Sucrogen case study

From 2010 – 2012, Sucrogen partnered with Melbourne Business School-Mt Eliza Executive Education to create their Senior Managers Development Program.

The challenge

In 2010, Sucrogen, the largest raw sugar producer and refiner in Australia, was bought by Wilmar International—Asia’s leading agribusiness group.

This brought many new challenges for the Cane Products business in Northern Queensland, and it was therefore decided to invest in a development program to equip the mill operators with the new skills required to deal successfully with the new owners.

The program

The 3-day residential program consisted of 3 key topics, each delivered by a world leading expert in that field:
  • Thinking strategically and engaging with complexity
  • Cognitive biases in decision-making: the use of 'gut feel' in a decision-making and innovative context
  • Reading the Sucrogen balance sheet and asking the right questions

The Program Director highlighted the interrelationship between the various topics, with particular emphasis on leading across boundaries and silos. Working in groups, participants then applied their new skills and insights via strategic projects back in the workplace. 

The impact

Via the strategic projects, participants:
  • Created a new Cane Products communication strategy
  • Addressed issues of recruitment and retention across the business
  • Rebuilt the relationship with growers to be more collaborative and partnership-based
  • Streamlined the business' decision-making processes to reduce bureaucracy and increase accountability

Participant comments included:
  • "This is the best leadership development program I have ever been a part of."
  • "Most impressive were the presenters and the calibre, pitch and material were on the money. Brilliant on all levels. Relevant and business-specific. Activities and work shopping highly thought provoking and pragmatic."