A powerful team or powerful technology—what’s more important for your business? According to Christophe Revirron, Chief of Staff to the Merck Healthcare CIO, no matter how many advanced technological tools you implement to get the job done, teamwork and human connections are irreplaceable.  

Speaking at the P3 Momentum conference, Revirron emphasized that technological solutions are only a means to an end. Even with the most powerful tools, you still need to find the right people and properly train them to achieve the best results. This requires a paradigm shift in strategy and workflow, even for companies that have already embraced new technologies.

Revirron speaks from years of experience in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry and a specific interest in change management. He was a key member of the cross-functional team that recently implemented a “self-driving” supply chain at Merck Group’s Healthcare division. What he calls “a change in management expertise” is key for this kind of successful transformation.

The Right People Are The Real Magic

“Technology is only an enabler that accelerates the working process,” says Revirron. The real magic is having the right people to build a transformative team.

The first step is talking more. It’s vital to open the lines of communication throughout the organization, eliminating information silos and encouraging an atmosphere of collaboration. Aligning team members is just as crucial as centralizing and unifying data sources. Once the new team structure and workflow is in place, training becomes even more important, especially if this transformation has involved real reorganization and the addition of new team members.

How To Build The Best Team

In the future, “people will have to work differently, and you need to attract talent and develop people. This is the highest priority,” says Revirron.

Building the best team involves several steps:

  • Eliminate information silos: Opening the lines of communication throughout the organization is key. This paves the way for real change.
  • Encourage collaboration: Creating an environment where team members are rewarded for collaboration will encourage new ideas and fresh thinking.
  • Increase flexibility: Giving team members the space to be flexible in their approaches to new tasks as well as their scope of work will allow talent to assert itself.
  • Hire and train intelligently: Knowing what type of teammate you have room for, then hiring these individuals and training existing employees in more collaborative strategies will maximize efficiency.

The Future Of Teamwork Is Bright

Revirron’s ideas about teamwork aren’t limited to one industry or type of project. Aligning team members around a centralized source of data will make collaboration easier and encourage more creativity. As Revirron says, “these connections create momentum.”

“Technology will continue to advance in the future, innovating businesses across the world,” Revirron adds. “As our tools get better, it’s important to update the way we manage our teams and keep them cooperating.” That is a goal that should be at the heart of every business.



About Christophe Revirron:

Combining expertise in change management with years of experience in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry, Christophe Revirron was a key member of the cross-functional team that implemented a “self-driving” supply chain at Merck Group’s Healthcare division. A Merck employee since 2009, Christophe was promoted to his current position in 2016 and is now based in Geneva, Switzerland.