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Career Journey  Learning

Investing In Our Leaders To Be The Best

By Ben Lamont, Senior Director of Global
Learning & Leadership Development

Kellanova Center of Excellence Team for Talent
& Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Ben Lamont of Kellanova, kicking leg to the side

At Kellanova, we believe that Leadership Development is not only a key driver of business success, but also vital in creating our Culture of Best. That's why we have a dedicated team focused on designing and delivering world-class learning solutions for our current and future leaders. Leading that team is Ben Lamont, the Senior Director of Global Learning & Leadership Development. In this blog post, we interviewed Ben with questions that “pull back the curtain” on Leadership Development at Kellanova alongside Ben’s personal insights.

How did you come to be passionate about Leadership Development?

Many of us fall into our area of passion, don’t we? I’m no different. After 10 years in Sales at the start of my career, I realized the excitement and passion I found seeing others grow, develop, and become their best. I've always been captivated by the power of learning and development. In a world where the margins of competition are becoming increasingly narrow, I strongly believe that people make the difference.

Back to my career journey—when I had the chance to take a role in HR, I took it with excitement. I saw it as my chance to directly contribute to the organizational approach to growing and developing its people. I’m now approaching my 15th anniversary at Kellanova, and I’m simply grateful. As I worked hard to deliver great offerings in this area along these past 15 years, I was rewarded with an increasing amount of opportunity from one role to the next. Eventually, leading me to my current role of Senior Director of Global Learning & Leadership Development.

How does Kellanova approach Leadership Development?

Everything (not just leadership development) starts with our aspiration of our Culture of Best. So, what does best look like in this area? I’m convinced it’s never “one size fits all”, but rather “one size fits no one.” From functional and technical skills to people management and executive development, our goal is to tailor our resources and programs to the individual at their career stage. We absolutely desire to create a “learning for all” culture. That means no matter who you are and what your job looks like, you are committed to growth through continuous learning.

“I’m convinced it’s never “one size fits all”, but rather “one size fits no one.”

Another focus for us is the pivotal role leaders play in turning our company's values and culture on paper into a real, lived experience. Their influence on cultural norms, team engagement and performance cannot be understated. Recognizing the varying challenges leaders face throughout their careers, we aim to provide learning experiences that are rooted in our values, globally consistent, and locally relevant.

Kellanova Excellence Team seated in auditorium

Here I am with a group of HR colleagues at the Cornell HR Future Leaders Program—a fantastic experience for us all!

 

Can you share examples of tailored Leadership Development?

One of the areas we're proud of is how we support our first-time people managers. We have a program in every region of the world for those transitioning from individual contributors to people leaders, providing them with the essential skills and tools to thrive as they “step up” to their new roles. It delves into vital areas such as team development, performance management, and how to leverage Kellanova's resources for career progression. It empowers our managers of people to excel and embody our company values, and our participants continue to share positive feedback for the program.

Another area of focus for leadership development is to nurture our high potential talent and future strategic leaders. For those poised to take on larger roles, the focus is on accelerating readiness and investing in career development, recognizing that these individuals are the torchbearers of tomorrow's Kellanova. Again, going back to the tailored learning approach, we have multiple leadership development programs with a variety of focuses such as:

-             Owning your personal leadership brand

-              Strengthening internal support network and role models

-              Partnering with esteemed business schools and coaches to drive innovation and growth

-              Developing and engaging the people within your team

KNA Accelerate Program Senior Leaders Mobile

A recent cohort from our “Accelerate” leadership program designed to prepare participants for future
Strategic Leadership assignments through meaningful sessions with our senior leaders.

What’s on the horizon for leadership development?

We’re always evolving in this space, but there are three focuses that stand clear for me.

1. Everything stems from culture. It’s the difference that gives a company its edge over the others. Simply put, we need to ensure the leaders we develop and hire are 100% bought into our vision of being the world’s best snacks led powerhouse and the culture of best we’re fostering. All of our learning and development efforts will be grounded in that cultural aspiration.

2. Listen to your employees, and design with them in mind. Obviously, that’s not new or groundbreaking, but it’s just as critical as it’s always been. For example, we heard that learning goals need to flex to the life of our people, not the other way around. With that insight, we recently invested in an on-the-go learning solution that offers bite-sized content in a variety of formats. The employee response has been positive, and we’re always excited when we get that reaction from our people

3. Leading through unpredictability is guaranteed, and the pace of innovation is faster than ever. Especially in spaces like AI, wellness, sustainability, etc. We’ll absolutely be focused on ensuring our people and teams have that continuous learning mindset that promotes courage, adaptability, and permission to fail. It’s essential for our growth and agility as a company.

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