Bayer Healthcare R&D Division

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Case Study

Change happens at a human level; and primarily through collective effort rather than just the individual endeavour. Our work with Bayer Healthcare R&D Division epitomises how organisations need to shift authority from the one to the many, to make change happen and make it sustainable.

Bayer Healthcare R&D Division were looking to shift from a model based on having a separate R&D function, to a more team-based approach. This was a dramatic change in organisation capability, designed to help them to remain agile, work at greater pace and further build on the strength of their new drugs pipeline.

To enable this to happen required a focus on the human dynamics, and helping to grow understanding and engagement, and enable the shift from a distinct entity to a collective enterprise. 

Despite the fact that Bayer had already announced this change, it was important to perform a thorough stakeholder analysis to understand the reaction to the direction of change and to discern how best to engage the stakeholders. Once we had conducted a series of interviews, we found there was an agreement to the direction on a rational level; but active and passive resistance to the assertive and non-negotiable way in which change was being introduced. 

We worked with our client to alter the Change Management Team’s approach so they adopted the role of Change Leaders, focused on bringing people with them.  We built the Senior Functional Leaders’ engagement and buy-in to the change and to their roles within it. Through effective facilitation and coaching, we helped to enable Team Leaders, some of whom felt negatively impacted by the change, to acceptance then back to engagement and performance. We enabled teams to connect and build their cohesion and effectiveness within the new context and way of working.

We helped to make the change happen, through a deep understanding of the human system and by addressing the needs of the people, rather than the process.  Here is what our client said about our approach: 


We chose Sheppard Moscow as change management consultants to implement an ambitious transition from a Global Project Management group that provided cross-functional coordination to one that aims at strategic leadership in our R&D organisation. What made the work with Sheppard Moscow unique and cannot be provided just by a solid change management plan was their ability to catalyse the change needed to win hearts and minds of the whole R&D organisation. Sheppard Moscow thus enabled our leadership team and our Team Leaders to have the courage and ambition to become true entrepreneurial leaders in the drug development process, whilst at the same time convincing the organisation of the necessity for the change. Without Sheppard Moscow we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Steffen Roellinger, Head of Global Project Management
Bayer Pharma R&D