13 DECEMBER, 2023


Nutrien Ag Solutions is a global agricultural powerhouse that excels in a wide range of farming services, from marketing livestock and wool to providing agricultural services, water, finance, insurance, merchandise, and real estate. During 2022 they embarked on a leadership development journey by partnering with DeakinCo.

Their mission was to create a customised capability framework that would not only align with their 2025 strategic goals but be flexible enough to address critical and future capability gaps across the organisation to meet the strategic needs and growth of their business.

Rethinking strategy and culture

In recent years, Nutrien Ag Solutions had undergone a series of acquisitions, which required a re-evaluation of their strategic direction and corporate culture. They recognised the importance of defining the capabilities necessary to align with their strategy and instill the desired culture throughout the organisation. This was a pivotal moment for Nutrien Ag Solutions, as it allowed them to bridge the gap between their purpose, values, and cultural aspirations.

In partnering with DeakinCo

When it came to choosing a partner to address their complex challenges, Nutrien Ag Solutions turned to DeakinCo. Their selection was underpinned by DeakinCo.’s wealth of industry experience and their unique ability to assess capabilities of leadership. The partnership opportunity with DeakinCo. stood out for its ability to measure and assess capabilities comprehensively.

Building a global framework

The project initially began with a focus on the Australian team but quickly expanded to become a global initiative. With over 24,000 employees, the decision to implement the framework globally was a testament to its efficacy. A global framework allowed Nutrien Ag Solutions to share talent seamlessly across different countries, consistently identify learning needs, provide a uniform learning experience, and foster a cohesive culture across the organisation. It also empowered their staff by offering a clear career progression pathway which, in turn, enhanced staff retention.

Implementation and learning programs

When the journey with DeakinCo. progressed to the implementation phase of the capability framework, Nutrien Ag Solutions worked closely with DeakinCo. to develop and deliver leadership programs across three levels in the organisation. These programs were designed not only to address current capabilities but also to prepare Nutrien Ag Solutions for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

“We wanted to focus on being able to measure and assess against our capabilities. We had redefined our strategic intentions and we were clear around the culture we aimed to foster. This clarity allowed us to identify the capabilities that our leaders needed to guide us on the journey.” – Shelley Nolan, Director of Human Resources, Nutrien Ag Solutions.

Developing a capability framework has had a positive impact on Nutrien Ag Solutions. It has enabled the organisation to channel their learning investment more strategically. By pinpointing areas that require development and understanding where they need to invest for maximum value, Nutrien Ag Solutions has enhanced the effectiveness of their learning initiatives.

Building on the framework, Nutrien Ag Solutions also developed a bank of recruitment questions. These questions ensured that they were hiring individuals with the right capabilities to contribute effectively to the organisation’s mission and business strategy. This alignment between recruitment and the capability framework has strengthened Nutrien Ag Solutions’ workforce and positioned them for future success.

DeakinCo.’s valuable contribution

Throughout this journey, DeakinCo. has been a steadfast partner, providing guidance, expertise, and solutions. Nutrien Ag Solutions has been delighted with the process and project outcomes, which have culminated in a successful ongoing partnership. The collaboration has not only addressed the organisation’s immediate challenges but also positioned them for long-term growth and resilience.

“DeakinCo. has been instrumental in shaping our organisation’s future. In developing our capability framework and leadership programs we have created a solid foundation for growth. As our business transforms and evolves, it is imperative that we focus our learning investments where they truly matter, and DeakinCo. has helped us achieve that.” – Shelley Nolan, Director of Human Resources, Nutrien Ag Solutions.

Whilst the program is still underway, the partnership between Nutrien Ag Solutions and DeakinCo. has been a resounding success. By addressing critical capability gaps, and providing an iterative and transparent measurement tool, the organisation can now collect and analyse data to ensure that their learning initiatives are targeting the right capabilities and providing a measurable organisational return on investment.

“By collaborating closely with Nutrien Ag Solutions, we have delivered tangible outcomes, actively supporting the implementation of their envisioned culture. The success of this partnership underscores the power of strategic learning and development in driving sustainable growth and resilience. We are proud to have played a pivotal role in shaping Nutrien Ag Solutions’ development roadmap and creating a solid foundation for their continued success.” – Angela Girton, Acting CEO, DeakinCo.

Looking ahead, Nutrien Ag Solutions is strategically poised for success, thanks to the transformational journey driven by this partnership. This journey serves as a testament to the effectiveness of strategic learning and development in achieving success.

To learn more about DeakinCo. leadership programs and how we can support your organisation, contact our team.