AstraZeneca are a global pharmaceutical who push the potential of what science can do. Their work in vaccine development during the COVID-19 pandemic created world leading new medicine and significantly assisted in the lifting of a global lockdown.


Renowned for their work in the global pandemic, AstraZeneca was initially formulated of two companies named Astra and Zeneca with bases in the UK and Sweden. Today, they have over 80,000 employees across their sites, and maintain headquarters in both Cambridge and Stockholm.


With a clear emphasis on people and a dedication to ensuring that AstraZeneca remains a great place to work, Fieri and AstraZeneca have been partners since 2021. Their goal was to develop their already highly accomplished, most senior leaders, and enhance their skills to ensure they bring out the very best in the teams they are leading.


Working closely together before commencing training, to deeply evaluate the needs of AstraZeneca, Fieri designed and began delivering training on a collection of modules including high performance teamwork, leading teams, communications and getting results through a combination of in-person and online masterclasses. This is expanded over a 12-month programme with monthly interventions.

“Fieri provide inspiration that can help me as an individual and us as a team to develop.”


Jim Fox, VP of Sweden Operations and Head of Global Digital Transformation, AstraZeneca.



After the high-pressure time of delivering the COVID-19 vaccine, focus shifted to AstraZeneca’s team leaders, to build their people development skills and help every member of their teams realise their full potential.

The Objective


To deliver on the following leadership themes, whilst aligning with AstraZeneca’s three core behaviours of Curiosity, Inclusivity and Bravery:

  • A strong vision and mission
  • Being clear on our principles and purpose
  • Using systems-based thinking
  • Understanding centred leadership archetypes
  • Role modelling desired values and behaviours
  • Emphasising leadership over management





Through the close relationship shared between Fieri and AstraZeneca, we worked together to establish a detailed needs analysis which enabled us to discover and define the business objectives and programme deliverables. From our discovery, we designed a tailored 12-month programme consisting of four modules, each containing three 90-minute sessions.


The composition of our programme included the development of an AstraZeneca-dedicated Learner-Portal, to share pre-reading and extra resources prior to and throughout the course. A planned mixture of in-person, virtual and hybrid training delivery to enable our highly trained and passionate team to engage with the Senior Leadership Team based in Stockholm, Sweden.



12 Themed Modules over 12 Months including:




Throughout the delivery of the programme, Fieri implemented a ‘live training system’ designed to monitor the learning achieved throughout and after the programme and track the achievement of the overall outcome and objectives. Having currently only delivered half of the programme, Fieri and AstraZeneca have worked together to evaluate and adapt the delivery mechanisms to meet the needs of those we work with. As we continue working together to deepen and strengthen our relationship, will continue to adapt wherever we need to.


  • Modules continue to be delivered in-person at the AstraZeneca headquarters in Sweden.
  • Action Learning Sets have now been added at strategic points in the programme to reinforce and further relate learnings back to the daily work of leaders.
  • Adaptation has taken place in the form of lengthening workshop duration to offer more time for discussion and reflection.
  • The programme theme sequence has also been adjusted to respond to the leadership feedback and observations highlighted during workshops.


Although we are still only halfway through our training with AstraZeneca, we have already noticed positive change throughout the organisation. Leaders have been able to make more effective use of time by implementing a uni-tasking approach. Uni-tasking is about more than just working on one task at a time. It also involves combining similar tasks together, removing distractions and making strategic thinking a priority. Course participants have remarked that:

  • Instead of saying no, we can ask ‘when’.

  • Making space for long term and strategic thinking is essential.

  • Knowing when to say no to tasks means that we can wholeheartedly say yes to others.

  • As leaders, we’re in the business of credibility, and setting examples for others.

What next?

Whilst the first stage of the programme focused on behaviour building and exploring new ways of working. The second stage oversees the implementation and adaption of these new techniques to fit into the AstraZeneca organisation. Some areas we continue to build upon are:

  • Understanding that there is a reason why people ask for help, but also realising that doing things for others when they ask might not be the only way of doing things.

  • Using new ways of communicating to smooth transition time, start-ups and maintenance works.

  • Working in a VUCA environment can be challenging, but we can make the Complex more simple and the Ambiguous more clear.

  • Making time for teams to enjoy teamwork, and allowing members within the team to have their moment.



“As our partnership with AstraZeneca grows, we continually monitor and evaluate the perception of our programme to ensure we are fully meeting the needs of the team.”


Matt Johns, Managing Director, Fieri Leadership