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®


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.

Wendy L. Heckelman, Ph.D.

Dr. Wendy Heckelman, president and founder of WLH Consulting, Inc. has over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 100 industry clients. These include pharmaceutical, biotech, health care, animal health medicines, and consumer products, as well as international non-profit organizations and growing entrepreneurial companies.

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