Working in close collaboration, InContext and GSK developed a tailor-made program, the company simulation called LifeSaver. 

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is an international pharmaceutical company working in 115 countries on vaccines, medicines and health products. 

GSK’s matrix teams operate throughout the entire chain of activities related to the development of new vaccines:

  • signaling social / medical needs
  • research & development
  • commercially successful marketing
  • further development.

The disruption of the organization’s hierarchical structure means that a separate structure had to be developed for the matrix teams in order to achieve clear project management, prioritization of available resources and optimal cooperation, without disturbing the vertical balance.

“Top ranking in my 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry”

Deelnemer GSK company simulation 'LifeSaver'
Precisely tailored to the specific dilemmas

Working in close collaboration, InContext and GSK developed a tailor-made program, the company simulation called LifeSaver. The aim of LifeSaver is to forge the vaccine development teams into a unit operating within the larger GSK organization. Setting up this process raised important questions:

  • How do the formal communication lines relate to informal contacts / decision making?
  • How do you align the personal goals of team members and the team goals with organizational goals? 
  • How do you promote an enterprise-oriented mindset?
  • How do you find a balance between personal leadership and the willingness to carry out tasks?

InContext developed a company simulation that is precisely tailored to the specific dilemmas that play a role in vaccine development within GSK.

The game is played by 30 participants who compete against each other in two groups. It is important that the participants do not take on their usual GSK roles. This places them in an unknown situation that has new requirements, while at the same time they can observe their actual place in the organization from a different perspective. This broadens their frame of reference.

During the simulation, participants can see the effect of their own behavior straight away. This is reinforced by the fact that the game concentrates the 10 year process of vaccine development into 2 days. 

“Very well designed course. Everyone in the company should do this once to understand the company, the project + you.”

Participant GSK company simulation 'LifeSaver'

Huge learning curve

InContext has developed a simulation that initiates a huge learning curve by creating space to combine reflection and the relevant theory within the simulation. 

The game provides two days of excitement, frustration and fun. The result is that the participants have direct experience of their teammates’ frames of reference, with immediate consequences for the quality of their collaboration.

The simulation was first introduced in 2013 and is now successfully played several times a year at various locations in Belgium, Italy and the United States.

"This is a great training which gives you the opportunity to directly measure the outcome of actions, force the team to work together to correct and learn and see if it worked or not”

Participant GSK company simulation 'LifeSaver'

More about company simulations

Contact: Karin Vrij
More about company simulations