When Pharmacia was purchased by Pfizer, the Kalamazoo manufacturing site became the largest manufacturing facility of the largest drug maker in the world. A changing organization and changing company structures created the opportunity for the development of many new leadership teams throughout the site. The Director of Injectable Operations for Pfizer Global Manufacturing, Kalamazoo site was charged with assembling a new leadership team and creating an organization that would be successful given the new business context.

 

The Pfizer Injectable Operations/Crux Move Partnership

Pfizer Injectable Operations has developed and maintained a valued and trust-based relationship for over 4 years with Crux Move Consulting. What started as a single planned “getting to know you” team building session with my new management team has blossomed into a far reaching cultural evolution. Each of the managers that participated in that first session found it so rewarding and transforming that they insisted on taking each of their teams through the process as well. We have done additional sessions incorporating our enabling colleagues and many teams have been through follow up sessions as team members and/or leaders have changed.

The relationship skills that Jim and Michael have taught us to courageously use have enriched our lives by teaching us to walk, and not just talk, the values, standards and behaviors that we hold ourselves to as leaders.

By being open to the possibilities that can unfold in the Crux sessions, their coaching has taken us to places that we never thought possible. We’ve embraced the belief that if we can’t give and get constructive feedback, then we can’t possibly improve ourselves as people and managers. One of the more valued concepts that we have taken away from our Crux sessions is that of “responsible risk taking”. We know that in order to grow as a team we have to trust each other enough to have the tough conversations and to be able to listen to each other well. Doing that consistently has allowed us to build credibility with one another. This has resulted in full engagement by each of the teams and an increased sense of ownership of our jobs.

The payoff has been measurable by our business results. By working effectively as a team, for three years in a row, we have delivered decreased cost of goods to our customers despite declining volumes and increased inflation. The budget process is now driven by the management team rather than just the director and the result is creative cost improvement suggestions that cross functional boundaries. We just completed commissioning of a new production facility within a timeframe that broke all previous company records. There’s much more but the bottom line is that this stuff WORKS!

Sure, Team Building is sometimes seen as “touchy-feely” and it can be hard to calculate a return on investment for it at budget time. All I know is that when the times get tough here, my team has what it takes to trust each other and avoid the blame game that is the hallmark of many large organizations today, all the while delivering results beyond what would have been possible four years ago. Thanks, Michael and Jim, for helping us to fulfill our potential by providing a safe place (emotionally as well as physically) and process for us to grow and develop.

 Ann Early, Director, Injectable Operations
Pfizer, Inc., Kalamazoo, Michigan

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Mike and Jim have an uncanny, even magical, ability to help needed communication occur between people who don’t normally communicate well and that helps them move to greater and greater levels of team work and individual effectiveness. Not only that, they make it fun!

Rob Pizzie, Ph.D.
Summit, New Jersey

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