Article: Engage with employees for leadership development: D. Narain


Engage with employees for leadership development: D. Narain

People strategy is core to our business strategy. Our constant endeavour is to enhance employee capabilities to adapt and excel in a dynamic environment

Our competitive edge is our diverse team and most of my time is spent engaging with my colleagues across levels


Monsanto offers a place where individuals can be proud to grow and make a difference every day with early responsibilities, stimulating cross-functional challenges, a creative and encouraging environment, providing a platform for success. Our company reflects the cultures, ideas and interests of all the customers we serve and the communities we touch, while integrating those important perspectives into every area of our business. Hence, we prioritize leadership development and skill enhancement as part of our people development efforts, which have remained our key focus areas over the years. We have helped customize and enhance capabilities based on emerging challenges of our business, equipping our people to be able to connect with a wide group of stakeholders. Our modus operandi has been re-alignment of ideas, customization of skill sets required help our people serve millions of farmers in an ever demanding agriculture environment. This requires strong leadership skills coupled with passion and commitment which has led us to focus on these priorities.

The people strategy is core to our business strategy. Being a people-focused organization, our constant endeavor has been to enhance their skill sets and capabilities to adapt and excel in a dynamic and challenging environment. For us, 2011 is a stepping stone towards the future as we launch advanced technologies to help farmers address their problems on the field effectively and earn higher yields and incomes by improving productivity. As we enter this important phase, we are geared to find new and more creative ways of building capabilities to be able to launch newer technologies that will enable us to respond to some of the agriculture challenges of the country.

The culture at Monsanto is entrepreneurial and team-oriented, encouraging colleagues to take greater responsibility for their careers, and to grow both personally and professionally. Our competitive edge is our diverse team. With our open culture, non-hierarchical structure and uninhibited feedback mechanism, we provide our colleagues a favorable work environment to help them do their best to make a difference and be the change agents of the organization. I spend most of my time in engaging with my colleagues across levels and focusing on leadership development to help people grow in their careers.

Being closely involved with my HR team, I am aware of the practices and initiatives undertaken for the benefit of my colleagues. However, there could be scope to involve better in HR operations, where there is an opportunity to measure impact of the sum of our initiatives. Prioritization remains the key – between focusing on the business needs and complexities and other key business critical initiatives.

As an organization, we are committed to people development and are constantly innovating to help them do better professionally and personally. We are guided by our ‘Global Competencies’ of developing and maintaining relationships and networks, acting with courage and candor, developing initiative and foresight, being agile and focused on result orientation. These global competencies are reflected across all our goal sheets. 50% of my performance depends on how well I manage my team. That explains the criticality and the importance accorded to people development.

Therefore, HR is an important business partner and goes beyond just the delivery of HR capabilities. With their strong networking capabilities, both internally and externally, they provide us with the right pulse of the organization internally and help map opportunities and better equip us with challenges from the outside world. To that end, they greatly add value to the larger organization.

HR forms an integral part of our goal setting process. The team is involved at the micro level to understand the needs and objectives of each role, the business environment it operates in and the complexities it has to deal with. Being a unique business that requires a strong understanding of the rural segment, the science of agriculture, implications of the environment on the business and understanding of farmer needs, it is important to set realistic and stretched goals so that every individual has the opportunity to perform and excel in their respective roles. HR, in our organization, plays the critical role of the enabler to help make this possible.

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Topics: C-Suite, Strategic HR, Culture

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