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The Facilitation Impact Awards (FIA) honours organisations that have used facilitation to achieve a measurable and positive impact as well as the facilitator(s) who worked with them. More about FIA
Silver award
Sandoz BioPharma GMAA Team
Basel, Switzerland

Creating a strong collaborative team culture


Company Engagement Survey (May 2020 and May 2021)

The impact of the work is clearly visible in the results from the company-administered survey conducted in May 2021.

The Global Marketing, Access and Analytics (GMAA) team’s overall engagement score jumped from 69% favorable in May 2020 to 85% favorable in May 2021. This jump of 16 points has taken the team from one of the lowest to one of the highest performing teams across Sandoz, based on engagement survey results.

Substantial gains have been measured in experiencing a sense of belonging, empowerment and purpose – all of which are 80% or more favorable in May 2021 survey results.

Colella and Associates Custom-Designed Pulse Survey (April 2021)

GMAA team members’ written responses to a pulse survey administered by our team in April 2021 and comments made during feedback sessions in May 2021 reflect the following:

  • A clearer sense of purpose.
  • Increased capacity to deliver on competitive advantage three anchors of (1) strategic guidance, (2) brand knowledge and (3) partnership.
  • A team environment where working agreements are upheld and team members freely give and receive support from their colleagues and the management team.

Context and challenges

Sandoz is a global leader in generic and biosimilar drugs with over a decade of experience. The company has a leading biosimilar pipeline and portfolio in immunology, endocrinology and oncology.

Jeremy Gowler joined the company in April 2020 to lead the GMAA team. One of Jeremy’s top priorities as he embarked on his new leadership role was to create a strong, collaborative team culture. Specifically, he wanted to address areas that had been identified through quarterly team climate surveys. The team was lagging most of the Sandoz organization in the survey results, an important measure of team engagement.

A team of three facilitators – Sally Stinson Colella, Michael Randel and Christiane Frischmuth – started working with the team in June 2020. It became clear through initial interviews that the amount of leadership turnover in recent years had resulted in a lack of clarity about the team’s purpose, competitive advantage and working approach.

Project objectives

The objective of the project was to focus on three things that were identified as important for team engagement:

  1. Team purpose – Clarity about what the GMAA team does and why.
  2. Competitive advantage – Identify and begin to deliver on three strategic anchors that identify how the GMAA team provides value to internal stakeholders.
  3. Working approach – Reach agreements on how GMAA team members treat each other to increase sense of belonging.


The team of facilitators designed and facilitated a series of four online workshops, with all 23 GMAA team members, spread across the fall of 2020. We interspersed business conversations with activities designed to get to know each other. Some team members, including Jeremy, had not yet met face-to-face due to COVID restrictions.

During 2021 we conducted a customized pulse survey to measure progress and prioritize next steps. We facilitated a conversation about the survey results with the full GMAA team, where we discussed their responses and decided on focus areas for continued improvement in 2021.

During 2021 Sally Colella facilitated a series of three sessions with the four-member leadership team to support work to continue to strengthen the team.