As a HR director, my mission is to make sure that our company is not only ready for today, but also for the challenges it will be facing tomorrow. Identifying the future leaders in the company – those who have both the business credentials and the personal qualities to be on the succession path as future C-level executives – is only part of it. 20 years ago, we may have gotten away with just focusing on ensuring our top talents could make money for the company, but it’s no longer so simple. It is crucial to make sure that these young professionals are developed in a way that not only maximises their potential but does so in a way that ensures they understand the importance of protecting the future of the planet and its people. 

As millennials and Gen Z’ers gain ever greater purchasing power, as they begin to make up larger and larger percentages of our internal teams and our customer bases, we must reflect on what’s important to them. And, there is enough evidence now to show that people want to buy from, and work for, companies that have a purpose and are committed to long-term sustainability over short-term profits. Fail to provide it, and they will walk away from your brand and your employment.

It is, therefore, important that any internal or external training programmes include this crucial element. And, while internal programmes can offer much in the way of company-specific information, I have found over recent years that there is no better place for our future leaders to get the global perspective than at The Consumer Goods Forum’s FLP event. This has now become the foundation for our external training programme, as it offers a truly unique opportunity for our top talents to network with their industry peers from around the world and learn leadership lessons from the very best CEOs and experts. There are also a host of hands-on, interactive activities and workshops that bring the issues to light and allow for engaging dialogue and solution-finding. It’s a great event that I know our future leaders are clamouring to be a part of.

Of course, for us, the professionals we choose for our leadership fast-track, besides a proven record and a great potential, also need to be committed to purpose. We need to ensure the long-term sustainability of our company and we expect our future c-level executives to already be in this head space.  

More specifically, when we are discussing who we should send to external training programmes like the FLP, we are thinking:

  • Who among our workforce are recognised as the rising stars?
  • Who has been recognised for extraordinary achievements?
  • Who has the potential to join our executive management team?
  • Who has already proven they can manage a business unit or brand effectively?
  • Who has clearly demonstrated they have a global perspective to our business and a motivation for learning?
  • Who has already proven their worth as a leader and team-player?

It’s important we find the right people if we are to secure our future. We also need to be conscious that there are a lot of external programmes out there, so we want to make sure we choose the right one: one that generates maximum return on investment, and that allows our people to return fully energised and raring to go. And, importantly, to report back and share their learnings with other staff. This is a key part of the leadership journey.

It’s for all these reasons that we here at Migros rely on the CGF’s future leaders event, the FLP. It exists to create a network of young leaders that together can build a sustainable future for the consumer goods industry. Everyone involved, including the delegates, are committed to helping us tackle how and why. This is why I will continue to send my rising stars to this great event, and I encourage you to do the same: for everyone’s future.

The #2018FLP will be taking place in Berlin from 18th-20th October.

Demir Aytaç
Chief Human Resource Officer