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Positive Disruption of Old Ways of Working Enables Innovation and Agility

With clinical trials inching closer to a 50% failure rate in the past decade, the pharmaceutical industry is amidst a period of stagnation that, for most organizations, is not sustainable. New ways of operating and new models for research, drug development, and commercialization are necessary.

In the past two years of a global health crisis, old and new organizations showed what is possible with a clear vision, a sense of true urgency, and the adoption of new ways of getting work done. By leveraging our expertise on the science of change, Kotter works with organizations to deepen alignment around a compelling case for change – enabling more leaders at all levels to deepen their capacity to embrace new behaviors, scale innovation, and activate strategies that enable future success.

Our Unique Approach

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Aligning around an opportunity

Framing strategy activation as a response to available opportunities to generate excitement, personal connection, and a desire to act.

Bringing the outside in

With a collective agreement that past successes will not guarantee future ones, we work with clients to broaden perspective and encourage creative thinking by including external viewpoints, including the latest scientific developments and an understanding of competitors.

Telling a compelling story

Facilitating leadership’s creation of a compelling story that not only engages and excites the organization but helps prioritize the most critical steps to successful implementation.

Dynamic and evolving execution

Kotter uses an agile, iterative approach to strategy with short planning windows and frequent evaluation of context and strategic fit to continually align effort and impact while identifying breakthroughs to share and scale across the organization.

Increasing transparency and trust

Leveraging engagement forums for employees to voice concerns and questions and increase intellectual and emotional buy-in for transformation.

Pharmaceutical Focus Areas

We work with Pharmaceutical clients to accelerate the realization of their goals including:


Operational Effectiveness + R&D Innovation

Outdated infrastructure and ways of working should not be barriers of future success. Kotter supports clients in achieving their potential by removing or redefining management structures and processes while empowering cross-functional teams to achieve seemingly impossible results and develop capabilities that will enable future innovation.

Culture Transformation

Aversion to risk, while healthy to a degree, can quickly stymie even the most powerful vision for change. Our research is clear: successful, change-ready organizations possess an adaptive culture as one of their greatest assets. Cultural transformation starts with new actions and behaviors that drive better results, create support for new ways of working, and eventually develop new habits and a new culture.

M&A Integration

Too many mergers fail to realize any significant value, sometimes because of poorly thought through deals, but most often because of integration challenges. Kotter’s M&A work helps clients set an early focus on culture as an enabler of the desired future by engaging legacy organizations to align around the promise of what is possible as a new entity. By identifying and reinforcing cultural norms and empowering ownership, our clients accelerate their speed-to-value realization.

Strategy Execution

Even the most compelling visions and well-laid strategic plans will fall short if they meet resistance from within the organization. Kotter’s research and experience drives our ability to anticipate and mitigate risks inherent in strategy execution. We partner with our clients to align urgency around an opportunity – mobilizing people throughout the organization to break down barriers, solve problems, and inspire new thinking that unlocks the capability to sustain and scale the successful strategy activation.

Featured Resources + Insights

Areas of Expertise

While not an all-inclusive list, the strategies below represent the most common situations our clients face.


Increase engagement, transparency, and excitement for the new technology to deliver the desired business impact.


Drive intentional culture change that starts with new actions, generates better results, and eventually produces an evolved culture.


Provide the breadth and depth necessary to advance change capabilities up, down, and across organizations in a sustainable and scalable way.


Engage employees to uncover new ideas and the capacity to lead, innovate, and drive value for the customer and the business as a whole.


Move the “how” of M&A integration to the top of the priority list – right next to the “what” – focus first on culture and people.

06. Strategy Execution

Mobilize people throughout the organization to break down barriers, solve problems, and inspire innovation.
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