How can a company almost doubling in size every 6 months ensure alignment and continue to build exceptionally high-performing, consistent culture?
Cerevel Therapeutics is a next-generation biotech company growing phenomenally fast, pursuing multi-billion-dollar market opportunities, while also introducing increased emphasis on defining core tenets of culture, common values, and purpose.
In 2018, Cerevel Therapeutics was established through a partnership coordinated with Bain Capital after a $350M investment to collaborate with and grow Pfizers’ therapeutic spinoffs with a commitment to independent solutions for rare diseases. Cerevel was founded to pursue a dedicated mission to relentlessly find paths to change the course of disease for people living with a broad range of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders.
With its industry-leading foundation, leadership with best-in-place-perspectives and medical expertise was installed to direct an expanding Cerevel team. The new installations also included industry veterans: a new CEO, Tony Coles, in May 2019, and a new CHRO, Ken DiPietro, in May 2018. Cerevel’s leadership team committed to establishing a high-quality culture with clear cohesion through the company’s accelerating growth and expansion.
But establishing, reflecting upon, and installing new cultural tenets were less clear given Cerevel’s hectic, rapid growth. As a nascent organization, and after only two years since its initial founding, how could the leadership team begin to formally initiate and embed a cultural vision that would inspire the highly talented team within the organization? Which cultural ambitions resonated across the organization and could be established as cultural norms? Were there gaps that needed to be addressed to ensure a consistent set of values, while also revealing the most critical areas that might need to be addressed?
Through a partnership with Entromy, within less than 3 days Cerevel drove a full company virtual assessment and solutioning to capture employee feedback and identify emerging breaking points for Cerevel’s common purpose, culture and value tenets. As part of the assessment, Cerevel also captured information to facilitate planning for 2020 and its upcoming strategic initiatives.
The initial Entromy assessment provided excellent depth into the complexity of the organizational health of an organization that is to-date profoundly successful but recognizing its transition points, while also committing to aspirations to create an exceptional cultural environment for its employees and achieve outstanding breakthroughs in therapeutic solutions.
Entromy’s results confirmed an extraordinarily strong culture, highly-focused on delivering outstanding patient outcomes, but with expressed concerns on a need for additional resources to sustain growth and formalizing communication across departments.