Awards and industry recognition are not easy to come by, but John Deere has quickly become a leader among the competition. Recently, the company ranked 20th in the first annual Indiggo Return On Leadership ROL100 list. Despite introducing a new operating strategy amidst a global pandemic, Deere was able to overcome the challenges and thrive in the difficult environment.

“It has literally taken leadership from top to bottom,” said Deanna Kovar, vice president of Production and Precision Ag Production Systems. “Not only did we transform the organization, we did it while part of our organization was working in really stressful situations in our production facilities to keep employees safe during the pandemic and the other part of our organization was working remotely from home.”

Kovar went on to note that empowering employees was critical to carrying out the new operating strategy. Deere trusted its employees to adapt quickly, and they went above and beyond to ensure the company thrived.

The ROL100 List at a Glance

ROL stands for return-on-leadership, and the ROL100 list is designed to highlight the ROL of Fortune 500 companies, in particular. The metric is linked to driving and measuring several components of stakeholder capitalism.

Four fundamentals were considered when comprising the list: connection to purpose, strategic clarity, leadership alignment, and focused action. A team of experts used artificial intelligence and publicly available information to evaluate the companies that made the ROL100 list.

John Deere’s Position on the List

John Deere made the ROL100 list for a number of reasons. However, its efforts since June 2020 to integrate its new operating model topped the list.

“Before the new operating model, it was harder to prioritize the farmer’s needs and step back and think about it at the system level,” said Kovar. “We’re confident we will do that more going forward. Our teams are focused on the customer’s whole system, both economic and environmental productivity.”

Deere received a mix of both high and medium ratings across all four ROL fundamentals. Its strong showing in “focused action” was partly due to exceeding analyst expectations, and its high ranking for “strategic clarity” was a result of its clear strategy, which was transparent to external stakeholders. In addition, high employee optimism on the company’s overall outlook contributed to the ranking.

If you have any questions about any John Deere machinery, you can contact your local John Deere dealer.

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