Driving Culture Transformation at a Leading Global… | Gagen MacDonald

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Driving Culture Transformation at a Leading Global Pharmaceutical Company

Apr 12, 2018


A global pharmaceutical company has been a leader in the industry, revolutionizing a key area of treatment for patients for nearly a decade, but the traditional ways the company’s employees worked were outdated – a fact reflected in operational margins below industry peers.

When the company set out to transform, its objectives were to:

  • Increase competitiveness especially around speed
  • Reset expense base to create strategic headroom
  • Ensure long-term sustainability


The company retained Gagen MacDonald to apply our unique approach focused on the human side of change, building employee belief around why transformation is good for the company and good for them.

Equip Leaders


  • Created private, online leadership portal exclusively for the company’s global top 200 leaders
  • Designed CEO and C-Suite engagement plans to create a more regular cadence for communications and collect feedback
  • Equipped leaders with tools, resources, training and coaching to enhance leadership skills needed to drive enterprise-wide change


  • C-suite conducted more than 100 listening sessions with top 200 leaders in 12 months; subsequently, these leaders held more than 100 listening sessions with their teams.

Engage Employees


  • Developed strategy and approach to drive culture change through organization-wide adoption of working in new ways, with sponsorship and involvement from the Chief Executive Officer, Executive Leadership Team and Transformation Management Office
  • Engaged C-Suite and global top 200 leaders as ambassadors to lead culture change with meeting-in-a-box materials and tools
  • Sourced and leveraged employee stories of how individuals and teams are working in new ways and achieving strong business results
  • Shared employee stories via iPhone videos, podcasts, and articles
  • Developed change management tips and tools to help others implement new ways of working in their teams
  • Created visual campaign on “transformation in motion” to reinforce new behaviors


  • 95% of employees are willing to embrace new ways of working if it will help the leading global biopharmaceutical company compete more effectively
  • On average 1,800 views per every story published with a high of 3,100 views on a single story, significantly higher than the company’s average views per story

Drive Organizational Alignment


  • Designed and facilitated cross-functional alignment approach resulting in improved message integration
  • Introduced six-month view and reviewed regularly with Transformation Management Office
  • Designed cross-functional table read and peer review to drive alignment of message and overall quality
  • Developed cadence for pre-communications with C-Suite, global top 200 leaders and impacted employees
  • Created transformation intranet site to publish and archive announcements by function


  • Published 140 announcements to date with 1,500+ views on each announcement article
  • 92% of employees understand the transformation


Senior leadership’s commitment to the strategic plan and innovative usage of multi-media, digital, and social tools have led to outstanding results, including:

  • Keeping operating expenses flat
  • Increased investment in R&D
  • Reduction in medication development time
  • Simplification of work processes and systems

The enterprise-wide transformation also has been honored with multiple awards, including an IABC Gold Quill Business Issue Award, three 2018 IABC Gold Quill Awards of Excellence and three 2018 BTOES Awards.

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