Insights and Novartis

logo_novartisInsights and Novartis: Global Success

Novartis is the world’s second largest pharmaceutical company, employing more than 72,000 people world-wide. However, in the early 1990s when Insights first became involved, the company that is now Novartis was still the Swiss-based Ciba. Before, during and since their merger with Sandoz, Insights has achieved what is acknowledged as a vital role in developing the company’s global leaders.

Team Connections

Insights were invited to run their first Ciba program to try and help a transatlantic project team that was experiencing communication problems. The Insights message of understanding ourselves and others, and using that information to adapt and connect to those around us was successful, and as a result, Insights was invited to become a regular part of the Faculty of Ciba Leadership program.

In 1996, Ciba and fellow Swiss pharmaceutical company Sandoz surprised the world by announcing the merger which created Novartis. Among the many resulting changes was the dropping of all but two companies from membership of the Leadership program Faculty. Insights was one of those asked to continue.

Leading The Field

The Leadership program remains the focal point of Insights’ involvement with Novartis, though it also runs Team Effectiveness programs for Novartis teams, and Insights CEO Andy Lothian has joined the faculty of the Novartis Marketing Excellence program, which is run at Stanford Business School.

According to Guido Spichty, program Manager, Learning, “The Insights model for assessment of leadership skills is an excellent tool for building our high performance organisation.”

The Leadership Program (which is run at Harvard Business School) encourages managers to look at issues from creative ‘left brain’ perspectives. Insights enables them to look at their personal styles and what impact these might have on those around them. Personal styles are compared with the style of the organisation, and gaps between the two are analysed and used to guide future personal development.

By using Insights in this way, Novartis has been able to create a common language for all their managers globally to talk about personality and how to interact with each other. Managers from around the world have also welcomed the multilingual options which have allowed many non-native English speakers to receive a Profile in their native tongue.

Organizational Analysis – The Corporate Personality

Novartis was the first organization to take advantage of Oracle, Insights’ organizational data analysis tool. Following the merger, Oracle was able to reveal how the culture of Novartis had been influenced by the previously contrasting cultures of Ciba and Sandoz. This has given the company the opportunity to compare the results with their desired leadership style, and tailor company-wide development programs to align the two where necessary.

“As a company we want to foster an entrepreneurial and performance oriented spirit on our way to become a leader in the pharmaceutical industry,” says Guido Spichty. “The dynamic and high performing team of Insights is for us a great example of this spirit. We like working with Insights, and we are looking for enhancing this cooperation in coming years.”