Robert’s story starts in Sweden in ‘not such a wealthy’ family with a set of strong Lutheran values. Hard work enabled him to progress quickly as a scientist and medic and on the strength of this he became hospital consultant and then won a prestigious position at Astra Hässle who developed Losec the best selling drug…ever.

‘Whilst at Astra we brought in a management consultancy called CLC to develop their fast track leaders. I was open to learning but frankly I wondered what they could teach us’.

‘The CLC programme was great fun. But what I really got from it was more than just a set of tips and techniques about management. I explored the attitudes and mindsets that were driving my behaviour. My Lutheran upbringing lead me to believe that the only “real work” was doing the technical aspects of the job whereas talking to my people was “just” for fun. CLC helped me through 5DLFive Dimensions of Leadership as the leadership context for their work, to turn this around and see that the real job of leadership is about inspiring and getting the best from people – I got a much better balance between leading and my own scientific/technical input’.

Bergstrand then moved to become Medical Director at Astra’s R&D site at Charnwood, England where he was at the time of the merger with Zeneca. He was chosen to sit on the change management office and was also asked to retain his tasks at Charnwood.

Once more Bergstrand had the opportunity to work with CLC. This time CLC had a broader remit. Their role during the process of the merger was to support leadership to attend to the human factors such as culture and resistance to change.

The merger created enormous turbulence in the organisation because it involved the coming together of different national and corporate cultures, different processes and involved a complete business re-engineering of the way the company worked.

‘It was a huge challenge and thanks to the support we got from CLC, the integration work and the creation of the completely new Clinical Function went extremely well.’

The first thing CLC did was to focus us as a leadership group. They stressed the importance of leadership being visible and getting out to meet and talk to people. They helped us put on a roadshow to communicate the key messages of the merger and encouraged us to model the values of the new organisation by listening and being seen to listen. The leadership got very close and integrated with the entire organisation’.

CLC conducted a diagnostic at this point to assess attitudes to the merger, to leadership and to change and to gather suggestions for how to make the new merged business work. This sent an important signal ‘leadership are listening…’.

CLC also facilitated and worked with the directors to design large meetings to bring together the leadership group. These were important events that acted as ‘connection points’ to align, focus and bring people together. These were very powerful events they created a sense of direction at a time when the merger had broken down existing structures and there was much confusion and turbulence.

Says Bergstrand ‘My work with CLC made me more reflective in my style and able to consider the best approach to take. I set my own priorities and probably broke all the rules to provide strong leadership. I’ve become more willing to take risks and try new things. I give people more time and I’ve lifted my head from getting too hands on with the tasks’.

‘I’ve also got more time for my family and my grandchildren. After all, as I say to my direct reports “who’ll cry at your funeral?”. It might not be your employer, so take a step back and make sure of your priorities – I reckon that good personal leadership is about doing a great job, developing your people, working smart and enjoying life’.

5DL The Book

5DL The Book Rev1

Arriving summer 2017

The Creative Manager

CM Reduced

An exploration for the potential for change in all individuals and the reasons why so many fail to achieve that potential in the environment of an organisation.