INSEAD Participant Interview

Getting all the “good stuff” out of the Building Digital Partnerships and Ecosystems Programme

Marjorie Beaugad

Marjorie Beaugad explains how building a peer study group online ensured she fully leveraged coaching and the exchange of perspectives to get more out of her learning experience.

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Industries all over the globe are being disrupted by technological innovation. No sector more so than pharmaceuticals.

So says Marjorie Beaugad, Digital Innovation Lead with pharma giant Sanofi in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

A need to manage the tension between tradition and digital innovation – as well as  the daily interaction between stakeholders as diverse as government and startups within a massive and complex ecosystem – are among the key challenges the brought Beaugad to the INSEAD Building Digital Partnerships and Ecosystems programme (BDPE) in 2019.

“Pharmaceuticals and healthcare in general are evolving fast as we find new ways to improve care, digital and otherwise. The issues facing my organisation in particular revolve around finding the right solution-oriented partner in digital therapeutics, and trying to understand who to partner with today and tomorrow. The BDPE at INSEAD clearly tackled my challenges in terms of exploring how to build partnership strategies that aligned and were the right cultural fit for my organisation.”

Beaugad was particularly drawn by the online format of the programme as it offered her the flexibility to manage her time between learning and the day-to-day demands of her job.

And because faculty lectures were delivered via video, she was able to watch classes multiple times if there was a concept that was hard to grasp or of particular relevance – an option that she found particularly helpful.

“I’d been interested in INSEAD for many years and did consider pursuing an MBA at the school, but in my role I felt I couldn’t commit the time, so the online option was perfect for me.”

Another major plus was the flexibility to form an online study group with peers from different professional and geographical backgrounds. This was something that she found exponentially enriching in terms of the learning experience. “Putting together a study group with other participants gave me a chance to really look at ideas and concepts from a wholly different perspective and to exchange tips and questions. It lent a completely new layer of learning to the programme that made it so much richer as an experience.”

The study group also provided an opportunity to share insights from learning coaches – something that Beaugad says amplified the impact exponentially. “Working one to one with a coach across the programme was great in terms of really exploring the ideas and driving my personal progress. And within the study group we were able to share and discuss the feedback our individual coaches were giving us, which meant we were really getting all the good stuff from different perspectives and sources through peer interaction.”

This peer dynamic also extended to Beaugad’s Action Learning Project (ALP), in which learning is synthesised on a progressive, weekly basis and applied directly to a real-world issue or challenge facing each participants’ organisation or role.

“I focused my ALP around an area of particular importance to me within my organisation, which is the management of diabetes. Everything that I worked on in my ALP really aligned to this. And because the ALP is peer-reviewed, I felt I was getting  the full benefits of other people’s expertise and experience, which in turn helped drive very interesting and productive conversations at work with my manager and my team.”

The BDPE has had direct and profound impact on Beaugad’s thinking on the issues that are reshaping the pharmaceutical industry and the kinds of approaches she needs to take to build a robust digital ecosystem for the future. It has given her new tools, she says, to answer important questions, and make key decisions about the types of partnerships that can maximise impact.

“The programme has also really helped me to look at things from new and different perspectives and to articulate both a vision and a case for change.” Anyone thinking of taking the INSEAD BDPE, says Beaugad, would do well to form their own study group with peers in order to fully leverage the programme.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the BDPE. It’s so well structured and the ALP assignments really encourage to build pace and drive forward momentum. If there’s one extra thing I would recommend it is to start your own study group within the programme. It’s fun, and it’s a terrifically effective way to bounce ideas and to leverage all the benefits of coaching. You get so much more out of it.”

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