By 2017 it was clear that the transformation of Eli Lilly and Company, Austria, Switzerland, Germany had been a success. Business results were outstanding, and people in the organization were energized and committed to the new way of working. But two things challenged the sustainability of the change. First, the General Manager, Simone Thomsen, was promoted and a new GM had taken over. Coming from Lilly’s business in Japan, the new GM, Kadir Tepebasi, hadn’t lived through the transformation and the idea of the augenhoehe culture was new to him. Second, as the German hub’s success became known in the rest of Eli Lilly and Company, how would the larger organization react? Would they let the German hub continue to do things differently? Could the idea of augenhoehe translate more broadly?
How can a cultural transformation survive a new leader? How can a cultural transformation in one part of a larger organization survive the pressures to conform to the global norm?
Eli Lilly, Pharmaceuticals
2014 to 2019
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