Flexible and resilient, are we taking it too far?

12 December 2018

Load shedding in South Africa again. The jokes are flying around. The guy in Pick n Pay says “Us South Africans can do this, we are flexible and resilient, it’s no problem for us”. But are we? Just how far can we push the human system before there is a failure?

We live in a world that is convinced that companies need to work twice as hard just to maintain their current market position. The effect is that work targets and goals, and performance standards keep increasing; more and more is demanded. Under pressure to produce financial results that can attract good credit ratings,...

PTSD In South Africa

31 July 2018

The TV news shows horrific pictures of crime committed in our country while the journalists at the SABC fight for their rights as journalists; freedom of speech. In the meantime, Jaime like so many other South African’s cringes at the images, and switches to another channel. Peter laughs, ‘it is just what is happening, you can’t hide away from it’. And that is true. But how must we live in our society that is so especially violent? Why are we so? Pretending that all this violence around us does not affect us, is a very ineffective approach. It also denies us the opportunity to seek healing...

As a Leader, are your values your driving force?

11 June 2018

Blog by Dr Lynne Derman

To develop our own personal Vision, Purpose, Mission and Values statement, we can obtain guidance from some of the leadership gurus out there such as: Stephen Covey, and Kevin Cashman.

The best analogy of determining the Vision, Purpose, Mission and Value statements that I have come across is given by Authentic Education: Click here to read more.

Simply put the Vision is where are you going, what do we want to achieve. It should be lofty, idealistic and inspiring. The...

Frozen by fear?

31 May 2018

Blog by Dr Lynne Derman

Thembi is shouting “once again your financial reports are not accurate!” He is frustrated. Bongi just doesn’t seem able to do this, yet he should be able to, looking at his working career and qualifications. Where does the problem lie? Is it Thembi or is it Bongi? The problem lies with this thinking. It is neither Thembi nor Bongi, it is their relationship.

Thembi is understandably frustrated. He just wants Bongi to give accurate figures. He can’t help shouting when Bongi fails repeatedly. Bongi on the other hand becomes anxious 3 days before the...

As a Leader, what are your own personal Vision, Purpose, Mission and Values all about?

16 May 2018

The first three months of 2018 has been like standing on the deck of a ship in the middle of a storm. As you find your footing with one leg, the other loses its grip and you slip, and just as you feel deck beneath both feet, a wave washes over and you are gasping for breath. But, you don’t have the luxury of stopping there and recuperating. No, forward movement is required!

It strikes me that this analogy is actually the reality of business today. Nothing is slow paced and considered anymore, even if it would be better to do that. Decisions must be made on the run, things...

Change: a cause of stress

12 March 2018

James looks at his team. He has just told them that they are going to be implementing a new IT system in the department. Phiwa is happy “I like change”. Miriam glares at him, obviously she isn’t happy. Thabo is on his cell phone, doesn’t even seem to have heard! James thinks about all the literature that he has read about change – nothing seems to be useful in this situation. How does following a change management process help? He feels frustrated. Perhaps he should call Thandi.

Thandi listens carefully and then helps James to think it through. Yes, change is part of our lives today...

Are our employees really our most valued resource?

26 February 2018

Jane stood in the que at the car rental company. There were not too many people and the staff where friendly enough. Yet, Jane was irritated. She needed to amend her booking but the system that she knew worked was no longer available. Recently, the car rental company had chosen to do away with the confirmation e-mail that gave access to booking amends and to send the client a marketing video instead. At the counter, Jane explained her need to amend the booking and then expressed her frustration with the new system. The customer service agent just smiled vaguely, and got on with changing...

Are your employees stressed at work?

12 February 2018

In the space of a month, two of Thembi’s nephews talked to her about their work-load, how to meet expectations and then lastly, what can one do to fall asleep at night? Thembi looked at these two young aspiring men of the future and her heart went out to them. They are suffering from stress, and are asking for help to develop the skills to cope in our modern era.

It is an age-old problem: what do we do if the business is starting to fail? We cut costs, or we grow the business. Cutting costs is under our control. Reducing head count is an obvious choice as payroll is always one of...