Case study: Discovery Research Operation of a Mid-sized Pharmaceutical

Life Sciences


• Address the lack of clearly articulated and shared Mission, Vision, and Values for the organization that was reflected in a low level of employee engagement in the mission.
• Redefine a research strategy that was variously viewed to be non-existent, poorly articulated or ill-conceived. Through this effort help individual scientists shift their emphasis from favorite projects to technologies aligned with the organization’s strategic priorities.
• Resolve unexpressed conflict that was impeding open communication and the ability to build consensus around important strategic business issues.


• Facilitated a process that engaged the entire employee population of 200 in defining a compelling Mission, Vision and 30-year Goal for the organization.
• Guided the development of strategies for the two primary therapeutic areas. Engaged a broader cross-section of researchers in the process than ever before. Followed this with an equally broad based implementation process that engaged those scientists impacted by strategic organizational changes as architects and implementors of the changes.
• Worked with the senior leadership team to improve its capacity for open dialogue and effective conflict resolution. Coached key leaders, on techniques and strategies for improving interpersonal effectiveness and team participation in critical discussions, problem solving and decision-making.


The President reports that the support he received throughout the strategy development process saved him “at least a month of [his] own man hours” and achieved outcomes he could not have produced given his role in the organization. Development of a clear research strategy enabled, for the first time, the creation of a set of objective research productivity metrics. Employees report a deeper sense of connection and commitment to the purpose and strategic direction of the company than at any time in the past. Organizational changes, that in the past would have created significant disenfranchisement, have been carried out with minimum disruption to operations. Key players report that they are now able to have more candid debate and discussion on important issues and work through conflict constructively.