Monthly Archives: March 2015


February 26, 2015 
Accenture South Africa hosted its first Accenture Innovation Conference at The Country Club Johannesburg in Woodmead on 26 February 2015. The conference included a gathering of some of the world’s foremost innovation thought leaders to focus on how South African companies can best use innovation to achieve greater competitiveness, productivity, efficiency and growth. The conference, organised around the theme Dare to Disrupt, brought together more than 1,500 business leaders, including many of the country’s top business innovators.
The conference focused on a broad range of topics related to the use of digital and other breakthrough technologies in areas ranging from strategy development to business operations. Top-class speakers explained how technology—notably digital technology, has already disrupted every area of our lives, challenging industries, companies and customer channels. They also addressed how business and government leaders in South Africa and the sub-continent can nourish innovation, change conventional thinking and support transformation.
In his opening address, Accenture South Africa Chief Executive William Mzimba indicated that against the backdrop of increasing volatility and growing competition fuelled by globalisation, only organisations that seamlessly integrate innovation into everything they do will secure sustainable growth and create a competitive advantage. He stated that the Accenture Innovation Conference provides a platform from which businesses and organisations can explore strategic and practical insights on innovation to help frame their strategic vision and drive their innovation road map in an unprecedented manner. He also explained the relevance for South Africa as a regional leader and why innovation can bring value to the sub-continent.
“If South Africa, as part of the broader Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, is to take its place on the international stage, it must recognise the imperative role that innovation will play,” Mzimba said. “We should recognise the fact that our country’s success is linked to the ability of its companies and public sector organisations to innovate.”
Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen, author of the book The Innovator’s Dilemma, and keynote speaker at the conference, unpacked the theme of Dare to Disrupt in his address. “Disruptive innovation is not a breakthrough innovation that makes good products a lot better; it has a very specific definition, and that is to transform a product that historically was so expensive and complicated that only a few people with a lot of money and a lot of skill had access to it. Disruptive innovation makes it so much more affordable and accessible that a much larger population has access to it,” underlined Christensen. “The root of disruptive innovation is amending the way people think. Instead of sharing what to think, business should focus on how to think, this will profoundly impact organisations and their leaders across the globe.”
According to Greg Brandeau, president and COO of Maker Media, and former chief of Technology and Operations of Pixar and Walt Disney, innovation leadership is the key to creating an innovative culture and harnessing the business value of innovation. “The most successful innovative companies have a leader who drives innovation actively throughout all levels of the organisation. Creative thoughts are encouraged; incentives given for ideas that can be commercialised and processes are in place to support that commercialisation. It is a culture that drives competitive differentiation,” stated Brandeau.
“The key to company-wide creativity is a special kind of leadership. It does not necessarily look like other kinds of ‘good’ leadership. It does not mean creating a vision and trying to make innovation happen as an individual. Instead it means creating and sustaining a culture where innovation is allowed to happen again and again, creating an environment where people are both willing and able to do the hard work that innovative problem-solving requires,” concluded Brandeau.
Speaking about his innovative patent and the use of reverse innovation, South Africa’s youngest patent holder, Ludwick Marishane, said that his mission is to develop innovative products that solve the global consumer’s pressing needs, while contributing extensively to the development of Africa’s own world-leading innovation ecosystem. “The process of reverse innovation begins by focussing on needs and requirements for low-cost products. Once the products are developed for these markets, they are then sold elsewhere at low prices which in turn creates new markets and uses for these innovations,” stated Marishane. He also explained the challenges faced by innovators to take their ideas to market: “Entrepreneurs face a number of challenges including accessing of the right skills, securing funding, scaling, and sustaining innovation and growing internationally.”
Sebastian Thrun, Google Glass inventor, robotics developer, educator, CEO and co-founder of Udacity, advocated the value of innovation to change people’s lives. “Innovation in education, especially in Africa, will reap immeasurable results for the future and holds huge benefits for African economic growth through providing the skills to drive innovation and deliver on the growth agenda. At the end of the day, the true value proposition of education is employment,” stated Thrun.
“Innovative organisations leverage innovation to combat increasing volatility, industry-specific concerns and growing competition. By fostering a culture of innovation seamlessly in everything they do, innovative organisations decrease costs without reducing headcount, increase their market share and improve social conditions. When leadership is able to strategically focus their efforts around innovation they will secure sustainable growth and create a competitive advantage,” explained Lisa Bodell, best-selling author of Kill the Company, in her talk about removing the obstacles to harnessing innovation.
In his endorsement of the conference, the United States of America Ambassador to South Africa, Mr. Patrick Gaspard, said “innovation will drive the economies of the future, including South Africa, and the time to focus on innovation and entrepreneurship is now, in order to achieve the future we all want, that of prosperity for all people.”
“We are focused on developing a much broader, stronger economic partnership with South Africa to help develop a vibrant innovation economy, capturing the tremendous potential of your scientists and companies to help solve some of the planet’s toughest medical, environmental and manufacturing challenges, while making businesses more productive and helping to create thousands of new jobs,” added Gaspard.
South African business innovation success stories were showcased in the exhibition sections at the conference. The showcase culminated with the announcement of the winners and findings of Accenture’s second Innovation Index, which examined how innovation is managed within an organisation and looks at a number of key aspects of innovation management, including how the business encourages innovation among employees, leverages technology and embraces innovation in service delivery. It also assesses whether companies are innovating in a manner that is socially and environmentally responsible.
The Innovation Masters category comprises of two sub-categories. The Accenture Innovation Overall Masters Apex Award for 2014 goes to an organisation with an annual turnover of less than R40 million and the top honours went to Angel Shack (Pty) Ltd. The Accenture Innovation Overall Masters Zenith Award for 2014 goes to an organisation with an annual turnover of more than R40 million and the winner was Blue Strata Trading. Meanwhile, Easy Equities – First World Trader (Pty) Ltd was awarded the title of Accenture Innovation Concept for 2014.
The Accenture Innovation Index welcomes entries from listed and unlisted companies, as well as Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and public organisations across a variety of industries including financial services, resources, health and public sector, communications, technology and media. The Accenture Innovation Index participants enter in two categories of innovation – The Innovation Masters and the Innovation Concepts.
Innovation Masters comprises companies that exude innovation through everything they do. Entry into this category was open to any organisation regardless of size, industry or listing. The judging process explored how innovation is managed in an organisation and looked at a number of key aspects including how companies encourage innovation with their employees, leverage technology and embrace innovation in service delivery. The judging process also considered whether companies are innovating in a space in which they remain socially and environmentally responsible.
Organisations may enter a concept into the Accenture Innovation Concepts if the concept has been commercialised, sold in the market place for a period shorter than three years and is genuinely South African. Evaluation of the entrants looks at product development, process and system design, as well as service delivery.
The 2014 Innovation Index saw an increase of 90 percent in entrants vetted for creditworthiness by TransUnion compared to 2013, demonstrating a higher number of quality entrants and revealing organisations’ seriousness about innovation. “South Africa’s average innovation score improved by a third this year compared to 2013, indicating that corporate South Africa is driving new thinking to face market opportunities head-on,” stated Yusof Seedat, head of Accenture Research, South Africa.
“South African companies can use innovation to achieve greater competitiveness, not only through new market ideas, but through productivity and efficiency improvements,” stated William Mzimba, Chief Executive of Accenture South Africa. “Successful innovation drives transformation, brings about convergence of customer needs and breaks down geographic boundaries. South Africa needs greater collaboration between public and private organisations to drive greater GDP growth through innovation. This should focus on better education and training, improving entrepreneurial culture, increasing R&D and creating technology-led business models.”
“A positive trend this year has been the growth of open innovation as a means to leverage knowledge from outside the organisation to help solve problems and find new ideas for creating growth. This collaborative approach is seen as an important way to bring innovations to market faster and gain a competitive advantage over peers,” stated Seedat.
“Among the most important findings this year, given the recurring theme of innovation leadership, is that chairmen and CEOs may remain the ultimate custodians of the innovation agenda, but there is a gratifying increase in the number of innovation departments formalised within company structures,” explained Seedat.
“The 2014 Innovation Index results show an improved innovation score in South Africa – the outcome of several positive organisational evolutions. At the same time, much work remains to be done to overcome barriers in the way of adopting innovative practices. Laggards and smaller organisations can emulate the habits of highly effective innovators, including committing strong leadership and embracing emerging digital technologies that foster collaboration and ideation at scale,” concluded Seedat.
Annually, Accenture partners with The Da Vinci Institute to develop a sound methodology for the independent measurement of entries in the Innovation Index. Accenture does not participate in the evaluation procedures. Each organisation entering receives a customised innovation diagnostic report or dashboard that identifies their innovation gaps and strengths, providing business value to the entrant. It also benchmarks the organisation within its industry and provides strategies that may help the organisation to gain a competitive advantage. Working collaboratively to complete the questionnaire for entry, the process sparks new conversations across various areas and levels of responsibility in organisations to help them uncover their strengths and opportunities from the onset of their participation.
The assessment process includes a vetting through TransUnion – the credit and information management company – completion of the main questionnaire and adjudication of high-scoring companies. Further vetting through TransUnion and a final judging round is undertaken to verify organisations and determine the winners. The Innovation Index survey is quantitative in nature with very limited open-ended questions. It touches on all aspects of an organisation’s innovation and those who enter have the option to submit their concepts for consideration in the showcase and awards.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 319,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US $30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2014. Its home page is

The Da Vinci Institute Autumn Newsletter 2015

Follow the link to view our Autumn Newsletter – 2015

Review of TT100 Awards Ceremony

TT100 2014 REVIEW
2 February 2015
CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria
The TT100 Awards is an annual event hosted by The Da Vinci Institute for the Management of Technology and Innovation, under the auspices of the DST. This year the awards ceremony took place on the sidelines of a first-of-its-kind event in South Africa, namely, the Innovation Bridge.  This is an event that the DST has organised to bring together innovators, financiers and technology incubators under one roof, a platform that aims to bridge the gap between them.
Speaking at the TT100 Awards ceremony in Pretoria on 2 February 2015, the Minister said that there seemed a lack of appreciation in South Africa for home-grown technological capabilities, even in areas in which the country’s offerings were generally recognised as the best in the world.
The 2014 TT100 Awards Programme not only showcases the increase in the output and quality of South African technologies, but has also expanded its scope to include organisations from Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Among the recipients was Eskom’s Group Executive for Sustainability, Dr Steve Lennon, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr Lennon, who also chaired the National Advisory Council on Innovation, is widely recognised locally and internationally for leadership in areas such as technological innovation and R&D, sustainability management and energy, including project development and funding and establishing partnerships and networks, such as investor relationships.
The Minister’s Award for Overall Excellence was taken by Accsys (Pty) Ltd in the sector of medium enterprises, and PFK Electronics (Pty) Ltd in the large enterprises sector. These are awarded to recognise companies that consistently and progressively demonstrate a unique ability to manage core elements of the business, including technology, innovation, people, systems, research and sustainability.
In the Emerging Enterprise sector, Olive Expert Services (Pty) Ltd scooped three awards for overall excellence in the Management of Technology, Innovation and Systems.
In the category of Management of Technology, Ctrack (Digicore) was awarded within the large sector enterprises, while Technetium was awarded within the medium enterprises sector. Merlynn Intelligence Systems, extensive background in the methodologies, process, development skills and implementation strategies surrounding Predictive Analytics solutions was awarded within the small enterprises sector.
In the Large Enterprise sector, Altech Multimedia and Magnet Electrical Supplies were both awarded within the category of Management of Innovation. ID Control Solutions and Verirad were awarded as the preferred Medium Enterprise within this category whilst Campus Labs were awarded within the Small Enterprise Sector.
Within the category of Management of People, QK Meats were awarded within the Large Enterprise sector and Accsys were awarded within the Medium Enterprise sector.
Altech Multimedia and Afrox were both awarded in the category of  Management of Systems within the Large Enterprise sector. Photovoltaic Technology Intellectual Property was awarded within the Medium Enterprise sector and Wagienience was successfully awarded as a Small Enterprise.
“It is encouraging to see how, year-on-year, many of these organisations have been able to find innovative ways of sustaining their businesses, and, in many cases, have been able to export their products and services in fiercely competitive global markets,” said the Minister.

About TT100
The TT100 Business Awards Programme, with support from various partners such as Eskom and government was launched in 1991 by the South African Engineering Association (SAVI).  The programme has been focused on drawing attention to the importance of developing a local culture of technological innovation and excellence. TT100 has evolved into one of the foremost business awards programmes that lauds South African companies for their business prowess in the Management of Technology, Innovation, People, Systems, Research and Sustainability, regardless of their industry. The programme is as an effective vehicle for achieving growth and innovation advancement in our country, while raising awareness of the critical need for South African companies to embrace the management of technology, innovation and people in a systemic and sustainable manner. Since 1994, TT100 has enjoyed strong endorsement by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) as the major government sponsor.

Dr Rica Viljoen, Faculty at The Da Vinci Institute recently launched her new book

Dr Rica Viljoen, Faculty at The Da Vinci Institute recently launched her new book, ‘Inclusive Organizational Transformation: An African Perspective on Human Niches and Diversity of Thought’.
Dr Rica Viljoen acknowledges that diversity of thought presents both gifts and challenges to leadership in multi-national organizations. Here, Inclusivity is positioned as a radical transformational methodology with the purpose of unleashing the benefits of engagement and diversity of thought. Case studies from Ghana, South Africa, Australia, Peru and Tanzania are included and insights gained from the dynamics observed are shared. A synthesis of Inclusivity is presented in a model, metainsights are derived and the prerequisites for Inclusivity on individual, group and organizational domain.
For more information, follow the link below.

What is the biggest difference between managers and leaders?

What is the biggest difference between managers and leaders? 
By Lolly Daskal
Both roles are important but they seek to do different things…
11.       Leaders lead people. Managers manage people.
22.       Leaders set destinations. Managers navigate the roads to get there.
33.       Leaders cultivate change. Managers cultivate creating stability.
44.       Leaders inspire. Managers comfort.
55.       Leaders appeals to the heart. Managers appeal to the head.
66.       Leaders set direction. Managers set plans with details.
77.       Leaders work on a system. Managers are working the system.
88.       Leaders have vision. Managers are about reaching goals.
99.       Leaders   are about effectiveness. Managers are about efficiency.
110.   Leaders have followers. Managers have subordinates.
111.   Leaders take ownership. Managers take responsibility.
112.   Leaders shape culture. Managers enact culture.
113.   Leaders are proactive. Managers are reactive.
114.   Leaders accomplish achievements.  Managers accomplish compliance.
115.   Leaders break rules. Managers make rules.
116.   Leaders use conflict. Managers avoid conflict.
117.   Leaders set new direction. Managers go on the existing roads.
118.   Leaders go inward. Managers work outward.
119.   Leaders are concerned what is right and managers are concerned about being right.
As you can see managers and leaders are two different people. Do organizations need both? YES.
Leadership begins where management ends and smart organizations value both and great organizations work hard to make each a part of their team.

Fostering and Managing Engagement: A Framework for Managerial Leaders

Given the value of engagement and the costs of disengagement, more accountability by managerial leaders for workplace engagement levels seems likely and desirable. With increased accountability, a practical perspective and framework for fostering and managing this process may help guide leaders in positively impacting workplace engagement to enhance well-being and performance. After reviewing engagement from a managerial leadership perspective, providing an engagement profile, presenting an Engagement-Management Cycle, and offering some benefits associated with this process, a stepwise approach to applying this process is presented. An example of this approach applied with an executive is offered. Some challenging issues are reviewed.

Follow the link to read the full article

Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics vol. 11(1) 2014 49
Charles D. Kerns
Pepperdine University
Corperformance, Inc.

Leadership effectiveness in Higher Education: Managerial self-perceptions versus perceptions of others

It is generally accepted that effective leadership is an essential element of positive social change
in any institution. It also seems evident that no society can continue to grow and develop without
it and that no institution can thrive where it is unavailable. However, these statements raise a
number of questions such as:

• Whose perceptions of effective leadership is applicable here – the perceptions of those in
leadership positions themselves, or the perceptions of others?

• What is likely to happen in the case of conflicting perceptions of leadership effectiveness?

To read more, please follow the below link.

Tessie H.H. Herbst’
Pieter D.P. Conradie^

Herbst, T.H.H., & Conradie, ‘P.D.P. (2011). Leadership effectiveness in Higher Education: Managerial
self-perceptions versus perceptions of others. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology/SA Tydskrif vir Bedryfsielkunde, 57(1), Art. #867,14 pages. doi:10.4102/sajip.v37il.867

MEDIA RELEASE: Award Winning Photographer releases new book depicting leadership in nature

Award Winning Photographer releases new book depicting leadership in nature
Internationally renowned photographer Lou Coetzer, in conjunction with The Da Vinci Institute, launches his very new publication. ‘Towards Synergy’ showcases images and stories about Leadership Principles reflected in nature. The official date of the launch will take place on Wednesday 4 March 2015 at Nikon House, Centurion at 19:00 for 19:30.  

Attendees will have an opportunity to purchase their very own signed copy of ‘Towards Synergy’ on the evening of the event. Representatives from The Da Vinci Institute and Nikon will be present at the launch and will address those who have attended. The book displays beautiful award winning photographs that depict the act of leadership revealed by animals in nature. Furthermore, each photograph is paired with the telling of the story on how these animals work collectively to survive and persevere. These stories can be related to one’s own world of work where the similarity between man and animal are profound and fascinating.

Professor Bennie Anderson, CEO of The Da Vinci Institute, regarding the book states “In Towards Synergy, Lou Coetzer’s intimate and evocative images provide the perfect backdrop to The Da Vinci Institute’s interpretations of Leadership Lessons from Nature.”

Lou Coetzer, international nature photographer comments about his work and what he has experienced. “While I accept that man and animal share intimate genetic links, I am still constantly surprised by the close parallels found in the behaviouristic instincts of the two. Leadership is an example.”

Towards Synergy’ launches on Wednesday 4 March 2015 at Nikon House, Centurion at 19:00 for 19:30.