Restructuring of a Large Operations Group

Background and Challenge

After a major corporate reorganization, the medical operations group of a global pharmaceutical corporation sought new synergies through restructuring while continuing uninterrupted service to its internal and external stakeholders. WLH worked with senior leaders to develop the group’s strategy, design its structure, and identify operational efficiencies.

Approach and Deliverables

To approach the redesign in a rigorous manner, WLH conducted a diagnostic with senior leaders and stakeholders to understand the organizations’ areas of effectiveness and opportunities for improvement. In addition, workforce capacity needs were assessed to identify opportunities to streamline processes and balance workloads. With a focus on change management and effective strategic implementation, WLH developed a comprehensive plan to determine how the organizational structure impacted workflow, team configuration, and customers.

WLH partnered with the client to:

  • Redesign core processes, create new process maps, and update SOPs

  • Create role descriptions for all Medical Operations’ positions

  • Facilitate high-level, cross-functional teams coordinated across the larger organization and to resolve open issues

  • Design on-boarding toolkits for new members of the functional subdivisions

  • Work with business unit and third-party systems designers to develop and implement multiple new data and reporting systems

  • Manage the project with daily updates on milestone achievements to ensure business continuity

  • Shift and re-assign responsibilities to increase efficiency and colleague productivity

Results

With WLH’s support, the client successfully re-defined the roles and responsibilities of the Medical Operations team while maintaining business continuity. WLH also identified and helped address process inefficiencies that significantly reduced expenses for the function. WLH worked with internal leaders to train employees on all new processes and upgrade skills related to decision-making, cross-functional alignment, and influencing without authority. The structure and process improvements implemented during the restructuring remained in place for more than six years.

Post-Merger Integration: Strategic Implementation and Culture Transformation

Background and Challenge

WLH was asked by the senior leadership team from one of the largest global animal health companies to lead and manage the post-close integration following two significant business acquisitions. Specific challenges included the retention of key talent across the organization and maintaining business continuity during the integration. The goal was to develop and execute plans to leverage synergies, optimize the portfolio, and develop the corresponding change management strategy. Special emphasis was placed on the creation of a new culture to integrate the best aspects of both organizations. This required defining the cultural tenets to foster greater personal accountability for performance results and enhance cross-functional collaboration across the merged field force and support functions.

Approach and Deliverables

For both integration projects, WLH led and partnered with internal integration teams to engage in a comprehensive change management effort. This endeavor included clarifying strategic objectives, developing a detailed project plan with multiple work streams, and ensuring coordination and alignment throughout the organization. The various work streams included human capital strategy, account transitions, and stakeholder communications. WLH provided overall project management to monitor milestones, address potential risks and interdependencies, and enable integration activities. WLH also provided dedicated assistance to Sales, Field Force Effectiveness, Veterinary Operations, Human Resources (HR), and Learning and Development (L&D).

To create a unified organizational culture for the merged company, WLH first worked with executive leadership to define core beliefs and values. Then, through a deliberate cascade that started with business unit leaders and their teams, organizational values and priorities were clearly defined. The cascade included an overall field execution readiness strategy which included team jump start meetings where the focus was on addressing customer-facing challenges, business opportunities, and 100-day planning.

In addition, WLH successfully provided the following:

  • Designed and facilitated a 3-day experiential conference for over 150 of the company’s senior leaders

  • Designed and facilitated workshops for leadership teams in each of the company’s business units to assist them with integration and alignment of the new culture

  • Developed an on-boarding process that addressed important human capital needs for the combined organization in collaboration with the HR function and first line leader input

  • Designed and developed a new consulting sales skills model and workshop

  • Evaluated organizational health during the integration and developed data feedback and action planning processes to support cultural integration

  • Implemented a human capital strategy including role profiles and recruiting, training, and talent management plans

Results

With WLH’s support, the client successfully integrated the two companies and translated leadership’s vision for the new organizational culture. A road map for the transformation was developed and implemented to ensure individual accountability and business continuity. The investment in team meetings created significantly higher levels of collaboration among field sales, marketing, and veterinary operations in support of the new culture and business goals. Retaining key talent was a critical concern for the client. WLH was successful in helping the client retain all key talent during the transition while eliminating duplicative responsibilities. Sales growth rates for the company during and immediately following the integration were better than all competitors in the industry. WLH’s success with these critical efforts led to many additional projects to further business improvement, human capital strategy, and business planning within the company.