Novartis Oncology.

Leveraging the differences of individuals and cultures: Building global working skills for Novartis Oncology.


Novartis Oncology is the largest therapeutic division within Novartis, encompassing over 5000 people in 50 countries responsible for developing new and innovative treatments for cancer sufferers.

Part of this division is Oncology Development, a unit of approximately 1700 people, charged with the development of pipeline drugs through the testing, trial and delivery phase so that patients globally can benefit from the best possible treatments in a timely and safe manner.

The challenge.

Individuals within the development function are increasingly multi-cultural in background and operate in a matrix environment in terms of reporting structure.

A flatter more virtual operation has led to a change in the nature of inter-personal relationships with new skills needed in order to manage, lead and work globally.

In this environment, effective collaboration is critical. Of paramount importance is the need to develop effective global communication skills in order to navigate the added complexity of changing reporting lines and multicultural team working.

Our solution.

To facilitate deep collaboration between employees, TMA World worked with the Development Education Office to develop four complementary instructor led workshops and learning paths aimed at each key audience group:

Becoming a high impact virtual team member

  • Using TMA World’s unique 6Cs model for global collaboration, delegates address the challenges of global virtual working and seek to improve themselves in six key areas:
    1. Cooperation
    2. Convergence
    3. Capability
    4. Communication
    5. Coordination
    6. Cultural intelligence

Managing across cultures

  • Developing specific skills and strategies for working effectively across cultures.

Getting the best out of your remote reports

  • Giving remote team managers the skills needed to motivate, coach and communicate effectively with their virtual team members.

Leading global teams without direct authority

  • Focusing on the specific skills needed by team leaders to manage, influence and drive a global virtual team to higher performance.

The results.

Of the Novartis employees participating in courses in New Jersey, Basel, and Paris:


A key element to the success of the courses was the blend of live workshops and online learning resources, which enabled participants to address their specific cross-border challenges in a workshop, combined with ongoing access to on-line toolkits and self-paced elearning modules.

All solutions have incorporated the cultural values of Novartis Oncology.