Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Local Business Leaders to Discuss “Building Great Companies – That Last”

Local business leaders will gather at the 2011 N.C. CEO Forum on Wednesday, Aug. 10 at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. Sandra Peterson, chairman of the Board of Management for Bayer CropScience (http://www.bayercropscience.us), will be a featured speaker in the “Process: Innovation & Operational Excellence” segment and offered some insight on her upcoming presentation as well as the future of business in the Triangle.

This marks the second year that Bayer CropScience has served as a title sponsor of the N.C. CEO Forum, tell me about why your company chooses to sponsor.
SP: This event offered a unique opportunity to connect with other leaders in many business sectors from across the North Carolina business community. The participants are dedicated to helping North Carolina grow jobs and build its presence on the national and international scene. With our North American headquarters in the Triangle, this focused event is a great chance to build on our relationships and knowledge of other North Carolina business leaders.”

You are speaking about The Process: Innovation & Operational Excellence.  Can you give me a preview of what you plan to discuss?
SP: I believe that no matter what business you’re in, success depends on the extent to which you leverage and balance the strength of customer-centric innovation and continuous improvement. I’ll also share some real-world examples and lessons learned during my 30-years in business in the spirit of continuous improvement. 

The main focus of the 2011 N.C. CEO Forum is “Building Great Companies – That Last”.  What do you feel Bayer CropScience has done well to position itself as a thought leader on this subject?
SP: We have a long-history of innovation and process improvement.  We have many pockets of excellence and our opportunity is to extend these across the company.  For this reason, at Bayer CropScience, we are focusing on a dual approach of customer-centric innovation and continuous improvement.  In the past year, I’ve witnessed a huge improvement in decision-making processes, and our approach to innovation as we increase our customer centric thinking across all lines of business. Employees are shifting their focus from just talking about what to do toward urgency-fuelled action. The journey is far from over, but as Jim Collins says, it’s all about continuous improvement. 

What do you see as the future for business in the Triangle and North Carolina as a whole?
SP: From our company’s perspective, we have committed to continued investment in the Triangle with the announcement of our new 60,000 square foot greenhouse. I hope we continue to see growth across other sectors as well from higher education, to the high-tech to the start-ups that are in this area. The Triangle offers a great mix of government, academia, and business all in one-location. Add to that the access to superb talent and the diverse culture and this is a fruitful place to do business. 

For more information on the 2011 N.C. CEO Forum and a complete conference agenda, visit http://www.ncceoforum.com.

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