Aligning Leadership Team Around Strategy at Global Pharmaceutical Company


  • Business unit of a Global Pharma company headquartered in Europe
  • Some key plants had improved performance in recent years, but these improvements were driven mainly from the top
  • Down-the-line leaders and employees were mainly looking for senior managers to tell them what to do
  • Senior leadership team members were not behaving in a consistent way
  • The business unit VP felt a need to align the leadership team around a few core values and principles in order to generate more engagement and energy about building a world-class operating unit


  • Held a series of workshops with senior leadership team, with work in between
  • Selected four core values from a broad range, and clarified among the team
  • Following the workshops, asked team members to identify situations that could be used to describe desired and undesired behaviors; built agreement on those
  • Incorporated values into evaluation systems for managers along with other performance measures
  • Held plant-level workshops to get people to internalize and formulate what the values meant specifically to them and their unit


  • Early effects show that the values are being referred to daily in the organization to address behavior issues
  • When critical situations occur or when decisions need to be made, the senior leadership team uses values as a checkpoint to guide them
  • Local adjustments of the values are part of a monthly follow-up routine and discussed in each team, down to the shop floor