The Goal

Changes across one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies have seen a reduction in levels of overall resource, with a requirement to manage complex international projects and coordinate work across cultures.

With a large number of individuals spread across 16 countries this has presented an ever-increasing challenge for our client, and has driven a critical need to get people thinking about working more effectively across their cultures and finding new and better ways to build skills and knowledge across their teams.

The Solution

Because of the dispersed nature of the Clinical Research population, there was a need to build a practical and flexible solution which brought people together online and in a collaborative way. Face-to-face and eLearning had been used in the past but with limited impact.

Our proposal was to establish a ‘learning cells’ approach. This involved identifying specific work-based issues where people came together virtually to share knowledge or resolve common problems.

We worked with the client to establish a pilot, developing a robust training process for setting up the learning cell teams successfully. This included establishing clear roles and the selection and development of facilitators within each group, ensuring maximum collaboration across cultures and encouraging them to self-manage over time.

The Results

Following the completion of Phase One a survey was undertaken on the effectiveness of the approach and the feedback was extremely positive. Our client is now in the process of launching Phase Two which will see the establishment of a number of new learning cells.

The Client’s View

“It seems so simple but it really works; get people into smaller groups, get them to have a common work goal and build that small group together around that common goal… they want to learn together. We need to work as a region and this will help to break down those barriers.”
“We’ve had a very positive response. Everyone that was part of a learning cell was very enthusiastic.”