“If you are looking for someone to challenge your thinking and deliver a professional and engaging service, then choose ACP.”

Merck is a leading science and technology company driven by a passion and curiosity for research and discovery. Merck is globally active in Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials and provides breakthrough solutions, from cancer therapies and laboratory tools to speciality chemicals and high-performance materials that enrich lives in many and diverse ways.

For the past ten years, Merck have extensively used Insights Discovery® with individuals and teams across Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials. The tool has created a common behavioural language in the organisation which can be leveraged.

The Challenge

Merck’s workforce is made up of physicists, chemists and other scientific specialists within the team, who, quite often, have a strong preference for introverted thinking which means that any development undertaken must be intellectually stimulating as well as engaging.

Leadership and communication are important skillsets for personal and team development, so when Merck’s business managers are looking to create team days that are fun and engaging, it is important to ensure that these days have a credible learning and development aspect to it, and that facilitators can bring an appropriate level of challenge to encourage individuals to step outside of their natural comfort zones at times, to stretch and grow these soft skills in themselves.

Often teams are also wrestling with a specific business-related issue they need support with, and Merck requires access to facilitators that are experienced in creating tailor-made solutions to fit various teams’ needs,  that are in line with the organisation’s strategy, culture and values, and that deliver tangible and practical outcomes.

The Solution

ACP work in very close partnership with Merck business leaders and HR partners to fully align with Merck’s behaviours, language and culture when providing their services to help support the empowerment of people and teams. This is done in a results-driven and purposeful way.

For the past seven years, Merck have extensively used ACP to deliver Insights Discovery® workshops for individuals and teams across Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials. ACP also provide facilitation services for delivering team performance interventions for global and cross functional teams, using Merck’s own team development tools and frameworks.

Here we talk with Natalie Hayesmore, Regional Head Talent & Development – Northern Europe, to get some more background as to how and why they choose to continue to work with ACP.

“ACP always adopt our tools and language and integrate it into their training in an engaging way. Where other facilitators find this difficult, they don’t. ACP will incorporate whatever we need them to seamlessly. They will not limit themselves with the tools they are familiar with. Anita Pemberton has also delivered training for us across many countries and cultures and the feedback is always extremely positive.”

The Result

“Anita and her team have done three things that have made a significant impact on our business:

1.    Providing additional ways to work with the Insights Discovery framework. We are a business that loves this tool and Anita is opening the door and helping us explore how we can get more out of it and our people. She helps us contextualise it back in to the business and its needs.
2.    ACP offers a programme around accountability. Merck has 12 sites in the UK and Ireland alone. There was a time when each business unit was doing things differently and we had a situation where some staff were struggling to know how to take responsibility and accountability for their role. Anita has provided a mechanism to hold people to account. For a group of introverted scientists, she has drawn this out of them.
3.    She shows our staff a positive way of challenging others to create change from the inside out. She has demonstrated to Merck staff the five functions of a team: trust, conflict management, commitment, accountability and focusing on results and we have seen a major change in the company as a result.”

Anita Pemberton is also regularly called upon to facilitate opening modules in Merck’s annual leadership program, International Management Programme (IMP), which focuses on supporting future leaders to build the required leadership competencies needed to ensure successful international collaboration.  All regions nominate business managers to attend this event in Germany.

 “ACP has enabled us to really explore the use of Insights Discovery to ensure we get the best out of people, both individually and as a team. We choose ACP because whatever they deliver, they deliver with passion and integrity. We have always received positive feedback from our staff about ACP and what they have delivered. They have helped us achieve a common methodology and language across the organisation, which has made us more effective as a business.”

“I would advocate ACP for the quality of what they do and the respect they give when working in partnership with us. They care about the desired outcome for the company.”

Natalie Hayesmore, Regional Head Talent & Development – Northern Europe