ELITE Transformational Leader James Berger of Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.

James Berger

Director, Entyvio

Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.


Company-wide Strategic Planning Process

“James Berger led the implementation of a new brand strategy planning process to ensure Takeda has a thoughtful cross-functional process that addresses brand opportunities and potential,” explains David Davidovic, President at pathForward.

The basis for this new process began with one brand—Entyvio. In the past few years, Takeda has been trying to adapt to the changing market by focusing on new patient needs, including the specialty market in gastroenterology with Entyvio, an infusion drug for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. And after two successful years post-launch, the time came to make some strategic decisions to grow Entyvio in the face of increasing competition and to establish a universal way of thinking about strategic decision-making in the future

“This past year, going into brand planning, I wanted to start incorporating some new, structured thinking into how the organization approaches strategic decisions,” James explains. “We had some common brand planning elements in our yearly plans, but there was a need to fill them out with some new ways of thinking through a much wider working team that touches the many parts of our specialty business. It is based off a way of thinking that I learned over the years in my previous experience prior to Takeda.”

Last fall, they started to implement this process through a series of workshops. The process itself focuses on key, group-driven frameworks for thinking that James says “any strategic plan should emphasize in order to make clear, disciplined decisions and to stay focused in our strategy development.” That includes mapping out the market in more detail, outlining the process by which the patient “flows through the system” from diagnosis to fulfillment, identifying the true emotional moments for customers, and anchoring on very specific areas where the company can make a difference or change behavior for all of its end customers.

“Takeda is now expanding and adopting this approach into company-wide training programs that will be rolled out over the course of the next year,” James says, “so we have a universal, more disciplined way of thinking about our market and making strategic decisions as a collective team.”


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