Article: Terumo global CHRO Tomoko Adachi shares must-haves for leadership development


Terumo global CHRO Tomoko Adachi shares must-haves for leadership development

In an exclusive conversation with us, Tomoko Adachi, Global CHRO, Terumo Corporation, provides insights on fostering talent, driving innovation, and shaping the future of healthcare on a global scale.
Terumo global CHRO Tomoko Adachi shares must-haves for leadership development

Beyond conventional training, fostering a sense of community among participants, and networks across cohorts are essentials of leadership development, says Tomoko Adachi, the Global Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) of Terumo Corporation in an exclusive interaction with People Matters. Tomoko who comes with more than 30 years of industry experience in leadership roles in Japan, the US, and Europe believes that interconnectedness empowers emerging leaders to collaborate on global projects, tap into diverse perspectives, and collectively address business challenges across geographies.

Can you outline the company's strategy for developing a robust pipeline of global leaders by 2026?

We have embarked on a five-year corporate-wide growth strategy “GS26”, initiated in 2022. Aligned with our business objectives, the HR team is diligently crafting a robust HR strategy to support our anticipated business expansion by 2026. Given our status as a rapidly growing global organisation operating in 160 countries and regions, our workforce, whom we refer to as associates, represents a crucial asset, both globally and in India.

To ensure a steady leadership pipeline capable of navigating our dynamic landscape, we have instituted a comprehensive framework of global leadership development programs. These programs complement local leadership initiatives across our entities, enriching talent at various organizational tiers.

Also, we offer the Global Business Unit Leadership Program, nurturing individuals poised to assume leadership roles at the global level, steering key segments of our operations towards visionary outcomes. The subsequent level comprises talent earmarked for leadership within our entities, such as Terumo in India or Indonesia, to name a few. Lastly, our entry-level Global Leadership Development Program for emerging talents caters to professionals with two to seven years of experience, fostering their growth and igniting their contributions to Terumo's future.

Beyond conventional training, these programs foster a sense of community among participants, fostering networks across cohorts and program tiers. This interconnectedness empowers our emerging leaders to collaborate on global projects, tap into diverse perspectives, and collectively address business challenges across geographies.

In essence, our approach to building a global leadership pipeline extends beyond skill development; it fosters a cohesive community of leaders poised to propel Terumo towards sustained success on the global stage.

How does the leadership development program align with the company's long-term goals and vision for growth in the global marketplace?

Our people strategies are a cornerstone of Terumo’s growth strategy and integral to our success. In navigating the evolving landscape of healthcare, we are transitioning from device-focused approaches to holistic solutions, anticipating paradigm shifts within medical settings. This necessitates a proactive stance towards transformational activities, even as we maintain our trajectory as a steadily growing organisation.

In this context, we're actively cultivating key capabilities essential for tomorrow's leaders. Firstly, in recognition of our status as a global and diverse company, we prioritise the development of leaders who excel in building cohesive teams and fostering collaboration across diverse backgrounds. Effective leadership in this regard hinges on strong interpersonal and organisational skills, which we deem indispensable for driving our businesses toward success.

Moreover, echoing the imperative for transformation, we underscore the importance of instilling a visionary mindset and fostering managerial courage among our leaders. As we embark on initiatives aimed at catalysing change, the ability to articulate and drive a shared vision within our organization becomes paramount. This entails navigating complexities and uncertainties with conviction, ensuring that our efforts align with our overarching business strategy.

In essence, our focus on nurturing leaders who possess both people-centric and visionary attributes underscores our commitment to adapting and thriving in an ever-evolving healthcare landscape. Through these concerted efforts, we aim to not only anticipate but also shape the future of healthcare delivery, guided by our unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation.

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What are the current challenges in developing a new generation of leaders? How do you plan to address them for a company that is present globally in more than 160 countries?

I perceive both a challenge and an opportunity to engage with the talents of Generation Z. This cohort demonstrates a pronounced eagerness for growth and development opportunities, a trait that resonates deeply with our organisational ethos.

At Terumo, we stand as an attractive prospect for this generation due to our unwavering commitment to fostering growth opportunities for our associates and our steadfast adherence to our mission and core values. Our dedication to contributing meaningfully to society through healthcare resonates profoundly with those who seek purpose in their endeavours.

We take immense pride in our role as a life science organization, delivering medical devices that directly impact the well-being of patients worldwide. Our enduring commitment to sustainability underscores our dedication to serving our customers and patients responsibly and ethically.

While we acknowledge that organisational transformation cannot occur overnight to cater exclusively to the needs of Generation Z, we firmly believe that Terumo embodies elements that naturally align with the aspirations of this emerging workforce. Through our steadfast dedication to growth, purpose, and societal impact, we remain poised to attract and empower the talents of Generation Z, fostering a culture of innovation and excellence that transcends generational boundaries.

What defines the growth mindset required by the company? How are you cultivating the growth mindset needed for the company across various levels of the organisation?

The concept of a growth mindset is foundational to our global approach at Terumo, resonating deeply with our organisational culture. Inspired by the insights of Professor Carol Dweck, we embrace the belief that individual capabilities are not fixed from the outset but can be cultivated and expanded with the right mindset, attitude, and effort.

Central to our ethos is the understanding that the growth of our organisation is intrinsically linked to the growth of each associate. Therefore, fostering a culture of continuous learning and development is paramount to our collective success.

To embody the principles of a growth mindset in our daily endeavours, we emphasise three core habits:

Experiment: We encourage our associates to embrace experimentation as a means of driving innovation and improvement. Recognising that not every attempt will yield immediate success, we celebrate the courage to explore new approaches and the resilience to learn from setbacks.

Value Progress: Acknowledging and celebrating progress is vital in sustaining momentum and motivation. By regularly assessing our journey and highlighting the strides made, we reinforce the importance of incremental growth and set the stage for continued advancement.

Learn from Others: We recognise the immense value in learning from the experiences and insights of others. Encouraging collaboration and knowledge-sharing across teams and departments, we foster a culture where feedback is welcomed and sought-after, enabling continuous refinement and improvement.

By embracing these three habits, we empower our associates to embody the principles of a growth mindset in their day-to-day work. Together, we strive to ignite a collective engine of learning, innovation, and progress, driving us toward our shared vision of excellence and success.

How do the expectations regarding growth mindset vary between top leadership and associates within the organisation?

The expectations regarding a growth mindset are foundational for both top leadership and associates within our organisation, albeit with nuanced differences in emphasis and execution.

At the leadership level, there is a heightened responsibility to role model and champion the principles of a growth mindset. Leaders play a pivotal role in creating a culture where experimentation, learning from mistakes, and continuous improvement are not only accepted but encouraged. They set the tone for the organisation, reinforcing the belief that growth is achievable through the right attitude, effort, and resilience. By fostering an environment where associates feel empowered to take calculated risks and explore new possibilities, leaders contribute significantly to the organisation's overall success.

For associates across all levels, embracing a growth mindset involves proactive engagement and initiative-taking. While leaders provide guidance and direction, associates are encouraged to take ownership of their development journey. They are empowered to experiment, suggest innovative solutions, and engage in constructive dialogue to drive positive change within their respective domains. Associates need to recognise that a growth mindset is not merely a theoretical concept but a practical approach to achieving our collective goals and fulfilling our organisational mission.

In terms of training and resources, we have implemented a structured approach to cultivate a growth mindset across diverse teams. Starting with our top leadership cohort, we conducted keynote lectures and training sessions to introduce and reinforce the principles of a growth mindset. Subsequently, we cascaded this training to our broader leadership community, ensuring alignment and buy-in at all levels. Additionally, each organisational unit has designated a growth mindset executive champion tasked with promoting and integrating growth mindset principles within their respective teams. This approach fosters ownership and accountability at the local level while ensuring consistency and alignment with organizational objectives.

Regular reviews and assessments of these initiatives are integral to their success and effectiveness. By evaluating their impact and gathering feedback from stakeholders, we can refine and adapt our approach to better meet the evolving needs of our organisation and its diverse workforce. Through this iterative process of learning and improvement, we remain committed to fostering a culture of growth, innovation, and excellence at every level of our organization.

How do you measure the effectiveness of leadership development programs and initiatives within the organisation?

Measuring the effectiveness of leadership development programs and initiatives within the organisation is essential for ensuring that our investment in talent development yields meaningful results and contributes to our overall success.

One of the key ways we gauge the effectiveness of these programs is through regular, structured evaluations and assessments. This includes collecting feedback from program participants, mentors, and key stakeholders to understand their perceptions of the program's impact on leadership skills, competencies, and behaviours. We use surveys, interviews, and focus groups to gather qualitative and quantitative data, allowing us to identify strengths, areas for improvement, and opportunities for refinement.

In conjunction with these evaluations, we also track tangible outcomes and indicators of success, such as promotions, career advancements, and retention rates among program participants. By monitoring these metrics over time, we can assess the long-term impact of our leadership development initiatives on individual growth and organisational performance.

Furthermore, our annual talent review process serves as a critical mechanism for assessing the effectiveness of leadership development efforts. During these discussions, our top executives convene to evaluate the progress and potential of high-potential talent within the organisation. Through candid dialogues and comprehensive assessments, we identify emerging leaders, pinpoint development needs, and chart pathways for career advancement and succession planning.

Additionally, we recognise the importance of fostering a culture of continuous learning and growth mindset within our organisation. By providing ongoing training, coaching, and support, we empower leaders at all levels to embrace new challenges, cultivate resilience, and drive innovation. We monitor participation rates, engagement levels, and feedback from training sessions and workshops to gauge the effectiveness of our efforts in promoting a growth-oriented mindset among our leadership cadre.

Ultimately, the success of our leadership development programs is measured not only by the skills and capabilities of individual leaders but also by their collective impact on organisational performance, culture, and strategic goals. Through a holistic and data-driven approach to assessment and evaluation, we strive to continuously enhance the effectiveness and relevance of our talent development initiatives, ensuring that we remain agile, adaptive, and poised for sustained success in an ever-evolving business landscape.

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Topics: Leadership, #HRCommunity

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