Psychologist Bruce Tuckman first came up with the memorable phrase “forming, storming, norming, and performing” in his 1965 article, “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups.” He used it to describe the path that most teams follow on their way to high performance.
Despite inVentiv Health being a very large group, we saw a direct correlation between Bruce Tuckman’s developmental sequence and inVentiv Health’s journey. The following is a brief narration of the story so far.
In this stage, most team members are positive and polite. Some are anxious, as they haven’t fully understood what work the team will do. Others are simply excited about the task ahead.
When we met inVentiv Health it had just acquired numerous new companies, and aimed to offer services across the breadth of the health product life cycle. With numerous companies that served various parts of the life-cycle, inVentiv Health intended to unitedly align itself with the entire process, from the inception of an idea through the development, launch, commercialization and maturity of a medical therapy or device.
The path to achieving inVentiv Health’s vision would first require an internal effort to create cross disciplinary teams and collaborative working incentives. It would require a valuable transaction between the individual Business Units and inVentiv Health.
Task At Hand
- Facilitate collaborative cross disciplinary team building.
- Support the exploration of business units to align themselves with different facets of inVentiv Health.
- Create an environment of support towards strong cross business unit relationships.
- Build meaning in the inVentiv Health overbrand.
In the forming stage, inVentiv Health needed to position itself as the
leader of the organization. The position required honesty and a depth of purpose.
A refreshment in the proportion of the existing logo helped strengthen and introduce inVentiv Health’s foundational voice. While the arrows in the symbol were strengthened to resonate with the now much stronger network, the camel case ‘V’ was retained from the previous logotype to reflect the original intention behind its creation.
The arrows from the inVentiv Health brand mark were then used to create a flexible symbol generation tool to aid the creation of new business units and teams. Based on a grid of 16 arrows vs the eight in the over-brand mark, these new symbols paid respect to the new partnership between the business units and the overbrand.
Additionally a visual endorsement system was created and applied across the individual business unit network.
Updated the logo to make the organization appear serious in its intention.
Designed a modular brand identity system for newly formed business units.
Next, the team moves into the storming phase, where people start to push against the boundaries established in the forming stage. Storming often starts where there is a conflict between team members’ natural working styles.
At this stage of evolution, it was most important to facilitate the full expression
of the individual business units and stakeholders to help understand collaborative processes and company- wide working dynamics. To further influence the relationship between inVentiv Health and its business units, we changed the way the organization looked at itself. In the brand architecture (Fig. 1) inVentiv Health conveyed itself to be a top-heavy organization.
We realized this inculcated a sense of dominance rather than collaborative leadership. To influence change in this perception we executed a simple strategy and rearranged the organization to create an ‘eye-level’. By re-approaching the architecture along a horizontal axis, we were able to create visible collaborative space between the leadership on both ends of the business development spectrum.
Fig. 1 - Visualized the existing brand architecture to understand the working context of the global organization and gain insight into stakeholder relationships.
The new architecture (Fig. 2) featured ‘disciplines’ and ‘areas of expertise’
to allow business units to represent their practices and converge to form expert teams.
Since, business units could win business at an individual level or collaborate with other business leaders and win bigger projects, we designed a company wide business card system that enabled interdisciplinary business unit representatives to come together as experts representing inVentiv Health as their unifying organization.
Finally, the new architecture called out channels namely: Clinical, Commercial and Consulting, that served the breadth of the healthcare sector. This helped the over-brand communicate its position internally as well as externally.
Fig. 2 - Redesigned the global brand architecture to help subsidiaries align themselves to the overall intention and find spaces for cross integration.
Over a period of two years, we observed more and more business units collaborating over
large scale project. This resulted in many of them aligning closely with inVentiv Health.
The three business segments, Clinical, Commercial and Consulting, created direction for individual business units to converge and represent their respective segment. As these brands began to operate more convergently, inVentiv Health was called to strongly market itself and communicate its united brand offer.
With newer and bigger projects, network employees across the globe began to take leadership and initiate business. If inVentiv Health was to continue on its journey to becoming a singular entity with great brand value, this was a time to formalize company-wide processes and unify the inVentiv Health experience.
inVentiv Health’s marketing and convergent business development efforts also proved valuable to individual business units as they started to benefit from the visible backing of a large healthcare consultancy network.
Some groups even began to see value in providing cross disciplinary service to in-network teams and business units.
Designed a new business card system that communicated inVentiv Health's global intention and allowed stakeholders to maintain agency and represent the organization unitedly.
Designed brand collateral and communication materials.
Designed advertising visual system that helped inVentiv showcase its value proposition and business units.
Task At Hand
- Create a secondary system of branded communications for internal facing inVentiv groups.
- Support the exploration of efficient team-building.
- Create an environment of support towards strong cross business unit relationships.
- Continue to build meaning in the inVentiv Health overbrand.
Designed the UX/UI for various business units that were meant to provide services to other client facing subsidiaries within the inVentiv Health umbrella. Visit http://ics.inventivhealth.com/ to know more about this internal facing business group.
inVentiv Health has begun to build meaning into the brand as a product lifecycle partner for clients. The business leaders have also gained a better understanding of collaborative work processes.
inVentiv Health is finally being associated with being a capabilities provider across the healthcare service spectrum. It is once again nearing the time to re-affirm the organization externally and introduce the vision internally so as to embark on the next stage of the business evolution.
Designed spatial elements for brand participation in industry events.
Designed branded video communications for various business units.
There is often a prolonged overlap between storming and norming, because, as new tasks come up, the team may lapse back into behavior from the storming stage. Gradually, the team moves into the norming stage. This is when people start to resolve their differences, appreciate colleagues’ strengths, and respect your authority as a leader.
inVentiv Health’s initial push to explore all its internal resources are paying off as it begins to be associated with being both a Clinical Research Organization, as well as a Commercial Contract Organization. The continuous stream of branded communication that focuses on convergence will help employees to explore the vast gamut of internal network capabilities and leverage them to bring value to the clients, no matter where they might be along the product development process -- or in the world.
inVentiv Health’s leadership will begin to recognize best practices being applied and innovative methods to solve client problems emerge.
This next phase will require inVentiv Health to formalize and simplify its external service offering. Then continue to forge unified internal partnerships.
Tasks At Hand
- Reorganize the brand architecture to reflect the formalized areas of expertise and the updated brand offering.
- Create clear cross-network processes.
- Clarify inVentiv Health’s intention, providing a united direction for the future.
The new architecture (Fig. 3) simplifies the organization’s services into six main areas of the product lifecycle.
Each organized category is its own business line headed by a single business line leader. Business units with little brand equity are merged with bigger brands.
To establish and ensure a united and consistent brand experience, core operations are also formalized. This simplification of the brand architecture intentionally makes it easier for employees to relate their personal missions to the cumulative vision.
In it’s current norming phase, we anticipate inVentiv Health to further strengthen its position both internally and externally, and become even more focused in its brand promise.
By sharing a continuous evolution with its stakeholders, inVentiv Health aims to gain company wide confidence and deepen relationships. Unified by a higher purpose in healthcare, the organization’s 12,000 global employees could become powerful evangelists of the brand in the performing stage.
Fig. 3 - Redesigned the brand architecture to communicate the intended change achieved over the past three years
The redesigned architecture.
Mapped organization-wide capabilities & product offerings against the healthcare product lifecycle and the intended end-user which helped inVentiv Health to create successful business and patient-care partnerships
Created new branded communication that further positioned the inVentiv Health as the industry pioneer, that it was on its way to becoming.
In the performing stage, the team leads with purpose, without friction, to the achievement of the team’s goal.
Future Tasks At Hand
- Reintroduce inVentiv Health to the market to accurately convey the brand’s new united front.
- Explore market opportunities to extend the brand and explore innovation avenues.
- Continuously create and practice sustainable methodologies to provide the brand with a strategic competitive, advantage.