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The Journey Within – Women Leaders Take Time Out For Self-Discovery

Wits Business School is taking the Women in Leadership issue seriously. The School’s Leadership Development Centre, has developed and fine-tuned a course on the subject, and demand is growing exponentially.

Wits Business School

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For women in the corporate sector, the ‘glass ceiling’ appears to be as stubbornly present as ever. Interestingly enough, however, Africa has more women in executive roles in companies than the average worldwide. This is according to McKinsey’s August 2016 report on gender diversity entitled Women MatterAfrica: Making gender diversity a reality.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that women are still under-represented at every level of the corporate ladder – non-management and middle and senior management – and fall in number the higher they climb. Only five percent of women make it to the top, according to the report.

Wits Business School is taking this issue seriously. The School’s Leadership Development Centre, has developed and fine-tuned its Women in Leadership course, and demand is growing exponentially.

Related: Your Leadership Journey Starts Now… And Go!

This is according to Alison Foote, Manager of the Leadership Development Centre.

“We started the Women in Leadership course with 35 delegates early in 2016. Our courses are now attracting up to 50 delegates,” says Foote.

“We first ran a pilot course in Venda in 2015, and since then, the course has undergone several changes. Using the feedback we have received from attendees, we have designed a programme which provides the kind of support and insight that women in business appear to need and appreciate.”

The course takes place over three three-day clusters over three months, which means attendees can commit to the course with minimal disruption to their work schedules. It interrogates issues such as diversity power and patriarchy, the South African workplace paradigm, strategising as a leader, negotiation and communication skills, engendered leadership and the role of emotional intelligence (EQ) in leadership success.

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One-on-one sessions and lively panel discussions make the course highly involving, and delegates get caught up in debates with titles like ‘The Imposter Syndrome in Women Leaders’ and ‘Think Leader Think Male’.

Through individual coaching, delegates embark on a journey of self-assessment and discovery, culminating in the writing of a personal leadership manifesto.

“We place emphasis on self-actualisation, and the celebration and respect of self. I have seen instances of real personal growth, even transformation, among delegates, many of whom find their voice and tap into inner resources they didn’t know they had,” says Foote.

Related: Understanding Leadership And Natural Energy

The course aims at women at various levels of an organisation, including those who are qualified and already in leadership positions who want to hone their skills, and those for whom the course will help bring about a shift in performance and confidence to help them move to the next level.

Doreen Kosi, a senior executive with many years’ experience in public and private sector leadership, relished the opportunity to take a step back and question long-held assumptions, both about herself and others.

“The EQ component of the course was a huge wake up call. For the first time in a long time, I was able to be introspective and honest with myself and my leadership style, without pressure. I was amazed at how stagnant I had become, and how presumptuous, as a leader. The course reminded me to be appreciative of others and recognise the value they bring to the table,” she says.

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A holistic approach to leadership development proved to be another path to self-discovery. “I never realised how important the balance of body, mind and soul is in leadership. I am more aware of my body and how each and every emotion it transmits each time I engage, whether with others or just with myself,” says Kosi.

The programme asks probing questions, such as does being a woman in leadership result in a different approach to strategy formulation?, and how do negotiation skills between men and women differ?

Related: Leadership Lessons From Corné Krige

“There is a serious danger of making assumptions and being set in our ways as leaders,” says Kosi.

“Emotional intelligence is important in leadership, and women should never be apologetic or modest as leaders. They are traits we need to lose without being arrogant…. these are just a few fundamentals I learnt, and they will stick with me for a very long time.”

Wits Business School (WBS) is Wits University’s Graduate School of Business Administration and offers postgraduate academic and executive education programmes. WBS' vision is to be recognised as the African business school of choice by stakeholders, while maintaining a fearlessly critical outlook, driven by a sense of professionalism, ethics and integrity. The School aims to create the academic, research, leadership and character excellence conditions that nurture graduates who grow and achieve beyond themselves as Africa's leaders, in business and society.

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Business Landscape

The New Rules Of Customer Experience

Intelligent Experience Economy will change the rules of customer experience.

PwC

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Our report identifies five rules organisations can follow to reimagine the customer experience in the ‘Intelligent Experience Economy’. These rules are the action that organisations need to take if they want to be successful in this new era:

1. Make the customer journey your new chain

Most executives understand the importance of CX and have some form of customer strategy to address it. However, the ‘Intelligent Experience Economy’ calls for significant action. Organisations will need to develop an enterprise-wide customer journey. Creating a common language and taxonomy around the customer that is universally adopted will spur CX transformation at scale and embed the customer in the core of the organisational culture.

Related: Why Customers Don’t Respond To Disruption

2. Embed AI in the Customer Experience

Our research confirms that businesses understand the critical and still growing importance of ‘big data’ and analytics. However, having an analytics function. AI will be the dominant capability enabling companies to reimagine the CX in the ‘Intelligent Experience Economy’. Embedding AI in the CX is a great opportunity for organisations. It can enable easier communication with customers, speed up transaction times, personalise customer experiences and significantly reduce customer service costs. Furthermore, organisations that have embedded AI will have unique access to customer data.

3. Connect Customer Experience to real value

Customer metrics are now commonplace in businesses. Although the metric is important, too many businesses see it as the end point instead of the starting point. CCOs assessing their CX transformation efforts must take into account how mature their organisation’s CX measurement maturity is.

For many, CX measurement is still immature – actively listening to customers and collecting feedback, but not taking action with CX initiatives. Organisations should develop real-time customer metrics.

4. Let the COO drive Customer Experience Change

The role of the COO needs to evolve if organisations are to execute on their ambitious goals for their CX visions in the next few years. The role of the COO will need to shift from ‘measuring the CX’ to being directive on the priorities to drive CX change. In order to be more directive, end-to-end capabilities will be needed within the organisations, framed around journey stages.

Related: Why Your Latest Tech Investment Might Not Be Wowing Your Customers

5. Ignite the core

To create real CX transformation – the COO cannot be successful alone. The challenge is about ‘igniting the core’ around CX. To ‘ignite the core’ organisations need to spread the CX vision with all leaders, managers, frontline employees and back office employees alike. Furthermore, organisations will have to establish partnerships across the value chain – including UX/CX experts, data analysis, AI architects, app developers, as well as project delivery partners.

How can organisations execute the customer experience?

In order to be a leading customer experience organisation, companies will need to execute the customer experience at scale across the organisation. Customer strategy execution is transformational in nature and requires new capabilities, new ways of working and an entire organisation to be fully behind the new vision.

 

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How To Immigrate With Your Family By Starting A Business In The UK

The simple way to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true in the UK.

Sable International

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Many people, especially those with families, are reluctant to up sticks and move to the UK. These would-be movers are often worried that they will not be able to secure employment in the hugely competitive UK job market. This source of stress alone is enough to discourage some from pursuing their dreams of living in the UK. But, there is an innovative and accessible solution.

The UK has several visa classes aimed at individuals who wish to invest in the country. These give an individual the right to live and work in the UK with their families, if they make a defined investment. A visa that interests South Africans is the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. We have developed our UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment Programme to help South Africans looking to immigrate to the UK alone, or with their families.

The basics of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa

To be awarded a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, you will need to invest at least R3,5 million (£200,000) in an existing UK business or one you start up. There are certain other requirements, but these are not particularly onerous, and most investors will qualify if they submit their application correctly.

The entrepreneur visa allows you to live and work in the UK, and take dependant family members with you, defined as your partner and your child under 18. If you have the capital, or are willing to liquidate your assets in South Africa to raise it, the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is a great way to relocate your entire family to the UK.

Do note: You will need to make specific applications for each dependant, so it is vital you consult with an immigration expert before beginning the application process.

You’re not just immigrating, you’re investing in the UK

By starting or investing in a UK business as part of our programme, you will be granted the right to live and work in the UK, and earn an income from that business.

Related: Want To Start An Import Business – Here Are The Importing Terms And Documents Involved

The business you invest in will want you to play an active role, not just contribute seed capital. If you want to invest in a business without being an active director you will be allowed to do so, but you may not be eligible for the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

Another restriction is that you cannot hold this visa and work for a business other than the one you are invested in. But, your partner will be allowed to work in whatever field he or she pleases.

How do you choose the right business to invest in?

There is always an element of risk when investing in a foreign business, particularly when you’re thirteen thousand kilometres away from the country you’re investing in. It’s important to understand exactly what you’re investing in before you take the plunge.

That’s why our UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment Programme is hugely beneficial. It matches your investment capital with a pre-approved investee business. We’ll make sure that your skills are matched with an appropriate venture so you can be an active director of that business.

We’ll also handle your visa applications, providing you with a comprehensive immigration and investment solution. Our partner’s list of investee businesses is over 200 strong, giving you an array of choices in various industries. This allows us to pair you with the business that best suits your investment goals and skills.

But what if you have a successful business in South Africa?

It’s no secret — emigrating from South Africa is difficult for many families who have deep roots and thriving operations. There’s no reason why you can’t keep your business in South Africa as well as relocate to the UK.

Nothing restricts a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa holder from owning and overseeing businesses in other countries while they are on this visa. Many clients choose to relocate to the UK while ensuring that their original business continues to operate. In this way, you will be supplementing the income from your UK investment with revenue generated by your South African business.

You can hold British and South African passports if you apply for your British citizenship in the correct manner. You must obtain permission from Home Affairs in South Africa to avoid having your citizenship revoked. Retaining your South African citizenship will make it much easier for you to continue running a business here.

Talk to us today

There are compelling reasons to move to the UK — a brighter future for your children and a more stable country in which to retire. Our comprehensive solution will ensure you get the most out of your relocation.

Visit www.sableinternational.com/entrepreneur or send us a mail on ukinvest@sableinternational.com 

If you’re thinking of immigrating to the UK or investing offshore — either or both — we can help.

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(Video) TomTom Telematics – Let’s Drive Business (UK)

TomTom Telematics

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WEBFLEET provides you with the right information at the right time to make smart decisions and achieve your goals: Lowering cost, reducing time on the road, supporting drivers and delighting customers. Running a business can be hard. So let’s make it easier. Request a demo and find out more at telematics.tomtom.com/webfleet/landingpages/launching-the-new-webfleet.

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