Digital Acceleration Lead

Basel, Basel, Switzerland

Ref#: 12345714351

Date published: 21-May-2018



In 2017 Syngenta established the Syngenta Digital team to drive forward the organisation’s global digital transformation. This team works with senior executives across the organisation to design initiatives that will radically accelerate the organisation’s digital journey. As a Digital Acceleration Lead you will have the opportunity to lead a team that combines robust research and analysis of Syngenta’s business, with the creativity and lean approaches deployed by the start-up community to align Syngenta’s leadership around a digital vision, and develop a portfolio of initiatives which will enable them to deliver it in rapidly changing markets.




·        Syngenta Digital stewardship: Responsible for representing Syngenta Digital and the Acceleration group to the regions and functions, selling in the value of the team and identifying relevant opportunities for the Acceleration group to deliver

·        Programme leadership: Responsible for managing a programme of acceleration projects. DALs will work across multiple workstreams, supporting Digital Acceleration Managers to define and deliver work packages as part of the broader Syngenta Digital priorities. This role would have a particular focus on negotiating challenging outcomes with senior level management

·        Guiding research and analysis: Overseeing research efforts conducted by Digital Acceleration Leads to support workstreams, including providing feedback on approaches and outcomes, and selling in approaches to internal stakeholders

·        Workshops and presentations: Providing leadership and an expert digital perspective within workshops or senior-level presentations

·        Thought leadership: Contributing to Syngenta Digital’s thought leadership, including identifying needs within the business and opportunities to partner with internal SMEs to ensure research efforts create maximum possible impact




·        Responsible for driving future profitable growth for Syngenta through digital, and for managing a sub-section of the annual Acceleration budget

·        Direct reports:  Initially three, likely to scale within 12 months

·        Indirect reports: Employee to work within Syngenta Digital (~40 employees, plan to expand), within the Digital Acceleration workstream

·        Geographic Scope: (The geographic scope of the job can either be global, regional, territory, country or site)

·        Regional focus, with global reach




·        The role will involve complex stakeholder management – with a focus on negotiating work packages and outcomes for junior team members with senior stakeholders

·        There will be a high degree of uncertainty involved within the role, and candidates will need to bring clarity to support the Digital Acceleration Managers on the team.

·        Candidates will need to perform as experts in digital, and support the transformation of the organisation across a many different environments and senior stakeholders. They will need to be able to apply this expertise to stretch and challenge the thinking of a broad range of stakeholders.




Digital Acceleration Leads come from all backgrounds, but to succeed they will need to be demonstrate outstanding stakeholder leadership, exhibit mastery in their understanding of digital and innovation, and be creative in their approach to problem solving. They will have:


·        8+ years work experience in a commercial or advisory role, including extensive experience leading complex engagements

·        Agronomic industry experience, with a strong understanding for the workings of the industry

·        Mastery of digital and innovation

·        An understanding of the requirements to transform agriculture into a digital-first industry

·        Ability to lead a programme of workstreams effectively and manage a supporting team


Additional desirable experience includes:


·        Entrepreneurial background

·        Experience presenting challenging content in board-level environments

·        Experience in international contexts


Education and Critical Knowledge


·        A strong academic record including an undergraduate degree from a top university

·        Additional relevant qualifications (e.g. Masters Degree, MBA) a plus but not mandatory


Experience to be gained in the job


New hires into Syngenta Digital will undergo a formal onboarding training plan that will include topics such as:


·        Mastery of the Digital Economy

·        Onboarding with Syngenta Digital leadership team, as well as Regional/Functional leadership

·        Lean structured thinking techniques for ideation

·        Syngenta Digital frameworks for breaking down and understanding innovations

·        Applying lean startup to building new ventures

·        Shaping Digital Organisations and Digital Culture

·        Managing programmes and teams with Agile techniques


Functionally the role will provide experience in:


·        Programme leadership

·        Managing the creation and delivery of digital strategies, digital initiatives and culture

·        Senior stakeholder leadership

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