Building technical skills and growth-driving behaviours side-by-side

Brand Learning's research revealed the 7C hallmarks of growth-driving organisations. They are key capabilities for organisations and leaders, and often require behaviour changes.

In a recent capability programme for Novartis, we built these behaviour changes alongside technical capabilities, to step-change the way they prepared for competitor launches.  


The world of pharma is competitive. New products are launched into market with growing frequency and speed. Physicians demand shorter, yet more personalised conversations. The availability of information has empowered patients and digital technology is transforming the landscape. At the same time, the regulatory environment is tightening and the power of payers is growing, requiring pharmaceutical companies to work harder to access and meet the needs of patients. For Novartis, working collaboratively to ensure full commitment from teams at Local, Regional and Global levels, but also with speed and decisiveness, is a high priority.

What we did

Brand Learning designed a cross-functional approach to create new plans in the face of competitive launches. The outputs of the programme are both new plans, technically stronger than before, and new capabilities to create a sustained change in the way of working. Teams from marketing, market access, medical, sales, regulatory, HR and finance worked intensively together over 2 months.

How the 7C hallmarks were experienced in the programme

  • The programme was designed to enable and demonstrate conscious speed: it was fast paced and practical, focussing on the actions that would truly sharpen team competitiveness
  • Customer-centricity was at the heart of the programme, with an immersive Guided Discovery to ensure that plans were grounded in deep stakeholder and patient insight
  • Cultivating the talent of the whole organisation, across levels and functions together, aided involvement and relationship-building, and created aligned behaviours
  • Collaboration, breaking down functional silos and ensuring plans were created with full involvement of all those who have responsibility for implementation, was a key design principle
  • Commitment of the business was driven by its focus on a priority area and by active senior participation 
  • Teams were coached to develop habitual questioning and curious behaviours, using a set of insightful questions for physicians and patients during the course of their normal work 
  • Responding to a real, and pressing commercial imperative, teams were encouraged to create new, bold plans with courage. The time pressure helped teams to adopt a ‘fast failure for success’ approach 

The programme has now been implemented in 4 Regions (AMAC, Europe, North America and LACAM), with consistent evidence of a sales increase generated quickly. A recent case study across 3 European countries showed an average 11% sales increase (3 month average) following the programme.

This program was conceived to build sustainable competitive readiness process and it has exceeded our expectations globally Regional Franchise Head, Novartis

Published with kind permission.

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