In Part I of this case study, we identified a particular breakthrough performance project wherein Insigniam was engaged to transform a pharmaceutical company into a bigger player in the generic pharmaceuticals business, as well as begin entry into branded drug space.

As mentioned, two immediate challenges were present: destructive communication breakdowns and a culture that lacked accountability. But before Insigniam could tackle these, or any of the hidden obstacles, we first needed to establish a dialogue — a discovery period — wherein we would survey employees and identify unknown challenges that would later be addressed in our action plan.


Through a series of discussions with various stakeholders, Insigniam discovered that timelines routinely slipped without consequences, and there was a culture of politeness — And not holding people accountable for commitments made — which did not allow for issues and breakdowns to be raised and dealt with.

Additionally, people across the company were treading water. Concerns about “surviving today because the project will change tomorrow,” had manifested because the organization lacked transparency. Employees had limited visibility to what was happening at the executive level, with blame and finger pointing running rampant throughout the company.

As we’ve mentioned elsewhere, bold, decisive leadership is vital in the drug development and pharmaceutical arena. Unfortunately, it was discovered that the leadership team at this particular company was strong (in a technical capacity) but untested in management and leadership. With limited leadership experience outside their present company, leaders were insulated and inwardly focused.

Lastly, there was no structure for project management — another critically important element for businesses that develop and test products that are subject to stringent FDA requirements, for instance.

Preparing for Action

After sufficient feedback was collected and analyzed, it was clear that the company needed to:

  • Establish a greater sense of personal responsibility and accountability;
  • Reduce “circumstances beyond our control” thinking;
  • Create an inspiring future for everyone in the organization.

How they implemented their strategy to transform not only their market share and brand position but also their culture, is the topic of our next discussion: Generic to Branded Pharma: Part III — Ready for Action.

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