Top 4 leadership blogs

The modern leadership movement is based upon the principle that leaders aren’t born, they’re made. The arts of leadership and management, like all arts and skills, are learned and honed by practice over time. And one only learns how to practice from others who are farther along than oneself. That’s where blogs can be helpful. Hundreds of experienced leadership coaches and management experts publish their thoughts online.

November 2012 now out – SMEs and more…

As we find 2012 drawing to a close, we are delighted to bring you this issue of the magazine.

You can subscribe to the print version here, with your debit or credit card:

We recently had the pleasure of joining the 6th International Business Conference (IBC) held in Kenya, which you can read about on page 9.  We have reproduced a number of the papers from the conference, as abridged versions, in this month’s magazine, as well as issues over the coming months.

We also report on the news that Conference Chairman Professor Tommy du Plessis has recently been appointed as the new President of the South African Business Schools Association (SABSA). “The challenges of the current business landscape require leaders and managers to have a multidiscipline skill-set which they can use in public, private and parastal organisations,” explains Du Plessis.  “The multifaceted nature of the MBA and its orientation towards integrating the cognitive, emotional and physical aspects of leadership therefore form an ideal incubator for future leaders.”


Also in this month’s issue we feature an interview with Angelique Pretorius. We are very proud to have spoken to this aspiring young actress to find out more about life in the film industry. The government is currently investing heavily in the industry in order to support growth in the arts and stimulate employment. We will have more about that in our December issue.

We are proud to bring you the results of two prestigious award programmes that recognise the best of South Africa’s companies. The overall winner of the CRF Best Employers project for 2012/2013 is Microsoft SA. The top ranked in the Deloitte Best Company to Work for 2012 are Virgin Active South Africa (Pty) Ltd, MiWay Insurance Ltd and Strate Limited, in the large, medium and small company categories respectively. As for last year’s awards, we will be featuring interviews with the leading Executives from these companies in these pages over the next few months.

In closing I want to mention that the next Kagan Dynamic Trainer sessions are being held in Johannesburg in January 2013. Please have a look at the advert on page 67 for details of how to book. The ASTD ran this course recently and delegates described it as fun, energetic and well-structured. One delighted person recommended everyone in training to attend the course, saying that it adds value and meaning to what you are doing as well as empowering you as a trainer.   Next month you can look forward to a special 30th anniversary edition of the magazine as we close the year on volume 30.

September magazine celebrates the 5th SA Innovation Summit

My passion for innovation has been alive for quite some time, in fact, back to the days in the 90’s when I worked in Europe and USA for General Electric. At that time innovation was the latest buzzword, the new trend and the unknown. Innovation departments were unheard of and the Innovation Manager was not a formal job title. Today most forward thinking organisations have a core focus on innovation with many different approaches to integrating it in the organisation’s culture and behavior.

 The September issue of our magazine has been penned by the speakers from the 5th SA Innovation Summit so features the best of innovation experts in South Africa.

There is a move from internally focused innovation efforts to open innovation and the latest trend is a drive to create far more inclusivity (bottom up with products and services serving the majority of the population rather than the rich minority). Sustainability is another important theme driving innovation efforts.

 The role of academia in the fuzzy front-end of innovation is critical yet not well-understood as explained by Peter van Nieuwenhuzen and Truida Prekel.

 Dr Neville Comins who created the first science and technology park in SA takes a serious look at the current National System for Innovation: Is it working? He believes our NSI needs an overhaul to address the real grand challenges. Willie Krause shares his research results on open innovation and SMEs. Dr Cunningham argues that it is necessary to move from working with individual or groups of enterprises on innovation towards stimulating innovation systems that are regional or sectoral (or a combination). Jayshree Naidoo describes the Seven Steps to Innovation Success while Henra Mayer gives an overview of the latest Innovation Management Practices.

 How do we grow innovation capital? Lydia Zingoni strongly believes that teen entrepreneurship should be a viable alternative for traditional education and employment options.

 We dedicate this, our September 2012 issue of Management Today magazine, as the first Innovation Journal. It includes these and other innovation related articles and thought leadership pieces.

 So where has my passion led me? Understanding how the brain works is fundamental to understanding creativity and innovation – it is indeed a whole brain process. Innovation is part science and part art. Innovation can only happen by design. Some people have a natural innovative capacity while others have a natural execution capacity. The magic happens when these two come together.

Your August issue of Management Today magazine – celebrating Women’s month

In the immortal words of James Brown: “It’s a man’s world, but it would be nothing, nothing without a woman…”

 I recall with great excitement some of the stories and industry-leading practices that we reported on during August 2011. You may recall the phenomenal success that General Manager Andrea Quaye achieved for Carling Black Label with their ‘be the coach’ campaign or CEO Mardia van der Walt-Korsten that gave T-Systems back its soul.

 And in August 2012 we celebrate women in business again. I have experienced the great honour of interacting with the sector leaders such as Dr Felicity Coughlan who has been changing the face of higher education, Melanie Trollip, the newly appointed CEO at P E Corporate Services and Donna McPherson, the Director of Sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Kimberly-Clark Professional and in this issue we share with you some of their career paths, best practices and advice for young leaders.

We also bring you some key findings from the annual Businesswomen’s Association’s Women in Leadership Census. The report reflects the imbalance of women versus men represented in senior roles, but it also acknowledges the strides that have been made in South Africa over the past 9 years.

There is an insightful article by one of our regular contributors, Bill Price, that focuses on the coaching of female executives and managers and we include commentary on why gender equality should be considered when planning learning initiatives.

As a woman in business myself, I have never experienced being marginalised due to being female but we are all aware of situations where women are treated differently from men in the workplace. My wish for all South Africans is to unite in our efforts to work towards equality amongst the sexes. It really boils down to bringing the best qualities of both to the table so that organisations may benefit from the finest contributions delivered by its entire staff complement.

Inspired by sporting heros

Sport has been one of my passions for a very long time. Whilst never being the fastest or most athletic kid in school, growing up in London, England, my father took me to see my first soccer match at the age of 10. More than a generation later, 1 500+ games, visiting more than 100 stadiums around the world,  and having spent a huge portion of my annual salary each year, I think I may have finally kicked my addiction for soccer. These days I am more of an “armchair” TV fan, and embracing a wider range of sports, with the occasional outburst to attend a live event, such as the Springbok test against my home country in Durban recently.


Sport is many things to many people. It is certainly a numbers game, which is how we determine who is the best, who wins and loses. 42-6, 3-1, 175 for 4, 9.8 seconds. These are the numbers that remain firm in the mind of many sports fans. R2,5 million per week is the amount of Drogba’s new contract in China, R42.6 million is what the Department of Sport and Recreation has earmarked for the School Sport Progamme this year, R45.9 million is what the same department spent on the South African Sports Awards last year, 16 countries will participate in Afcon in January next year, US$4.2 billion was FIFA’s revenues for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, 11 000 schools will participate in the School Sport League  culminating in the first National Schools Olympics in December, 26 sports in the London 2012 Olympic games, with 10 500 athletes and 7,6 million tickets being sold.

Sport is full of emotion; how different does someone feel when their team wins or loses, how driven and passionate are those who train for months to compete in such wonderful events as the Olympics, how amazing that sport can help people turn around moments of adversity in their lives. Sport is about individual performance, sport is about teamwork and leadership. These are all emotions that we can take from the sports field and have as our inspiration in the workplace.

In this month’s magazine we try to capture some of the feeling of sport and how it interacts with the world of business. We have inspirational stories from Alistair Patrick-Heselton who will lead the GB Paralympic soccer team at this year’s games. We hear from Penny Heyns and what she has achieved since retiring from swimming. Danny Jordaan talks to us about his role in uniting South Africa through sport. Read how HR and OD teams worked together to deliver the London Olympics on time and on budget. Learn what being a Wimbledon ballboy teaches young people about teamwork and leadership. And more. We hope you enjoy reading this month’s magazine as much as we enjoyed creating it for you.

Celebrating Youth Month

Welcome to the June edition in which we celebrate Youth month by highlighting some of the great things that both corporate SA and our government are doing to develop our youth.

50%…. That is the official unemployment rate of our youth. And it is not just the underprivileged that is suffering. Recent statistics show that even with a degree, 40% of our graduates will still be out of work five years after leaving university. But it is not hopeless. The overall unemployment rate for those with a tertiary education (Q1-2012 QLFS) is 9.5%, but for those without, it is 27.1%. So education continues to be of the utmost importance. Our aim this month is to inspire you by sharing some success stories. We want companies in SA to have a look at what can be done to help our youth and be the driving force behind turning the tide of unemployment.

We want people to be as successful as possible, because having a bad start in life by not being able to secure employment can have a long-lasting effect. It impacts not only morale and people’s self-esteem but also their mental well-being.

 The International Labour Organisation (ILO) reports that 40% of all young people in the 15-24 age bracket are without work. Globally that is a staggering 75 million people. That is equivalent to the whole of the United Kingdom being unemployed. However, it is not just a third world problem. We hear daily in the news about the problems that Spain and Greece are suffering, and this is reflected in their youth unemployment rates of 50%. But it is also hitting other parts of the world; such as the USA that now has 46% youth unemployment, and even the Middle East is catching up quickly. The situation is creating more and more pressure for the world’s leaders, already trying to juggle their economies with a global population that has just passed seven billion. The youth unemployment rate has always been higher that the overall unemployment rate, so what are the policy makers going to do? The advanced economies of the world are now finding it even harder to compete with emerging nations such as China and India because of the lack of people in the right jobs; organisations are falling behind in every respect.

It is an unfortunate fact that once people fall behind in terms of opportunities, they often find it difficult to claw their way back to where they ought to be, sometimes spending their entire career playing catch-up. How does society view these people, in a day and age where we are judged by the  job we have, and everything that goes with it, such as the car we drive, and the place where we stay? What is the knock-on effect for these people’s children, and what example are we setting for our kids to aspire too?

Many young people, having graduated from university, are either taking lower skilled jobs, or if they can get the job they are qualified for then the job market is squeezing them on salary. We often see that the young employed are those who get retrenched first when the organisation hits hard times. It is not just a domestic problem. In other parts of the world, the number of college graduates in lower-skilled jobs has risen to 36% from 27% just ten years ago. Corporate SA needs to support our young and invest in the future of our great country.

Be the best you can

The first sets of the March Edition of Management Today have just been delivered. It’s very satisfying to see all that hard work neatly bound into a glossy magazine, almost as good as flipping through the pages on the iPad version!

We’re still celebrating 30 years in business – with a bumper second issue in our two-part series on employee engagement. This month we feature the HR and leadership teams behind some of South Africa’s great companies: Microsoft, Accenture, Unilever, the Peninsula Beverage Company and Eliance. The Corporate Research Foundation Institute and Deloitte have done some amazing work helping South African companies to do the best they can.

We’re also opening up some tough issues to discuss and get right – reward and employee engagement. P E Corporate Services CEO Martin Westcott comments frankly on some reward truths in the South African market:

  • The wage gap between CEOs and lowest level workers is one of the highest in the world
  • Executives in SA enjoy one of the best standards of living in the world
  • The continuing pressure exerted by unions, and
  • Skills in SA remain scarce.

What are the ‘right’ scales? Do you give the best you can over time if you do not get back what you expect?

We are also proud to officially say we have gone social. Part of that is this blog which you will now see every month or so. We are also running an informed commentary on Twitter and throwing out topical issues for discussion on LinkedIn through our new page and discussion group. Going social means we can keep abreast of and bring you the latest trends, research and thinking; and we’ll continue to report on these as well as to showcase organisations and individuals from a range of industry sectors and functions. It also means you have a dedicated forum for sharing views and posing questions on your own burning business issues.

If you’d like to say hello in person, we’ll be at the 8th Annual ASTD International Conference later this month. I’m looking forward to chatting again with Wayne Cascio from Colorado University, he features in this edition, and to Richard Straub who writes about Peter Drucker’s 2002 book Managing in the next society. I think this is just as relevant today as it was 10 years ago.

Celebrating 30 years of inspiring Africa’s managers

At Management Today Magazine we’re celebrating 30 years of providing a credible and authoritative source of business news and information to South Africa.   We bring the latest on leadership, business strategy and management to leaders, practitioners, academics and students who seek access to informed commentary, business news and leading edge, real-life practice in organisations.

To mark this milestone, we’re launching an anniversary edition of Management Today for February and March 2012, issues 1 and 2 of Volume 30.  We hope you enjoy them.

You’ll also notice our new digital strategy taking shape – this follows the immensely successful launch of our iPad edition last year.  We have an exciting new series of activities planned for the coming months. We’ve started to build and run an informed commentary on the latest topical business issues through Twitter, and we’ll be supplementing this through our Editors Blog which is coming soon.

Going digital is more than about being online.  For us, it’s one of the ways in which we are opening up channels to engage with you in a two-way conversation.  It allows us to keep abreast of, and to bring you the latest trends, research and thinking; but it also creates various platforms for you to tell us what’s happening in your business world.

We’ll be continuing to report on trends in local and global management thinking, and to showcase organisations and individuals from a range of industry sectors and functions.  Our insights into practice aim to assist organisations and their employees to positively tackle the critical strategic and operational challenges facing them in a changeable, fast-paced and competitive global operating context.

We believe our new digital strategy is an essential part of making this happen.

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