AstraZeneca case study

AstraZeneca logoCommunication measurement supports change in IS

For AstraZeneca’s global Information Systems function, we carried out before-and-after research to assess the effectiveness of a major change-management programme.

We conducted one-to-one interviews and focus groups with a representative sample of employees to check their awareness and understanding of what the change was all about. We used the data we collected to gauge the organisation’s progress on each of the success factors in Kotter’s Eight-step Process for Leading Change. From this, we produced a user-friendly report that gave a red, amber or green rating for each Kotter step and provided detailed analysis and recommendations for improvement.

As the change programme progressed, we carried out follow-up research that enabled us to track progress. Over time, we saw an increasing number of green ratings as the change programme gathered momentum.

Seeing the Big Picture

AstraZeneca’s R&D organisation needed to communicate a change of strategy. We helped the organisation articulate and communicate the change in a way that would engage employees.

To lead the campaign, we developed a Big Picture visual metaphor that would help turn the strategy into a memorable and convincing story.

We launched the Big Picture in face-to-face roadshows and trained leaders and managers to cascade it to their teams through poster-based briefings.

This approach stimulated dialogue and helped employees across the R&D organisation identify and commit to the local actions they needed to take to deliver the strategy in their part of the business.

The Big Picture programme scooped a Communicators in Business award of excellence for storytelling.

Turning managers into communicating leaders

Since 2007, we have trained more than 600 managers at AstraZeneca to become better communicators by delivering Axiom’s How to Be a Better Communicator workshops in the UK, Sweden and the US.

The communication training has helped delegates – including senior executives and research scientists – engage and motivate their people in times of change.

We first ran the workshops in AstraZeneca’s Clinical division in 2007, and were soon asked to deliver them in other business units too.

The results speak for themselves. In eight workshops in one part of the company, 120 delegates filled out post-workshop evaluations. Results included:

  • Average score 4.4 out of five for how the workshops were helping them in their work.
  • Average score 4.4 out of five for the workshop materials.
  • Average score 4.8 out of five for the workshop facilitator.

This communication training is just one part of a major programme of work we have delivered for AstraZeneca.

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