Leadership through purpose and action

Karina Umdasch

4 minutes | 14. October 2018
Degree of technical knowledge

Four traits that identify a phytogenic leader

What characterizes a phytogenic leader? Leadership must be earned through purpose and action. In 30 years of leading the phytogenic feed additives category, we’ve made observations about several traits of market leadership:

  • Market leaders own a category and continuously innovate.
  • To remain at the top, leaders must have agility and focus.
  • Leaders set the standards.
  • The entire team must exemplify passion for the vision.
© Delacon

#1 Market leaders own a category and continuously innovate.

When Delacon coined the term phytogenic feed additives in 1988, it introduced a whole new category of feed additives. While Delacon’s products initially served a niche market, plant-based phytogenic feed additives held the promise to become a new standard in an evolving animal production environment.

The plant universe is vast and complex. Evaluating compounds from common and rare plant sources, Delacon has compiled a database of botanical ingredients with extensive information, including their modes of action, on more than 7,500 compounds. This is the foundation for the technical expertise and species-specific solutions we deliver to our customers. Delacon continually strives to put nature to work in meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow.

© Delacon

#2 To remain at the top, leaders must have agility – and focus.

Agility means the strategic ability to prioritize and align resources with the needs of customers and industry challenges. In turn, agility allows companies to embrace market opportunities or effectively navigate change. Besides being agile, having a core focus ensures that all efforts, time, energy and money, are invested within the core.

Over the past 30 years, Delacon has proven its capacity to innovate and adapt as a phytogenic leader while at the same time focusing and staying true to its core – phytogenic feed additives.

#3 Phytogenic leaders set the standards.

Leaders must often chart new terrain. Delacon defines industry standards and exceeds expectations. Instead of the common route of sensory additive registration, Delacon was the first company to pursue zootechnical registration for a phytogenic product. With two authorized products, the company is still the only one in the category to have achieved zootechnical registration. While Delacon has shaped the regulatory framework with EU authorizations, it continues to advocate to improve processes for regulation, research and policy for the entire industry. Delacon is an active member of EU Association of Specialty Feed Ingredients and their Mixtures, and Chuck Warta of Cargill, its strategic partner, has a board position with the International Feed Industry Federation.

We do not only change the rules, but consistently shape the game.

Markus Dedl

CEO, Delacon

Setting the standards as phytogenic leader © Gettyimages / EtiAmmos

#4 The entire team must exemplify passion for the vision.

Success requires aligning on one purpose. At its core, the Delacon team is driven to innovate and deliver on the vision of replacing antibiotic as well as synthetic growth promoters by phytogenic feed additives to ensure sustainable livestock farming and food safety on a global scale.

Delacon’s robust R&D engine, InnoGreen, anchors innovation management deeply in the company and its strategy. Team members across departments are involved and the integrated approach prioritizes innovations to create a pipeline of cutting-edge phytogenic solutions.

The global Delacon team has a strong vision. © Delacon

It has always been Delacon’s vision to lead this market. We have invested 30 years in creating this market and this company, so we are humbled by the opportunity to lead phytogenics into the future.

Markus Dedl

CEO, Delacon

To sum up, we see 4 traits that characterize a phytogenic leader:

  • Market leaders own a category and continuously innovate.
  • To remain at the top, leaders must have agility and focus.
  • Leaders set the standards.
  • The entire team must exemplify passion for the vision.

Do you see additional aspects or do you confirm or observations? Leave a comment!

Karina Umdasch
Corporate Strategy & Communications Manager at Delacon | karina.umdasch@delacon.com |

Since 2014, Karina Umdasch has been responsible for internal and external communications at Delacon. Her growing team consists of experts in various fields of communications. As of November 2017, Karina has enlarged her role in Corporate Strategy.
She is an active member of the Public Relations Association Leadership Team in Upper Austria and part of Austria's Young Leaders Forum. Her motto: Great things never came from comfort zones.