Integrating An R&D Division For Higher Performance

The Problem

The new VP of R&D for a leading US specialty chemicals company inherited a division consisting of three fragmented groups, each with its own distinctive history and culture. Most of the scientists in the division were more committed to their research disciplines than they were to the business. Teamwork was lacking at all levels, including at R&D’s interface with Manufacturing. Also, because of past history, people were afraid to raise and resolve issues that were critical to the success of R&D and the company as a whole.

The Project

We worked with the VP and the top two levels of management to help them create a clear shared vision for R&D. We conducted Organization Workshops for all R&D personnel. Then we assisted the division in implementing the vision by carrying out a team development and culture change process that brought the three formerly separate groups together as one division, with greater teamwork, openness, and empowerment at all levels.

The Results

While taking a more proactive stance on long-term research, the division also improved its day-to-day working relationships with all other parts of the business. By dramatically increasing its level of internal collaboration, R&D was able to develop a much higher level of teamwork with Manufacturing, including the implementation of an on-going processes to generate and learn from internal customer feedback.