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Kevin Williams' view

"I don't know of Kevin Williamsany other companies that are involved in a programme of this quality in terms of what it teaches our staff."
Kevin Williams, former Head of Global Asset Management, Syngenta


THE BEST in the world - that's the verdict of a intermational company on the training programme offered by WMG.

Kevin Williams, head of global asset management at leading agri-business Syngenta in Basle, Switzerland, says: "I don't know of any other companies that are involved in a programme of this quality in terms of what it teaches our staff.

"It is a very thorough and cost-effective way of making sure that our first-level managers are the best-trained in the industry."

The company, a leader in crop protection, was formed in 2000 from the merger of the agribusiness arms of pharmaceutical giants AstraZeneca and Novartis. Links with WMG were already strong, with employees joining the Manufacturing Professionalism Programme developed in the mid 1990s in the days of the Zeneca group.

Kevin says that with the company enjoying a high profile in Europe, North America, and, increasingly in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific regions, staff have benefited from the 'cultural and geographical diversity' of the WMG set-up. In terms of being able to set their company in a global context, the modules on strategic decision making and leading change/improving personal performance are of huge benefit, according to Kevin, who is Syngenta's representative on the steering group. And the programme is ideally tailored to enable managers in his particular industry to grapple with the demands of today's health and safety-driven climate.

"We have to look at making sure that the people in charge of high-capacity and highly-hazardous installations are well trained in order to do the job needed in modern society.

"We are looking at innovation and change, and maintaining the balance in terms of health and safety can be a difficult juggling act. The programme is an essential way of helping line managers deal with these issues on a daily basis.

"Production management is always a very busy, activity-driven role and this helps people to get a better perspective on what their company is trying to do."