We have a lot of lost potential in our organisations. It is believed that if you direct focus at elements such as your company’s strategy, structures, products, processes and systems you will be able to achieve the results you want in your organisation. However, says Helene Vermaak - clinical psychologist, co-owner and principal consultant of The Human Edge – this couldn’t be further from the truth. A lot of what happens in organisations and teams happens below the surface The majority of energy in your organisation and team is drained when your people aren’t engaged and being responsible for the work that they do. To uncover the source of the energy drain and why your people aren’t engaged with your organisation, you must seriously look at the culture of your organisation and identify what factors are causing your employees’ lack of interest in their work. As a starting point, Helene believes that there are four competencies you need to encourage your employees to build before you can expect them to change their current behaviours and become a cohesive team: 1. At a personal level, all your employees need to be engaged in self-directed change. They need to be asking themselves questions such as: • Do I have the ability to understand my behaviour? • Do I have the ability to know what change plan I need to put in place to alter whatever vital behaviours I need to enforce in my life? 2. At an interpersonal level, if you do not have open and honest conversations in your team and organisation, your long-term results will be affected. 3. At a team level, you need to be competent around accountability. “In the last probably 12 – 18 months, all the organisations we have spoken to have said that accountability is a big challenge for them,” says Helene. 4. At an organisational level, we need to become competent in influencing people’s behaviour. Are there people out there who want to change something in their lives? Vital Smarts conducted a . . .
The Revised Codes of Good Practice (RCoGP) will be gazetted by Government on Friday 11 October 2013. Dr Robin Woolley , Executive Director, Transcend Corporate Advisors explains that Minister Rob Davies, of the Department of Trade launched the proposed amendments to the CoGP year ago, in October 2012. “The intention of the Revised Codes was to align Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BB-BEE) more clearly with not only the government’s developmental objectives, but also the tools/initiatives which have been designed by government to achieve these developmental objectives - such as the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa, the National Development Plan, the New Growth Path and the Industrial Policy Action Plan. The developmental objectives included specific reference to skills development, job creation, localisation, and industrialisation and supplier development,” he says. “The Revised Codes of Good Practice include changes to BEE that will greatly impact on businesses in South Africa, such as new thresholds for Exempt Micro Enterprises, Qualifying Small Enterprises and generics; the automatic discounting of an entity’s level rating where the sub-minimum for Priority Pillars of the scorecard have not been met; and Qualifying Small Enterprises now having to comply with all Pillars of the scorecard, including Ownership.” In this regard, Transcend Corporate Advisors will hold a one-day seminars to unpack the changes in the RCoGP and detail what needs to be done by business to become compliant with the RCoGP. The following topics will be discussed during the seminar: • High level strategic implications of the changes for South Africa as a nation. • A focus on a comparative analysis and pillar by pillar approach, to review the differences of the proposed changes • Understanding the supporting legislation such as the BEE Act changes • Understanding the calculation methodologies • What are the likely process implications for . . .
“It is impossible to gainsay the value of Africa’s creative industries when it comes to jump-starting the continent’s political and economic development. Like a phoenix, Africa is rising from over a century of colonialism followed by phantom liberation to become, potentially, the engine of the planet’s growth until the end of this century and beyond. The continent’s cultural and artistic communities have an instrumental role to play in making the African dream a reality.” This was the message delivered by Dr Israel Kodiaga during his opening address at the launch of the African Creative Economy Conference 2013, which runs at Cape Town’s City Hall until 9 October 2013. Dr Kodiaga, Director: Programmes, Research and Strategic Development, African Centre of International Studies, Kenya, is one of the speakers at the conference, the biggest event of its type ever held on the continent. Attracting around 400 delegates from over 40 countries in Africa and beyond, this is the third African Creative Economy Conference organised by the Arterial Network, a dynamic grouping of individuals, non-government organisations, donors, businesses, festivals and institutions dedicated to building Africa’s creative and cultural sector. The conference implementing agency is the Cape Craft & Design Institute. Previous conferences in Nairobi (2011) and Dakar (2012) have played a leading part in creating markets and raising the profile of Africa’s artistic and cultural industries regionally and internationally. The aim of this year’s conference is to focus attention on how the continent’s creative industries can play a meaningful role in accelerating Africa’s economic growth, while building democracy and human rights. Commenting on the conference format, Korkor Amarteifio, Chairperson, Arterial Network, said: “This will be a conference with a difference. Delegates will be invited to share ideas and research through formal and informal presentations. At the same time, there . . .
South Africa – 20 September 2013 – The path to successful commercialization is almost never straightforward or simple. If it was, we would all be wealthy entrepreneurs. The Step-Up Technology Innovation Competition gives individuals, groups and small businesses the opportunity to have their technology innovations evaluated and assisted with access to support programmes. These include introductions to investors and venture capital funds; consideration for TIA innovation and business support funding and non-financial support; introduction to short or long term mentors relevant to your industry and business; exposure to the range of DTI and DST incentive programmes for emerging and growing businesses; and assistance with selection of and access to incubation facilities. South Africans over 16 with technologically innovative ideas – be it the seed of a thought, design saved on a memory stick, collection of parts or something produced and ready for retail shelves – are reminded that entries into the Step-Up Technology Innovation Competition (www.step-up.org.za) close in just over a week on 30 September 2013. Local innovation alive and kicking Entries to date, says competition manager Martin Feinstein, are inspirational in that 58% are raw ideas, 23% ideas in development and 19% existing innovations – highlighting the fact that South African entrepreneurs are coming up with more new innovation ideas now than historically. As founding CEO of Enablis and former CEO of Proudly South African, Feinstein has vast experience in working with South African entrepreneurs. “What makes the Step-Up approach different, is that we threw the nets wide open for local technology innovation concepts that have commercial application and growth potential, whether in idea form or in a start-up or trading business,” says Feinstein. “We’re not after fancy jargon, buzz words or super-optimistic projections. But time is running out, and we are thus calling on would-be innovators to . . .
This year’s African Creative Economy Conference (ACEC) takes place in less than three weeks – and some of the world’s most incisive, creative and thought-provoking strategists, academics, entrepreneurs and artists will shortly debate how to unlock the potential of the creative economies. This annual conference was first held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2011 and in Dakar, Senegal in 2012. This year, speakers and panellists at Cape Town’s City Hall (6-9 October) will focus on the continent’s creative industries as economic drivers, highlighting their potential contribution to the eradication of poverty and underpinning of democracy and human rights. The dazzling line-up ranges from think-tank directors to fashion entrepreneurs, musicians to government ministers. Delegates will access the latest economic and cultural development indicators; hear inspirational stories from dynamic cultural entrepreneurs; and debate the findings of development experts, global funders and commentators. Policy experts include Dr David Stevens (Director, Fireside Research, World Policy Institute, USA); Dr Marina Guo, Vice-director, John Howkins Research Centre on the Creative Economy, Shanghai, China; Bernard Bakaye, head of the Culture and Sports Department of the East African Community; and Stephen Chifunyise, arts, culture and education consultant and Principal of the Zimbabwe Academy of Arts Education for Development (ZAAED). Artists and creative entrepreneurs include Francophone Africa rap musician Didier Awadi and Jaouad Essounani, the director, playwright and artistic director of the Dabateatre Company of Rabat, Morocco. Nigerian lawyer-turned fashion entrepreneur Omoyemi Akerele will share her success story, along with DRC-born, SA-based film-maker Johnny Muteba, CEO of Mobi Changa Limited Kyai Mullei and Zimbabwean-born, SA-based Patrick Schofield, founder of Streetwires and crowd-funding café, Thundafund. Other participants include Dr Mustapha Sidiki Kalako, . . .
Sttriking workers who sabotage employer property during strike action should face dismissal. This is according to Johan Botes, Director in the Employment Practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr. Botes says that employers should ensure that they collect as much evidence of such misconduct when striking workers act unlawfully in pursuit of their demands. Where strikers are dismissed as result of having sabotaged their employer's business or operations, they can expect scant sympathy from the Commission for Conciliation, mediation and Arbitration ( CCMA) or the Labour Court. “Recent strikes have been pock-marked with violence and sabotage (or threats thereof). In 2010, railway workers reportedly removed screws from railway sleepers that resulted in the derailment of a diesel tender. News reports contribute power outages experienced by Johannesburg residents last week to disgruntled striking workers sabotaging sub-stations or other facilities. The employer responded strongly by stating that it will take action against employees caught in such misconduct,” Botes notes. “While the level of frustration amongst trade union members is palpable, sabotaging the employer's business is akin to a crewmember blasting a hole in the hull of the Titanic because he dislike the crew meals served. The employee will probably get his fingers burned, the meals are unlikely to improve, with the employer's attitude hardening as it sees its prize possessions or business going under,” he explains. Botes says that employees should not labour under any misapprehension that acts of sabotage attract any protection under the guise of protected industrial action. Protected strike action includes employees downing tools, refusing to work overtime or otherwise work to rule (provided the requirements of the Labour Relations Act, No 66 of 1995 are met). “However,” he says, “the LRA is unequivocal in its stance on unlawful conduct during strikes. Whilst employees may generally not be dismissed . . .
Adcorp’s latest Employment Index shows a staggering increase of 466% (four hundred and sixty six percent) in the number of sick days taken between 2000 and 2013. In 2000, 0.7-million days sick leave were taken by employees. This rose to 3.96-million in 2013 - despite employment remaining almost stagnant during that period. According to Johan Botes, Director: Employment Law at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, "This reported rise in sick leave usage by employees is extremely alarming. “It is staggering to note that 25% of employees use the entire statutory allocation for sick leave (36 days per 3-year cycle for 6-day workers). This seems to confirm anecdotal evidence of some employees viewing sick leave days as a right, or an additional source of leave to supplement their annual leave,” he says. Botes says employers seeking to manage this alarming contributor to wasted productivity should consider steps to manage delinquent behaviour related to sick leave usage. He says steps could include employers notifying all employees that they must report their absence due to ill health or injury immediately, at reporting time or as soon as possible thereafter. There are still employers who are content with employees staying away for days from work provided the employee eventually submits a medical certificate covering the days of absence. The medical certificate should not be treated by the employer or employee as a magical document that miraculously explains away days of otherwise unreported absence. The rule should be that the employee must immediately notify the employer of the envisaged absence due to ill health or injury. This should then be followed up with a medical certificate, where required and appropriate. “Employers should also scrutinise medical certificates submitted. Where the employer suspects foul play, the employer is entitled to contact the health practitioner to enquire whether the practitioner did indeed issue the certificate and whether the . . .
ENGEN Pitch & Polish is a lateral thinking national workshop and competition designed to give local entrepreneurs the opportunity to “polish” their “pitch”, to equip them with the tools to pitch for funding in order to advance their business or business idea. 2013 marks the fourth year for this annual programme which has grown year on year. The programme features five distinct stages: Round 1, Round 2, SAfm Wild Card, Semi-Final and Final. Leading up to the Semi-Final is a summary below: Round 1: Round 1, held in Port Elizabeth, Wentworth, Kimberley, Athlone and Vereeniging was attended by over 800 participants who collectively benefit from this unique business training platform. In this elimination round 15 contestants out of 25 went through to Round 2. Contestants to Round 2 from the Port Elizabeth event: - Samantha Conway – healthy cakes and nutritious treats - Pumeza Ngcongca – aloe harvesting - Mbulelo Nofemela – hair salon business Contestants to Round 2 from the Wentworth event: - Nhlakanipho Shange – advertising system for public transport - Trinelle Wood – custom made boat cushions, headboards and linen - Felicia Mshololo – construction and renovation Contestants to Round 2 from the Kimberley event: - Thabiso Mathibedi - event hire company - Morena Mohale - business solutions company - Joy Boraine - property evaluations Contestants to Round 2 from the Athlone event: - Mark Calvert – low cost housing - Sizwe Nzima – bicycle courier service - Justin van der Walt – refurbishing of computers and e-waste Contestants to Round 2 from the Vereeniging event: - Eric Tsubella - manufacture of trailers, caravans, homes - Grace Telane - fitness and health club - Mmabje Maila - beaded earphones Round 2: In Round 2, the winners from Round 1 travel to compete in three cities, where over 500 people participate as audience members and learn the value of a well-rounded, concise and articulate pitch. As in Round 1, all delegates receive a . . .
South Africa, September 9, 2013 - Royalty-Free Microstock content provider 123rf.com today announced its participation as a Gift-in-Kind Donor for the deserving Red Cross Children’s Hospital Trust, an independent fundraising arm of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. Mrs Anja van Aswegen who heads 123RF South Africa in Cape Town says, “To be affiliated with the Red Cross Children’s Hospital Trust means a lot to 123RF. We are honoured to be able to contribute our creative works to this noble cause. It is our hope that the association will be able to communicate its fundraising initiatives more effectively via the persuasive power of pictures. And in turn, raise much needed funds to upgrade its building, purchase vital healthcare equipment as well as develop critical training and research programmes for the South African community.” Under this program, 123RF.com will sponsor stock photos that will be used in the association’s fundraising projects and events. Creative works from 123RF’s immense library of 21 million Royalty-Free stock photos and vectors will be used to visually enhance the Trust’s exclusive invites, factsheets, brochures, printed collaterals as well as online banners and its social media platforms. About 123RF.com Founded in 2005, 123RF.com is a royalty-free microstock library that offers more than 21 million high-quality, royalty-free creative content works comprising stock photos, vectors, footage and audio files at the lowest prices. 123RF.com also offers 24-hour service, 7 days a week. For more information, visit 123RF.com. For Customer Enquiries: Anja van Aswegen e: firstname.lastname@example.org For Media Enquiries: Shireen L. e:email@example.com More Info link:: http://www.123rf.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/123rf Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/123RF.SouthAfrica YouTube: Author: Anja van Aswegen from 123RF.com. Originally distributed by MyPR.co.za. . . .
Commercial law advisors Whipping the Cat are poised to disrupt the status quo of the traditional, high cost legal industry by becoming a fixed cost legal partner for businesses of any size. The boutique consultancy has this week announced the launch of its fixed-fee commercial legal services, aimed primarily at modern small- to medium-sized businesses, and also catering to the outsourcing needs of larger corporates. Offering a fresh new approach to commercial law through its pre-determined billing model, Whipping the Cat will provide a wide range of corporate legal services. These include: intellectual property advice; the drafting and vetting of contracts such as leases, business terms, license agreements, distribution agreements, franchise agreements, service contracts and teaming agreements and all employment-related matters. All services will be quoted for upfront and billed on a fixed fee basis, enabling clients to budget for their annual legal spend. This is a first for the South African commercial law sector, where legal advisory outsourcing and a fixed fee business model are virtually unheard of. “Every business requires high quality legal advice from time to time, but unless you have an open-ended legal budget - which few businesses do - the sound of a traditional law firm’s fee clock notching up billable hours can be daunting,” says Whipping the Cat founder and CEO, Graeme Wilson. Client Alana Bond, the MD of Johannesburg-based economic development company Simanye, agrees. “Just because we are a small business does not mean we are not exposed to big risks, and if something goes wrong, we could be out of business overnight. But despite the risks, we can't afford big legal bills. We use Whipping the Cat for all our employee-related matters and to put the right commercial agreements in place. They do this for us pragmatically and without unnecessary legalese. This gives me peace of mind that the legal aspects are understood and taken care of, and . . .