Involving frontline staff to shape the strategy

How a pharmaceutical company involved frontline staff to shape its R&D strategy.


A pharmaceutical company needed to make more effective use of its R&D budget for a high-selling drug.
They wanted to get input from people on the ground since they have a lot of knowledge about the customers’ needs. However those views were difficult to gather and analyse, often distorted by one or two more vocal individuals.


By running an online brainstorm with front line sales representatives, wisdom was collected from every corner of the market, processed and prioritised.


The result was a clear ranked requirements list for for development (these included the drug itself as expected, but also generated valuable and actionable ideas for packaging, communications and distribution).
The salesforce were motivated by their inclusion in the decision-making process and the priority changes identified by them were cheaper and easier to implement than the developments the R&D function had in mind.
The peer review of the ideas during the online Synthetron session takes everybody ’s view into account, including those who never speak up at a meeting. Nobody has to wait for their turn to speak, or be embarrassed at expressing a “silly” point of view.