GSK’s CEEDD was established as part of an initiative to strengthen the R&D pipeline by tapping into external talent. The measure of the group’s success would be not just the deals it closed, but a strategic shift to embracing external discoveries. GSK asked us to define the brand for this small, bold group of risk takers. Working with the full team of 12, we revealed the group’s vision, story and values using proprietary brand development tools. And we debated and collaborated until we squeezed out the essence of the organization—in language and in visuals—and attained full consensus. Five years later, the culture shift was complete—external alliances were being generated increasingly by scientists outside the CEEDD.
Disruption so effective, it made the disruptor obsolete.
Leaders at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) were looking to disrupt their R&D organization to eliminate the pervasive “not invented here” thinking and grow their external drug discovery programs. To fulfill this goal, they assembled a small team of experts to create “The Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery” or the “CEEDD”—an R&D partnering group focused on external discovery with an unprecedented (and at the time, unproven) business model.