Impact Study - Product Delays

Pharmaceutical Company Reduces Product delays by 25%

Challenge

As one of the large pharmaceutical companies, this business has an extremely large global footprint. A high percentage of the scientists working for the company are Indian and Chinese. However, the group of project managers responsible for supporting the research findings from this group mostly come from Western backgrounds.

The project teams work with multiple offices across many geographies and time zones and they are consistently frustrated by what they described as inefficiencies, interpersonal misunderstandings, and as a result, delays in getting new medications to market.

Solutions

After a group of senior leaders from the company experienced an executive session on cultural intelligence, they decided cultural intelligence needed to be brought more fully into the company. They asked the Cultural Intelligence Center to help them pilot the implementation of CQ with the project management team from this research group.

We worked with leadership to design a three-month program for 120 project managers who are spread across three offices.

  • Month 1
  • Month 2
  • Month 3
Cultural Intelligence
  • Project Managers took the CQ Assessment
  • Each participant went through a 1-day Developing Cultural Intelligence workshop
  • Each individual created a personal CQ Development Plan
Cultural Intelligence
  • Project managers met in groups of three with coaches who reviewed their CQ Development Plans with them
  • After the coaching session, each participant updated their 1 month and 6 month goals
Cultural Intelligence
  • Expat meets with the coach to discuss specific challenges and insights based on the first 6 weeks in-country
  • Expat identifies three goals for the next 4-6 weeks to further improve and apply CQ to the assignment
Month 1
Cultural Intelligence
  • Project Managers took the CQ Assessment
  • Each participant went through a 1-day Developing Cultural Intelligence workshop
  • Each individual created a personal CQ Development Plan
Month 2
Cultural Intelligence
  • Project managers met in groups of three with coaches who reviewed their CQ Development Plans with them
  • After the coaching session, each participant updated their 1 month and 6 month goals
Month 3
Cultural Intelligence
  • Expat meets with the coach to discuss specific challenges and insights based on the first 6 weeks in-country
  • Expat identifies three goals for the next 4-6 weeks to further improve and apply CQ to the assignment

Results

The 3-month program improved the efficiencies of the team and became a required training for any new project manager joining them.

More specifically:

  • Supervisors reported having fewer instances of team conflicts that were escalated to them to address
  • A year later, the team reported 25% fewer delays in meeting deadlines than what had occurred previously.
  • The group implemented a “pre-mortem” review process where instead of assessing a failed product after it launches, they imagined that any new product failed beforehand and drew on their diversity to forecast what might cause it to fail.
  • As a follow-up to this program, the group did a combined session on cultural values with the Asian scientists and the Western project managers, which resulted in improved understanding and collaboration.

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Complimentary Cultural Intelligence for Leaders Packet

Learn to Lead with Cultural Intelligence

Now, more than ever, companies needs effective leaders at all levels of the organization. Being able to bring together and get the best out of team members from different generations, socio-economic backgrounds, ethnic roots, countries, religions and educational backgrounds requires a Culturally Intelligent Leader.

We have put together a collection of Cultural Intelligence leadership articles written by social scientist, speaker and author Dr. David Livermore.  The article topics include:

  • 5 Questions Culturally Intelligent Leaders Ask Themselves Every Day
  • Leadership Advice You Should Ignore
  • How Culturally Intelligent Leaders Make Decisions

About the Author

David Livermore, PhD (Michigan State University) is a social scientist devoted to the topics of cultural intelligence (CQ) and global leadership and the author of several award-winning books. Learn more about Dr. David Livermore by visiting his website.

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