Amgen isn’t a big player in the common cold, sore throat remedies or allergy prescription realm of medicine. They develop a pipeline of medicines, striving to create breakthroughs.
A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen focuses on developing and manufacturing medications for rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, cancer and other serious medical conditions. This calls for a rigorous process of developing medications in large volumes, which can take years.
Amgen also uses a wide variety of tools to unravel the complex factors and details of disease. This unique skill set led them to become the world’s largest independent biotechnology company.
As a result of a few organizations merging together, Amgen’s leadership dynamics weren’t as balanced as their formulas and their growth not as predictable. Work Effects was able to help the medicine go down.
Through these changes in leadership, there was a need to streamline distribution, sales and marketing efforts. This change in leadership called for the company to make transitions and prepare for high growth.
Although their long range growth was unpredictable, Amgen was able to capitalize on several existing market opportunities and began growing at a very rapid pace. They were adding new employees to the organization at rate of 500 per week. Unfortunately, their on-boarding practices were insufficient and new hires were not being aligned to any sort of shared vision or strategy.
Amgen also wasn’t very well known to other health care providers or typical vendors, so achieving brand awareness was a goal of this focus on new employees, leaders, processes and systems. They were new to the market, and needed to quickly mature to keep up with competition.
The Work Effects Solution
With internal promotions rapidly occurring and new leaders joining the organization almost every week, we focused our initial attention on aligning leadership skills and principles to the organizational culture. This included cascading Amgen’s vision, developing the necessary leadership competencies, and building critical management skills.
Together, we created Amgen’s brand of leaders- it was personalized to their company, their industry, and their high growth needs. Through asssesments, the modules, and training internal coaches, Amgen cultivated sustainable change. We also measured the success rate of their trainers and coaches. Using the Check-Up 360™, we determined a success of a Kirkpatrick level three [Exhibit A].
We also found success through an all-systems approach. Integrating into their worldwide data and core HR systems, we helped Amgen ensure trainers and coaches were in the right places and had needed access to information. This fast, high tech yet transactional way of collecting and disseminating data also streamlined the oversight and accountability for leaders post-program.
The program started with the senior executives- top 200 leaders in the organization- and then moved to the top 2,500 leaders. We also focused on the different types of leaders, whether they had been in their roles for 1-2 or 3-5 years; if they were managers of managers or more strategic senior level executives.
Using our customized solutions, Amgen was able to cultivate change rapidly; from inception to implementation it was a span of about three weeks.
Through developing aligned, confident and communicative leaders, we were successful in refining the workplace environment.
Amgen leaders understood what their responsibilities were for action plans, follow through, and how to get other leaders to practice the art of leadership.
This made it possible for other departments, such as HR, to focus on their responsibilities. At the same time, the streamlined vision and goals broke down silos and encouraged collaboration across departments.
Amgen was able to succeed during a period of rapid growth. Unlike other drug company start-ups, they now had the systems and processes in place to take advantage of the technology and infrastructure of more mature systems.
Amgen successfully navigated their period of rapid growth and were prepared for the future. Amgen grew from a few thousand employees to 20,000 within a short period of time. Unlike other biotechnology start-ups, they had established the systems and processes required to respond quickly to market changes and opportunities.