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Aligning leadership styles to drive medical strategy

The challenge

The US medical leadership team of a global life sciences company was faced with competing objectives based on changes in leadership and shifts in organizational goals. Attempting to address these competing priorities caused confusion and a lack of focus among the cross-functional leadership team, which included leaders from different therapeutic areas, as well as functional leads representing groups such as Evidence Generation, Compliance, Training, Finance, and Patient Safety. The team was unsure where their focus should lie or which goals were the most important. Additionally, the team lead recognized an opportunity for the members of the team to work more collaboratively with one another and improve their communication and ways of working.

The client partnered with Vynamic to help them quickly prioritize the most critical initiatives for the next six to 12 months, in alignment with the overall organizational strategy. Given the cross-functional nature of this leadership team, where each leader is responsible for driving a separate but connected component of the overall medical strategy, it was imperative that the team achieve alignment on their overall priorities. Not only would this help them achieve their own objectives, but it would also enable them to better communicate the US medical priorities to the functional teams they led. Vynamic’s combined expertise in strategic planning and culture curation made us well positioned to support this team in achieving their goals.

The approach

Vynamic began by meeting with the US medical leaders to understand the core challenges they were facing around prioritization and focus. While it was clear the leaders needed a clear and simple strategy, it quickly became apparent that different leadership styles were leading to friction and conflicts that would hamper the team, regardless of the goals they faced.

Vynamic proposed a DISC personality style workshop and Strategy on a Page framework, refined and tailored with defined goals to address the team’s specific challenges over a two-day intensive session:

Day 1: Vynamic started with a “Taking Flight with DISC” personality workshop that helps participants identify themselves as one of four personality types: Dominant, Interactive, Supportive, or Conscientious. These are mapped to one of four birds – eagle, parrot, dove, and owl – which creates a memorable way to understand and appreciate positive yet contrasting traits of colleagues.

The session was run in an objective, non-judgmental way, helping people to understand behavior, adjust their approach, and be part of a more empathetic, effective team.

Day 2: Building on the momentum from the first day and armed with a greater understanding of each other’s personalities, the team was guided through Vynamic’s strategic planning workshop. The workshop was structured around two specific programs in key therapeutic areas that were identified as critical priorities for the year. We began the session with an overview from each of the therapeutic area leads to establish a foundational understanding of each program and reinforce the importance of each.

Then, through an exploration of these programs, we translated the leaders’ discussion into a clear, step-by-step Strategy on a Page. This included an overarching vision, strategic imperatives, objectives, tactics, deliverables, and measures of success that the team aligned on for each of the key programs.

To ensure the team not only had a strategy, but could also deliver it in a more effective way, we explored how they could improve their ways of working. We helped them identify what they were doing well, what they should stop doing, and what new things they could introduce. Suggested improvements included driving more accountability and transparency around program process, and developing strategies to anticipate and be more prepared for requests from senior leadership.

 

The result

Although the client was initially looking to bring clarity to their 2022 priorities, they also recognized the need to improve team cohesion. Thanks to our use of DISC, the leaders went into day two of the workshop with a clearer understanding and appreciation of each other’s working and communication styles, which has since helped to deepen trust, strengthen collaboration, and create a shared language for more effective dialogue.

The team is now fully aligned on their priorities. They have a simple one-page strategy with defined next steps for each of the key programs, along with new and different ways of working that will enable team success.

In response to the success of this project, the client shared “Vynamic is responsive, agile, and flexible to our needs. They have a good understanding of our organization and experience in working with different functions across the business.” Another participant noted “Vynamic was great to work with during both the development and the execution of our workshop. I was impressed by their ability to identify our meeting needs and follow through with a tangible outcome.” Following the success of this engagement, members of the US medical team who attended the workshop have reached out to Vynamic for continued support on strategic initiatives within their respective teams.

About Vynamic

Vynamic, an Inizio Advisory company, is a leading management consulting partner to global health organizations across Life Sciences, Health Services, and Health Technology. Founded and headquartered in Philadelphia, Vynamic has offices in Boston, Durham NC, and London. Our purpose is simple: We believe there is a better way. We are passionate about shaping the future of health, and for more than 20 years we’ve helped clients transform by connecting strategy to action.

Through a structured, yet flexible delivery model, our accomplished leaders work as an extension of client teams, enabling growth, performance, and culture. Vynamic has been recognized by organizations like Great Place to Work and Business Culture Awards for being leaders and innovators in consulting, company culture, and health. Visit Vynamic.com to discover how we can help transform your
organization or your career.

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