Innovation and R&D Director

When Anya Deval (*) goes on assignment

(*) For confidentiality reasons, the name of the interim manager has been changed and the identity of the client hidden.



The client is a cooperative specialising in the supply and collection of agricultural products. In the midst of a major transformation, linked in particular to new regulations, the use of new technologies and an increased demand for more environmentally friendly phytosanitary products, the cooperative was looking to create value for all players in the sector by setting up new projects to promote R&D and innovation.

To initiate, frame and direct these projects, the cooperative’s general manager sought an interim management solution.

The following priorities were defined:

  • Biocontrol
  • Bio-stimulants
  • Development of decision support tools (DST)
  • Precision agriculture
  • System trials in agronomy.



Drawing on a solid network of managers from the WAYDEN pool, Alexandra Garnier, Associate Director, was able to organise an onsite meeting with the client to introduce Anya Deval.

With a background in project and team management in the fields of applied plant genetics and biotechnology R&D, Anya was a perfect fit for the skills and human qualities sought. Throughout her career she has been continually recognised for her listening skills, her aptitude for summarising the communications with the various team members she meets, her empathy, and above all, her ability to train teams. She knows how to lead this type of operation, in particular thanks to her ability to remain close to the field at all times.



Reporting directly to the managing director, Anya’s overall role was to:

  • Bring a method to the processes underway.
  • Architect projects by giving them objectives and performance indicators.
  • Flexibly manage projects to allow for adjustments along the way.

The cooperative’s general management wanted “innovation to permeate all departments of the company” by involving all operational staff. Anya was able to listen, show empathy and take into account all the expertise on hand.



Within the framework of the assignment, Alexandra agreed to a detailed weekly follow-up with Anya and the client – a way of working that allows for agile and efficient communication between all parties. The mission was a resounding success, as the objectives were met, largely thanks to meeting deadlines and the involvement of ground-level operational staff.