Expert insight with Anders Fogstrup: The 4 dimensions of corporate transformation

Transformation is everywhere at any time. Markets transform, businesses transform, people transform. I talked to a specialist in this area about the various aspects of transformation processes and the result is this very interesting transformation model you can find below.

Developed by Mundipharma and put to action by Anders Fogstrup who is currently leading Mundipharma Germany. The company is part of a global network of privately-owned independent associated companies and operates in over 120 countries worldwide. The company is focused on developing business partnerships to identify and accelerate meaningful technology across an increasingly diverse portfolio of therapy areas including respiratory, oncology, pain and biosimilars. By working in partnership with all stakeholders, the Mundipharma network develops therapies that create value for patients, payers and wider healthcare systems – to move medicine forward.

Here are his thoughts on what the essential ingredients for a successful corporate transformation actually are; Mundipharma works in a structured manner with a transformation model of 4 dimensions:

Transformation starts and ends with leadership. Always. If leadership doesn’t provide a clear direction it won’t work. Direction is one thing, however, the other ingredients are also incredibly important. You can’t embed the transformation in the company if you lack executive sponsorship. At Mundipharma we work with a transformation model that we created internally fuelled by our experience with business transformation since 2015. Recently, we have elevated this model into our Operating Model, as it has shown clear benefits. The model has four dimensions and is pretty simple.

Dimension 1 is Clear Direction and Focus (clear direction). It basically means that you need to know where you’re going and also be brave enough to say where you’re NOT going. The last part is often the hardest part, because what we find here is the comfort zone. In Mundipharma’s case our comfort zone was within the severe pain area. We are not a “pain-company” anymore. Our model has evolved, we are now a new type of company. For employees the NOT part is also very important. Because it’s where they used to be experts and where the company heritage lies. For the right individuals, however, this is also what makes it exciting to be part of the journey.

Dimension 2 of the model is the Right Leadership. Visible and united Leadership is essential, I can’t stress this enough. If the company leadership team don’t speak with one voice and don’t know or don’t support the direction of the transformation, then employees will be confused and things will go wrong. However, leaders are also individuals, and individuals want to be proud of and understand the direction of travel. As sponsors of corporate transformations, we need to show this way, as well as embrace the necessary decisions to ensure Leadership act and speak with one voice.

The third dimension is Organizational Effectiveness. Shortly put this means: the right processes, the right systems and the right decision making. Let’s take the example of an ERP system you work with, in our case a SAP solution – this system has existed for decades and supported the old operating model well. It has developed over time into a very complex system, because we had the resources to adapt it to all of our needs. Today, we’re a company that needs an ERP solution which supports our more agile business model. So we have to change the system. But before we can do this, the processes needs adaption to our new to-be. That’s a key focus for us now, as this drives effectiveness and enables us to become fit for purpose. This process review is probably one of the hardest exercises, as changing ways of working means changing daily routines, which in effect drives a cultural shift towards a learning organization focused on continuous improvement.

The final dimension is the Right Mindset which is closely linked to the corporate culture. If you work structured with a Corporate Transformation then I believe the organizational Mindset will change over time. As the Tranformation Sponsor, you need to show the way and be willing to act and breathe the new way. This is the long haul, it’s a process. You can’t change culture over night. To me, that’s the best thing to witness in transformations. To witness those subtle changes which lead to the change in culture. I have managed this in the past and I can say that it’s great to witness and very rewarding. It makes the hard work fun.

Thanks Anders Fogstrup for the valuable insights! Stay tuned for Part 2 and 3 of the interview series coming soon.

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