Aligning cross-functions within a global medical devices business

Transforming leaders to have a new and confident perspective on uncertainty 


The recent history in US medical reconstruction had been one of winning; sustained revenue and market share growth throughout most of the decade. Changing industry conditions had begun to shake the tried and tested methods of success, having a significant impact on mindset and morale in the business. The caused an environment of siloed behaviours, misaligned initiatives, defensiveness and blame of other functions. At its most extreme, people were rapidly losing confidence and becoming victim to the circumstances. Feeling powerless to impact the situation or provide the leadership needed by their teams and peers.


Three critical components over 6 months:

1. Rebuilding the belief and appetite to win again, this time as a cross-functional team:

  • Allowing people to express their frustrations and disappointments to feel that they have been heard and understood
  • Creating a new context based on trust, renewed passion and a sense of “we are in this together”
  • Joining up all functions effected: sales, marketing, product development, operations, HR, finance, QA and regulatory

2. Focusing on priority initiatives that provide a platform for growth in the new market conditions:

  • Identifying new approaches to critical enablers including customer demand, sales model, technology differentiators and organisational culture
  • Defining short-term milestones with 3-month Breakthrough goals
  • Hard-wired into the meeting and governance structures

3. Leadership, communication and a common language:

Creating accountability and choice by letting go of conventional, past thinking
Embedding a common language to engage and join-up functions to coherently generate ideas, take action and make decisions 
Managing and escalating cross-functional issues effectively
Ability and appetite to re-inspire teams and remove obstacles


Described by the President of the Orthopedic Reconstruction business as “the strongest inflection point I’ve ever seen” in the context of business change.

  • Broke the record of biggest sales week in the organisation’s history
  • Increased revenue from re-launched market strategy by over $500,000 within 3 months
  • Sales and marketing franchises worked together to provide targeted, effective field support and product development
  • Wider organisations motivation and trust was measurably improved in the subsequent staff survey. Culture described as ‘can do’ with people working together towards a common goal
"We participated in Achieve Breakthrough training as a 25-member business leadership team consisting of sales, franchise resources (marketing and development), sales support functions, and operations support. This program gave us practical tools to unlock traditional thinking, silence the little voices that create traditional expectations, and open our minds to transformational future possibilities. We brainstormed, developed, refined, and articulated Breakthrough goals for the business. The end result has been a very cohesive, aligned, collaborative leadership team with an executable strategy that can be driven throughout the entire organisation. Within five months of the first training session, we have accomplished our short-term goals, and fully expect to over achieve the even more audacious long-term goals utilizing the Achieve Breakthrough methodology" Vice President, Knee Reconstruction