Leadership & Management

Roche Australia unveils new organisational model

Health Industry Hub | July 2, 2020 |
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Roche Australia today unveiled its new local organisational design, following a year-long journey towards adopting and implementing an agile transformation model.

Globally, Roche’s portfolio has been in a transformational phase. The company has faced Avastin, Herceptin and Mabthera competition by biosimilars, at the same time, launching a number of new medicines. Digitisation is also transforming the way Roche and other pharmaceutical companies conduct R&D, and it is shifting how and when patients and their healthcare professionals treat and manage diseases.

In this dynamic pharmaceutical environment, Roche’s ability to respond requires a more agile mind-set, especially for senior leaders across the organisation.

Roche Australia’s new organisational design has been created to enable the company and its employees to embrace and respond rapidly to disruption, while also enabling the business to continue to grow sustainably over the long-term.

“We refer to our new organisational design as a system rather than a structure, as a system is a group of interconnected parts that form a unified whole,” said Mr Stuart Knight, General Manager, Roche Australia. “The elements in our new system design are just like this – they are interconnected and together form a unified organisation, working collaboratively towards common outcomes, with the patient always at the centre.”

There are five key elements in Roche’s new system, including:

  1. Enabling Team: provides high-level strategic oversight and governance and are the stewards of company culture.
  2. Communities: represent the key strategic areas of focus for the organisation, including customers; clinical trials; business foundations; the future; integrated medicine; sustainable healthcare (including patient access to medicines); and people and culture.
  3. Chapters: every Roche employee will belong to a specific ‘Chapter’. They are united by the capabilities and expertise they share with their fellow Chapter members and together they deepen their functional knowledge and capabilities.
  4. Teams: this is where the work gets done in a variety of multidisciplinary teams. Teams such as Squads, Workstreams and Design Teams work towards achieving specific strategic outcomes.
  5. Individuals: whose work is critical to achieving Roche’s strategic priorities.

“While Roche is adopting agile transformation globally, each affiliate around the world is at a different stage of its transformation journey. The approach and system design we are adopting in Australia is unique to us and meets our specific local needs,” said Mr Knight.

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The focus for Roche’s local transformation has been on moving away from a hierarchical ‘command and control’ environment, and creating a culture and structure that embraces greater empowerment, accountability and transparency. To achieve this, the new Roche Australia system was designed to be flexible, rather than fixed. By having greater flexibility, the system can evolve and adapt over time to meet the needs of the organisation – now and into the future.

“We hope that our customers and partners will experience the difference through faster decision making, smoother processes and our ability to pivot rapidly to the opportunities. We believe this new model will help us to deliver better outcomes for more patients faster, and we look forward to seeing this implemented across the organisation in the coming months,” said Mr Knight.


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