Change is hard, but it doesn’t mean we should to avoid it!

by Jan 12, 2024Change Culture

All life science companies are executing transformation programs today with people experiencing constant change. However, adopting change management approaches won’t stop your people from being exhausted from the constant change.

Employees’ willingness to support enterprise change collapsed to just 43% in 2022, compared to 74% in 2016

Gartner Survey

And BCG research tells us that 75% of transformation projects fail to deliver the expected results. What are we getting wrong when it comes to embedding change successfully in our teams and organisations?

If we don’t adopt a change culture, teaching people

  • how to think about change
  • how to successfully navigate change
  • how to instigate change even when they prefer the comfort of the old ways
  • how to make change sustainable organisation-wide

we will spend more time & energy than is required.

People are exhausted by change when they can actually be energised by it.

How do we ensure we don’t see change as a project but as an opportunity to improve the impact life sciences can have for patients and HCPs?

Let me share a story

A few years ago I was working in-house at an Australian pharmaceutical company that was piloting a technology platform to invite and manage HCPs at events & meetings. The goal was to move away from paper and manual processes; to leverage technology to automate tasks, to gather information digitally about customer engagements, to improve the HCP’s experience (cx) before, during and after each event.

This was a critical project then just as it would be today, where customer engagements must be supported by data, digital and personalisation to create meaningful experiences.

I came in midstream to help drive the project and get it across the line. All seemed to be going well. There was a lot of complexity including tight deadlines but through focused work and effective stakeholder engagement, we got the minimum viable product stood up for the pilot team to test and use.

In my mind, this was now when the work would start. We would gain feedback from cross-functional individuals such as sales, sales management & operational excellence to then adjust and relaunch. A constant cycle to get the platform fit for purpose.

But it didn’t proceed like that.

The initial pilot user team had various issues. Nothing big, what you would expect during a pilot. And, with a willing technology team ready to fix the issues, we were well positioned to take the learnings to keep moving forward.

But unknown to me, this project had been attempted before. The pilot users had a history and mindset about the value of the tech platform. They were not invested in improving the customer value proposition to want to find ways forward versus sticking with what they knew, what felt comfortable with and required no need to change. Basically, they were focused on what was easier for them in the short-term – not the longer-term evolving cx.

The message from those with louder voices was

‘this is too hard’

‘it wasn’t exactly what we wanted’

‘let us go back to what we have been doing as we have an immediate need’.

I was surprised when I sat down with the business manager to discuss the next steps when he said he didn’t want to move forward.


6-months of people’s time had been put into this project. The feedback was helpful and could be quickly and easily addressed. There was no other ‘technology’ option ready to go!

Were we going back to paper?

We sure were!

Change is not easy

But there are proven frameworks and mindsets that help us adapt & keep moving forward in a world that requires constant change for us to succeed.

Change is not a project!

This story may be familiar to you.

It was scenarios like this that motivated me to find a better approach to life science transformation. To find people-empowered, agile change methodologies that meant that failure wasn’t seen as the end of the project, just the start.

At Divergent we have spent the last 3 years learning & running life science transformation programs, coaching commercial teams to become aligned, impactful, change champions.

To help cross-functional teams work together to be future-fit for TODAY & TOMORROW!

How do you cultivate a culture equipped to adapt to constant change?

Successful cx-omnichannel transformation starts with cultivating a Change Culture.

In a change culture team members

  • understand the neuroscience of change & why humans naturally resist change,
  • why transformation projects typically fail & how to navigate them differently
  • how to cultivate a mindset and ‘ways of working’ that nurture people through cycles of constant change.
  • and critically how to leverage change as an opportunity, not a disrupter

Let’s chat if you’d like to understand more about our life science transformation programs that equip commercial teams & leaders for digital, data & cx industry evolutions.


Find out how equipped your organisation is for constant change & disruption.

Complete our change-readiness diagnostic and within minutes understand where you are most vulnerable; Anticipating-Designing-Implementing Change

Divergent is a life sciences transformation partner; We are your people capability partner, committed to accelerating your organisation’s CX & omnichannel transformation goals. 

Divergent is on a mission to transform life science commercial teams into the powerhouses we know they can be. Too much potential in commercial teams goes to waste – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Through our Tomorrows Bridge Builders team program & Today-Tomorrow leaders program, Divergent harnesses your team’s potential to help them accelerate the evolution of customer engagement strategies & be equipped for sustained change.