Practitioner Innovation Gerald Golden, LEO Pharma
We discovered ”who is best at what and allocated specific jobs based on their strengths so we could win!”
Business innovation can happen in the strangest of places – even a locked room. That’s a lesson learned from the 5th Annual LTEN Excellence Awards, where Gerald Golden of LEO Pharma took home the Practitioner Innovation award for developing a special training program based on escape rooms.
Golden, sales training manager for LEO, created the escape room concept to train 84 LEO sales representatives at the annual sales meeting. During the competitive, team-building activity, teams of about 10 worked together to beat a series of clues, puzzles, locks and ciphers, requiring verbalization of key product messages to get free.
The concept came about after field surveys showed overwhelming interest in competitive selling and a way to unify and energize the sales force. After those survey results were in, Golden brainstormed with the training and marketing teams to find the best way to create more interactive, engaging training. LEO’s training team even went to an escape room to familiarize themselves with the concept.
“Gerald created multiple puzzle stations, so team members could divide the challenge among themselves as part of the solution,” said Vicki Colman, senior manager of sales training for LEO, who nominated Golden for the award. “Instituting prizes for best time to ‘escape’ encouraged competition and involvement. Crossword puzzles were based on competitor prescribing information, scrambled word challenges based on LEO products and a role-play incorporating knowledge gained from previous workshops strengthened the learning. Gerald continuously collaborated with the legal, medical and regulatory review team to ensure compliance issues were met.”
Taking place one month after a company-wide reorganization of the sales force, the fun training concept also helped boost morale and create camaraderie, Colman said.
“As we know, all sales people are competitive,” Colman said. “A field trainer stated, ‘It forced us all to work as a team. We discovered who is best at what and allocated specific jobs based on their strengths so we could win!’ Intuitively, based on the set up of the workshop, they came together to achieve a common goal.”
It worked, Colman added.
“It didn’t seem forced; there was genuine enthusiasm,” Colman said. “Given the recent restructuring of the sales force, this was a high achievement and set a fresh tone for our sales team.”