(Port Elizabeth) – Leading organisations both in the Eastern Cape and nationally reaped the rewards of their ties to the NMMU Business School as 256 individual candidates and employees from various private and public sector entities received certificates in a range of programmes at the annual Executive Education Awards Ceremony on Thursday (May 25).
The Business School has seen its relationship with local and national industry strengthen, with approximately sixty businesses countrywide investing in staff development through its executive education programmes over the past year.
Among the organisations represented at the awards ceremony were Shatterprufe, Badger Holdings, Eberspäecher and various departments of the Eastern Cape Provincial Government.
Speaking at the ceremony held on NMMU South Campus in Summerstrand, NMMU Business School director Dr Randall Jonas said the school had adopted a highly contextualised approach to training, whereby modules were adapted to fit the strategic objectives of the organisations concerned.
In addition, Jonas said the Business School had a critical role to play in advocating the “economics of higher purpose” by developing the kind of transformational and ethical leadership needed to address social ills.
“We need to be that catalyst for business success as well as social progress. We consider ourselves to be a strategic partner in developing responsible leadership that impacts on socioeconomic conditions.”
The director of the Business School’s Leadership Academy, Leon Mouton, said the traditional roles of leaders and managers were challenged daily in the face of a volatile and complex global economy.
“The traditional models of being able to predict outcomes relatively easily do not apply any more. Therefore, the Leadership Academy’s dedicated pool of experts engages with clients to co-create and deliver educational products that equip managers and leaders to deal with this ever-changing environment.”
Mouton said the Leadership Academy had strong links in various sectors across South Africa and was dedicated to the principle of lifelong learning by catering for all roles from supervisory level to senior management.
Earlier this month, NMMU Business School received accreditation from the international Association of MBAs (AMBA), which represents the highest standard of achievement in postgraduate business education.
According to Shatterprufe managing director Dave Coffey, 49 employees from the company’s Port Elizabeth and Ga-Rankuwa plants had been enrolled in four management and leadership development programmes over the past year.
Coffey said Shatterprufe had a longstanding relationship with the Business School in developing tailor-made leadership programmes at various levels, from team leader to shift leader and middle management. The company recently received a supplier award for achievement in quality management from Toyota SA.
“We’ve seen major benefit from these programmes, which are very specific to our business and that provides huge value. Not only because the material is very good but also because there’s been a coaching element,” he said, adding that the programmes included aspects such as lean manufacturing, continuous improvement and systemic thinking.
“We use these to develop our leaders to think outside their normal operating environment and to think across the business.”
Deputy director-general of the Eastern Cape department of transport Lomex Sisilana said continuous development was vital for an effective public sector organisation and that executive development programmes helped his staff to stay on the pulse of what was happening.
“An executive must be able to review policies and respond to the needs of the community and society at large. Executives must also have foresight because whatever policies we are developing now are going to have an impact on the next generation. So we have to ensure that we plant the good seeds from the outset.”