My SoundWave Experience, with Billy O’Shea from Roche Pharma

We talk to Billy O’Shea, Roche Pharma’s Director of Operational Excellence, about how using SoundWave changed the dialogue in his organisation …

“I have witnessed leaders make small ‘SoundWave-inspired’ changes that have rippled through the organisation”.

Name of business: Roche Pharma, County Clare, Republic of Ireland
Winner: LEAN champion, 2019 Lean Business Ireland (Enterprise Ireland)

What were you working on when you first encountered SoundWave?
Working to sustain our Continuous Improvement programme, I identified that a change in leadership behaviours would be critical for future success and the development of a learning organisation.

How did the use of SoundWave benefit your business?
By leaders focusing on how they spoke and by being willing to learn how to use ‘questioning’ voices, they empowered their people to achieve unprecedented success. The business experienced real bottom-line benefits through coaching by creating an atmosphere where it was safe to take ownership, experiment and learn.   

How did SoundWave benefit you personally?
I developed an awareness of how I spoke to my colleagues in certain situations and I became more aware of the emotional triggers that diminished my effectiveness as a leader. SoundWave equipped and guided me to re-learn a better and more productive way of working with others.

Best thing about SoundWave?
It is easy to understand and practice with almost immediate positive feedback. It is practical and not theoretical, making it relevant and meaningful to everyday activities. It creates a ‘language’ for all which is respectful of the individual and creates a better and more progressive place to work. 

In what situation would SoundWave be most useful?
If you want to change the culture in your organisation to one where people are ambitious for success, work well together, inspire each other and are willing to experiment and learn, then your leaders need to role model the SoundWave methodology. I have witnessed leaders make small ‘SoundWave-inspired’ changes that have rippled through the organisation, having a beneficial impact not previously experienced when using other approaches.

Many thanks to Billy, and to Richard Lynch from SA Partners LLP who delivered much of the SoundWave programme at Roche Pharma in September 2019.