Biogen Idec Pharmaceuticals

The drive to transform discovery into patient care is helping to shape the future of Biogen Idec. Innovation and scientific proficiency play key roles in fueling the company’s robust product pipeline. This enlightened approach extends to Biogen Idec employees who enjoy a wide range of professional and personal development programs, as well as a working environment that encourages fun, enthusiasm, and collaboration among departments and locations.

The Challenge

Biogen Idec wanted to transform manager/employee relationships.

The Solution

When Biogen Idec wanted to create a culture where employees ask for what they need in order to be more effective and successful and where supervisors provide the appropriate leadership style to meet those needs, they developed an approach in conjunction with The Ken Blanchard Companies that is unique and effective—managers and direct reports are trained simultaneously. Following an initial meeting involving all participants, managers proceed down the Situational Leadership® II (SLII®) path, while the others follow Situational Self Leadership.

“It is powerful to see managers commit to their employees that they will use different leadership styles—and to see the employees commit to diagnosing themselves and asking for the leadership they need,” says Beth Kelly Leonard, a Biogen Idec Training Specialist.

“There were a lot of reasons we went this direction,” says Leonard. “Part of it was Situational Leadership® II’s long and successful history. We also liked that it is easy to learn, easy to teach, and allowed us to create customized programs for different departments. The best part, though, was the strong support from Blanchard—both in terms of tools and people.”


Feedback from 150 program graduates from seven departments has been consistently positive, and requests for follow-up sessions come with pledges to “sustain and maintain” the change that is taking place. It appears that Biogen Idec has made another key discovery—that of creating an effective new culture!

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