Feb 2012 â€˘ Vol 30 No. 2
Dynamics The battle of the sexes
Journal of the South African Institute of People Management www.ipm.co.za
Leadership 3 Understanding the Battle of the Sexes – The Effects of Gender on Leadership Style By Hannah Lee and Bongani Ndaba TALENT MANAGEMENT
I love to manage By Bernard Koch JOB ENRICHMENT
Discard the powerful info that delivers foolproof career success at your own peril By Michelle Moss LEADERSHIP 7 Hubris and hamartia: twin evils inimical to leadership By Prof Cecil Bodibe & Simphiwe Masiza TALENT MANAGEMENT
Misfits … the executive talent opportunity companies miss By Annelize van Rensburg LABOUR LAW
Proposed labour legislation set to bedevil HR management By lvan lsraelstam INSURANCE 11 Car insurance for students is a tricky road to navigate By Mandy Barrett Mentor matters 14 The myth of work-life balance By Gary Taylor CAREER MANAGEMENT
How to climb the ladder By Lawrence Wordon JOB ENRICHMENT
Make 2012 your best year yet By Kim Meszaros Technology 17 The changing role of the CIO By Michael de Andrade CAREER MANAGEMENT
Career advancement through networking TRAiNING 20 Reinvent yourself in 2012 By Ken Blanchard DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT
Poor diversity management results in a drop in business performance By Sharon Boyce News and reviews
HR in brief Gabriel’s Horn
My person of the year By Gabriel Mofekeng Forthcoming ISSUEs features March 2012 – Training, Skills Development & Competencies, Performance Management and Appraisals,Training Institutions. APRIL 2012 – HR Outsourcing & Technology, Change Mangement, Performance Improvement, HR Software, and the Budget speech
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his year seems to be off to a somewhat sluggish start and I get the feeling that many people are unhappy in their jobs and are looking for new or different opportunities. This highlights the importance of staff retention for companies and ensuring a happy staff compliment. One of the companies I deal with is probably about to lose most of its top management team due to feelings of financial uncertainty and lack of communication from the ‘boss.’ In these difficult economic times people need to be sure of their positions and their futures within companies, it is no good to adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach in the hope that it gets better when there is a possibility you may not be able to pay your child’s school fees and your bond come month end. People also want to be praised for a job well done; no one wants to sit behind their desk working all day for no recognition of hard work achieved. For these reasons it is important for companies to ensure that they have a good recruitment policy to ensure that they hire the right staff in the first place. Secondly the individual must be responsible for their job and career enrichment and making their objectives and needs, within reason of course, known to their superiors. At the end of the day no one wants to be unhappy in an environment where they spend the majority of their time and no boss wants to deal with sulky employees. In this vein take a look at our article on how to make 2012 your best year yet. In this issue we would also like to introduce a new monthly column on labour law which will be written by Ivan Israelstam which promises to answer some of the more complicated questions on the subject. Happy reading.
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People Dynamics is the monthly journal of the South Africa Institute of People Management (IPM). The IPM is dedicated to the effective development of human potential. In terms of fast emerging global challenges, it is critical to champion the strategic role of human resources and to acknowledge that both development and management are catalysts for growth. In the spirit of progress and support, the IPM provides members with effective leadership and access to appropriate knowledge, information and the opportunity to network with key local and international players. People Dynamics provide a forum for debate and discussion on all issues affecting people managers in South Africa, the African continent and beyond. People Dynamics is distributed to all members of the South African Institute of People Management (IPM), and to other key decision-makers in the industry. To receive People Dynamics regularly and enjoy additional benefits, including discounts on HR-related services, professional networking events and HR vacancy postings on the IPM web-site, contact the membership manager of the IPM.
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The Effects of Gender on Leadership Style
Understanding the Battle of the Sexes By Hannah Lee (Barrett’s Value Centre) and Bongani Ndaba (Mandate Molefi)
n research conducted by Barrett’s Value Centre,using their valuesbased, 360-degree leadership development tool which examines and compares a leader’s perception of his or her operating style with the perception of their superiors, peers and subordinates (assessors), some interesting differences in gender were found. Over 19 countries were represented by the sample and approximately 1,500 respondents participated. The most common value associated with both male and female leaders is commitment. In fact, male and female leaders share 12 out of 16 of their top values. However, among the values that are different, there are significant distinctions among the genders. Male leaders are seen to show a tendency to be focused on successfully reaching their objectives, with goals orientation and achievement. They are recognised for using their experience to do so, and they make space for others by being accessible. Female leaders are seen as promoting strong working relationships with others through open communication, teamwork and cooperation. These differences among male and female leaders fall in line with what is commonly characterised as masculine or feminine behaviour conditioned by differences in treatment and expectations during upbringing. “According to social role theory, behavioural gender differences are caused by socialisation where at a young age, males are encouraged and rewarded for being outgoing, and achievement oriented. Conversely, females are taught to be emotionally oriented, and reserved in their interactions with others.” However, there is also a greater tendency for female leaders to demonstrate controlling and demanding behaviours, with these potentially limiting values being recognised in 32% of women and only 20% of men. These traits seem to contradict the collaborative approach noted above. Female leaders also have a propensity to overwork, with long hours. The contradiction among the values of female leaders is further blurred when considering the dichotomy of gender roles for female leaders.There continues to be a belief in some circles that women must act like men by exhibiting traditionally masculine traits to get ahead. However,“because women have been socialized to believe that they will experience more positive outcomes regarding their accomplishments when they are seen by others as non-competitive, they downplay their accomplishments in the presence of others to avoid being judged unfeminine. In contrast, men consistently self-promote their successes, in order to present a successful self-image to others. Similar to the top values, female leaders continue to be perceived as demonstrating a more people-centred approach with the strengths teamwork, caring and listener/receptivity.
Female leaders’ strengths also seem to convey a strong theme around follow-through in the areas of solutions oriented, delivery, hard worker, and reliability. Furthermore, women are more likely than men to be recognised as having drive and determination. “[Women] tend to have a greater need to get things done than male leaders and are less likely to hesitate or focus on the small details.”3This desire to get things done may account for the long hours recognised among female leaders’ top values, as well as the increased perception of controlling and demanding. Among the recommended areas of development for women, there is a sense that women appear to hold themselves back, as seen in the areas of improvement of visibility in the organisation, confidence in own abilities and decisiveness. Again, this appears to be tied to gender roles. “Since they are expected to be feminine, women who display too much ‘male’ behaviour (such as toughness, decisiveness, and assertiveness) are not well received by their peers at the top.Yet women who display too little of that behaviour are perceived as not suited for the top job. Some researchers believe that this unwillingness of female leaders to tout their own achievements or abilities may hurt them in climbing the corporate ladder even further. Female leaders also appear to have a tendency to over-extend and be too hard on themselves and others with long hours, demanding, organisation/time management and stress management. And, despite their strengths and top values which point to promoting a collaborative working style, female leaders are not adequately handing things over to relieve some of this burden, as they are more likely than men to need to work on delegating and empowering. These areas for improvement may be tied to the drive among female leaders to get things done, as mentioned in the strengths. Female leaders, still in the minority, may feel that they have something to prove. Our investigation of leadership behaviours based on gender concludes that, while there are similarities among male and female leaders, the differences demonstrated are significant and appear to be tied to biology and the socialisation males and females receive during upbringing. As a result, it seems paramount to support leaders of both genders in ways that legitimately take into account both their similarities and their differences.
I love to manage By Bernard Koch
s I put together the thoughts for this article, I am currently sitting in a two-day course on situational leadership. I was asked to observe the course with a view to determining the link between the concepts of situational leadership and those of leading behavioural change, a workshop that I run to teach leaders how to use the principles of human behaviour to coax their teams to higher levels of performance. As I reflected on some of the age old management principles that were articulately and cleverly introduced to the delegates, I was struck by an “Aha!”. There are, I believe, two types of people who are the secret behind successful organisations, Entrepreneurs and Practitioners. Entrepreneurs are those people who are passionate about building and growing businesses.They eat, sleep and live the dream of building the ultimate empire, and are generally the source of most innovation in their organisations. Cost cutting ideas, new channels, streamlining initiatives are a natural and subconscious function of their “obsession” to realise their dreams. Practitioners are those day-to-day employees, be they managers, supervisors or staff, who love their craft.They may be engineers, consultants, professionals or artisans.They love what they do and wake up every morning deeply thankful that they do the thing that they believe is part of their DNA. What makes these people successful more often than not? It generally follows that we pursue and excel at those activities that absorb our every waking thought. Paradoxically, failures and mistakes are seen as stepping stones to perfection, and the most excellent of these two groups of people seek and embrace feedback with the single intention of getting it right the next time. What then of those other stalwarts who make up an organisation that may not fall into these two categories? How many debtors clerks lie awake at night figuring out better ways to improve their age analysis? Does the average factory foreman ponder optimal scheduling and production techniques in
People Dynamics February 2012
order to add value to the bottom line? While staff motivation is an intriguing subject, it is not the central topic of this article. What I would like to focus on however is that critical, but much maligned of positions, the middle manager. While not trying to rehash a well-known corporate syndrome, “The Peter Principle”, it has occurred to me that very few managers are “To the Manor Born” as it were. In prior articles I have mentioned what I have loosely termed, “the dopamine effect”. Quite simply it is that trigger, condition or circumstance that releases focus, energy and pleasure in the human mind. For different people it is distinctly different in each case. A sad symptom of our modern society is that for many folk, the workplace is an environment to be endured while their craving for dopamine is satisfied during extra mural activities such as socialising, sports, reading,TV and even through unhealthy means such as drugs and gang activities. For the entrepreneur and the practitioner, it is clear that the idea of “bottom line growth” and a “job well done” respectively will drive these two roles to higher and higher levels of performance. For the middle manager however, what is it that gets him or her up in the morning? For many of these unwilling participants in the corporate treadmill, they dream of days back behind the draughting tables designing the ultimate building or building the slickest machine.The thought of developing people into realising their full potential or seeing teams spark on their way to coordinated success does not enter their heads. For many managers they are practitioners moved out of “their zone”, examples of the modern corporate system gone wrong, assuming that the technical master will move effortlessly into the role of the technical mentor. The names Tiger Woods and Andre Agassi are familiar names, even to the less ardent sports enthusiast. Ever heard of Butch Harmon or Nick Bollettieri? No? Well these are the men who are largely credited with getting the best out of the best.They are the coaches behind the big names, or the managers behind the practitioners. As I sit and listen to the facilitator espousing the techniques of effective management, I can’t help reflecting on my golf coach, filling my mind with a host of technical information about swing, stance and grip. I am mindful of the fact that while the Tiger Woods’ of this world must demonstrate a technically correct swing, the real secret to his success lies in the deeply ingrained neural pathways and synaptic connections that are reinforced by a coach that has the ability to activate the “dopamine effect”. I was privileged enough to facilitate a small group of athletes in their final preparations a few weeks before the Athens Olympics. Part of the group was an archer and her coach. During a break I sidled up to the coach, curious to find out what his role was during the games itself. Surely, I mentioned to the coach, all technical preparation must be complete, and therefore his job done. He smiled quietly before answering, and told me quite simply that during the games he had no technical role whatsoever. He was simply there to keep her relaxed and allow what was naturally there to expose itself every time she drew back that bow. His tools? A song that she loved, a joke she found amusing and a story that she enjoyed. He knew that she was deeply ingrained with a love of her sport, and it was his job to ensure that she connected with that part of her, as and when she needed to. It occurred to me at this point, that while a technical understanding of the business is necessary, recruiters and employers alike are missing the critical ingredient when filling this pivotal position in organisations of today. Does the candidate LIKE to manage? Is he or she absorbed by the desire to take raw technical talent and develop it into high performing and self-actualising individuals? Does he, much like an Alex Ferguson or a Jake White, get their dopamine rush, not from their own self-aggrandisement, but from building and nurturing their protégés into well-oiled, fully functioning and successful teams?
What then are the qualities we are looking for when selecting such a creature. While not an exhaustive list, I would suggest that some key questions that need to be asked when observing employee’s potential to lead and manage are as follows: What is their propensity for failure? In the highly competitive world of modern business, managers are in fear of losing their jobs and reputations and are not prepared to give their teams the latitude of self-discovery. A manager whose motto is, “It’s OK to fail”, gives his team members the confidence to develop their talents. Are they natural engagers? Effective teams are built when team members get to know each other at a personal level and so learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This is a culture that the manager must cultivate, but to do so they must be prepared to walk the floor and engage with their team members, both collectively and one-on-one. By so doing they must also be prepared to become vulnerable. Managers who spend their time parked in their offices and protected by their secretaries develop an undeserved and unhealthy aura that is not facilitative to sustainable team success. What is the quality of their engagement? It is one thing to engage, but superficial, “hail fellow, well met” may make somebody one of the boys, but does not, in the long term, ensure the growth of the team. A good manager will take the time to get to know each team member’s strengths, weaknesses, potential, and most importantly, “dopamine triggers”: Those environmental factors that will bring each team member to work firing on all cylinders. How hungry are they for team success? Many managers gratefully accept their new found status as if the journey is complete, “I am now a manager!” For the natural manager, the position is an opportunity, not a reward. It’s a chance to mould a collection of people into a happy, motivated and successful unit. Do they have a clear picture of the end result? The clearer and more compelling the end result is, in the mind of the manager, the easier it is to “infect” the team with the same passion and energy. We have already discussed the quality of being able to engage, so the natural born manager should have no problem in regularly keeping the picture alive in their minds. Who takes the credit? Sadly, team morale is often destroyed when the positive results of hard working team members are credited to, and accepted by, egotistical managers who are anxious to be noticed, rewarded and promoted at the expense of their team. Who takes the blame? One characteristic of a healthy team is the ability of each individual member to be introspective and take accountability for his or her part in the failure. No self-respecting team member would feel unnaturally dissonant about the result if a team is built on sound principles. It is however, the captain of the team that should be willing to be held accountable and leave the post-mortems to take place within the team itself. One would notice when reading these, that they are not principles to be learnt, but rather behaviours. Does that mean that there are those among us who carry these within our natural skill set? Absolutely. Does it mean then that they cannot be learnt or cultured? Absolutely not.There is much evidence to suggest that most behaviours that make us entrepreneurs, practitioners or managers, are conditioned as a result of our upbringing, exposures and environment rather than having been passed on through our DNA. In much the same way, aspirant managers can develop these behaviours through effective coaching, mentoring and other behavioural interventions. To conclude then, what is the single ingredient that must be present if we are going to grow a crop of strong, mature managers? The answer is probably best summed up in that old joke that goes: Q: How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? A: Only one, but the light bulb must really want to change.
From Employee Satisfaction to Employee Values Alignment
Are you wondering why you have been conducting surveys & very little changes or its difficult to track progress? You have happy employees , so what? How aligned are your employees to the Vision, Mission & Values of your organisation? How aligned are your employees to the Vision, Mission & Values of your organisation? What is the amount of toxicity or entropy ( the measure of wasted energy) in your environment? Are you seriously focusing on your leadership level , or you believe the answers will come from your masses? Organisational transformation begins with personal transformation of its leaders. Do you suffer from survey fatique? Endless surveys without next steps? Measurement matters, but measurement without Line Management ownership of results & a clear strategy of dissemination is as good as NOT measuring any culture. In fact " You loose more credibility" than if you had done nothing in the first place . Partner with MM for a journey that will transform your organisation. A unique approach that will give you good results to track & company with local & International case studies . Contact us on: (011) 728-9585 (021) 434-9593 firstname.lastname@example.org www.mandatemolefi.co.za
Bernard Koch, Executive responsible for Human Capital Solutions, LabourNet
February 2012 People Dynamics
Discard the powerful info that delivers foolproof career success at your own peril By Michelle Moss
hat do you call powerful information that contributes to foolproof career success but is ignored by two out of three candidates for well-remunerated managerial and executive positions? In the talent management sector the discussion of confidential data is generally referred to as ‘feedback’ and at a few professional executive search companies it is available to any candidate who has engaged in an assessment process to establish the closeness (or otherwise) of the job fit and determine individual strengths and weaknesses. Job-fit information derived from the assessments is usually not the focus of such discussions, but other data, including very precise scores on personal attributes, can be shared, discussed and ultimately assembled into an individual development plan. Job candidates trying to find out what to fix or foster for career success need look no further. In the executive search industry, feedback is the closest thing we’ve got to a well-planned fix for slow progress up the corporate ladder. Which makes it all the more baffling that only one in three candidates requests access to this goldmine of information. At least one executive search specialist with strong assessment capabilities goes to great lengths to encourage candidates to return for feedback after candidate selection is complete, yet the response rate over the past year stands at only 30.8%. As an assessment specialist, I admit to a sense of frustration that relatively few candidates request a follow-up session to review scores and interpretations. After all, the data has the potential to turn losers into winners and winners into super-stars, but not if it’s left to gather dust. Reticence is understandable. We all feel ill at ease when personal characteristics and attributes are laid bare. Assessment results should not tell you anything you don’t already know about yourself. But the way the information is packaged will show how your skills work in combination with each other while improving your
understanding of the impact of your behaviour on others in the workplace. If the assessment tools that are adopted are valid and reliable and the assessments are professionally conducted, the insights are extremely useful. The perception of you is the reality observed by others. (For ‘others’, read prospective employers.) The good news is that perceptions can be changed; so can behaviour. Admittedly, this requires a deliberate effort by the individual. The starting point is sensible, dispassionate review of assessment results. After that, improvement is a matter of application and time. The way forward is easy enough to follow. Perceived weaknesses have to be addressed. Often this can be actioned on the job. Make a point of listening more and listening skills will improve. Give more time to colleagues and subordinates while showing a genuine interest in them and interpersonal skills will develop. Though weaknesses are unlikely to become strengths, strengths can become super-differentiators that spotlight a stand-out job applicant, turning a good candidate into a great one. Once strengths have been identified, hone them. Showcase your best qualities to best effect and you prepare yourself for the next leap up the corporate ladder. The analytical manager with an eye for detail and strong focus on operational competence may never score highly for empathy. But as long as that manager’s behaviour is not perceived as destructive and empathy scores improve, that individual can reach the top by reinforcing the strengths highlighted by rigorous assessment. Insights like this underline the value of returning for feedback.Those who do are generally quick to overcome their reluctance to see themselves as others see them. They then interrogate their interrogator by questioning the assessor about corrective action – either because they were unsuccessful in their job application or because they are already looking ahead to further career success. Improved self-awareness then becomes the fundamental building block in the evolution of an individual development plan.The plan may give added impetus to an existing career path or it may drive a change of career direction. A well-formulated strategy will set out clearly defined objectives, timeframes and tips on future action. A mix of actions is often outlined; perhaps on-the-job counselling, job rotation, taking on delegated responsibilities outside an individual’s core competence, academic courses, training, reading, executive coaching and working with peer groups. Those who use self-knowledge as a springboard to career action invariably succeed. Reassessment confirms improvement (often stellar). Progress can also be tracked on the databases of well-resourced executive search companies. Over time, these corporate performers win promotions, land their dream job or are rewarded by significantly increased job satisfaction. Their secret? It’s ‘feedback’ and having the courage to digest it and put it to work. Michelle Moss, head of the assessment division,Talent Africa
People Dynamics February 2012
Hubris and hamartia: twin evils inimical to leadership By Prof Cecil Bodibe & Simphiwe Masiza,
he study of leadership is as exciting as it is vexatious.The excitement stemming from reading treasure tomes of literature, dating back many years and we are still at pains to explicate the phenomenon of leadership. The vexation and exasperation arising out of the realisation that despite the many years of study and research on leadership, there are still components of leadership which remain completely elusive - if not downrightly a will o’ wisp chimera. The Greek mythology angle We are here approaching leadership from the angle of Greek mythology. Where hubris refers to over-weaning pride and exaggerated pride (pride approaching pathological proportions), and hamartia – which has its genesis from the Greek root “harmateia’’, meaning to err or to miss the mark, we hope to achieve the following with this approach: l Argue compellingly that this is earth, not heaven.Therefore we cannot, and do not expect leaders to be paragons of virtue, rather we want leaders to be insightful, humble and open-minded enough to accept feedback about their weaknesses and work hard towards turning these weaknesses into strengths.What is more, true leadership plays itself out in the crucible of absolute power, and the laboratory of adversity. l Contend that hubris, when pathological in extent and coupled with narcissism, leads to arrogance on the part of the leader, which makes these leaders impervious to advice of any kind. As a result of thinking that they are larger than life, such leaders become power drunk, and arrogant, until they meet their dusty deaths. l Demonstrate that like Shakespearian characters who perish because of hamartia, for example Macbeth killed by ‘vaulting ambition‘’ and Hamlet caught in the throes of indecision... “To be or not to be, that is the question’’, today’s leaders have their careers brought to a grinding halt by hamartia – Muammar Gaddafi is a case in point. l Adduce evidence to the effect that, leaders who use feedback as “the breakfast of champions” are the ones likely to lead themselves and the organisations at whose helm they are, to greater heights. l It is self-leadership first before organisational leadership that proves helpful in the realm of leadership. l The timeless and vaunted leadership attributes like integrity, humility, insight, introspection, respect, vision, courage, decisiveness, empathy, impartiality, conviction and respect still stand leaders in good stead to this day. Hubris and hamartia militate against all these. l Each leader can work at sharpening and honing their leadership skills, once they rid themselves of hubris and hamartia l Give hints on how to chip away at these twin maladies, and turning over proverbial new leaves l Hold up Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, as a model of leadership l Conclude by noting that hubris and hamartia can be eradicated from the behavioural repertoire of leaders
This is earth, and not heaven From a number of epistemologies, and indeed sundry hermeneutics, earth has been associated with humankind’s fall. As a consequent thereof, we find earth saddled with billions of imperfect humans. Even those earlier humans, who had the unmerited favour of walking with God, fell at the slightest temptation and faint provocation. King David became Machiavellian, when he wanted to fulfil his lust. He went to the extent of putting Naboth at the firing line of the army, so that Naboth could perish and he would take Naboth’s wife as his own. It is therefore dangerous for leaders to be blind to their hamartia.They can do untold harm and irreparable damage when left to their devices. The African continent is replete with leaders, wearing a carapace of hubris, and enveloped by hamartia. King Solomon had a hamartia for women. Married seven hundred of them and also had over one thousand concubines. Covey (2004) in his book “First things first” quotes a number of executives who bit the dust, because of the insatiable lust, to have woman after woman. So too did Helen Kellerman (2008) conclude that intemperateness is a negative attribute. In this era of the glass ceiling, and the fervent call to treat women as equal partners, the unquenchable thirst for women, goes against the grain of respect for them, and defeats the concerted fight against HIV and AIDS, by compromising one of the pillars of “ABC - Abstain, Be faithful and Condomise’’. Such leaders also loot the resources of their countries, and have these tucked away in Swiss bank accounts, until these leaders are forcibly removed from power, by the chagrin and spleens of their disgruntled subjects - who initially treat these leaders with a lot of adulation and respect. Until such time that they feel their trust in such leaders, misplaced and betrayed. At that point, the anger of the masses boils over and reaches proportions of no return. Mobutu Sese Seko is one such person, whose hubris and hamartia caught up with him. So too did Lauraent Kabila and Dr Jonathan Savimbi. Muamar Gaddafi is the latest such example of a leader who suffered from pathological hubris. February 2012 People Dynamics
LEADERSHIP Pathological hubris is a killer On the flotsam and jetsam of forgotten history lie men and women who were driven by hubris. Such examples are the narcissistic Hitler responsible largely for fanning the flames of World War II and the likes of Idi Amin and Nat Bokassa, who reduced thriving countries, to battle grounds. Deepak Chopra ( 2011), uses LEADERS as an acronym thus: l L=Listen and Lead (listen intently) l E=Emotional bonding (not living in the melodrama of crisis mode) l A=Awareness (who am I? what do I want?) l D=Doing (being action oriented as a leader) l E=Empowerment (‘the soul’s power comes from self–awareness that is responsive to feedback, but independent of the good or bad opinion of others) l R=Responsibility (choosing considered risks over reckless ones) l S=Synchronicity (connecting with answers from the soul) Pathologically proud leaders ignore all these characteristics of the “soul of leadership’’ ( Chopra, 2011 ) Hamartia is a human condition By virtue of being human, leaders too are heir to harmatia. That tragic flaw of character in all of us that is likely to lead us to our ‘dusty deaths’ if not managed or overcome. The weakness for food can and does lead to chronic illnesses in later life (Deutschland, 2010). Vaulting ambitions and lust for power tends to make humans behave like hungry rats in a skinner box. The hamartia of caprice and rapaciousness and greed, leads to rampant corruption, and crass materialism. Frank Outlaw asserted “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; Watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny”. Tragedy is therefore, error too late discovered. A president realises the folly of imperviousness, only after recalling. A CEO sees the folly of her ways, when gory details of her ambition are put to public scrutiny at a Commission of Inquiry or at a Board Meeting, where her fate is already sealed. The point made is that leaders can constantly work at improving the EQ (Emotional Intelligence), MQ (Moral Intelligence), and SQ (Social Intelligence), and in this way overcome their hamartia. Feedback is the breakfast of champions Effective leaders use feedback to improve. They do not become defensive, or easily peeved by those who give them feedback. Barna (2009, p7) notes that: “Leadership is less about commanding and more about empowering people to live up to their potential by using all of their abilities”. Rather than promote sycophancy, true leaders, with a self-esteem that is intact, encourage others to be their mirror. In Barna (2009, p100), they do an exercise whereby leaders share stories about where they grew up, with whom? What happened after their father died? Or mother died? How have they dealt with all sorts of adversity? How they handle challenges? etc. This exercise makes leaders touchable, and humanises them, and makes others to trust them. A leader without a story worries her subjects. Like the question is always posed “who is Angela Merkel?’’ Gevisser (2007, p238) demonstrates the power of feedback, by describing the Mbeki brothers, Thabo and Moeletsi in the following terms, “if Thabo Mbeki is Isaiah Berlin’s hedgehog, who know one big thing, and who relates everything to a central vision, one system or more coherent or articulate, then his brother Moeletsi is Berlin’s fox, who knows many things and who pursues many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory’’. Such feedback properly used helps to build leaders, and make them stem the tide of their hamartia and their hubris.
People Dynamics February 2012
Self-leadership is important It was Mahatma Ghandi who argued that we must be the change that we want to see in the world. People do not hear what the leaders say. They hear what the leader does. Examples, to this day, are better than perception We can rid ourselves of hamartia and hubris Ken Blanchard argues compellingly, that if we model our behaviour after Jesus, and ‘lead like Jesus,’ we shall be effective leaders. Ken Blanchard is not shutting people of other beliefs out. Much like we are not saying Muhammed and Buddha should not be emulated. The point we are driving here, is that in each religious leader in the world, there is an aspect worthy of our emulation, and incorporation into our behavioural and leadership armamentarium. There is abundant literature about what makes a good leader. There are industry leaders, who are prepared to coach and mentor others, so that the others learn, not only from their good deeds, but in point of fact, also learn from their mistakes. It was Einstein who alluded to having stood on the shoulders of giants, and consequently saw further than they. The large part of eradicating hubris and hamartia, inheres in understanding that these are counterproductive, and one should work hard to emulate those leaders who conquered these. Moss-Kanter (2007, p8) notes: “Confidence is a sweet spot between arrogance and despair. Arrogance involves the failure to see any flaws and weaknesses,despair the failure to acknowledge any strengths.Overconfidence leads people to overshoot, to overbuild, to become irrationally exuberant or delusionally optimistic, and to assume they are invulnerable’’. The point being made is that hubris and hamartia can blind us to our blind spots, to use a tautology. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela the epitome of leadership South Africans have all that they require to learn about effective leadership from the statesman and world icon, Mr Mandela. From motivating the Springboks or Bafana Bafana, to sharing tea with Betsie Verwoerd, to chairing a crucial meeting of the ANC, Rolihlahla has amply epitomised the best way of leading – without hubris, with hamartia under control. Rosabeth Moss-Kanter (2007, p297), has this to say of Madiba (the affectionate reference to Mandela) “I left convinced that Madiba, as absolutely everyone called Nelson Mandela, was one of the greatest leaders of our era, a true ‘water walker’ who seemed to cross even turbulent waters without needing much support, but who then set in place numerous stones for the people who followed’’. Leaders can rid themselves of hubris and hamartia A conscious and concerted effort is required, to ensure that leaders get a better understanding of the self and of others, By allowing oneself/ himself/ herself to get feedback from 360 degrees evaluations, leaders can be truly effective. At this crucial hour where humankind as a whole requires to be lead effectively, we require men and women, bold enough to deal with their hubris and their hamartia. By Prof Cecil Bodibe & Simphiwe Masiza,Empowaworx, 011 039 2314, email@example.com, www.empowaworx.com
Misfits … the executive talent opportunity companies miss By Annelize van Rensburg
hey are high on the wish list of many companies looking for a successor generation of leaders to move the business forward. They are characterised as strategic thinkers attuned to evolving opportunities with enough people, negotiating and influencing skills to build buy-in for a new vision. The trouble is they are hardly ever hired or promoted to senior posts. The reason? Management candidates that enjoy change and have the skills to build support for new initiatives may also be viewed at a more senior level as troublemakers, misfits and mavericks. CEOs, chairmen and directors supposedly looking for a leader in a new mould may therefore feel more comfortable with candidates that fit very snugly into the old one. Change agents are specified, but clones frequently get the job. Initially, however, new blood and fresh perspectives are requested and appropriate competencies listed on the executive search company’s specification sheet – strategic thinking, leadership, people development, innovation and adaptability. The reason for demanding such dynamic qualities is the growing boardroom realisation that success in today’s economy is rarely attained by allowing humdrum performers from the same industry ranks to do things the time-honoured way. Simply cloning executives to fit the old company template closes the door on new opportunities, as many international precedents confirm. Honda founder Soichiro Honda succeeded on his own after failing to get a job at Toyota. Oprah Winfrey was fired as a television reporter because she was ‘unfit for TV’. Countless examples drive home the point that top performers are often within reach – but reaching out to them can be a stretch, especially if they don’t fit the hiring company’s preconceptions. Leaders with new ideas may disrupt comfort zones. They are often mavericks who feel frustrated when penned in by constraints they believe to be outmoded and may have to move on. But it’s hardly a black mark on the CV if you can prove to have been fired, or asked to move, because you are ahead of your time. It would not disqualify a candidate for a shortlist prepared by a professional talent search practice hired by a company looking for reinvention. Many company directors also appreciate that if industries are changing then casting the talent search net into other industries could well work and may help identify top performers with new ideas. Billionaire Scott Cook was a brand manager at Procter & Gamble before co-founding Intuit and moving into financial software. Billionaire superinvestor Michael Moritz was a Time magazine reporter and a not very successful writer, before trying his hand at venture capital. The capacity of industry insiders to get things wrong is also a worry. Publishing industry ‘experts’ at 12 publishing houses turned down J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter manuscript. Record industry chiefs at Decca didn’t think The Beatles were very good. So it appears to make sense to remove own-industry blinkers and let in some outside influences. Yet it is rare for a top South African company to embrace managerial newcomers from outside the industry concerned. It may be subconscious, but there is a predisposition toward ‘one of us’ and the starting point for ‘one of us’ is shared industry grounding.This then extends to experience of the same challenges, expertise in the same areas
and qualification in the same subjects or professions. The tendency to successor cloning is therefore no surprise and is often confirmed at candidate selection stage. Rigorous assessment of competencies in line with the position profile may generate four or five candidates with strengths in all areas prioritised by the board. However, to provide balance and create a contrast, one candidate may be added to the shortlist who qualifies as a planning, organising, logical controller who sticks to the rules – and therefore resembles many current leaders at the company preparing for a dynamic new future. This is the ‘comfort candidate’. In many cases, comfort is preferred to change. The comfort candidate is the one the chairman and board go for – in defiance of the profile they themselves signed off. These contradictions can be avoided by applying a simple precept … Don’t recruit for today; recruit for five years ahead. This is only possible if your company is healthy and not in need of a turn-around but growth. The good news is that forward-looking businesses are already on the road to a substantial competitive advantage … because so many of their peers will be looking for comfort rather than looking ahead.
February 2012 People Dynamics
Proposed labour legislation set to bedevil HR management By lvan lsraelstam ‘NEDLAC’ stands for the National Economic Development and Labour Council. This is a high level forum where, amongst other things, legislation regarding labour and economic development issues is debated and formed in preparation for enactment in Parliament. This body therefore has a major responsibility to arrive at proposals for legislation that will promote economic development and a healthy labour economy. The parties represented at NEDLAC include government, labour unions, business and community. Their deliberations aim to achieve goals such as legal protection for workers and reversing unemployment. However, two key factors bedevilling the success of this forum are the severe conflicts between the above two goals of NEDLAC and the hugely disparate agendas of groups represented on the forum. The two goals of protection of employee rights on the one hand and of reversing unemployment on the other hand need not necessarily be conflicting goals. However, in the current South African situation they do seriously conflict with each other. This because the more the unions and government conspire to tighten up labour laws in the ‘interests of employee welfare’. the more employers are reluctant to employ people in South Africa. The current labour laws impose strong impediments to termination of employment for operational, misconduct and poor performance reasons. The law thus provides limited flexibility for employers and their HR/IR professionals and imposes very heavy obligations on them. Again, the more employers suffer under this yoke the more reluctant they are to employ people. Thus, the very laws that are designed to protect employees have the effect of reducing their employability. Business owners (and aspirant business owners), are responding by: l cutting back on existing labour l shrinking their HR/IR departments l resisting the need to hire people l turning to mechanisation l looking for non-labour intensive opportunities l keeping their businesses small l closing their factories and moving them to the far east, thus exporting South African jobs to the orient l choosing not to open new businesses here l in the case of potential foreign investors, (with a few exceptions) finding other countries to do business in. Those few foreign businesses such as Wal-Mart that are willing to open up here are not always welcomed by the unions. All of this shows that strong elements in the labour movement
People Dynamics February 2012
do not see job creation as the number one priority for South Africa. Ironically, our government is well aware of the serious damage that our labour laws are doing to the creation of jobs. This is proven by the admission by Minister Trevor Manuel who said, earlier this year, that our labour laws are hampering the creation of employment. Against the backdrop of President Zuma’s highly ambitious goal of creating 5 million jobs by 2020 Minister Manuel’s statement is hugely significant. A major concern is that, even in the unlikely case that the five million job target is achieved, it will not be nearly enough to solve the unemployment problem in SA. This is because of the many millions of school leavers that will be entering the job market over the next nine years. This may explain the labour minister’s slight shift in position as regards the intended introduction of the four new labour bills published in December 2010 which contain a plethora of proposals highly unfriendly towards employers and thus nonconducive to job creation. Should the new bills be enacted our labour dispensation will have been drawn so tight as to choke the life out of employment creation by the private sector. At the same time the government is making it very easy for Zimbabwean citizens to work in SA and to reduce job opportunities for South Africans even more. When South Africans complain they are criticised and labelled as xenophobic. The four bills, if enacted, will induce serious headaches for HR/ IR professionals. To cite only three of many examples: l Fixed-term employees will be able to take employers to CCMA if they have a reasonable expectation of being offered permanent employment. That is, it will be extremely difficult for HR professionals to hire staff on a fixed-term basis so as, for example, to test out their suitability.This is because, if the employee believes that the job itself is not temporary in nature, the employee can, immediately on being appointed, get the CCMA to convert the temp contract to a permanent one. This may well even apply to staff hired through a temp employment agency. l Employers will have the primary legal responsibility for the rights of people placed with them by temporary employment agencies and labour brokers even where the employee agrees that the job is temporary. l The con/arb process will be used more often. For enquiries regarding our Cape Town and Durban seminars on New Changes and Dangers in Labour Law scheduled for March 2012 please contact Ivan on 0828522973. lvan lsraelstam, Chief Executive of Labour Law Management Consulting. He may be contacted on (011) 888-7944 or 0828522973 or via e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Go to: www.labouradvice.co.za
Car insurance for students is a tricky road to navigate By Mandy Barrett
ere’s the scenario. Your son has enrolled as a student at ‘xyz varsity’ and needs a runabout. That’s great, because he’s now eighteen, so he has his driver’s license and his first car can be insured under parents’ motor policies (he can’t insure himself until he’s 21). So it’s all looking good and you as a parent have peace of mind that he’s correctly insured. Right? Well yes, but there’s a whole lot more to the story than meets the eye as providers of Group Motor and Household insurance for companies, Aon South Africa points out. Parents buy students their first vehicle and that’s an important moment in the cycle of life. But insurance industry figures show young drivers are most at risk and that the first three months after being licensed are the most risky of all. There are numerous reasons for this as we all know – cars that are too powerful for inexperienced drivers, theft, or worse, if the new driver is not yet fully security conscious, lots of travel and celebration as students taste freedom for the first time, etc. All this makes younger drivers a bad risk in the eyes of insurance companies and that’s why rates and excesses (the first portion of a claim) are higher than for older, more experienced drivers. Happily, there are solutions. For starters parents can choose a less powerful car for a student’s first vehicle, enrol them for advanced driving courses and make them aware of the consequences of bad road behaviour. Other suggestions are: Determine whether the car is comprehensively covered or only for theft and damage in an accident, or only for damage to a third party vehicle and whether you have added benefits such as roadside assistance and extensions to your cover, including adequate legal liability cover, cover for hail damage and premium waivers for a rainy day. Are there any exclusions on your policy where an insurer would not pay out and make sure your policy spells out who is allowed to drive the car other than the owner driver. Unhappily you can wake
up after a loss to find that without such specification you don’t have a claim. Test a tracking device on the car regularly and value any add-ons correctly - you may make the mistake of not taking into account towbars, cellphone car kits, navigation systems and sound systems. Make sure your policy provides for recovery of your vehicle in a neighbouring state – such cover is not a given and rescuing your vehicle from the depths of Botswana or Mocambique would be expensive. Our motor covers offer attractive premiums, negotiating power with insurers, wide policy wordings, value adds such as 24/7 roadside assistance and other benefits. It’s all about adding value when insuring students. Mandy Barrett, Aon, www.aon.com
February 2012 People Dynamics
The myth of work-life balance By Gary Taylor
hope that there is no one left who still believes that you can have it all. If you do, you will be wracked with guilt at the reality that you are compromising on so many fronts. We tend to look selectively at the parts of other people’s lives where they are doing well, and assume that it is possible to put in long hours on the job, be a great spouse, be fit and trim, spiritually at peace, have quality time with your family & friends, indulge in hobbies, be a good citizen, read widely and still have 8 hours sleep a night. It’s simply not possible in 24 hours, so the “balance” ends up being a game of compromises, or you simply abandon/fail at one or more of these components. No need to reach for more pills – even the most “together” of successful people will admit (to their expensive executive coaches) that they grapple with priorities. So, how do we improve the balance? Let’s start with work, because it is our job which occupies most of our waking hours. It’s naïve to assume that you can work smarter and not harder. Unless you are uniquely gifted, there are hungrier & harder working people who want your next job and, with the economic situation globally, you need to put in a lot of time if you are just going to survive, let alone advance. Adding time for studies and personal development just adds to the huge pressure in this area. There are numerous time-management and productivity techniques around – try whatever works for you. But the reality is that long hours are almost universally being demanded at skilled and executive level. Choosing 40 hours a week will have career consequences, and choosing 60+ has balance consequences. So, is there hope in achieving balance? Yes, but the trick lies in the way you work out those compromises. Let’s take a look at some of the collective wisdom which has emerged from all our constant struggles. Remember that half the battle is minimizing the guilt and stress caused by the balancing act, and the other half revolves around efficient time management. One option is that you should look toward combining two of your “life” objectives into a single activity, to achieve maximum benefit. For instance, if you can do a single thing which is simultaneously a hobby and a health activity and you do it with family, you achieve more on your “balance” scorecard than running on a treadmill in the gym alone and hating it. Attention to health issues is time-consuming, especially during the week, because of travel time. Consider combining health and hobby activities, so that you get a de-stressing payback as well. I swapped gym for mountain biking recently, because it helps me get fit, manage
my weight, de-stress and have a great time with friends. Some parents switch to doing family sports with their kids, and find that it achieves even better family payoff than just health-wise. Also, watch out for any hobby which takes more than 3 hours during the week, or 3 hours on the weekend, even if it is healthy. Have a drink after sports, but not 3 – for all kinds of reasons. Hobbies are fun and an investment in self, but beware selfindulgence and priority creep. If yours is the internet, gaming, movies or any pastime, enjoy it. However, hobbies can be dysfunctionally addictive, and not as relaxing as you like to pretend to yourself. “Audit” your time and benchmark the impact with honest friends and family. Spiritual matters are important for most people, and the investment of time and energies is enormously rewarding. Set aside time for your spiritual life, and know what it is you are going to be doing. Here again, without compromising your spirituality, combining this with family (going to church together), friendships (charity initiatives) or hobbies (music participation) allows you to meet multiple objectives. Family time is the one we probably feel the most guilty about. Listen to the song “The cat’s in the cradle” and cringe. We all fear the deathbed wish about not having spent more time with family. Here again, consider less spontaneity (with the risk of letting family down) in favour of more planned quality family time. It might be a simple ice cream together, a rough-and-tumble or listening to their favourite song without criticism. Meals without TV… and sometimes doing different hobbies but side-by-side. Then there’s sleep. This is also open to compromise, such as the time of going to bed and waking, and even the amount of sleep per night. I envy those who thrive on 4 hours a night, but have also learned to do with less, and catch up on weekends, for instance. This is risky, and only advisable if you have something great to make it worthwhile. Red Bull is not a solution, but just 15 minutes less sleep in trade off for family/fitness/faith objectives is probably worth it. Evaluate what you do daily between 9pm and bed time, and see if it could be better allocated. For some, the approach suggested above might be offensive and overly project-managed.An unstructured weekend might be treasured, and couch surfing with a remote control in each hand can be truly de-stressing. It is all a matter of constantly tweaking the priorities and working out the most tolerable imbalance for you, your family and your employer. Enjoy the juggle.
Gary Taylor has written several articles for People Dynamics over the years. His Mentor Matters is a regular column in which he addresses topical HR issues from the perspective of a career HR practitioner (and mentor) and offers some new perspectives on regular issues that HR practitioners face daily. Gary has been in HR for 25 years, in National Mutual and Unilever, HR director at Medscheme for 14 years, and three years as Executive Director: HR at Wits University. Three years ago, he was appointed to start up HR for a new university in Saudi Arabia, where he is now Director of the Policy Office. He is registered as a Master HR Practitioner and Mentor with the SABPP, served as vice president for the IPM for two years, and received the IPM President’s Award in 2008. He has written a number of chapters for an HR textbook, been published in People Dynamics and HR Future, and was the SA correspondent for the UK magazine, People Management.
People Dynamics February 2012
How to climb the ladder By Lawrence Wordon
stablish yourself as someone with leadership potential and you could be well on your way to securing one of the higher rungs on your very own corporate ladder. And the good news is that the great heights you wish to reach are not entirely out of your hands. With a successful career planning strategy you too can get to where you want to go. The secret behind effective career planning lies in how often one embarks on this exercise. If we consider how frequently many people change jobs in this day and age, it makes sense that we should all return to the drawing board on a regular basis to ensure we’re on track to reach our higher goals and ambitions. Indeed, experts advise that those serious about acquiring leadership positions should set aside time at least once a year to establish what they want from their careers and how they’re going to get there. During this session it is also a good idea to map the path your career has taken thus far, so that you can learn from your past to shape your future. Have a vision and a ‘to do list’ consisting of what you need to do to get where you want to go. And remember to include ‘the how’ and more importantly, the ‘by when’ date. You must also be driven and passionate in executing your plan, and consider appointing a coach to help you on your journey and keep you focused. Play an active role in your career and don’t sit back and wait for those promotions to come to you. Reflect on your likes, dislikes and hobbies to ensure you are in a job that remains close to your heart. Only when you do what you love will you excel. Make constant notes of all your accomplishments, both big and small, so that when the time comes to search for a new position in the interest of furthering your career, you
have all the information at your fingertips to pen a powerful CV. Establish a roadmap for your career featuring short, medium and long-term goals. Research the various routes you can take to get to where you want to go. And finally, seek out training and educational opportunities that will give you the skills-set you need to secure your dream position. An important step securing a higher position within your company is to have a strong self-belief system. As Russian short-story writer, Anton Chekhov said, ‘Man is what he believes.’ Have patience to succeed and upskill yourself as this is an ongoing journey and entirely your responsibility. Communicate your aspirations to your line manager and ask for feedback and help in your development plan. Also remember, Rome was not built in a day. And while competition for a position may be fierce, it is still possible to handle rivalry with the grace and dignity of a born leader. Keep your composure! And learn to wait for the right time to make decisions and take action. Remember competition keeps you ahead of your game and can motivate you to reflect on whether you are a real team player. Never bad mouth your competition and give credit where credit is due. And above all, learn from the achievements of others. Get in the driving seat of your working life today by establishing an effective career planning strategy. With hard work and determination, the rung on the corporate ladder that you’ve had your eye on will be yours before you know it. Lawrence Wordon, managing director, Kelly
Make 2012 your best year yet By Kim Meszaros
ccording to the Chinese calendar, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon, which is symbolised by ambition, success, a passion for risks, as well as a lack of fear when it comes to challenges.Whether you’re a believer in, or sceptic about, eastern mythology, it cannot be argued that these are positive attributes to nurture if you have dreams of making your mark in the world of work. By engaging in a simple goal-setting exercise and embarking on a strategic career planning process, you too can harness the power of the mighty dragon and take the next 12 months from good to great. If you wish to make progress in the coming year, it’s important to take the time to set some well thought out and realistic goals prior to charging your glass in celebration of the New Year Set the agenda Every great event has an agenda that guides it and if you wish 2012 to be a positively eventful year, then preparing an agenda is crucial. It goes without saying that the goals you set translate into this plan and offer a picture of how you would like your year to play out. When goal-setting it’s important to follow the ‘S.M.A.R.T.’ principle to ensure you are not inadvertently setting yourself up for failure. Think S.M.A.R.T. “S.M.A.R.T.” stands for specific; measurable; achievable; realistic; and time-targeted. By using these principles as your framework when thinking about what it is you would like to achieve by the
time the festive season rolls around again, you are safeguarding yourself against failure. All that’s left to do is make a firm and definite decision to make the most of yourself and your career throughout the coming months and you’ll no doubt have reason to celebrate as the year draws to a close. Become irreplaceable If you’d like to find yourself in a better place this time next year, then take a long and hard look at the way you conduct yourself as an employee. Becoming an employee you would like to manage if you were a team leader is one effective way of ensuring your goals are achieved this year. Become irreplaceable by adopting good habits such as always being on time, caring about your co-workers, dressing for success and working with and constantly reaffirming your goals. Find time to reflect on your past performance and learn from your mistakes, upskill yourself whenever and wherever possible and in short, make yourself irreplaceable by always being the best you can be. Harness the power of the Dragon With celebrations from the clock striking midnight on December 31st having passed and the New Year is upon you, make sure your plan is in place to make 2012 your best year yet. Think of the mighty dragon and all it represents, and success will undoubtedly be yours before the year is out. Kim Meszaros, marketing executive, Kelly
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People Dynamics February 2012
The changing role of the CIO By Michael de Andrade
t’s time for the chief information officer (CIO) to make a shift from technologist to strategist. This should be self-evident. It’s a perennial argument that’s been punted for years by industry observers. With quantum shifts in technology, now is the time for the CIO to align the information technology team with the strategic pulse of the organisation. Mobile BI, along with big data, analytics on the fly and cloud computing are just some of the challenges facing today’s CIO. Of them all, the cloud poses the greatest threat – and the most opportunity. Estimates indicate that, by 2013, some 60% of JSE-listed organisations in South Africa will have adopted cloud computing. As IT applications move to the cloud, the CIO will need to market his services to line departments, rather than positioning himself as a technology provider. He will need to present internal and external resources seamlessly to his business colleagues. If he doesn’t do this, he could find himself out of a job. To achieve success, the CIO and the IT department need to get closer to the business. The CIO needs to consult with the CEO on strategic initiatives and business planning rather than falling back on helping his team solve the problem. Nowhere is this more essential than in the realm of business intelligence (BI), because of its strategic impact. There are still too many instances where the CIO remains the custodian of BI. Instead BI needs to be adopted and appreciated throughout the business organisation. New dynamics are making this imperative. In a recent Magic Quadrant report, the Gartner Group stated that: “Vocal, demanding and influential business users are increasingly driving BI purchasing decisions, most often choosing easier to use data discovery tools over traditional BI platforms – with or without IT’s consent.” With mobile applications driving demand for BI on the fly, the IT team is in danger of being swamped with requests for new applications. On the other hand, business users are tempted to bypass the BI team and look for self-service solutions. This is a good reason for the IT
team and business leaders to get together to find joint solutions. A business intelligence competency centre (BICC) provides an ideal forum for achieving this. The BICC is a multi-disciplinary team that provides an opportunity for the CIO to work with product development, marketing, finance and human resources and to focus on business outcomes. It’s about making the move from providing business intelligence tools to creating an intelligent business. In today’s turbulent world, CIOs need to become proactive in challenging the CEO and getting the board to consider what value IT delivers in terms of supporting business objectives. But this is a two-way street, the lifeblood of most organisations today is IT, yet a large proportion of business leaders still view IT as a cost centre rather than as a way of driving business performance. It’s up to the CEO to involve the CIO in strategic decision making so that he can develop effective IT services that underpin business sustainability and innovation. According to recently appointed IBM CIO Jeanette Horan, this is starting to happen. CIOs are spending more of their time on business issues either by delegating or outsourcing technical operations. As a result they are delivering an agile IT organisation that proactively meets the needs of the business. King III governance requirements brought IT to the boardroom table. It’s time now for the CIO to report directly to the chief executive, rather than to the CFO. This will help shift the perception of IT as a cost centre and lead to recognising the value IT brings in enhancing the organisation’s ability to meet its business objectives. The emerging CIO will ask first ‘Is this good for the organisation?’ and only then ‘How much does it cost’ and ‘How can we structure the process?’ The CIO who is successful in adopting this mindset will not only secure his position; he will find he is better placed to take the top job himself, when the opportunity arises. Michael de Andrade, CEO, EnterpriseWorx, www.enterpriseworx.co.za February 2012 People Dynamics
Career advancement through networking W
hile your current employer may offer full-time employment, decent salary and a good working environment. That is not enough as it’s only designed to help you find your place in a diverse, fast-paced corporate environment in your career.There may be other tolls provided to hone your skills and fast-track your development, such as on-the-job training, mentoring and international exposure but networking is key! According to Monita Gutuza, CEO and Founder of Inspiring Purpose”. Networking allows you to keep abreast of your industry developments, current trends and gives you a permission to change direction if necessary, without feeling guilty or as if you’ve failed”. The Power of Networking As the old saying goes” it’s not about who you know, but who knows you”. You have to be creative enough with an enquiring mind and a lot of energy, drive and initiative in every area of your work. Gone are the days where companies only use the traditional methods of recruiting new employees such as referrals or advertising.Today is all about how you sell yourself as a “brand” that can add value to an organization through networking your way up (get to know as many people as you can). Someone might be saying “Oh, I’m just a receptionist in this company and I see no need of networking”. Networking is not exclusive to people with titles, green offices and a specific career paths but it’s about you as an individual going beyond and bringing something unique. Gutuza advises that employers go for candidates they like and if you’re subdued and not interested in a challenge, nobody will take notice of you. Networking also provides an opportunity to meet like-minded people who are easy to approach and willing to help. Networking can teach you valuable lessons Your career may give you the opportunity to express your creativity and explore potential but there are other skills which you will have to learn outside work environment. This includes being an analytical thinker, good negotiator and the ability to operate in a flexible and often undefined environment. Networking is an important part of your career development-make contacts, create alliances, build a support group and befriend people with similar interests. Questions to ask people working in your field might include: l What do you like, or dislike about working in this field l Could you describe an ‘average” day in your profession? l Do you have any recommendations for someone who want to make it in this field? Where to network? l Professional organisations like IPM: offer their members networking opportunities through functions and events. Attending these will help you to build your professional network, and the more connections you can build in your career the easier it will be to find a mentor you can turn to for help and advice. These connections will also make it easier for you to build your career, whether you stay in your job for a while or switch companies.The key is to find a professional body that will suit your qualification and chosen career. Some of them require that you have a certain level of education before you can join them, and will often offer help in achieving the right level. Others will expect a certain amount of work experience before you can become a member.
People Dynamics February 2012
l Contacts: are made in everyday life, which means portraying and maintaining an image is crucial. Professionals need to see themselves as a brand and position themselves accordingly; says Jeanette Smeddie, recruitment specialist at The Human Jigsaw. Central to this is the need to build a network of contacts that will not only share their experiences with you, but also provide a framework of potential references. l Approaching an agency: networking effectively with an employment agency can also be a boost for your career. Liaise with the agency regularly and make sure you truly stand out on their database. l Going online: social networking portals are also an effective way to start and maintain networks based on mutual interest that will help you get ahead e.g. facebook, linkedin. All of these will not only help you stay in contact with people you know, but also allow you to expand your networks through theirs. If you haven’t already joined a social networking portal or two, make sure you do so today. l Word-of-mouth: is a powerful networking tool so speak to people (fellow colleagues, people in your industry etc.) about your career ambitions. But remember to be realistic about these ambitions-avoid setting them too low or too high. A word of advice When you’ve started building your network, get serious about maintaining it. Make sure you keep a list of contact up-to-date and in a safe place, and make a point of contacting the people in your network on a regular basis. Guidelines for effective networking: l Be very aware of your individual needs & specific about what you want to achieve through networking. l Ask questions and make sure that you’re not just looking for short-term benefits. l Develop positive interpersonal skills, including respect for diversity l Find out if there are major conferences or workshops you can attend because they will help you network & remain in the loop. l Before you invest too much time and energy in your networking strategy, do a little research to determine if the event you’re attending is worth gambling on.This reality check may just save you from years of frustration and a bleeding wallet. Networking your way up When you sign up to be an employee or do business in any industry nobody knows who you are and what you’re all about, therefore, you’re signing up to be learning individual. “You will be forced to look beyond traditional, even proven, ways of advancing your career” adds Smeddie. And contrary to popular belief-that education is the panacea for all ills and the fastest way to get ahead in your career-your worth to employers is based on the combination of experience, tangible and intangible skills. Important links: l www.acrnetwork.org, l www.leadership.co.uk, l The Career Survival Guide: By Brian O’Connell Thulisa Mangcotywa, Founder, Fezekisa Group, 031 368 1979, email@example.com, www.fezekisacom.co.za
February 2012 People Dynamics
Reinvent yourself in 2012 By Ken Blanchard
ow many of your New Year’s resolutions have you kept? There’s no better time to think about reinventing ourselves than at the beginning of a new year, says Ken Blanchard, and even if your plans to lose weight or stop smoking aren’t looking so good by now, it’s not too late to start focusing on improving the quality of your leadership, and reinventing yourself. If you’re the kind of leader who constantly wants to learn, then you’re probably reinventing yourself on almost a daily basis. When we stop learning, we might as well give up because our leadership becomes dead. No single leader knows everything all the time, and we always have something to learn. I believe every leader ought to set at least one personal goal each year, something that they are able to put on their resume next year that they don’t have on it this year. It might be learning a new language. It could be learning a new computer programme. This goal might form part of on organised Continuous Professional Development programme, or it might just be an initiative you are inspired to take yourself, independently. But constantly putting yourself in a learning mode means you’re always going to be on the ball and more likely to be performing at the peak of your game. What does it take to be a good leader? I’ve long said that the biggest thing it takes to be a good leader is humility. We get confused about that word, thinking it means we have to let others walk all over us. This isn’t true; people with humility don’t think less of themselves, they just think about themselves less. I think Rick Warren summed it all up in the first sentence of his book, The Purpose Driven Life, when he said “It’s not about you.” That first sentence encapsulated a whole servant -leadership training programme, because it sums up a critical business truth – we become much better leaders when we realise that we are here not for ourselves, but for our mission, our clients, and our people, and that focus is what will deliver a healthier workplace culture, drive results, and elevate ours to the status of a high performing organisation. The best leaders are also the best coaches There are three parts to leadership. First there is the visionary,
People Dynamics February 2012
direction part of leadership which asks: “Where are we going?” and “What are we trying to accomplish?” This vision has got to come from the top, and is the responsibility of the traditional leadership hierarchy. Of course you involved other people in setting and driving the vision, but people should and will look to the president, the CEO, their department chairman, and other traditional leaders within a company to make sure everybody knows where they are going and what the end goal is. This is performance planning, setting the goals and objectives. The second part of leadership is implementation, which is asking how we live according to the vision, direction, and values that we have established. This is when we have to turn the traditional hierarchy upside down, so the leaders who played a major role in setting the vision are now at the bottom cheerleading, supporting, and coaching on a day-to-day basis to help people accomplish their goals. Leaders also have responsibility for performance evaluation and, too often in most companies, the majority of time is spent on this area, and managers can get far too focused on judging people’s behaviour. Some companies do a pretty good job of goal setting but then file the goals away until somebody says it is performance review time. The thing that is done least well often is the day-to-day coaching, yet this is a very important part of leadership. We’ve probably all come across leaders who don’t coach for performance, yet will harshly judge a colleague when he or she ‘fails.’ Helping your people and your organisation perform at a higher level in 2012 Successful leaders are astute enough to recognise that profit is the applause you get for doing a great job, from taking care of your customers and creating a motivating environment for your people. There is a no better time to start creating that type of environment by re-inventing your self as a leader than in the New Year. Web www.kenblanchard.com, Social Media Links: Twitter@kenblanchard, Facebook: www.facebook.com/kenblanchardfanpage, Blog: www.HowWeLead.org, Business and Management forum: www.leaderchat.org. © The Ken Blanchard Companies, 2012
Poor diversity management results in a drop in business performance By Sharon Boyce
s BEE compliance levels continue to improve across South African industry, financial performance falls as a result of a collective resistance by management and employees to embrace the changing landscape. Increasingly companies are fulfilling their mandate to create a workforce that better reflects the demographics of South Africa. However more than half of the companies are failing to follow through on their diversity drive by introducing an effective training program that will create a workplace free of prejudice and where teams can work constructively. South African companies are bearing the brunt of the fact that prejudice in this country runs deep. Good ideas are blocked due to individuals being unconsciously stuck in stereotypical thinking and reactively responding to situations in ways that are not constructive. Using horses to work around this highly emotive issue is proving to be extremely powerful. Working with the horses provides nonthreatening opportunities in which individuals are encouraged to explore their thinking behind the assumptions they make; first about the horses and then through setting up the metaphor to relate to workplace relationships. In this way individuals are able to explore the impact their thoughts and beliefs have on others as well as on the decisions they make. Essentially the arena with the horses is a safe place to explore many unconscious prejudicial and stereotypical thoughts that inform the assumptions people make about the differences in the people they work with. The demand for equine therapy in the workplace has grown exponentially in recent years. A growing number of mental health professionals believe that horse therapy can be significantly more productive in group sessions than talk therapy. Because of the size of a horse, their acute sensitivity and their history with humans, they have a unique appeal, helping clients to become more engaged in the therapeutic process. The EAGALA model offers a solution-focused, client-centred approach which enables teams to find the best and most appropriate
solutions for themselves. Coupled with the non-verbal nature and appeal of horses, our therapy has successfully provided impactful results in a shorter timeframe than that achieved through traditional diversity training. A group’s relationship with a horse can provide emotional insights and self-understanding. Unlike therapeutic riding where a client is mounted on a horse, EAGALA sessions take place on the ground. They are facilitated by an accredited mental health professional as well as an equine specialist and are solution-focused and based on a code of ethics. The equine therapy offered through the EAGALA model can be used in association with or as an alternative to talk therapy. Horses often break through the barriers that in more traditional modes of counselling can stall individuals and groups. Teams might, for example, be charged with the task of helping a horse through an obstacle. Instead of simply talking about their problems or being led to solutions, the group works with the animal to find solutions. The horse acts as a teacher and unlocks and reveals prejudices that are creating corporate distractions. In essence, the animal facilitates emotional breakthroughs. The Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), a non-profit organisation that set the global standard for horserelated therapy including psychotherapy and learning, recently announced its expansion into South Africa as part of its global expansion programme.The organisation, which was founded in the USA, operates in 38 countries in Europe, Latin America, Australasia, the Middle East and Africa and has trained more than 8 000 people since it was founded in 1999. Certified professionals work with a broad spectrum of workplace issues including diversity, leadership, stress management and teamwork. Sharon Boyce, EAGALA Advanced Certified, 084 500 0672, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.eagala.org
February 2012 People Dynamics
News and reviews
HR in brief
Softline VIP Clinches Business and Professional Services Company of the Year for 2011 Softline VIP was announced as the winner of the business and professional services category in the 2011 rendition of the ‘Deloitte Best Company to Work for Survey’.We are quite pleased with the results. Softline VIP also placed second overall, in the medium company category (301-2,500 full time employees) for a second consecutive year. The survey provides detailed feedback that is generated from our employees directly, via a neutral third-party mediator. It ultimately gives us an unbiased insight into our operations as a business and our success as far as our human capital strategy is concerned, which is the primary motivator for our participation in the event. The annual ‘Deloitte Best Company to Work for Survey’ is a coveted title that is regarded by many as a barometer of working conditions in South Africa. Companies continually aspire to excel in the race for skills retention in an increasingly challenging economy where human capital plays a crucial role in the success of a business. It is the third year that Softline VIP has participated in the survey. The feedback we receive is critically analysed and we utilise it to form the basis of an action plan that is intended to better our work processes and to create an environment in which our employees can excel as individuals and as a team. Congratulations to all the winners and we are looking forward to the 2012 Best Company to Work for Survey. South African companies to be acknowledged for remuneration reporting excellence The South African Reward Association (SARA) has launched a new remuneration report award that is sponsored by PwC Remchannel, to recognise excellence in reporting on remuneration issues by local companies. The award encourages best practice during a time when effective, transparent disclosure of executive remuneration increases in importance, in line with the greater focus on corporate governance in South Africa following the launch of King III in March 2010. Open and transparent stakeholder communication, and trust through reporting disclosures, needs to be improved to better align financial, economical and environmental interests. This award can promote and encourage good corporate governance practices and acknowledges the efforts by companies to become good corporate citizens. Free enterprise prospers in an environment of good and balanced corporate governance. The winner will be announced at the SARA Reward Awards Banquet, to be held on Saturday 29 October 2011 following a nominations process that closed 8 August 2011.
The companies shortlisted as finalists are: l Anglogold Ashanti l Nedbank lNetcare l Sappi l Vodacom These companies were judged on their remuneration reports published prior to 30 June 2011 and in respect of financial years ending on or before 31 March 2011. The winning remuneration report will be chosen by an independent judging panel, appointed by SARA. An effective remuneration report includes legislation requirements and corporate governance principles, the report will provide evidence of a manifest commitment to best practice and communicates how the company’s approach to remuneration supports its business strategy and aligns the interests of its executives with those of its shareholders. Wellness programmes at work tax free By Ron Warren Employees whose employers have introduced wellness and fitness training classes within the workplace do not have to pay fringe benefit tax to keep fit. More and more companies are introducing wellness centres and programmes into their businesses as a benefit for their employees across the wellness spectrums including gym training etc. Companies can pay gym instructors and wellness consultants to conduct training for employees in the workplace and put this through their businesses as an expense and it does not have to reflect as a taxable employee fringe benefit. There is provision in the Fourth Schedule regarding the taxation of free or cheap services as a fringe benefit. This provides that the fringe benefit will have no monetary value for any service provided by an employer to employees; l for the better performance of their duties at their place of work; or l as a benefit to be enjoyed by them at their place of work or l for recreational purposes at their place of work; or l for recreational purposes at a place of recreation for the use of employees in general. Accordingly, if the gym trainers or wellness consultants provide their services at the employees’ place of work, they will have no value for fringe benefit tax purposes. However, if they are provided away from the place of work, their cost to the employer will be a taxable fringe benefit. A fringe benefit is a benefit that an employee receives as a part of his employment. It is the cost of the benefit to the employer in most cases, but in other cases (like a company car) the Fourth Schedule to the Income Tax Act sets out rules as to how the taxable value of the benefit is to be arrived at. Once the value of the benefit has been arrived at, that is added to the taxable remuneration received by the employee and that total is subjected to tax. In other words, a taxable fringe benefit is just remuneration that is received in a non-cash form.
IPM Events for 2012 June
March 5 - 7
Human Resource Business Partner Master Class Positioning HR effectively within the organisation and Partnering with line executives on the delivery of HR services. Human Resource Directors Leadership Summit To provide an interactive forum for HR leaders to not only prepare for the future, but also provide the necessary leadership to the HR profession.
BEE Seminar 40 out of 100 of the BEE scorecard standard points focuses on people. The seminar will focus on best practice research, case studies and enabling processes and tools Mini Conference Provides the how to in terms of strategy developments, operations, systems and aims at improving the competencies of HR Practitioners as well as building capacity.
July Human Resource Development Audit Sharing best practice; international perspectives & India experience by Steve Kgatuke
People Dynamics February 2012
Human Resource Business Partner Master Class Positioning HR effectively within the organisation and Partnering with line executives on the delivery of HR services.
Womens Conference Driving the women’s agenda in the workplace and the barriers to progress; employment practices that facilitate gender equality in the workplace; taking responsibility for your own personal and career development; the role of the law and civil society in advancing gender equality in the workplace; and attitudes and societies that succeed versus those that fail.
DG Review Sharing best practice; Presenters are employment equity experts
Annual Convention Sun City A forum where thought leaders share leading practices, operating modules and frameworks with delegates.
8th Annual ASTD International Conference Champagne Sports Resort, Drakensberg, South Africa Wednesday 14 to Friday 16 March 2012
In March 2012, ASTD South Africa is proud to present it’s 8th Annual International Conference and Exhibition in the picturesque Champagne Sports Resort at the foot of the Drakensberg. This is probably one of the best conference venues in the country.
with challenging paradigms, global insights, strategic thinking and an innovate spirit.
The programme will open on Tuesday afternoon, 13 March, with six pre-conference workshops lead by experts in their elds. Ten plenary sessions (with 7 International speakers) and a choice of three tracks, featuring 18 afternoon sessions will follow on Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 March, closing with the nal Knowledge Café panel discussion on Friday morning 16 March.
“The Annual ASTD Conference organized by ASTD Global Network South Africa is the best event for training professionals in South Africa” Marius Meyer, CEO: South African Board for People Practices (SABPP)
The theme of the conference is LEARN LEAD INNOVATE. Seven hand-picked world class international speakers from the USA, UK, Belgium and Europe together with twenty local experts will provide a Knowledge Café of innovative thinking and sustainable practices to ensure that the take away benets will be value adding. TOPICS INCLUDE: “Making Knowledge Workers Effective; The great challenge for 21st Century Management” presented by Richard Straub, President of the Peter Drucker Society Europe. “Classic Training Design meets new Technology in maximizing your return on Investments” presented by Dr Wayne Cascio, Professor of Management at the University of Colorado, USA. “Full Engagement: They Key to LEARNING, LEADING and INNOVATION” presented by Dr Spencer Kagan, Founder of Kagan Professional Development, USA. “Boundary Spanning Leadership; Catalyse Collaboration, Drive Innovation and Transform Organisations” presented by Natalie Pothier and Hans Onderbeke from The Centre for Creative Leadership in Europe. Champagne Sports Resort has been specially selected to bring delegates the best in catering and accommodation and the correct ambience to facilitate outstanding network and interactive opportunities. ASTD South Africa will continue to provide one of the most outstanding premier events for Leaders, Human Resource and HRD champions and provide delegates
Richard Straub President of the Drucker Society Europe Making Knowledge Workers Effective: The great challenge for 21st Century Management
Feedback from delegates who have attended previous ASTD South Africa Conferences is very positive.
“Every training practitioner needs a chance to grow, to be challenged by new ideas, to network – at least once a year. Without that injection of new ideas we grow tired and stale and distinctly unmemorable! I’ve had the privilege of attending and speaking at ASTD several times, and each time I have returned rejuvenated and excited about learning – and excited about transferring ideas from great South Africans and international experts into my workshops” Karen Gray, CEO: Gray Training “As a small private provider, our benchmark for excellence has always come from Robin Probart and his dedicated team from ASTD SA. The Association has kept us on track concerning the real development of people in organizations who are serious about skills development in our country, and further aeld where we apply our principles of skills development in 10 countries in Africa.” Irene James, MD: Dionysus ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) is a leading association of workplace learning and performance professionals, forming a world class community of practice. It’s global network spans over more than 100 countries with 70,000 global members. ASTD South Africa is the ofcial partner representing ASTD International. Our mission as a Global knowledge Leader, is to provide exceptional leadership in Learning and Workplace Improvement and help create a skilled workforce to adapt to challenges of the future. Detailed information on the programme and speakers may be accessed via the conference website, www.astd2012.co.za.
Dr Spencer Kagan Founder of Kagan Professional Development USA
Dr Wayne Cascio Professor of Management at the University of Colorado, Denver
The Key to LEARNING, LEADING and INNOVATION
Classic Training Design meets new Technology in maximizing your return on investments February 2012 People Dynamics
My person of the year Y
es, it comes around seemingly ever faster. It’s the time of year when I have to choose the person who, in my honest opinion, emerged as last year’s person of the year. And choosing the 2011 winner was no easier than usual. After a huge amount of soul-searching I eventually reduced the players down to two – and both of them are female. Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was a beacon in 2011 that all those in high office should venerate as a symbol of courage and rectitude in an environment that is riddled with corruption and maladministration. Fearlessly, sometimes against serious opposition, she pursued and exposed wrongdoings and honestly became the strongest voice for good in this country. Her exposes led to President Zuma firing two ministers and suspending the National Police Commissioner. Naming Madonsela as joint news-maker of the year, National Press Club Chairman Yusuf Abramjee said: “The impact of her work is priceless, seen in the context of South Africa – both in the private and public sector – where corruption and maladministration is rife. Her strong leadership, accompanied by decisive actions, assists greatly in leading the country to a corruption-free society.” I am sure all of us hope that Thuli will continue her admirable work whatever forces are ranged against her. But I couldn’t let 2011 pass without honouring another great South African lady who unfortunately died during the year. She was, of course, Albertina Sisulu, widow of ANC leader Walter and undisputed “mother of the nation”. I am sure all my readers are well aware of “Ma Sisulu’s” history and her courageous struggle against apartheid at the side of her husband. Suffice it to say that she and her children were relentlessly persecuted by the state which resulted in numerous bannings and jail sentences.
People Dynamics February 2012
In 1989 as the death throes of apartheid were approaching Albertina was finally allowed a passport and went abroad for the first time. In the US she was feted by George Bush Snr and in Britain met Margaret Thatcher. After this country’s first democratic elections Albertina became an MP with her power base strongly based in women’s organisations such as the ANC Women’s League and the Federation of South African Women. The plight of women and children was her abiding concern. Her bond with her husband, despite everything, was strong and lasting – something that is embodied in her poem “Walter, What Will I do WithoutYou?” which was read at her husband’s funeral in 2003. After his death, Albertina lived quietly in the family home in Linden, but her children continue to play a prominent role in South African public: Lindiwe is Minister of Defence and Max is speaker of the National Assembly. Ma Sisulu is my South African of 2011. May her rich legacy live after her. See you next month. All the best, Gabriel
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People Dynamics Feb 2012