Manufacturing | 26 November 2015

Client: Vectura Pharmaceuticals

Assignment: Leadership Development Programme

Vectura Pharmaceuticals: Leadership Development Programme

The Problem

Vectura Group plc is a product development company focused on the development of a range of inhaled therapies, principally for the treatment of respiratory diseases. The organisation’s goal is to be a cash-generative business that creates value for its shareholders. Against a background of increasing demands from both the market place and their investors, the senior team recognised the need to create a more a commercially orientated culture. This had significant implications for the junior and middle managers leading the technical programmes who were now being charged with optimising capacity, and increasing the efficiency of their teams and resources to accommodate new work.

This group of people were very technically capable and intellectually demanding but had limited leadership and management skills. We were asked to develop a programme that would enable them to create and sustain a greater focus on operational results, whilst maintaining the organisation’s people centric values.

The Solution

We worked with the HR Director to design an appropriate framework for the development programme, and then developed the detailed content to meet the specific needs of the target population. The programme consisted of an introductory scene setting event, four workshop – style teaching modules, a formal learning review, and a series of one-to-one coaching sessions.

The taught modules introduced and explored concepts of leadership, explained tools and techniques, and gave participants the opportunity to experiment and learn from each other in a protected environment using scenarios and simulations. The themes explored included: understanding the needs of stakeholders; defining the team’s core purpose; setting goals and establishing progress measures; establishing team structure and capability; building teamworking; managing performance; making difficult decisions; handling challenging interpersonal situations; motivating teams and individuals; empowering and coaching others; and change management.

The coaching sessions were designed to help participants identify situations where their new knowledge could be applied and encourage them to devise strategies using the tools and techniques they had learned. During feedback sessions they discussed the results achieved, and identified further opportunities to apply their learning. To support the required changes in behaviours as well as methods, Belbin Team Role and EDISC profiles were used to help people gain insight into the impact of their own style, and how they could modify this to be more effective in different circumstances.

In addition, each participant completed a project designed to address a specific process improvement opportunity in their area. This gave them a further opportunity to exercise their new leadership skills and to adopt some basic project management and problem solving tools. The programme culminated in the participants giving a formal presentation to senior management, showcasing their personal learning and the results that they had achieved.

Process Improvements

Process improvements emanating from the project work included: setting up team based visual management; improving the capture of inventions for intellectual property protection; tightening protocols for data reporting, maintenance and manipulation; facilitating more robust assessment and compliance with quality systems; and developing greater consistency in management decision making and communication.

The Benefits

The participants gained greater confidence and competence which enabled them to both address the current leadership challenges and to generate an environment within their teams that fosters ownership and accountability. In addition, as a result of participating in the programme, the individual managers are now working more effectively as a team to create a more consistent leadership approach across their functional groups.

The success and popularity of the programme amongst the initial group of participants has resulted in many further waves of the training.

What Vectura Pharmaceuticals said about us

“The programme was excellent in terms of delivery, value for money and benefits. The Bourton consultant built an effective rapport with all the participants; she ensured they applied learning to both the project work and their day to day activities”.

HR Director