Embedding Values & Principles at Pfizer

Pfizer is a world-leading research-based pharmaceutical company which discovers, develops, manufactures and markets innovative medicines for humans and animals. Two research departments at Pfizer have commissioned Steps to create a programme bringing corporate values to life.


To understand the essence of its own success, Pfizer conducted extensive research into employee perceptions of the company and its philosophy. From this data, the Central Research division developed seven intrinsic values: People; Personal leadership; Teamwork; Integrity; Creativity & Innovation; Quality & Excellence and Contribution.

"At Pfizer, we believe that how we do things is as important as what we do and that's why the values work has been so important," said Ted Cheeseman, Senior Consultant for Learning and Development. "Our managers were encouraged to look at ways of transforming the words into reality for people in their departments. The idea was to work with Steps to embed the values, by ensuring a common understanding not only of what they mean but also of what behaviour they call for."


Called Putting the Values to Work, the resultant programme was delivered to individuals across the department. Led by three facilitators from Steps, it featured a business game scenario where the delegates were split into three companies. Each group was asked to determine the values for their company and how they planned to take their business forward. They were then told that the three fictional companies were to combine and they had to work out which of their values were non-negotiable in the ensuing discussions.

The programme then concentrated on the delegates' understanding of the seven values highlighted by the Central Research division. Professional role players were used to show the values being adopted - and compromised - in real situations within the department. At key stages in these dramas, the role players would turn to the group of delegates and ask for suggestions of what they should say or do in order to proceed. Freed from the need to role play themselves, the delegates were able to concentrate on the training issues and learn by analysing and summarising what they had seen.


Ted Cheeseman believes Pfizer has gained real value by taking the drama-based development approach.

"Steps' programmes proved to be exciting, entertaining and very effective," he said. "We want our people to know what we're valued for and we want to encourage them to live by those values. The two Steps development programmes have played an important part in realising this goal."

Download a PDF of this case study


Quote Mark Steps' programmes proved to be exciting, entertaining and very effective. We wanted our people to know what we're valued for and we want to encourage them to live by those values. Steps played an important part in realising this goal. Quote Mark Ted Cheeseman, Senior Learning & Development Consultant, Pfizer