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7th July 2015
AstraZeneca is a multinational pharmaceutical and biologics company. It is the world's seventh-largest pharmaceutical company and has operations in over 100 countries.

The Challenge

The Procurement Compliance team was tasked with achieving a 1500% increase in the number of responsible procurement audits completed at suppliers globally within a 1-year time-frame.  This was an overwhelming request in respect of the challenge itself, the absence of established processes and the large organisational structure which had to be influenced in order to reach suppliers; however it was a key business requirement in support of the Company Responsible Business strategic expectations.

Our Approach

We worked with the team through the delivery of four quarterly workshop events and monthly coaching, binding strategy, project plan review and breakthrough leadership development to produce this unpredictable result over an eight month period. Our focus was building a high -performing team environment that freed them from the constraints of the past and gave them the confidence to challenge key assumptions in their approach and historic practices, think from the future, take risks, and be bold and innovative.

The team boldly adopted Breakthrough Thinking and Methodology and created sustained ways of working to achieve all team objectives.


Given their starting place the results were truly astounding – deciding the future and the outcome for themselves despite the challenges and circumstances laid out in front of them.

The most prevalent shifts were:

  • Creating a self-managing team, truly leading with unprecedented confidence and ready for 2012’s equally ambitious goals.
  • Developed practices to sustain high performance and now able to apply breakthrough thinking on a day-to-day basis. This was manifested in:
  • Being outcome and fact-driven
  • The acquired ability to unhook themselves from judgements and their own beliefs about the ‘right’ thing to do when they weren’t useful
  • Taking innovation risks
  • Quickly resolving setbacks
  • Freed up capacity for the Manager to be strategic and play a coaching role to the team
  • Nominated for CEO Award – acknowledgment as a high profile and high performing team. Chief Procurement Officer quoted that this was “over my expectations”
  • Became certified auditors
  • Demonstrated their value and influencing skills
  • Acknowledged for significantly increasing the quality delivered froma 3rd party supplier
  • Supported other key business objectives

Business Results

  • Full achievement of the business target with 2022 audits rolled out in year and 1503 completed from a starting place of 54 complete at the end of Q1 with a full governance framework approved
  • Significant increase in ranking in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a key business metric
  • Global (75 countries) awareness of Responsible Procurement as a core strategic imperative rather than a ‘tick box’ exercise
  • Transformed the relationship and credibility of a 3rd party organisation within AstraZeneca and Suppliers following previous cynicism of the delivery model
  • Introduced an online portal for auditing which didn’t exist previously
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