Retrospective – Mission Leapfrog

Mission Retrospective

Returning Learning to the System


The Roche 2030 Mission Leapfrog was formed in October 2020 with the mission to engage in ecosystem change that can transform patient wellbeing and population health in Asia.

Mission Leapfrog connects people and partners from the healthcare system to experiment together towards these goals

Leapfrog – a jump beyond what is expected next; to create exponential change and a transformation in the lives of people.

Where are we now

  • Asia Roundtable (RT) has been active since October 2020, with a focus on aligning on a vision for change, understanding how to shape ecosystem change, choosing Leapfrog change challenges in Thailand and Philippines, and selecting local experiments team partners.
  • Philippines RT members are focusing on enabling better access to primary care treatment for women in their home and community. The initial focus is Tacloban Province.
  • Thailand RT members are focusing on improving treatment for disadvantaged women with Cancer in Urban environments, through telemedicine.
  • Both teams have needed to refocus experiments around Covid to deal with the pandemic and to use the energy for change. While Covid restrictions have caused delays in some parts of the program, experiment momentum is now underway.
  • Attention is now on how to leverage technology to accelerate change and how to create sustainability of experiment actions with local partners.
  • Next steps for the program include experiment learning to the Leapfrog goals and scaling learnings.

ML Principles for Systems Change

The scale and urgency of the needs facing healthcare systems in Asia mean that new forms of systems leadership are needed. Which is why this is a strong focus of the Mission Leapfrog.
Systems Leadership is about deep inquiry into the patterns of interaction in a system, building commitment to shared purpose, and co-creating system shaping moves that can catalyse a leapfrog effect.

What keeps a system as it is? How do you permanently change its direction and make a leapfrog? How do you focus on the right opportunities that create systems level innovation and transformation? How do you empower people to take action?


Leapfrog Experiments

Be bold and aim for a change that can catalyse a “Leapfrog” effect – a permanent jump between different conditions in the system.

Systems Change vs Technical Change

Changing patterns of behaviour that define how the system works, not simply fixing a problem once, within the existing system.

Activating the ecosystem

Owning and sustaining the process – the best change happens with communities, not for them. Shared Value Creation for Roche, Society, Partners. People chosen for their capacity to bring systemic influence to the opportunities and willingness to invest in the process.

Adaptive Approach & Systems Leadership

Leapfrog change emerges from a searies of adaptive experiments. Learning and experimenting towards a direction, vs top-down expert driven change. Grow capabilities for systems leadership.

Ecosystem Transformation & Leadership:

Patient to society Healthcare Systems breakthroughs across care pathways; Leadership for Systemic Change.

Accelerating Technologies:

Leveraging the power of data, analytics and digital.

Community & Social:

Reimagining new business models, partnerships and models for community engagement; Fostering resilience in communities for healthcare system breakthroughs.

Integration & Scaling:

Deepening and scaling the quality of leadership needed to affect systemic change in the Asian context.

Local Experiment Teams:

That co-create insight and action around the experiments.

Retrospective Discussion, September 2021

• What are we learning?
• Are we achieving our goals?

2030 Mission Leapfrog goals Metrics
Build new capabilities for bold and disruptive ecosystem change.
  • Experiments have Systems Impact – They are actually affecting sustainable change in the systems we want to change.
  • Experiments have People Impact – we are delivering benefits to people in the short term. The number of patients Impacted positively has grown.
Build new capabilities for bold and disruptive ecosystem change.
  • Achieve a multiplier effect: Other partners, organisations, governments want to leverage the experience.
  • The learnings from the experience have scaled across the organisation and Asia.
Build new capabilities for bold and disruptive ecosystem change.
  • New external partnerships and collaborations are occurring.
  • We have built deep trust and shifted the quality of relationships with ecosystem partners who've previously been disconnected from us.
Explore ways to leverage unique global context (COVID 19) to catalyze sustainable change to healthcare systems.

While the sustainability of the experiment activity seems uncertain, we believe we are on track with the goals of the ML.

Key lessons are:

Ecosystem mindset & engagement – the power of breadth of diversity early in the process.

  • We’ve successfully created an engaged and motivated coalition of ecosystem partners.
  • Trust has been building over time with Roundtable participants and with local experiment team partners and government officials.
  • The RT structure and inputs and connecting with different minds in the system have challenged thinking, particularly around how to work with complexity and an ecosystem. Individuals are learning a lot, but it is too early to tell if we can catalyse a multiplier effect from this.
  • The broader and deeper the stakeholder engagement, as early in the process as possible, the more we mitigate the process being taken over by special interests.
  • Teams are learning to find the balance between value to society, patients and Roche

Leapfrog Experiments – A paradox of directional uncertainty

  • Hold the big bold intent, alongside a messy feet-on-the-ground reality of activating uncertain experiments.
  • The process of defining the move from the strategic change challenge to experiments was difficult and confusing. The process would have benefited from a clearer pathway through this process, and more direct mentoring during this critical phase of activity.
  • All the experiment activities are highly targeted, covid focussed, because that has been the overwhelming need. It’s not yet clear how these will get connected to the original change challenge goals set for each country and move into system level experiments in accordance with our Mission Leapfrog goals. See below:

Viewing the spectrum of experiments from once off technical, to systemic and behavioural:




  • Thailand seems to have created more momentum, because they’ve activated a large local experiment team network early in the process, addressing an urgent need in the system.
  • Initial experiment activity in Thailand has generated momentum and impacted many people on a specific need around Covid. The stories shared by the Thailand team on how their Tuk Tuk experiment made a profound difference to a disabled father and home bound mother have inspired all of us, and highlight the real people in need whose lives can be transformed.
  • A key system learning is the power of building a strong network of relationships, there is a high level of interest in engaging with Roche in creating system change, and this kind of process builds trust.
  • The tuk tuk experiment validates the hypothesis that empowering people to take ownership of their health and wellbeing is desirable to the community and people.


  • Philippines have focussed their experiment on one solution area (pre-testing) and a specific city (Tacloban). While the experiment has significant leapfrog potential (could catalyse systems innovation), progress has been slow due to Covid and the ability to access the province. The technical nature of the proposed experiment also created dependency on local government support, which is a slow process. An ongoing question will be whether this could have been accelerated with a wider and earlier local experiment team engagement.

Sustainability & Scale

  • The RT process and experts have been accelerators, but this needs to be made more scalable.
  • Could we have involved more people earlier in this process?
  • How could we have used this to activate a more diverse and self-sustaining network of inspired people?
  • We can scale some things now, but not others:
  • What we can scale now is the conversation on ecosystem change and mindset required: Rapid adaptation and multiple, rapid experimentation; People/behaviour focussed vs technical solution; Engage a broad and diverse group; Holding the bold intent, alongside a messy, feet on the ground experimentation process.
  • Local Roche Teams are willing to take on an ecosystem mindset.
  • When we have lots of countries trying this approach, we’ll have achieved significant scale and impact.
  • How can this now be activated?

People & leadership

  • People feeling connected to the purpose is critical – this is a purpose inspired initiative that also requires deep curiosity and openness.
  • Internal composition: Boldness + practical project resource.
  • Seniority is critical – needs to be led by senior leaders, otherwise will be overtaken by day-to-day demands.
  • Adaptive challenge requires adaptive leadership – asking penetrating questions, connecting observations and insights from different perspectives and combining them into new ideas and possibilities that result in a system change.

Next Steps

Step 1
Establish POV on how to scale ML to other countries, taking account of lessons learned.
Step 2
Determine how to take the lessons of current experiments, and link to the next set of experiments, sustainably.
Step 3
Assess how we would apply this method to other circumstances, eg Disease Areas.
Step 4
Share learning wiath Roche in the form of “what you need to know if you are going to try this”.