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Merging Two Company Cultures to Research a Breast Cancer Drug

A large pharmaceutical company purchased a company with a molecule for triple negative breast cancer. The molecule looked promising for drug development. However, after merging the companies, a culture of “us vs. them” surfaced that put at risk the successful development of the prospective new drug.

The project manager had worked with Insigniam’s pharmaceutical consultants at a previous company and knew about their expertise with mergers and acquisitions, as well as cultural transformation and integration.

The two cultures clashed. One was characterized as “global, slow, bureaucratic and complex” while the other was considered “small, flexible, agile and innovative.”

These differences made it difficult to communicate and cooperate.

During a 4-day Breakthrough Project session, the business consultants worked to disengage the atmosphere of silos and distrust. Dysfunctional behaviors were addressed. A shared vision was built and a spirit of alignment, collaboration, and commitment emerged.