Resilient leadership at Eisai

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Client Challenge

Eisai is a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan, specialising in Oncology and Neurology. Their work is based on an underpinning Human Health Care (HHC) mission: “We give our first thought to patients”. In line with that mission, all employees are encouraged to spend 1% of their working time getting close to patients, to improve our understanding of the reality of patients, their families and carers. This approach has proven to be very effective, but it can have significant impact on employees.

Additionally, as the company has grown it faced various challenges, and EMEA CEO Gary Hendler has always believed resilience is a key behaviour to deal with – and effectively respond to the ever changing environment.

As a result, 10 years ago he introduced ‘resilience’ as one of the motivational behaviours that he believes underpins success organisationally. The concept of resilience is now deeply embedded in the organisation and something Eisai sees as extremely valuable for the success of its leaders and employees.

In 2011 Eisai decided to operationalise their focus on resilience by partnering with PSI to develop a variety of resilience-focused initiatives to strengthen the resilience of Eisai employees across Europe.


  • Eisai worked closely with PSI’s resilience experts to develop a customised, applicable workshop format, focused on embedding the concept of resilience within the Eisai organisation, utilising a robust psychometric tool.
  • The Eisai resilience workshops are designed to:
    • Upskill leaders and their teams on the concept of resilience
    • Help all teams build and enhance their natural levels of resilience
    • Educate leaders on how to coach and mentor their teams to enhance their resilience
  • 10 Eisai Commercial Training Managers and L&D experts from across Europe have been certified as resilience experts, and are qualified to deliver the resilience workshops to all employees within the organisation.
  • Workshops are powered by PSI’s renowned Resilience Questionnaire that focuses on the aspects of an individual’s psychological resilience, patterns of thinking and behavior that affects their ability to respond positively to setbacks and challenges.
  • After participating in the workshops, business leaders are encouraged to use their new skills to help their teams with resilience-based initiatives such as one-to-one coaching, team sessions, and employee workshops


The resilience workshops have been running for the past 9 years, the concept and value is now fully embedded into the Eisai organisation. Over 600 Eisai employees from all over the world have attended at least one resilience workshop, and delegates report feeling empowered by the workshops.

The workshops and questionnaires have no doubt given insight into individuals being able to deal with change. During the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, it was seen a valuable, relevant tool to support teams both professionally and personally, with feedback from workshops showing that individuals recognise they can learn to be more resilient.

Having trained out many tools, this is always one that is incredibly well received by all attendees, the profile coupled with a workshop, facilitates great discussion ,you realise this is an important business and life skill.

Hannah Collison, Senior Director Commercial Effectiveness, Oncology , Eisai