The Change Collective

Leaders pave the way

A large pharmaceutical company needed to create more client centric services. Starting at the top, the leaders where involved in setting up highly visible experiments to implement the new strategy, while focusing on working together in a completely different way.


To become more customer centric, the company needed to increase cross functional cooperation. This required the company to break down the barriers and start trying to understand each other so they could act effectively within the company. However, after previous failed attempts to work on agile and cross functional projects, there was a lot of cynicism and resistance within middle management and on the shop floor. How could they re-ignite this necessary transformation?

Rethink leadership

By addressing the effect of role modelling on transformation at the C-suite and senior leadership level of the company, we created the awareness that change starts at the top. Together with the board, commercial and HR directors we co-created a programme in which senior leaders were in the lead of cross functional experiments, focussing both on the what and on the how. By setting up clear rules of engagement and supporting governance, we created a safe space for top leaders to practice their new skills and behaviour so they could break down the boundaries within their company.

Reshape agility

By providing intensive individual and group coaching, leaders were able to take cooperation to the next level. Because of the experimental nature of the projects, participants were allowed to make mistakes and to learn from them. By creating carefully designed communication strategies that involved sharing lessons learned and success stories with the rest of the organisation, enthusiasm and belief around this new way of working grew. Approximately 80% of the projects delivered processes that benefited the agility and customer centricity of the company. And the leaders paved the way for a new way of working.

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