Client Success Story: Medidata
“The quality of the program is excellent, the tools are great, and the coaches are first-rate.C4X has enabled us to have more than leaders coached in a cost-effective way at acost-per-leader far lower than traditional coaching. We’ve experienced a substantial returnon investment by implementing C4X compared to what we have spent on it.”
– Eileen Schloss, EVP of Human Resources at Medidata
Medidata is a fast-growing company in the development of life sciences that offers a unique SaaS platform dedicated to transforming clinical research. Medidata’s solution enables its clients to cut clinical development costs, mitigate development risks, and deliver drugs and devices to market faster.
Medidata’s clients include more than 90% of the top 25 global pharmaceutical companiesѶ biotech, medical device and diagnostic companies, academic and government institutions, and contract research organizations (CROs). Its Clinical Cloud currently encompasses eight billion clinical records from more than two million patients across more than 9,000 studies, and more than 500,000 data points are added daily.
Medidata (NASDAQ: MDSO) is a publicly traded company based in New York City with more than 1,000 employees based around the world, including the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe.
Medidata has been growing at 20% annually and has set a goal of reaching $1 billion in revenue. However, prior to initiating its leadership development efforts, few of Medidata’s leaders had significant experience managing a fast-growing company that 2. targeting an ambitious revenue goal.
To address this challenge, the Human Resources team created a Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program that leaders from directors to SVPs would go through over an 18-month period. HR’s mandate was to improve leadership acumen throughout the organization quickly, efficiently and uniformly.
After evaluating several coaching options, Medidata’s HR team, headed by EVP of Human Resources Eileen Schloss, selected Skyline Group’s first-of-its-kind technology-driven leadership development coaching solution: C4X | Coaching for Excellence.
Case Study Summary
One of the key reasons it was chosen is that C4X addresses the fast pace and changing dynamics of today’s large organizations. C4X scales to coach hundreds of leaders in a short period of time, making it possible for companies such as Medidata to adjust to new strategies and changing market conditions. Based on tried-and-true leadership coaching methods developed by Skyline Group International, C4X offered training on the competencies Medidata sought to emphasize.
By implementing a technology-based coaching solution, Medidata gained the confidence that its leaders around the world would have a consistent learning experience.
C4X’s speed, scalability, easy-to-use interface and cost-effectiveness enabled the company to have more than 150 leaders coached in a short time, rather than paying tens of thousands of dollars per leader for traditional one-on-one coaching that would take far longer. By deploying C4X, Medidata was able have as many as six leaders coached for the cost of a single one-on-one coaching relationship.
How C4X Works
Figure 1: The C4X Four-Step Process
Every C4X solution follows a four-step process:
1. Assessing opportunities.
2. Prioritizing objectives.
3. Applying new learning.
4. Measuring individual, team and business results.
1. Assessing Opportunities
To ensure alignment and organizational success, Skyline Group worked with Medidata to gather business objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs)Ѷleadership competency gaps the organization needs to fillѶexpected outcomesѶand environment and context considerations. Skyline then worked with Medidata to determine the optimal way to configure the C4X leadership development system to individual, cohort and organization goals.
This first step is the most critical as it sets up the program for success. It is during this process of assessing opportunities that a company’s executive leadership, line leaders and human resources teams ensure they are on the same page regarding the company’s goals and future direction.
2. Prioritizing Objectives
Once the implementation was underway, Skyline Group deployed its Competency-Driven Leadership Development model to assess Medidata’s leaders on 28 competencies using the 360-degree assessment tool that is part of the C4X technology platform. The competencies that make up the assessment have been validated by empirical research as critical-to- effective leadership and fall under four categories: leading self, leading others, leading the
organizationѶ and leading implementation. Although the 28 competencies are universal across companies and industries, the terms used to describe these competencies can be customized on the C4X platform. In this way, C4X supports a shared company language and a cohesive development effort.
Based on the results of each participant’s 360, the coach, leader and the leader’s manager identified three competencies for development and the related goals that further the company’s current objectives. Open communication is key during this step as the three parties work together to establish clear objectives and set reasonable expectations.
3. Applying New Learning
The C4X program was then configured to support the leader in achieving these goals using an on-the-job learning model. It provided individually tailored development roadmaps whereby new content is opened up weekly and can then be accessed online at any time. In addition, the leader worked one-on-one with a coach who supported the learning process and helped him or her apply this knowledge in his or her work life.
Over the course of 16 weeks, leaders met with their coaches and completed weekly assignments including articles, case studies and videos, with their progress monitored by their coaches on the C4X platform. C4X’s real-time dashboard also enabled HR leaders to see which users have embraced the program.
The focus of the development involves applying new behaviors in the workplace. New concepts, methods, and tools are introduced via the technology platform and one-on-one coaching provides context, guidance and new thinking to help bring learning to life and make it stick. The coach reinforces the connection between the program, company initiatives and the individual’s own goals, projects, and motives. The connection and personal relationship between coach and participant enables a lasting transformative experience.
4. Measuring Individual, Team and Business Results
A major issue associated with leadership development programs—and coaching in particular—is the lack of measurement and tracking capabilities. As a digital platform, C4X allows multiple streams of data to be tracked, synthesized and presented to authorized administrators. Tracked data includes individual participant goals, participation and engagement, goal and skill improvement, as well as big-picture cohort and program-wide level analytics. Administrators can easily understand not only the impact of the program on individuals and cohorts, but also identify skills gaps, as well as strengths and opportunities within the company as a whole.
The C4X system reassessed participants halfway through and at the end of the development process to measure improvements in the competencies they have been developing. Other metrics C4X can track include business results like time-to-productivity for new hires, increased revenue for sales teams, increased customer retention for customer service teams, project cost-savings for strategy executives and teams, and career development and turnover for leaders.
After receiving very positive results from the initial C4X implementation, Medidata expanded the program three times to include several additional departments and organizational levels.
Overall, Medidata reports a 99% satisfaction rating among the leaders who participated. In a post-program assessment, participants estimated that the leadership growth they experienced and have applied in their jobs has been worth an average of $432,000 per leader. Medidata has also seen improved job satisfaction and retention among scores of leaders, who report feeling valued and impressed that the company was willing to invest in their careers.
“The quality of the program is excellent, the tools are great, and the coaches are first-rate. C4X has enabled us to have more than 150 leaders coached in a cost-effective way at a cost-per-leader far lower than traditional coaching. We’ve experienced a substantial return on investment by implementing C4X compared to what we have spent on it,” concludes Schloss.