Building an aligned and connected management team with a virtual off-site




Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. Roche is strategically focusing even more towards strong customer engagement. With a mission of delivering better outcomes for more patients faster.

The Management Team, or as they call themselves, the Enabling Team, enabling the organization to execute on strategy, wished to align on what ‘customer engagement’ means for the business so that it can start executing on this strategy. At the same time, this leadership team is a newly formed team and wants to forge a strong connection as a basis for facing the challenges ahead.


Building a strong leadership alliance starts with deep team connection. Given that the Enabling Team consists of ten people with different seniority levels and backgrounds, it is evident that they have different visions on what ‘customer engagement’ looks like. And even on who these customers are: patients, the government, …?

Ideally, we’d get them together off-site for a few days, away from their desks, to focus on getting that deep connection, creating a common language, and start building a concrete transformation plan. Unfortunately, Covid-19 decided otherwise.


Together, we worked out a 4-days online team off-site with ZOOM as conferencing platform and MURAL as collaboration tool. In this virtual setting, we split up the sessions over 4 partial days instead of full days, to avoid participants feeling drained after staring at their screens non-stop. The objective: to build deep alignment in how to be a patient centric organization through customer engagement.

We started the off-site with a keynote on Deep Customer Empathy by Rasmus Thomsen from the Danish Innovation Agency Is It A Bird. After that, the program consisted out of teamwork on what ‘deep alignment’ looks like, getting evidence-based understanding of the stakeholders by conducting interviews and mapping out the ecosystem of Roche. While maintaining a good level of energy with a variety of formats for discussions, sharing and workshops.

4 partial days, a mix of tools & break-outs, and continuous reflection on the objective guaranteed the rhythm and direction of the off-site.


With a strong team of Beans as facilitators combined with a dedicated group of participants, we’ve created a virtual off-site with a good balance between action and reflection, offering guidance at times where needed while taking a step back and just letting it happen at other times.

The team went home with a common terminology on stakeholders, stakeholders’ challenges and impact touch-points for Roche. And finally, they put a roadmap for 2021 in their pocket.

With one of the participants even saying it’s the first time in his life that he had more energy at the end of the off-site than at the beginning.

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