Unveiling Cutting-Edge Training: LTEN Recognizes Innovative Breakthrough in Life Sciences Education

By August 28, 2023August 29th, 2023Member News

In the dynamic landscape of pharmaceutical sales and education, standing out requires more than just traditional methods. SK Life Science has demonstrated this by securing the coveted LTEN Excellence Award in the Practitioner—Innovation category for its initiative, the SKILLEN Virtual Epilepsy Center.

Read on to learn more about SK Life Science’s entry and meet the other finalists in this category, AstraZeneca, Biogen, CSL Behring, GE Healthcare, Novartis, Philips Ultrasound, Seagen, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

The LTEN Excellence Awards is an annual awards competition that spotlights and recognizes innovative L&D initiatives, teams, leaders, and partnerships. Learn more about the awards competition here.

SK Life Science Inc.

Skillen Virtual Epilepsy Center

SK Life Science SKILLEN Virtual Epilepsy Center’s approach to bridging the knowledge gap in pharmaceutical sales and education has earned it the prestigious LTEN Excellence Award in the Innovation category. By virtually immersing learners in the world of epilepsy care, SKILLEN is reshaping the landscape of professional development in the pharmaceutical industry.

Targeting Excellence & Unlocking Innovation

SKILLEN Virtual Epilepsy Center aimed to educate and engage a diverse audience. The program was developed in collaboration with MATRIX Achievement Group and was meticulously designed to reach our sales associates, managers, and important commercial home office teams (encompassing Marketing, Market Access, and Leadership roles). The platform catered to users with varying knowledge and understanding, addressing both field/sales learning and educating home office personnel about epilepsy care and account dynamics.

The true innovation of SKILLEN lies in its replication of an actual Level 3 or 4 Epilepsy Care Center within a digital environment. This approach allowed users to immerse themselves in the world of epilepsy care, experiencing different departments, disciplines, and healthcare providers virtually. The learning experience was fortified through diverse learning resources, including foundational training modules, perspective-enriching HCP interviews and presentations, simulated patient journeys, and real-world best practices.

Filling a Crucial Void

The inception of SKILLEN was catalyzed by the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lingering HCP access concerns post the pandemic. Traditional in-person preceptorships and visitation programs were no longer feasible. SKILLEN addressed this void by offering an alternative way to impart crucial knowledge about epilepsy centers, their services, HCP perspectives, and effective account navigation.

SK Life Science approached the design of SKILLEN with meticulous planning. Collaborating with internal teams and leveraging field input, the program’s structure was crafted. The digital platform, developed in-house, showcased an original approach to accommodate specific program needs. The carefully chosen name “SKILLEN” not only reflected the organization but also underscored the skill development focus of the program.

Overcoming initial reluctance from institutions to participate in SKILLEN due to concerns of impacting existing programs required clever solutions and collaboration. By shifting focus to individual physicians and the importance of education, SK Life Science turned challenges into opportunities for engagement.

Measuring Impact

SKILLEN’s impact evaluation is meticulous. Through Learning Expansion and Resource Rating Questions, the effectiveness of learning is gauged. Pre-post assessments measure knowledge gain, while resource ratings provide insights into the value gained. These measurements guide content creation and utilization strategy, aligning the program with real-world needs.

SKILLEN has yielded substantial benefits, ensuring continuous learning despite restricted physical access. In the long term, it promises significant cost savings and improved organizational performance. By nurturing consistent learning, SKILLEN enhances NAMs’ engagement, knowledge transfer, and customer interactions, positioning SK Life Sciences as a leader in innovative education.

Meet the Finalists


SCOPE e-Magazine Reimagined

AstraZeneca has once again demonstrated its commitment to excellence in pharmaceutical education and was named one of the finalists in the LTEN Excellence Awards Innovation category. The spotlight is on AstraZeneca’s SCOPE e-magazine, a unique initiative that reimagined learning for sales specialists.

AstraZeneca’s SCOPE e-magazine aimed to educate and engage an audience of 1,400 sales specialists and sales leaders within the AstraZeneca social media Workplace space. This tailored approach ensured that the content reached the individuals who could drive the intended impact.

Elevating Education

The essence of innovation lies in the reimagining of conventional methods. AstraZeneca partnered with Axiom, the training provider, to transform learning. They introduced a rich-media online magazine that reshaped how sales specialists understood Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Through storytelling, Axiom leveraged a traditional learning platform, RISE, to deliver content in a “magazine-style” format. This solution not only engaged learners but also enabled clear messaging and cost-effective tracking.

Addressing Crucial Need

COPD is a critical but often underdiagnosed disease, leading to grave consequences for patients. AstraZeneca recognized the urgent need to equip sales specialists with the knowledge and confidence to engage Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) on the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. This initiative stemmed from a deep understanding of the disease’s impact and the challenges faced by both patients and HCPs.

The challenge lay in presenting vital information in a captivating manner. Axiom’s creative solution divided the content into short sections, incorporating clinical facts, glossary terms, audio vignettes of patient experiences, animated icons, learning activities, and discussion points. This approach ensured that learners could consume content at their convenience while keeping engagement levels high.

Measuring Impact

AstraZeneca’s evaluation strategy was thorough. The impact was measured through in-call assessments, self-reporting by learners and leaders, and sales performance. The e-magazine’s success was evident in the enthusiastic engagement of learners, with hundreds of likes, shares, and comments within the first 24 hours. Cumulative views and returning readers further underscored the program’s effectiveness.

Empowering Conversations & Leveraging Expertise

The fresh approach empowered sales specialists to hold meaningful conversations with HCPs. Learners shared examples of how SCOPE e-magazine transformed their interactions, enabling them to better understand patients and elevate their discussions.

Axiom’s expertise in behavioral change theories ensured that the initiative was strategically designed to influence HCPs’ perspectives on COPD diagnosis. By incorporating this expertise, Axiom facilitated impactful discussions between sales representatives and HCPs.

A Promising Future

AstraZeneca’s SCOPE e-magazine stands as a testament to its commitment to education. By leveraging technology and creative design, this initiative has not only transformed learning but also empowered sales specialists to drive change in the field of COPD diagnosis and treatment.

Through the SCOPE e-magazine, AstraZeneca has demonstrated that innovation goes beyond technology – it’s about creatively bridging the gap between knowledge and action.

Contact Terri Harcher, Managing Director, Axiom US
Terri Harcher LinkedIn


Commercial Learning Partners for Europe, Canada and Partner Markets

Biogen’s selection as a finalist in the LTEN Excellence Awards’ Innovation category comes as no surprise, given their Emotive Engagement program. This global initiative transcends traditional learning by tapping into the power of human emotions to enhance customer interactions across all therapeutic areas.

Connecting Through Emotion

Biogen, in collaboration with Red Nucleus, designed the Emotive Engagement initiative, which focuses on the core of human connection – emotions.

By enabling customer-facing colleagues to convey the emotional impact and burden patients experience with empathy, urgency, and a clear call to action, this program breaks free from the conventional data-driven narratives.

Tailored Learning

With approximately 2,000 learners targeted, Biogen’s Emotive Engagement program doesn’t just offer a one-size-fits-all approach. It recognizes the diversity of functions and therapeutic categories within the company, making the training applicable and impactful across the board.

The initiative addresses a crucial challenge faced by many professionals – effectively communicating the emotional aspect of patient experiences. Biogen recognized the need to go beyond data-driven conversations to truly resonate with customers.

The program was designed to empower colleagues to tell patient stories in a way that humanizes the scientific and data-driven aspects of their products.

Practical Application

The program’s progression spans a four-part workshop series that builds skills over time. This interactive approach ensures that learners don’t just understand the concept but can effectively apply it in real-world scenarios. The focus on practical application is a key differentiator that elevates this program.

Transcending Boundaries

Biogen’s initiative goes beyond just customer interactions. It has a ripple effect throughout the organization, enhancing internal communications and presentations. The storytelling techniques learned in the program find their way into various aspects of the business, adding depth and meaning to discussions.

Long-Term Impact

The program’s long-term impact is promising. Through better customer engagements, the initiative contributes to a stronger connection between healthcare professionals and Biogen’s representatives. This translates into more personalized and patient-centric interactions, aligning with the company’s mission.

Evidence of Success

The response to the program speaks volumes. It was one of the most requested skill sets in 2022, underscoring its relevance and value. The traction gained from stakeholders and the extensive bookings across teams and locations indicate the program’s strong reception within the company.

Biogen’s Emotive Engagement initiative isn’t just about recognition; it’s about transformation. By embracing emotions as a tool for effective communication, Biogen is paving the way for a more humanized, impactful, and meaningful future in customer interactions.

As a finalist in the LTEN Excellence Awards’ Innovation category, Biogen’s Emotive Engagement stands as a testament to their commitment to pioneering new avenues in pharmaceutical education.

CSL Behring – Director Learning & Growth

The LTEN Excellence Awards Innovation category finalists showcase the brightest in transformative learning initiatives. CSL Behring’s inclusion comes as no surprise, given their Foundational Leadership Program (FLP), a collaboration with Harvard Business Publishing.

Embracing a New Learning Paradigm

CSL Behring’s FLP breaks the mold by offering a voluntary, self-guided, multi-media curricula that targets all of North America Commercial Operations, impacting 425 employees. This approach empowers individuals to proactively cultivate their leadership skills, aligning with the company’s culture and business strategy.

Evolving in a Dynamic Landscape

In a swiftly evolving landscape, CSL Behring recognized the need for a more agile and adaptable approach to learning essential leadership skills. The company’s strategic growth plan necessitated a shift in culture, breaking down silos, and fostering collaboration across functions.

The Foundational Leadership Program emerged as a response to this need, designed to equip employees with the skills to excel as the company experiences exponential business growth.

CSL Behring’s FLP identified and tackled a prevalent challenge: employees needed to enhance their leadership capabilities and business acumen. The gap analysis revealed a thirst for more development opportunities and leadership pathways.

This initiative became the bridge between these aspirations and the skills required to meet them.

Innovative Design Journey

The design decisions for this program were a product of collaboration and bold experimentation. A task force comprising individuals from various functions collaborated to create a program that extended beyond conventional learning platforms.

The choice to develop a CSL-specific program, supplementing online assets with discussion guides, workshops, and on-the-job application ideas, elevated the initiative from mere training to a transformative experience.

Tapping into Engagement

One of the most significant challenges faced was maintaining engagement throughout the program’s lifecycle, given its voluntary nature. CSL Behring creatively addressed this through a change management approach.

By involving people managers and ensuring a seamless experience, they managed to keep the employee base engaged and enthusiastic about their learning journey.

A Multifaceted Evaluation Approach

Evaluating the program’s effectiveness is a comprehensive process. Regular feedback loops, surveys for participants, managers, and peer facilitators, as well as focus groups, provide a holistic view of the initiative’s impact. The program’s continued success over two years is a testament to its value and effectiveness.

Tangible Business Impact

The impact of CSL Behring’s Foundational Leadership Program resonates across the organization. Over three quarters of the employee population participated, and a completion rate of 87% over five quarters speaks volumes about its efficacy. The initiative’s ROI is evident through improved employee retention and engagement, aligning perfectly with the company’s long-term strategies.

The nature of this program enhances learning transfer by fostering a culture of peer learning and manager check-ins. Participants learn from their peers across departments, leading to deeper insights and more meaningful discussions. The anecdotal evidence of participants applying the skills they’ve learned to real-world scenarios is a testament to the program’s practical impact.

CSL Behring’s Foundational Leadership Program isn’t just an initiative; it’s a beacon of learning transformation. By blending ingenuity with collaboration and addressing specific needs, this program creates a future of more empowered and effective leadership within the organization.

In a landscape where leadership and adaptability are paramount, CSL Behring’s Foundational Leadership Program shines, shaping leaders of today and tomorrow through a blend of engagement, collaboration, and transformative learning.

Contact Lynn DiBonaventura:
DiBonaventura LinkedIn Profile

GE Healthcare

Learning in the Flow of Work at GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare’s Learning in the Flow of Work initiative secured its position as a finalist in the LTEN Excellence Awards Innovation category.

With a target audience of 3,000 team members and managers within GE HealthCare’s USCAN region, GE Healthcare’s initiative introduced a novel approach to learning integration. This program primarily focused on individuals with commercial and sales responsibilities, making it uniquely tailored to their needs.

In 2022, GE HealthCare launched a mobile engagement platform aimed at allowing USCAN-based commercial team members to practice skills before critical customer interactions.

Overcoming challenges of a complex organizational structure, customization needs, and administrative scaling, the initiative introduced “Learning in the Flow of Work.”

This campaign employed matrix-based content catalogs, AI-powered dashboard customization, and video-based support channels, effectively addressing initial implementation hurdles.

Addressing Implementation Challenges

The need to introduce new technology within a matrixed organization like GE HealthCare was a significant challenge. The initiative’s core team collaborated through focus groups, SME feedback, and vendor interactions to identify weaknesses and customize solutions.

The newly appointed learning leader of technology and metrics led the charge in fortifying the vendor-provided technology with GEHC-specific process solutions.

Design Solutions

The “Learning in the Flow of Work” campaign addressed implementation challenges using novel solutions. The matrixed content tagging structure ensured content discovery while maintaining organizational flexibility.

Custom data visualization needs were met through AI-driven dashboard customization, streamlining the process and increasing efficiency. Administrative scalability was achieved by creating a comprehensive video library, enhancing knowledge sharing across the organization.

Overcoming Obstacles Through Iteration

The program’s design journey encountered challenges that were creatively addressed. Mapping tools were developed to refine content tagging, streamlining the process and ensuring accuracy.

The integration of AI-driven solutions automated data visualization, saving time and effort. Promotional events were held to enhance awareness and utilization of instructional videos, improving user engagement.

Evaluation and Impact

The program’s effectiveness was meticulously evaluated through various KPIs. Success was measured through backend content tagging usage, technical soundness, user satisfaction, and video viewership. The initiative’s impact was evident through early successes, including increased engagement and improved processes.

High-profile audiences, such as Strategic Client Executives, witnessed the benefits through targeted role development channels and customized dashboards.

Enhanced Learning Engagement

GE’s approach led to enhanced learner engagement. Positive feedback from events like RSNA conference experiences highlighted seamless mobile engagement.

High penetration rates among key target audiences and user recommendations demonstrated the program’s value. Continued data collection further identified the impact on learning knowledge transfer, engagement, and performance.

GE’s Learning in the Flow of Work initiative showcased the company’s commitment to breakthrough learning solutions. Overcoming challenges and creating tailored experiences for commercial and sales team members, this program was a deserving finalist for the LTEN Excellence Awards Innovation category.

Midsize Pharma Company in Collaboration with Unboxed Training & Technology

Learning in 3D

A midsize pharma company was selected as a finalist in the LTEN Excellence Awards Innovation category. The initiative, a collaboration with partner Unboxed Training & Technology, targeted around 400 learners within the company’s Specialty business unit, aiming to revolutionize their learning experience.

The goal was to create an immersive learning environment using Storyline and 3D environments, enabling new matrix partner hires to understand their roles, interactions with peers, and the guidelines guiding these interactions.

A Game-Changer

The initiative revolved around the midsize pharma company’s drive to provide a revolutionary learning experience. By utilizing Storyline and 3D environments, the company sought to immerse new matrix partner hires in their roles and interactions, fostering a deeper understanding and engagement with their work ecosystem.

Addressing the Matrix Partner Complexities

Within company’s Specialty business unit, there existed 14 distinct matrix partner roles, each with its responsibilities and interaction nuances.

This complexity posed a challenge for new hires to grasp the dynamics of their roles and interactions. The company recognized this critical need for understanding the ecosystem as the driving force behind learning and knowledge retention.

The company’s approach involved exploring Mixed Reality (VR/AR) for an immersive learning experience, but budget constraints called for creativity. By leveraging Storyline and 3D rooms, the company maintained an immersive feel within the project’s budgetary limits, delivering effective learning and engagement.

Balancing Impact and Budget

The challenge was to balance high-impact immersion with learning needs and financial constraints. The company’s strategic use of Storyline and 3D rooms offered an experience akin to mixed reality, effectively strengthening learning while being budget-conscious.

Measuring Learning Transfer

A knowledge check was developed alongside the immersive learning experience to evaluate learning. Administered right after the immersive learning, it included survey questions to gauge initial experience and measure retention, ensuring learning transfer and effectiveness.

The midsize pharma company’s initiative yielded tangible benefits. The program accelerated time to competency by condensing essential knowledge and fostering interactions within a regulated environment. A downloadable takeaway supported ongoing learning, and the knowledge check expedited time to productivity through efficient retention assessment.

Enhancing Engagement and Performance

The midsize pharma company’s approach enhanced learning engagement by contextualizing information. Matrix partners were visualized within specific environments, aiding in remembering their nuances based on work contexts. The initiative showcased the company’s commitment to learning, fostering a sense of value and pride among employees.

The company’s nomination for the LTEN Excellence Awards Innovation category underscored their commitment to transforming learning experiences. By creatively leveraging technology and fostering engagement, the company set new standards for learning within the organization.


The Novartis Next Generation Experience (NGE) Academy

The stage was set for Novartis to shine at the LTEN Excellence Awards Innovation category with its initiative, the Next Generation Experience (NGE) Academy — a collaboration with Syneos Health Learning Solutions.

The recognition was well-deserved, given the transformative impact of NGE on Novartis Pharma’s General Medicine and Oncology field force. This initiative, targeting both sales managers and professionals, demonstrated how one could reshape learning journeys, enhance engagement, and drive positive business outcomes.

Revolutionizing Learning with NGE Academy

The NGE Academy could be succinctly described as a self-driven learning journey, focusing on omnichannel strategies. This initiative aimed to empower Novartis’ field force to grasp, embrace, and orchestrate omnichannel approaches that were pivotal to future customer effectiveness strategies.

Bridging Learning Gaps Creatively

Novartis recognized the need for a transformative shift in its training approach. The challenge of unutilized training materials and outdated content led to the development of “byte-sized,” on-the-go learning assets. Addressing gaps, especially in data analytics, the NGE Academy dynamically named and branded its initiative, fueling awareness and accessibility.

Elevating Customer Engagement through Creativity

The key business problem lay in two intertwined needs: rejuvenating underutilized training resources and adapting to a virtual/hybrid customer interaction landscape.

Novartis adopted an approach by curating dynamic, short learning bytes, enabling easy access and engagement. These assets, ranging from podcasts to virtual simulations, not only amplified knowledge but also introduced the field force to advanced data analytics and personalized customer engagement.

Challenges, however, were met with ingenious solutions. Collaborative internal partnerships required balance and the initiative’s creative freedom was balanced with organizational guidelines. Stricter MLR review and approval processes for novel modalities were navigated, streamlining content development. The modular content strategy adapted to changing drug and training content needs, ensuring agile and efficient reviews.

Measuring Impact and Driving Change

The learning experience prioritized behavior change. The NGE Academy seamlessly integrated assessment touchpoints, enabling learners and managers to measure learning transfer. The learning experience platform’s (LXP) gamification elements monitored knowledge retention, collaboration, and behavioral shifts. The initiative’s success resonated globally, with cost savings and standardized resources deployed internationally.

Enhancing Customer Impact through Innovation

The NGE Academy’s innovative nature wasn’t just a technological feat; it was a strategic leap that aligned Novartis’ field force with evolving customer engagement needs. The initiative’s success was evident in enhanced customer engagement rates, positive patient outcomes, and the ability to personalize communication channels effectively.

Collaborative Partnerships

The journey to NGE Academy’s excellence wouldn’t have been complete without recognizing the contribution of Syneos Health Learning Solutions. Their collaborative support was integral to weaving this tapestry of learning transformation.

The Novartis NGE Academy was an epitome of transformative learning, a testament to Novartis’ commitment to staying ahead of the curve. By bridging gaps, embracing data analytics, and elevating customer engagement, the NGE Academy not only redefined learning but also reshaped Novartis’ impact on customers and patients.

Contact Alison Pulte:
Alison Pulte’s LinkedIn

Philips Ultrasound

Revolutionizing Sales Training

Philips Ultrasound has earned its place as a finalist in the LTEN Excellence Awards Innovation category, and it’s no surprise considering its revolutionary approach to sales training. The company’s initiative led by Shureka King has reshaped sales education, unlocking a new level of success that goes beyond traditional methods.

Shifting the Paradigm with Business-Focused Training

The initiative can be described as a transformative shift in sales training. Instead of the usual product-centric approach, King integrates selling skill principles and customer-centric needs into every aspect of training. This approach centers around delivering customer business education, elevating the mindset of the entire Ultrasound Team, and driving market-leading results year after year.

Addressing the Sales Training Conundrum

The Philips Ultrasound Sales Teams faced a common challenge – the focus on clinical aspects often left out critical business conversations. Deals were stalling, smaller contracts prevailed, and a limited customer stakeholder presence hindered larger sales contracts. King’s solution was to blend clinical and business-focused discussions seamlessly.

Each training objective, whether live or virtual, was meticulously designed to center around operational, financial, and business aspects, amplifying sales skills and the impact on customer deals.

Design Decisions

The journey to this approach involved breaking away from the norm. Traditionally, sales skill and business-focused training were secondary or isolated components. King identified the need to merge these aspects into a cohesive whole.

Every training session, from onboarding to ongoing education, was transformed to encompass not only product features but also business-focused principles. King seamlessly incorporated these pillars into the training fabric, utilizing micro-learning, interactive techniques, quizzes, and simulations.

Navigating Challenges Creatively

Overcoming obstacles common in training, King’s innovation extended to strategic problem-solving. Resource constraints and reluctance to pull employees away from the field were challenges. King’s approach spoke the language of business executives, demonstrating metrics and results that highlighted the consequences of delaying training. She gained buy-in by showcasing the value of business-focused training and aligning it with organizational goals.

Evaluating Success and Measuring Impact

King’s dedication to continuous improvement is evident in her evaluation strategy. After every training objective she assesses the impact of the business training. Reports to the Ultrasound Business Leader and senior sales managers provide insights into how the training translates to the readiness of the team to accelerate their customer deals.

Market-Leading Success

The business impact of King’s initiative is nothing short of remarkable. Philips Ultrasound consistently achieved market-leading sales results, surpassing New Product Introduction Quotas year after year. The initiative’s success is highlighted by its pivotal role in the company’s strategic decisions.

King’s value is not only recognized by her presence at the Ultrasound Executive Table but also by reshaping the entire National Sales Meeting to accommodate her involvement.

Unleashing the Power of Business Conversations

The inventive nature of this initiative has transformed the Philips Ultrasound Sales Team into adept business communicators. Armed with a business-focused mindset, each sales representative engages customers with conversations that encompass operational, financial, and revenue outcomes.

The result is a differentiation that propels Philips Ultrasound to maintain its dominance in the market and exceed sales expectations with every new product launch.

Philips Ultrasound’s journey to revolutionize sales training is a testament to its commitment to creativity and growth. This initiative isn’t just about educating the sales team; it’s about transforming the way business is conducted, ultimately redefining success in the industry. The nomination for the LTEN Excellence Awards Innovation category is a well-deserved recognition of Philips Ultrasound’s pioneering strides.


Commercial Learning Pathways

Seagen was named one of the finalists for the LTEN Excellence Awards Innovation category for its Commercial Leadership Pathways initiative. The project was a collaboration with partner Cultivate.How.

In a rapidly evolving landscape, Seagen recognized the pivotal role of its commercial leaders in driving growth and expansion. The initiative’s innovative essence lay in its custom-designed development experiences tailored for Seagen’s commercial leaders, setting them on a transformative journey.

Navigating Transformation Through Leadership

The initiative was a dynamic response to Seagen’s growth journey. Commercial leaders played a central role in this transformation, and the Commercial Leadership Pathways were designed to nurture their skills. The program’s edge lay in its personalized, guided development experiences, featuring topics crucial to modern leadership:

  • Coaching as a Commercial Leader
  • Leading Change
  • Teaming

These pathways were offered in both cohort programs led by experts and self-directed formats, leveraging technology for a flexible, effective learning experience.

Addressing Leadership Needs in a Shifting Landscape

The challenge was clear. Seagen’s commercial landscape was shifting from product-centric to value-centric selling, demanding a versatile, adaptable sales force. Simultaneously, the organization needed its commercial leaders to evolve from fostering a compliance-oriented sales culture to nurturing a judgment-oriented approach. The existing leadership pool was unprepared for this transition, prompting Seagen to invest in a comprehensive leadership development strategy.

A Blueprint of Design

Seagen’s approach to designing the Commercial Leadership Pathways was rooted in meticulous research and understanding. The program aligned with Seagen’s core competencies and the unique needs of commercial leaders. It capitalized on their expertise, fostered relevance to their shared purpose of benefiting patients, and tapped into their data-driven mindset. Furthermore, the pathways emphasized autonomy, cross-pollination, and experiential learning. The pathways encompassed individual self-directed learning and collaborative cohort programs, all facilitated through Seagen’s Learning Management System (LMS).

Overcoming Challenges Creatively

Although the Commercial Leadership Pathways enjoyed strong buy-in, participation initially fell short. A strategic move was made by aligning the program with executive leadership’s emphasis on coaching. The team scaled the program to cater to various leadership levels, resulting in a holistic coaching initiative that garnered endorsements across the organization. This approach strengthened leadership cohesion, promoted shared values, and sparked cross-functional conversations.

Measuring Impact and Sustaining Growth

Seagen’s commitment to rigorous measurement ensured the program’s effectiveness. The organization employed a structured methodology involving pre-program and post-program surveys, facilitator feedback, and reflective practice. This approach gauged the pathways’ influence on competencies, engagement, and overall performance. In the short term, leaders demonstrated increased confidence, collaboration, and communication. In the long term, these translated into improved team resilience, creative problem-solving, and a culture of ongoing learning.

Fostering Leadership Excellence through Innovation

The Commercial Leadership Pathways resonated with Seagen’s commercial leaders, propelling them to new heights of growth and development. The program’s holistic approach, personalized learning pathways, and strategic alignment underscored its uniqueness. Seagen’s recognition as a finalist for the LTEN Excellence Awards Innovation category was a testament to its commitment to pushing boundaries, fostering leadership excellence, and embracing transformation as a catalyst for growth.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Innovative Cross-Functional Collaboration and Synchronized Launch

Vertex Pharmaceuticals was named a finalist in the LTEN Excellence Awards Innovation category, showcasing its groundbreaking launch training program. This initiative was a collaboration with their partner Custom Learning Designs (CLD, Inc.) and was devised to support three distinct training audiences — Commercial, Medical, and International — which underscores Vertex’s commitment to learning and development.

Revolutionizing Training for Rare Diseases Launch

The launch training program, condensed and streamlined for two rare diseases — Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) and Transfusion-Dependent Beta Thalassemia (TDT) — marks a significant milestone for Vertex. What sets this initiative apart is its approach to synchronized development tracks, catering to unique audiences preparing for the launch of a pioneering gene-edited therapy.

Addressing Complex Challenges Creatively

The challenges were multifaceted: launching a first-in-class gene-edited therapy, educating audiences on the investigational but groundbreaking treatment, and ensuring collaboration between the Medical, Commercial, and International teams. Vertex’s advantage lay in its approach to these challenges.

Vertex’s solution to the challenge of diverse audiences was not to create separate training programs but to build a unified curriculum that could be tailored for each audience. The content began with a scientific focus, ensuring in-depth knowledge for the Medical team. The Commercial version streamlined the content for lay audiences, while the International team adapted the content for global applicability.

Humanizing the Science

The training program was not solely about content synchronization but also about its impact. Vertex recognized the unique emotional connection required for diseases like SCD and TDT. To bridge this gap, they collaborated with experts, including a practicing subject matter expert and a doctor living with the illness. This led to the creation of modules like “Humanizing The Science: Words Matter,” promoting cultural sensitivity, respectful language, and deeper patient-provider connections.

Measuring Success through Learning Transfer

Vertex’s evaluation strategy included rigorous assessments and learner feedback. The modules form the foundation of learning and are assessed with rigorous attention to detail. By ensuring the right mix of polish, interactivity, and narration, Vertex kept learners engaged and enabled them to comprehend complex concepts effectively.

Impact on the Bottom Line

The impact of Vertex’s ingenuity reaches beyond training. The approach enabled substantial cost savings, bypassing the need for separate vendors for different teams. Additionally, the synchronized modules established consistency in language and communication across teams, expediting interactions with healthcare providers and eliminating the need for corrections down the line.

A Testament to Cross-Functional Collaboration

Beyond the training content, Vertex’s approach fostered cross-functional collaborations and strengthened relationships between teams. The development process encouraged mutual understanding and sharing of strengths, creating a network of support and knowledge exchange.

Vertex’s finalist spot in the LTEN Excellence Awards Innovation category aptly recognizes the power of fresh thinking, collaboration, and a patient-centric approach. Their launch training program exemplifies how a forward-thinking strategy, tailored content, and a commitment to excellence can shape training initiatives that resonate, educate, and empower.

About the LTEN Excellence Awards

The LTEN Excellence Awards recognize the innovative and inspiring work done by life sciences training professionals at pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and diagnostics companies (“practitioners”) and the strong support, innovation and creativity of training industry partner companies (“providers”).

Contact Us

For additional questions, please contact Awards@L-TEN.org.

Interested in sponsoring this year’s awards program? Contact Gregg Haunroth at ghaunroth@L-TEN.org


About LTEN

The Life Sciences Trainers & Educators Network (www.L-TEN.org) is the only global 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization specializing in meeting the needs of life sciences learning professionals. LTEN shares the knowledge of industry leaders, provides insight into new technologies, offers innovative solutions and communities of practice that grow careers and organizational capabilities. Founded in 1971, LTEN has grown to more than 3,200 individual members who work in pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostic companies, and industry partners who support the life sciences training departments.

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