How do you establish credibility and create commitment when your receivers are very critical?

The Swedish pharmaceuticals company has specialised in the treatment of rare diseases. In 2016-2017, Sobi launched new drugs for the treatment of haemophilia (an inherited haemorrhagic disease). With the new drugs, Sobi makes its entrance on several international markets where it has not previously been present. In many of these countries where the knowledge of Sobi is low or non-existent, the challenge is to create credibility and spread the knowledge of the enterprise, particularly among medical practitioners and decision-makers who are used to working with other pharmaceuticals companies.


The solution we designed

Together with SOBI HR, we developed a training process extending over 2 x 3 days where participants from Europe, the USA, the Middle East and Eastern Europe worked with their own cases and received feedback on video-recorded exercises and role playing on e.g. the following themes:

  • How do we understand the receivers and make them the hero in our story?
  • How do we use stories as a part of our argumentation?
  • How do we give convincing answers to critical questions and maintain a calm approach under pressure?
  • How do we actively apply knowledge about the receiver in a meeting situation?
  • How do we conduct meetings effectively so that they aim at our own goals?


What was the outcome?

By these means, the managers and employees at Sobi’s have more insight into how to create good relations with important stakeholders. They have experienced themselves that there is a great difference between saying something and then doing it. We have applied the finishing touches to this by focusing on practical training of the rhetorical skills that are decisive for success in a market that is so competitive.
All participants are trained in conducting effective meetings with medical practitioners and other decision-makers where for one thing they tell identical stories about SOBI (and thereby strengthen SOBI’s brand), for another articulate SOBI’s products in new markets where patients do not have access to treatment. We did this by being concerned with e.g.:

  • SWOT analysis and receiver focus
  • Storytelling
  • Questioning technique
  • Handling of objections and critical questions
  • Counterargumentation
  • Body language and voice
  • Insights (personal profiles)
  • Video training


What did SOBI think of the outcome?


Citationstegn til citater. guld. 50x50

Bruce Faulkner-Dunkley. Learning & Organization Development Director (former), Sobi

"In my opinion, the PACE training is invaluable. The combination of a research based education, enhanced with plenty of practical training makes the participants more competent, capable and confident in their primary goal: Focusing on how to engage and collaborate with their customers to facilitate enhancing the lives of the patients." 





When an ambitious strategy is to be applied in practice, the communication must put the receiver first.

SimCorp is a global enterprise that sets ambitious goals. In HR, they want to do things in an even more ingenious way and secure far greater uniformity in their way of working. It is challenging when so many cultures and old habits are involved.


The solution we designed

To address strong cultures and old habits it is important to have a strong story that creates a sense of meaning and common ground across the HR organisation. Together with the management team of HR, we were therefore concerned with:

  • Formulating a story that the employees can take as an example
  • Finding strong, simple messages that have focus on what is new
  • Being abreast of resistance and discussing how it is handled
  • Looking at change ambassadors in the organisation and discussing their communicative role


What was the outcome?

The HR management of SimCorp formulated a strong story that they were proud of and which put employees first. Taking the story into account, they defined target groups and formulated messages addressed to the central target groups. Finally, they mapped out the expected resistance that would arise and defined ways in which it could be handled.



How does a public official write a good presentation of a subject so that the minister can subsequently make the best decision?

The Agency for Modernisation, Ministry of Finance, wanted to focus on two issues:

  • How do you write a presentation of a subject that is not too knowledge intensive and detailed but still sufficiently thorough for the receiver (at executive board or ministerial level) to make the best decision.
  • Public officials in the Agency for Modernisation and the Danish Agency for Digitalisation have high professional standards and much knowledge within each of their fields. This knowledge forms the basis of recommendations in the presentation of a subject. But how do you write a good presentation without compromising on your professionalism and having an eye for the receiver and the difference there often is in time and organisational level?


The solution we designed

We were concerned with two perspectives:

  • Involving the management and getting their comments on the good presentation of the subject - what is it to contain, how long is it to be and how should it be formulated. Also clearness about how the good presentation of a subject is ordered and how you respond during the writing process - not afterwards.
  • Making the employees more aware of the writing process and how they can best make use of the commissioning party. Focus on implementation of new writing habits via a hands-on approach with specific writing tools.


What was the outcome?

The managers participated in tools courses to get the same system of ideas as the employees. They have also obtained better insight into how their role plays a part both when the order is given but also in the response process. No good presentation of a subject without a good order.

The employees have worked with and can now apply specific tools in the following areas:

  • Clear written communication - always think of the purpose
  • Receiver-oriented - who are you writing to and when will they read it?
  • Credibility - strategic work with specialist communication without compromising
  • Argumentation - sharp angling and on the terms of the receiver



As a compliance function, how do you optimise the collaboration with the business without compromising on the continuous observation of rules?

Group Internal Audit (GIA) of Danske Bank defined the following three competence goals for the 77 employees and executives in Denmark and approximately 25 executives and employees from Sweden, Norway, Russia, Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Northern Ireland.

Working determinedly with developing trust and relations as part of the communication task, and in this context being able to coordinate a shared picture of what benefits the overall business. Conveying clear and difficult messages, convincing the customer to accept even a “red report” with a “yes please”.

Handling both resistance and difficult conversations when meeting primary stakeholders and customers, including being able to work on the basis of a graduated communication process (as opposed to “statue revelations”)


The solution we designed

The solution was a two-day intensive course where the participants worked on their own real cases and through e.g. role playing they practised new forms of communication and the use of specific tools. Among these were storytelling, handling of resistance, conducting difficult meetings and confidence-inspiring communications.


What was the outcome

All employees were equipped with specific well-proven tools and a common language that were subsequently implemented in the daily practice. In addition to this, GIA was presented with a new way of presenting the work of the department that puts the receivers in the central role and places GIA as the helper. The result is a high degree of trust in GIA’s role as a combination of adviser and controller.