HOW TO FUTURE-PROOF YOUR BUSINESS Consultancy cover_3.indd 1
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F ROM T HE EDI T OR
THE VALUE OF CONSULTANTS
here’s a humorous adage that says “a consultant is someone who takes the watch off your arm, then tells you what time it is”. However, despite the joking, consultants are necessary and now, perhaps more important than ever before. Although businesses were rapidly evolving digitally before the pandemic struck, lockdown has created a massive demand for even speedier digital transformation and cloud computing. It’s much easier if you have an expert consultant advising you. There is a growing clamour within businesses for the implementation of proper succession planning, something certainly worth the expense of using experts to achieve. The same could be said of human resources, particularly with the shift to remote working and the increasing need for specialist skills. With the implementation of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), compliance remains at the forefront of most business leaders’ minds. The potential for reputational and financial damage should you fail to protect this data is huge – a consultant will advise your company on how to use personal information to your benefit and avoid costly fines. South African businesses also need to meet the requirements of Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-bBEE). The rules around this can also be complex and difficult to navigate, making the hiring of an expert the logical choice. Lastly, once your business is transformed, in the cloud and fully compliant with the rules, you need to let customers know. This is when you should bring in a marketing consultant. Rodney Weidemann Editor
BUSINESS CONSULTING Businesses are evolving faster than ever before. Bringing in an expert to help with the evolution is a good idea
CLOUD CONSULTING Large-scale adoption of the cloud is on the rise as many businesses continue to work remotely
RISK AND COMPLIANCE With the POPI Act finally in play, ensuring that your business is properly compliant with the law has never been more critical
CONSULTANCY Published by:
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www.businessmediamags.co.za EDITORIAL Editor: Rodney Weidemann Content Manager: Raina Julies firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors: Trevor Crighton, James Francis, Denise Mhlanga Copy Editor: Brenda Bryden Content Co-ordinator: Vanessa Payne Digital Editor: Stacey Visser email@example.com DESIGN Head of Design: Jayne Macé-Ferguson Senior Design: Mfundo Archie Ndzo Advert Designer: Bulelwa Sotashe Cover Images: istock.com, supplied SALES Project Manager: Tarin-Lee Watts WattsT@picasso.co.za +27 87 379 7119 I +27 79 504 7729 PRODUCTION Production Editor: Shamiela Brenner Advertising Co-ordinator: Johan Labuschagne Subscriptions and Distribution: Fatima Dramat firstname.lastname@example.org Printing: Novus Print MANAGEMENT Management Accountant: Deidre Musha Business Manager: Lodewyk van der Walt General Manager, Magazines: Jocelyne Bayer
SUCCESSION PLANNING A failure to plan remains a plan for failure – especially when it comes to succession planning for a business
B-bBEE CONSULTING It can be difficult to interpret and understand the complex B-bBEE laws; rather than struggle, companies should seek help
MARKETING Companies need to rethink how they communicate with their audience to ensure their marketing efforts are targeted and effective
COPYRIGHT: Picasso Headline. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written consent of the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited material. Consultancy is published by Picasso Headline. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Picasso Headline. All advertisements/advertorials have been paid for and therefore do not carry any endorsement by the publisher.
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SEEKING PROFESSIONAL ADVICE IS A NO-BRAINER
n entrepreneur will not think twice about asking for a legal opinion because it’s the right thing to do. But to ask for business advice might, in their eyes, make them appear less of a businessperson, says Frank Vos of Frank Vos Consulting, explaining why some people are hesitant to hire business consultants. “No wonder that when they hit the wall, they go out of business. Look at these numbers quoted by Michael E Gerber in his best seller, The E-Myth Revisited: ‘Every year in the US, a million people start a business of some sort. Within one year, at least Grant 40 per cent will be out Brewer of business. Within five years, 80 per cent of them will have failed.’ “These clearly demonstrate the importance of professional business advice,” adds Vos.
Business consulting has always been a broad term, but the huge changes to strategies, operations and technologies brought about since early 2020, now make it crucial, writes RODNEY WEIDEMANN
“For big corporates, the notion is fortunately different. Simply because there is another level of oversight – the shareholders. At the end of the day, they make the decision to call in business consultants when they see the senior management team struggling. It’s as simple as that.” Grant Brewer, strategy and transformation leader at consulting firm EY Parthenon, says that the company defines “business consulting” as the manner in which it partners with clients to help them better build their businesses and navigate more easily the world around them.
“By adding our knowledge to their knowledge, we can help them find solutions to some of the biggest challenges they face. But, it is important to be a partner that they can trust to help them stay agile to change their business rapidly and comfortably,” he notes. “In today’s digital world, determining business focus through annual strategy updates is no longer effective. The world is much faster now, so we are constantly helping our clients focus on what they want to achieve – then we work the journey backwards, so we can understand how best to get them there,” explains Brewer.
“Clients need a strategy that constantly adapts in real-time, one that is flexible and adaptable enough to conform to any surprise changes in the path. They also require continuous innovation that occurs at scale.” – Grant Brewer
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BUSINES S CONSULT ING
“A new people/HR approach is required, one with a strong focus on trying to retain and/or build a new type of company culture.” – Frank Vos CONSTANT STRATEGY ADAPTATION Brewer suggests that this means continuously redetermining their strategy as one can no longer be accurate over a long period, due to the speed of change. “Clients need a strategy that constantly adapts in real-time, one that is flexible and adaptable enough to conform to any surprise changes in the path. They also require continuous innovation that occurs at scale. “The key to success here is that you must remember to bring the people into it. We always put people at the centre of strategy and transformation because without the people understanding the goal and the technology, and working with you, true change is unlikely,” suggests Brewer. Vos points out that the pandemic has certainly exposed the need for agility and innovation in strategy formulation and implementation. “I am not sure how many have noticed, but the word strategy has become a well-established buzzword over the past
fifteen months. This is because fresh thinking is inevitably needed when a business faces a unique threat,” he says. According to Brewer, new technology tools are also critical – a business cannot afford to be unable to work for extended periods. “The urgent need to work from home in 2020 demonstrated the importance of and triggered the acceleration of thinking in this space. “Organisations have now realised a traditional off-site backup is simply not enough. Today, they need to have their key information in the cloud, where it is, by definition, backed up. Technologies like the cloud have enabled them to continue working regardless of challenges such as COVID-19, but it highlights why bringing the people along is crucial – they have to be able to understand the new tools,” he states. Vos adds that something else that has come into the picture has been a completely new focus on organisational strategy.
IMAGES: ISTOCK.COM, SUPPLIED
WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE? With the rise of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), the role of workforce management and consulting is not only to stay abreast of trends, but also to help companies adapt to the evolving world of work, focusing on people-centred strategies appropriate for their unique needs. As companies reinvent for growth, says Tamara Parker, CEO for Mercer South Africa, the company draws on its wealth of data from various global and local studies and industry expertise to help answer questions such as:
DIGITAL REVOLUTION Digitisation, according to Frank Vos of Frank Vos Consulting, has completely changed the way that business consultants can obtain and provide intelligence. The speed and sheer volume of data that consultants now have access to and use to work through various scenarios for their clients has never been greater. “Business advice is no longer just based on ‘experience’ or ‘skill’, but on hard facts and information technology,” he says.
“A new people/HR approach is required, one with a strong focus on trying to retain and/or build a new type of company culture, even as remote work has been eating away at the company’s most important part: communication in all its forms between staff. This is a new and important focus. After all, online can never approximate the power of thought, bonding and communication that occurs between humans connecting in the same room,” he concludes.
• How can we ensure executives drive value-creation? • How can we build a compelling talent value proposition that attracts and retains top talent? • How might analytics inform organisation design and pay strategy? “The recent surge in remote work has had a significant impact on workforce strategies. Research shows that more companies are enhancing their employee wellbeing arrangements, with 70 per cent of companies surveyed implementing psychological counselling to help employees manage anxiety and stress,” notes Parker. She adds that hybrid flexible working models are emerging as companies seek new ways of working by reducing working hours and implementing work-sharing and part on-site and part remote working arrangements to help employees manage work-life balance challenges. “Amid the digital disruption, economic crisis and COVID-19 impact, workforce consultants will continue to play a critical role in the future as the world of work continues to evolve. With Mercer’s Resetting the Future of Work Agenda, published in October 2020 indicating that 85 million jobs are set to disappear and 97 million to emerge by 2025, companies will have to find innovative ways to build workforce capability and skills critical for future resilience.”
“The recent surge in remote work has had a significant impact on workforce strategies.” – Tamara Parker
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A DV ER T ORI A L
ASSISTING YOU TO NAVIGATE WEALTH IN STORMY SEAS Efficient Wealth can be your company’s financial partner – standing at the helm of your business, steering it through troubled times times. DAWIE ROODT, Chief Economist at Efficient Group
stablished in 2003, Efficient Wealth’s core business is to deliver comprehensive financial planning and investment management expertise to individual and corporate clients. We do this by providing an integrated financial planning solution that addresses many diverse needs, requirements and expectations. Doing business in South Africa is exceptionally difficult, with every business continuously fighting for survival. Knowing that you can trust your business partners is a welcome relief. That is the purpose of Efficient Wealth – to be your trusted financial services partner. Essential Wealth can partner with you in the following areas: Business contingency A member or shareholder of a business often has to sign surety as a co-principal debtor or provide personal security for a loan taken out by the business. This can result in personal liability
Doing business in South Africa is exceptionally difficult, with every business continuously fighting for survival. Knowing that you can trust your business partners is a welcome relief. That is the purpose of Efficient Wealth – to be your trusted financial services partner. if the business cannot repay the loan. What happens if the person becomes permanently disabled and the business is then unable to repay the loan? What if no one can replace the guarantor? We help you to safeguard your business by providing a comprehensive plan to ensure the life of the shareholder or member who signed surety. Buy and sell agreement What will happen if your business partner should pass away? Will you have enough capital to buy your partner’s share in the business? What if your partner brought key skills to your business and without those skills there is a greater risk to your business? We can help protect your business from all these and other eventualities. Key individual insurance As a small business owner, what will you do if something happens to a key employee? What if that key employee becomes ill and cannot continue with their duties? We offer you a solution to safeguard your business against this. Pension fund. An individual can only join a pension fund through a company that employs them. We can help you to provide the best retirement solution for your employees. With our employee benefits offering, we can also assist you with the transition of your employees if they resign or retire.
and benefit structures. How can you be sure that the option you choose is the best for your employees? Our services include providing a comprehensive analysis of the multiple full medical aid and hospital plan options available. Short-term insurance What are your business’ short-term insurance needs? We help you to assess these needs with best-in-class risk analysis, assessment and pricing capabilities. Credit insurance Even the best-run businesses can find themselves struggling when clients do not pay their bills on time. Our credit insurance helps you to be flexible and gives you the ability to respond to unforeseen circumstances. Corporate fiduciary We help you to look after your employees’ fiduciary needs. This includes a last will and testament, as well as adequately structuring their estates to cater for the future needs of their families. May you have fair winds and following seas, with Efficient Wealth as your partner! Contact us today.
For more information: 087 944 7999 email@example.com www.efw.co.za
Healthcare needs The healthcare industry is complex and supported by hundreds of healthcare service providers, each with their own cost
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CL OUD CONSULT ING
Large-scale adoption of the cloud is on the rise as businesses were forced to work remotely. Dealing with this complex transition is made easier with the guidance of cloud consultants, notes RODNEY WEIDEMANN
hile some cloud consultants claim to have been trying to get businesses to digitally transform for several years, the massive changes wrought by the coronavirus pandemic have led to an influx of enterprises seeking help within this area. Chris Richardson, GM for Cloud and Hosting at First Distribution, points out that although the cloud is nothing new, it is something that many businesses had to work out quickly this past year to stay in business. “Cloud has been delivered in many shapes and sizes for some time, but it became relevant because suddenly people had to work remotely, secure company data and make sure employees were not relaxing on their couch when they should have been in a meeting,” he says. Of course, adds Karl Fischer, CMO at DVT, cloud migration comes with both risk and opportunity. “The opportunity lies in all the benefits that cloud adoption promises: single manageable cost for all your hardware, maintenance and management; scalability; availability; security; and efficiency. “The risk lies in the fact that without guidance and insight as to the correct configuration and management of a cloud deployment, costs can very quickly exceed prior expenditure and ruin the promised return on investment. There is also a risk that without the necessary insight around where or what modernisation you may need in your legacy applications, you may well not be able to realise the expected scalability and cost efficiencies you anticipated,” he explains.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A CONSULTANT Richardson suggests that choosing a cloud consulting partner can be a task all in itself
Cloud is an enabler, says Chris Richardson, GM for Cloud and Hosting at First Distribution. “A key aspect of digital transformation is the expectation that solutions, services and/or products will be brought to market faster, more cost-effectively and more frequently, and with greater innovation. Cloud adoption materially contributes in the digital arena to help achieve these expectations.”
– after all, he asks, who, where and how does one choose? “Some advice: if you are moving to the public cloud or moving business-critical workloads, make sure that the partner you are choosing is certified to do so. Also, check the vendor’s website, or ask for a whitepaper they have produced, which is specific to what you are seeking to achieve – this will give you the confidence to make the right choice,” he says. “The right consultant is always going to give you advice on what is possible and what is not. Don’t move to the cloud to follow a trend; do it because it is right for your business – the correct consultant will lead you down that path.” Fischer adds that a good consultant has all of the following: experience, transparency,
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS Business change is highly dependent on your requirements, Richardson points out. So, you must determine if you want more customers as partners, or if you want to sell more products to your customers, or if, as an end-user, you want to create greater efficiencies in your business or attain financial benefits by moving towards an Opex-type of model. “First Distribution transacts with several partners who deliver value to their customers in many ways. Our job is always to evangelise solutions, provide services, and be the distributor that puts value back into the role of the value-added distributor,” says Richardson. What about security? Fischer suggests that security is probably a feature of cloud adoption, rather than a risk. Great consultants won’t just warn, he indicates, rather they will guide, based on an understanding of the value drivers for a client. “Guidance should be holistic and provide visibility to the options available, as well as the budget, security, performance, flexibility, application implications, backup, redundancy and many more dimensions. Regarding warnings, customers should be made aware of constraints that come with certain deployment choices, the factors that will influence cost (and how to control these), skills and/or services needed to maintain an optimal implementation, and the availability of such skills. “Remote working has become a part of the new normal, as has the adoption of cloud platforms by any organisation serious about its digital journey. Having access to skills that may be seated in your office block or anywhere in the world means having the capability to adopt, leverage and optimise the power of these technology trends for the better, both in your business and the communities you serve. Clearly, the cloud – and the experts to help you implement it – is more important than ever,” Fisher concludes.
“The opportunity lies in all the benefits that cloud adoption promises: single manageable cost for all your hardware, maintenance and management; scalability; availability; security; and efficiency.” – Karl Fisher
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CLOUDY, WITH A GOOD CHANCE OF BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT
communication, collaboration, commitment and certification. “Just having the cloud vendor badge is not the only critical factor that will see you obtain value from your cloud consultants. Engage with potential ones and ask about their prior projects and the lessons learned. Ask what you should avoid in your journey and how they will enable you to become self-sufficient. “Perhaps as important is the visibility that consultants can bring to you, in terms of the options you should be considering – in cloud deployment there are many – and the variables that are material in making your decision about your deployment,” he notes.
RISK A ND COMPL I A NCE
ersonal information – your ID number, phone number, home address, name and surname, bank account, email address, date of birth, vehicle registration – is extremely attractive to cybercriminals and requires legal protection. That’s why the Protection of Personal Information Act, better known as POPI or POPIA, has been introduced. “If you look at the act’s preamble, the purpose is to give effect to everyone’s constitutional right to privacy. It’s also to enhance the information economy and the free flow of information,” says Ilze Hattingh, director at Novation Consulting. As she explains, POPIA has two significant roles: to protect personal information and give companies the freedom to use that information safely and responsibly – a calling card to potential customers. “When you prove that you are POPIA-compliant, you attract more interest and more companies will do business with you,” explains Bridgette Vermaak, Xperien’s head of IT Asset Disposal. “We found in our industry that as soon as we proved we are POPIA-compliant, we grew our business significantly.”
DOES IT APPLY TO YOU? Does POPIA apply to your organisation? The short answer is yes. The act’s view of personal information covers any information that could identify an individual. “Anything with a person’s name, anything with a cell phone number, anything with an email address, anything that can be used to identify you,” says Hattingh. “In some instances, it can be your IP address. If you can somehow identify someone by using that piece of information, even if you have to link it to other available information, the act will apply to it.” This distinction includes both digital and physical forms of information: a physical signin book is as much in the scope of POPIA as a spreadsheet with customer details. Employee, shareholder and board details also count as personal information – it is hard to imagine any organisation not impacted by POPIA. “It applies to everyone,” Hattingh notes.
REASONABLE YET FIRM POPIA has been in the pipeline since 2013, but only became law last year, and the honeymoon period for compliance ends in July 2021. Yet, outside of some key areas, the act is not hugely prescriptive. The word “reasonable” appears over five dozen times in its text. POPIA wants to encourage companies to relook at how they use people’s personal information, but allow each organisation to plot its course on how to get there. “The act is broad in terms of a view of responsibility in handling that data,” explains Vermaak. “It’s guiding you on how you should process personal data, store that data and destroy that data. ‘Let’s make sure that we
POPI: PROTECTING CUSTOMERS AND ENABLING BUSINESSES The Protection of Personal Information Act is here. JAMES FRANCIS finds out how the act affects businesses
handle this data in a responsible manner’ is the message.” Some areas of POPIA are prescribed. For instance, a company must mandate a data officer who is also a company employee. The act prescribes the “head” of the company – such as the CEO or managing director – the responsibility for personal information. It resides with them and cannot be delegated to a third party. POPIA empowers customers, for example, to request what of their personal information is stored by a company. The act expects companies to destroy personal information that they have no good reason to retain. It requires a heightened level of risk management around cyber incidents and reporting security breaches. The information regulator, established specifically for the act, will enforce POPIA with sweeping powers, says Hattingh: “The information regulator can investigate any organisation. According to the act, the regulator can initiate an assessment on their own initiative, or at the request of the responsible party or any other person.”
POPIA has two significant roles: to protect personal information and give companies the freedom to use that information safely and responsibly – a calling card to potential customers.
The office is currently still focusing on staffing, building its systems and offering guidance to the market. The courts will likely define POPIA’s precedents. Yet there is good news: POPIA compliance is about demonstrating that you are doing your best to achieve those benchmarks. “The important thing is to document when you discuss POPIA or make decisions towards its implementation. So on a security front, we may need to implement encryption, but the budget for it is only available next year. Document that, so if the regulator ever investigates, you can show evidence that you’re working on it,” advises Hattingh.
CO-OPT A CONSULTANT Some parts of the act aren’t open for interpretation, so to strike a balance it is worth getting in a POPIA consultant, adds Vermaak. “We continue to engage with our consultant because we’re always working with data in different ways. It’s not inexpensive, but there’s a lot of benefit to it. You can’t look at their costs as an expense. The loss of income due to a breach, because you’ve suffered reputational loss and you’ve got a massive POPIA fine to pay, can be huge – paying a consultant a much better use of your money.” A consultant can’t offer any legal protection, but they enable a company to use personal information for their benefit and avoid costly fines. POPIA compliance forges digital-ready companies. If you look at it in that light, POPIA is less about compliance than creating business advantage.
On 1 July 2021, POPIA commences the remaining parts of the act, stating that “all forms of processing of personal information must, within one year after the commencement of the section, be made to conform to the Act”. Yet many of its provisions already came into force last year, and the window for compliance is closing fast.
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UNDERSTANDING RANSOMWARE Ransomware statistics that every business needs to know plus how to protect against the threat
eading insurance broker and risk advisor Marsh says that ransomware attacks are intensifying in frequency, severity, and sophistication – up 148 per cent due to the wider attack surface and rise in remote work associated with the pandemic.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Preparation is key. With the continued threat of data exfiltration and prolonged downtime looming large, we recommend you carefully review your backup strategy. This includes examining what is backed up, where it is hosted, how often backups occur, and who is responsible and accountable for the WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? execution of the strategy. The average ransom demand Finally, it is important to dropped in the fourth exercise and test backup quarter (Q4) of 2020. systems regularly. Why? Cybercriminals are Cyberinsurance should not increasingly using the threat be overlooked: it can be a of data leakage to encourage valuable tool in the fight against ransom payments, but not Spiros Fatouros, ransomware. Insurance may necessarily deleting the CEO Marsh Africa offer comprehensive coverage exfiltrated data even if the for ransom payments, ransom is paid. Ransomware associated costs and access to vendors, and victims are losing trust that their data will be it is also driving organisations to improve their safely deleted, and as such, are refusing to security controls. Certain security controls, give in to cyberextortion. namely Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), are While declining average ransom payment required for cyberinsurance coverage. In the amounts is good news for companies, the fourth quarter, the top three attack vectors for volume of attacks is still increasing and data ransomware included email phishing, RDP exfi ltration remains a serious threat. compromise and software vulnerabilities. To avoid payment, organisations must Controls can offer some protection against be able to effectively restore and recover each attack vector, and at each stage of a their data and files – and networks – from ransomware attack. backups or rebuild everything from scratch!
WHAT SERVICES CAN HELP ME? Cyber-risk management providers, brokers, and insurers can often provide cost-effective protection and a range of resources and services to help you prepare, respond, recover, and recoup losses from ransomware attacks. This may include: Preparation • cyberincident response planning and updating • evaluation of ransomware preparedness • cybersecurity framework and vulnerability assessments • employee training and education • cybersecurity best practices • cryptocurrency ransom payment support • analysis of financial impact • vendor identification. Response • secure incident management services • vendor identification: including legal counsel, forensic experts, public relations support, and data restoration service providers • breach notification services • cryptocurrency ransom payment support • claims support for insurance recovery. Recovery • event partnership and support, including claims support and advocacy • cyberinsurance to cover lost revenue, extra expenses, and associated ransomware costs • proof of loss preparation and support • update/re-evaluation of incident response plans. Coverage for • lost revenue and extra expenses to continue operations • restoration or recreation of corrupted or destroyed data and other intangible assets • network or hardware restoration or repair • regulatory fines and penalties • privacy events • reputational harm. For more information:
An authorised financial services provider 011 060 7100 www.marsh.com/za/insights/research-briefings/ africa-insurance-hub.html
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2021/06/24 1:02 PM
BUSINES S CON T INUI T Y
CONTINUOUS SUCCESS REQUIRES A SUCCESSOR A failure to plan remains a plan for failure – especially when it comes to succession planning for a business, says TREVOR CRIGHTON
FIVE ESSENTIAL STEPS Murphy lists the five essential steps in succession planning as: 1. Goals and Orientation This considers the alignment of the succession plan with personal and business objectives. “In a buyer/seller space, it ensures the financial future needs of the seller’s family’s or their future involvement in the company and considers the estate plan, the memorandum of incorporation and the will, and forms part of a legal document that governs continuity so that there are no legal or ethical issues at transfer,” Murphy explains.
2. Asset Transfer Readiness In terms of Asset Transfer Readiness, Murphy says it’s important to consider all the elements that are being sold or transferred – the client base, revenue, if the business is a going concern, whether the client base will be segmented, and what happens to shares in the business. It also considers the position of staff and their transition with changes to the organisation as well as all the costs associated with the business. 3. Successor Readiness This looks to establish that the qualifications and experience of the incoming professional meet the standards – regulatory and otherwise – of the role and ensure that clients feel comfortable enough with the new face to
4. Succession Funding This, Murphy says, is still very taboo in industry. “It’s the most common reason for succession planning failure, despite being a simple conversation around the valuation of the company, or terms of payment in the event of a sale, or managing the roll out of the succession plan in terms of any support an incoming candidate may require to help them grow into the role.” 5. Transition Planning She says that another major aspect that holds up the roll out of a succession plan is the clients’ readiness to transfer with the new leader. “People get their houses in order in all aspects of planning, bar the one that establishes the financial viability of the company – the clients. If the clients aren’t willing to follow the successor, the entire plan collapses.” She advises incorporating discussions around the successor’s suitability into key client communications. Agodi says that a common mistake businesses make with succession planning is to focus only on executive- or C-suite-level roles. “Yes, these positions are key and critical, but they are not the only roles that contribute to the overall success of the organisation. Each division or department has a unique contribution to make and, like a 100-piece puzzle will be incomplete with only 99 pieces, all departments must be factored into the succession planning process,” she says. “Another big mistake HR leaders and their executive counterparts make is assuming that because an employee is a high performer in their current role they will automatically be a suitable successor. It’s important for leaders to engage in conversations with the talented employees identified as potential successors to determine if their career goals are aligned with the succession plan they have been earmarked for,” Agodi concludes.
“Succession planning during the pandemic is an opportunity to increase diversity in talent and perspective and foster new ideas to better match the ever-changing economic climate and technological advances.” – Elin Agodi
Only 54 per cent of public companies in the United States are actively developing CEO successors and 40 per cent of companies report not having a single internal candidate to replace the CEO should he or she exit the position. Source: chiefexecutive.net/metoo-movement-exposes-succession-planning
efore the pandemic, very few people had succession plans – either in terms of a phased approach for something like retirement or business sale, or for emergencies, says Old Mutual Wealth business coach, Mandy Murphy. “Business leaders believed that they had life cover to protect their families, but failed to consider the reality of a business disruption and what that would mean for their partners, families and clients.” Elin Agodi, head of HR and Talent Management at The Human Element, says that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced organisations to look at their succession plans and determine if their internal talent pool has the necessary skills and capabilities to step into key and critical roles during times of crisis as well as take the organisation into the future. “Traditionally, HR executives have spent time focusing solely on executive-level roles for succession planning and COVID-19 has demonstrated that this narrow focus is not sufficient to ensure an organisation’s continued success, especially because operational roles are also critical,” Agodi says. “Succession planning during the pandemic is an opportunity to increase diversity in talent and perspective and foster new ideas to better match the ever-changing economic climate and technological advances. Times like these create a unique environment for plans to be a more proactive process, one that is still structured but also creative, with a focus on an accelerated timeline for building internal skills and implementing incentives and rewards to retain talent.”
stay with the organisation. “There are myriad elements to consider when evaluating a successor’s readiness to step in to head the organisation, including everything from their professional designation to their philosophy and character and the value proposition that they bring,” says Murphy.
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YOUR PASSPORT TO SA’S FORMAL ECONOMY
WHO NEEDS TO COMPLY/PARTICIPATE
It can be difficult to interpret and understand the complex B-bBEE laws; rather than struggle, companies should seek help. By RODNEY WEIDEMANN
“A good example is if we look at one of the elements – skills development – measured on the scorecard. The codes measure the amount of money invested in training black employees, as well as those who are not employed by the business,” states Oberholzer. While skills development is a priority element and can earn a company up to 30 points on their scorecard, it is expensive so you shouldn’t waste it. Skills development should be undertaken wisely and according to a proper strategy. This again talks to the benefit of using expert advice, he notes. “It is also important to recruit wisely based on your longterm business needs, matched to B-bBEE needs, to ensure that you bring the best talent on board. If you have a long-term view of
recruitment that is aligned with your business strategy, you can meaningfully improve both the skills development and management control measures on your scorecard. This, in turn, will improve your B-bBEE rating over time, while saving you money on your skills development budget. “B-bBEE should thus be viewed as a long-term business strategy. Though a high rating may seem unattainable, never believe it to be impossible to achieve. The important thing is to get going with a plan to optimise the elements that will get you the best scores in the most cost-effective way. Bringing in an expert consultant seems like the ideal start,” concludes Oberholzer.
“What’s needed is a shift in mindset around B-bBEE. It’s not a tax or a legal obligation. Nor is it about selling out to a B-bBEE shareholder. Very few businesses are forced by legislation to participate.” – Deon Oberholzer GETTING B-bBEE WRONG CAN BE A CRIMINAL OFFENCE In terms of the B-bBEE Act, it is a criminal offence if a person “knowingly”: • Misrepresents or attempts to misrepresent a ﬁrm’s B-bBEE status; • Provides false information or misrepresents information to a B-bBEE veriﬁcation professional to secure a certain B-bBEE status or beneﬁt; • Provides false information or misrepresents information relevant to assessing B-bBEE status to an organ of state or public entity; and • Engages in a “fronting practice”. A ﬁne and/or up to 10 years’ imprisonment may be imposed on individuals, and a ﬁrm
may be ﬁned up to 10 per cent of its annual turnover. A convicted person (and in certain circumstances its shareholders and directors) is banned from transacting with the government and public entities for 10 years from the date of conviction. A B-bBEE veriﬁcation professional or procurement ofﬁcer of a governmental body or public entity who becomes aware of and fails to report any such offence is also guilty and may face a ﬁne and/or up to 12 months imprisonment. Source: Werksmans Attorneys
IMAGES: ISTOCK.COM, SUPPLIED
road-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-bBEE) is a term that inevitably causes concern among businesspeople, mainly because the scorecards tend to be complex and time-consuming to complete. The perception is that compliance is difficult to navigate, hard to understand and unattainable, says Deon Oberholzer, CEO at Gestalt Growth Strategies. “What’s needed is a shift in mindset around B-bBEE. It’s not a tax or a legal obligation. Nor is it about selling out to a B-bBEE shareholder. Very few businesses are forced by legislation to participate. It is a voluntary process and for most small business owners, the decision about whether or not to do it is primarily a financial one,” he says. “The reality is that if you choose not to be compliant, some clients can equally choose not to do business with you. Companies prefer to partner with businesses in their supply chain that are compliant because they can earn points on their scorecards for doing so. This means that compliance is a major factor in winning or losing business.” Some companies avoid it on the assumption that ownership is the only way to achieve a good enough rating to leverage the benefits of having a good BEE level of compliance. This, explains Oberholzer, is why it is important to use an expert consultant: they will help you leverage the true business benefits. “A consultant will tell you to realistically weigh up the advantages each point on the scorecard brings against its associated costs. In this way, it is possible to see where the benefits are and how they can be realised most efficiently and cost-effectively. An expert will tell you to view B-bBEE as an economic enabler and a passport to participating in South Africa’s formal economy.
• Anyone who supplies government or state-owned enterprises or is in a direct line to any of their suppliers’ money from government • Anyone trying to become involved in public-private partnerships • Anyone attempting to purchase state-owned assets • Anyone seeking a license or concession from government, such as banks, mines, petrochemical companies, telecommunications companies, import/export companies, among others. It is worth noting that your score counts towards your customer’s score, and your supplier’s score counts towards your score. Therefore, B-bBEE is not so much a compliance issue as it is a competitiveness issue.
C O N S U LT A N C Y
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mid the COVID-19 pandemic, organisations have had to pivot their business models to align with the changing consumer needs. The Deloitte 2021 Global Marketing Trends report reveals that almost four in five people could cite an instance where a brand responded positively to the pandemic. One in five strongly agreed that it led to increased brand loyalty on their part. Brands with purpose continue to thrive. Customer experts (marketers) are key in bringing this purpose to life for their customers and, in time, to all stakeholders, according to Deloitte. “Through marketing consulting, businesses can gain a better understanding of current and potential audiences,” says Wendy van Eyck, nonprofit communications specialist at Believ Content Agency. Consultants help to create strategies in line with the company’s mission to help it achieve its goals. “Marketing forms the conduit between the business and its customers – a two-way communication platform,” says Jacki McEwen-Powell, founding partner and strategist at Eclipse Communications. She explains that as marketers their role is two-fold: firstly, to use the marketing space to gain valuable insights about consumers and their needs and secondly, to form a proper relationship with the client, understand their purpose and build trust and brand loyalty. “Organisations should partner with marketers that resonate with their brand purpose to deliver lasting results,” says Amy Knight-Dawson, director at Scribe Consulting. “Now more than ever, consumers want to connect authentically with brands. How you choose to tell your story depends on who you pick to spread the message. Choose wisely.” Knight-Dawson points out that strategy remains essential in the execution of the marketing plan. “Trends shift, tools are seasonal and tactics will only deliver results in the short-term. A solid strategy is crucial to experiencing longevity in the marketplace.”
DiGITISATION AND SOCIAL MEDIA
M A RK E T ING
Digital is no longer a nice-to-have but a necessity, giving organisations various marketing tools to build brand awareness and communicate with their clients. Social media has become a space where people connect and meet. While we may see a shift to old ways, digital is here to stay. For Knight-Dawson, marketing in a savvy and relevant way is vital for any business. In a new digital era, effective marketing requires direction, and the appointed marketer acts as the compass. “The best will successfully connect your story, purpose and business journey to your marketing goals. A good marketing plan is rooted in sound strategy,” she
ZOOMING IN ON STRATEGY Companies need to rethink how they communicate with their audience to ensure their marketing efforts are targeted and effective, writes DENISE MHLANGA says. “If, as a business, you are not engaging in the digital space, you become redundant or play catch-up,” she adds. According to the Deloitte report, more than 70 per cent of respondents agreed that they value digital solutions that deepen their connection with other people, and 63 per cent believe they will rely on digital technologies more than they did before the pandemic, even well after the virus subsides. “Customer competition is stiff, and if you are not speaking to your audience then someone else is,” says van Eyck. “Digital enables brands to speak directly to their targeted audiences. Understanding who that audience is and the best ways to engage them is one way to retain market share.” McEwen-Powell says that customers want engaging and relevant content. Marketers use content to bring a brand’s purpose to life while helping them authentically connect with their customers and differentiate them from the competition. However, digital comes with challenges, such as complaints on social media platforms. A well-thought-out PR strategy that includes crisis communications is a must for businesses.
According to Knight-Dawson, how a brand plans for negative press coverage determines the speed at which it bounces back. “As a trusted industry colleague once said ‘hope is not a strategy’.” “In a crisis, act quickly,” continues van Eyck. “This is not the time to find out what you need to say or can’t say. Plan ahead with crisis scenarios and brainstorm potential responses.” McEwen-Powell advises brands not to ignore a social media storm, but rather to engage and take the conversation offline as soon as possible. “Companies need to deal with three Rs: remorse is about being authentic; reason is about demonstrating that companies make mistakes too; and rectify is about being open about what your brand is doing to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” Amy Knight-Dawson she concludes.
“Now more than ever, consumers want to connect authentically with brands. How you choose to tell your story depends on who you pick to spread the message. Choose wisely.” – Amy Knight-Dawson C O N S U LT A N C Y
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A DV ER T ORI A L
RISK CONSULTING R
In today’s world, robust, effective and adaptable risk management and compliance arrangements are critical for businesses to survive and prosper
isks, if managed properly, provide opportunities for businesses to grow sustainably and deliver value for their customers, clients and other key stakeholders, such as shareholders. As a leading global law firm, Norton Rose Fulbright has a deep understanding of risk. We also understand that our clients need more than legal advice to create value and build resilience from managing risk effectively. Our Risk Consulting practice, comprising risk, compliance and industry specialists, works closely with our lawyers to deliver a combination of skills and experience that meets the increasingly complex risk challenges facing businesses. Our one-stop approach enables us to respond to the needs of our clients with a global and cross-sector solution, helping them to maintain and enhance their governance, risk, compliance, fi nancial crime and control arrangements. The integration with our legal teams means that, where appropriate, we can apply legal advice
privilege, protecting confidential client communication from third parties. We strongly believe that to achieve the best outcomes for clients, our teams must contain the right balance of technical, operational and practical skills, tailored to meet the objectives of each assignment. To achieve this, we follow an agile resourcing model, using our lawyers and network of industry professionals to support our own risk and compliance consultants. This approach provides us with additional resources to efficiently respond to our clients’ need for scalable, seamless support on regulatory, compliance and risk projects. The benefit of our multidisciplinary team is that we are able to deliver strategic business advice that helps to find solutions to your risk management and critical compliance arrangements.
WHAT WE OFFER • An integrated team of lawyers, compliance professionals and ex-regulators, giving clients a breadth of expertise combined with practical experience and in-depth industry knowledge.
• Teams that are tailored to the needs of each assignment, ensuring that our solutions are robust, efficient and sustainable, and in line with a client’s risk appetite and operating model. • Cross-jurisdictional coverage, meaning that we understand the challenges faced by multijurisdictional businesses and can resource assignments requiring skills in multiple territories. • Practical experience and in-depth industry knowledge from a team that provides pragmatic and actionable advice geared to a client’s individual business models, structures and arrangements. Our areas of work include: • Governance • Conduct and Culture • Risk, Compliance and Controls • Financial Crime • Operational Resilience.
For more information:
To achieve the best outcomes for clients, our teams must contain the right balance of technical, operational and practical skills, tailored to meet the objectives of each assignment. To achieve this, we follow an agile resourcing model, using our lawyers and network of industry professionals to support our own risk and compliance consultants.
Andre Vos, director Andre.firstname.lastname@example.org www.nortonrosefulbright.com
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