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Streamlining Operations Across Multiple Continents


Organization Design, Team Facilitation, and Executive Coaching for the IT function of a global pharmaceutical company.

Business Challenge

Affiliates within each country throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) had their own IT staff, structures, and systems. While this made IT responsive to each affiliate’s needs, it resulted in duplicative efforts, made it difficult to leverage knowledge and purchasing power across the enterprise, and posed challenges for unified functioning. Streamlining these operations would require an effort that spanned national cultures, organizational structures, geographic boundaries, and different ways of operating.

The Peak Development Solution

Peak Development assembled a Design Team to lead the effort. Realizing that the membership of this team would send a powerful message, we recommended a team that included representatives from each continent, from affiliates both large and small, and which encompassed individuals with varying degrees of experience. This provided a diversity of thought and perspective that was highly valuable in achieving the desired outcomes.

While much of the work was done virtually, we knew that opportunities for working face-to-face would also be critical. When developing a team, trust is built when members can sit across the table from one another, look each other in the eye, and work on common issues. When developing global leadership, it is also important for people to experience other countries and ways of seeing the world. To enhance the team's functioning, Peak Development recommended that a series of meetings be held in different parts of the EMEA region, at a few key decisions points in the process. We designed and led these meetings, and provided subject-matter expertise on organizational architecture and change leadership.

With such a far-flung, diverse constituency, an integrated communication plan was essential in achieving the alignment. We provided a structure, communication vehicles, and implementation support to ensure that the team’s work could reach the widest possible audience within the organization.

Finally, we provided executive coaching to the team’s senior sponsor, both for her leadership of the Design Team, and as she presented the team’s work to leaders throughout the organization.


The resulting design not only met criteria for improving efficiency and lowering costs, but built bridges among far-flung affiliates, and developed global leadership skills in some of the organization’s most promising talent.

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Thursday, September 5th, 2013  
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