Case Study – Sandoz ‘Unbossed Culture’ takes performance to new heights


Feedback from employees indicated that people were in survival mode and felt tired. The credibility of the leadership team was low, and profitability was in decline. For the past five years there had been no growth in sales. Leaders started looking for what was driving these issues. Their market position was good and employee capabilities were exceptional. They had solid portfolio and a great pipeline. The market dynamics were fine. What Sandoz found was a sense of retribution for failure and people tired of being hounded, but their people wanted things to improve.


Entrenched behaviours needed to change. Leaders slowed down the pace, understood what was going on and sat with it. Sandoz really listened to what employees had to say and took tangible actions. Their focus shifted from justifying numbers, to helping customers and patients. Practises that did not align to the culture vision were changed. Growth mindset, coaching and feedback programs were created to build the capabilities of their people. Leaders from all levels participated in programs with mixed teams. This was crucial as it enabled everyone to have better, more constructive conversations with each other.


Sandoz is seeing top and bottom line growth for the first time in five years. Never in the history of Sandoz Australia, New Zealand have they experienced growth this quickly or had this performance. Leaders now hold each other accountable. Their vulnerability has promoted inclusiveness, built trust and showed commitment to employees. Employees are engaged, their ideas are flowing and they’re taking ownership. The culture change has permeated through the entire organization with not just the lead team but everyone contributing. New starters even email to say they heard about the culture previously and can’t believe it’s real.

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