I didn’t grow up in Minneapolis-St. Paul, but realized right away when I moved here what a special place it is—18 Fortune 500 companies don’t cluster in a Midwestern city for no reason. I believe one of the main drivers of their interest in the area is the University of Minnesota. I wanted to support the school and become engaged in its talent development for the region to help build for the future.
It’s probably not fair to say “everything.” But I’m going to say it anyway. I am truly excited about the future of the school and the direction it’s heading.
Policinski speaks at the Academy of International Business’ 60th anniversary celebration last June in Minneapolis. At the event, he was recognized as the International Executive of the Year. This award honors business leaders who have significantly improved the reputation and performance of their respective firms on the international stage.
Our headquarters is less than 10 miles from the University of Minnesota campus and 20 percent of our employees came out of the U. Land O’Lakes is a growth company in a growth industry and we need talent to fuel that growth. It’s simply a good strategic marriage.
I talked about the opportunity of feeding the booming global population, the challenge of having to do so with diminishing resources and tools, and the obligation of telling the great story of American agriculture. And, most importantly, I told the graduates I knew they were prepared and I believed they could do it.
Policinski celebrates with University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler and Goldy Gopher when it was announced that Land O’Lakes, Inc. and the Land O’Lakes Foundation were contributing $21,037,500 for athletic facilities. The contribution led to the construction of the Land O’Lakes Center for Excellence, the home of the Gopher Athletics’ student-athlete development team.
We are thrilled with the program and we’ve learned a lot and have been evolving its next generation. We have access to the best and brightest undergraduate students from a variety of backgrounds and interests and are able to engage them—and their faculty advisors—in addressing food and agriculture’s greatest challenges from a variety of perspectives.
I would say the highest value possible. We see cross-disciplinary backgrounds as key to success in high-teaming companies like Land O’Lakes. We look for multi-career experience, with disparate functional and educational backgrounds. We want the most well-rounded employees.
The future is no longer linear. Companies are going to have to learn to deal with change in real time using teams from different backgrounds.
Last year, Policinski and members of the Land O’Lakes, Inc. corporate board helped donate 60,000 pounds of product to Placer Food Bank, headquartered in Roseville, California. Land O’Lakes, Inc. and the Land O’Lakes Foundation are committed to serving the common good, both for today and for future generations.
I’m probably going to start getting redundant here, but leaders in business increasingly need multi-disciplinary backgrounds. We look for our leaders to diversify across business units and geographies. I like to say that more tools in the tool kit enable agility in the leader.
That’s easy—be comfortable working in teams.
The best advice I ever received was “your career success depends on the number of tools in your tool kit— get as many as you can.”
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