Mentor Group was engaged to develop a programme to build the skills of middle managers to drive the implementation of corporate strategy through great people leadership and by engagement in personal development.
Syngenta is a world-leading agri-business committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology, they employ over 26,000 people in 90 countries with sales of over $13.25B. They wanted to place people leadership at the core of their middle managers role, engage them in personal development and filling the gap between Senior Leadership and First level Leadership programmes. This would help them translate Syngentas’ organisational strategy into tangible actions
Mentor investigated & assessed the situation & developed a programme that would actively engage middle managers in developing their leadership skills, using them to proactively manage their teams and implement Syngenta’s corporate strategy. The programme was designed to encourage collaboration & to actively involve line managers in the development of their delegates.
- The managers of delegates were briefed to explain the expectations of them & they were highly involved throughout the programme with scheduled reviews
- Delegate self-assessment and manager assessment of development needs were followed by 1 to 1 discussion to prioritise development needs, agree objectives and decide on programme module choices
- Delegate ‘buddy groups’ were established to provide peer support and coaching with Mentor consultants who also carried out interactive online reviews, measuring achievement of objectives & the impact of these actions on the business.
The programme is on-going, so final results have not yet been collated. Initial feedback has been very positive form both delegates and managers. The delegates “Learning Journey” document reviewed with their managers shows their progress and evidence of improved business performance.
Delegates’ achievements to date (examples)
- Successfully dealing with performance issues
- Greater collaboration between team members
- Effective delegation and development of people releasing the delegate to focus more on planning and longer term strategy
- Improved team performance in terms of delivery under pressure, morale, going the extra mile, independent problem solving, showing initiative, cross-fertilisation of ideas
- Resolving conflict, in particular, winning over stakeholders for projects who had been resistant
- Managing a complex network of relationships to deliver projects
- Influencing upwards resulting in proposals being accepted or decisions being shaped by delegates
- Increased confidence and credibility resulting in delegates being able to: communicate difficult messages; handle challenges from others; notice that their advice/ counsel is pro-actively sought out by others; voice their views more openly
Managers of delegates, comments to date (examples)
- "He is now more analytical and thoughtful in his decision making and demonstrates more ambition. He has really stepped forward."
- " She is very open to feedback and her progress is very noticeable. She is now much more self-aware and able to manage her responses."
- "He is getting better results because he expresses himself clearly, really seeing a difference in the focus of team."
- "She has really established herself as a leader and in particular her ability to influence at a higher level"
- "He is better able to manage the unexpected and cope with ambiguity"
- "I have seen her "light bulb" moments as she puts things into practice"
- "He is much better at providing feedback which is clear and motivational