Ana Marta Carrillo is the new Global Talent Manager for the CIAT-Bioversity Alliance. Spanish by birth but already Colombian by adoption, Ana Marta will be responsible for designing, implementing and leading a joint talent management strategy for the Alliance. A complex challenge but more than relevant to this current context. For that reason, she is the first guest to this section of 5 questions with…

  1. What has been your experience, your professional career, before arriving at the CIAT-Bioversity Alliance?

I have had a variety of experiences. I’m a lawyer but I have always had a great interest, more than in the processes, in the people, in what motivates people. This led me to work in the talent area.

I’ve been working in human resources for almost 20 years, most of that time in technology and innovation companies. I’ve been fortunate to be able to go through several work teams in human management, from the operational side – counting benefits, payroll, and compensation – also as bussiness partner to talent management. Having these opportunities has only made me fall in love with what I do.

  1. What does it mean manage talent?

For me, managing talent is to create the conditions so that all CIAT employees can do their best work. That goes from ensuring that we are in the right organizational structure, going through having well-trained leaders to manage their teams to understand the motivations and what moves each of the employees, in order to have the best work experience here and give the best of their selves.

  1. What services does your team provide to CIAT?

The talent team is responsible for several tasks in CIAT’s human resources:

  • Talent acquisition: it’s the process through which we seek to attract the best talent, generating diverse strategies based on the needs of our programs, so that CIAT continues to be a top-level research institution.
  • Development and training: it’s responsible for supporting employees and supervisors in looking at their future careers, what skills they need and how to train in those competencies, including following up on our work through performance appraisal.
  • Business partners: they are the strategic allies for CIAT’s different areas and support units in everything related to Human Resources issues, to ensure continuous improvement and to support a good organizational climate.
  • Wellness: focused on creating initiatives designed for the employee and his family, seeking to encourage good performance, motivation and generation of a sense of belonging in the organization, providing an added value that attracts and retains the best employees.
  • Change management: that seeks to help us establish a practice that will help us navigate organizational changes and that is now very relevant for the CIAT-Bioversity Alliance.
  1. What expectations do you have regarding the challenge of being the talent manager, within the framework of the CIAT – Bioversity Alliance?

It seems to me a wonderful moment to incorporate myself because it’s the possibility of linking two entities and establishing practices that respond to the needs of the new strategy of this organization. It’s not about replicating or imposing the practices of one organization over the other, but about creating something new and, from there, establishing what actions, what culture and what values we need to achieve this new strategy.

This is very exciting because it allows me to get to know the two organizations as they are now and, also, to co-design something that will be new in the future and that will respond to new needs.

  1. What are the key elements for developing an effective change management strategy?

I would say that there are 4 aspects that seem fundamental to me:

First, understand the organization, its culture and its values.

Second, maintain a two-way communication channel, not only with high level management but with all the staff.

Third, understand the strategy to which we are going, not only in the present but in future scenarios in the next 5 to 10 years.

Fourth, test initiatives and see how the organization responds before implementing them in the long term, being responsive to current needs.


Contact Ana Marta Carrillo for all topics related to talent management: – Ext. 3402 (CIAT HQ)

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