Monthly Archives: August 2016

How small players can attract the attention of big companies

For any small company starting out in business, the million rand question is: how do we show the big players that we know what we’re doing and they can rely on us?
A good company to answer this question is Technetium, an asset-management and tracking company that opened its doors a decade ago and today counts some of South Africa’s biggest corporates among its customers.
“Our solutions are enterprise solutions, and when we started out, we asked ourselves, ‘How do we get traction and credibility among the larger companies and industries?’ Well, it helps if you can show that you are peer reviewed and being vetted externally,” says Technetium Chief Executive Wayne Aronson.
The TT100, with its authoritative TIPS model and network of respected adjudicators, has played a role in burnishing Technetium’s market credibility. “Peer review is very important, especially in the early stages,” says Aronson. “Being an award-winning technology company also makes it easier to prove your credentials.”
Awards, feedback and opportunities to engage government

Technetium participated in the TT100 programme in 2009 for the first time, and made it straight onto the sought-after Top 100 list.
In 2011, the company won the Director-General’s Award for Overall Excellence, in 2012 the JSE Award for Sustainable Excellence, and in 2014 the Eskom Award for Excellence in Technology. Last year, 2015, Technetium was a winner of the Minister’s Award for Sustainable Performance.
Awards aside, TT100 has been helpful in two other ways, Aronson says. One is feedback on how Technetium manages technology, innovation, people and systems. “During the adjudication process, it is valuable to hear some of the comments of the adjudicators.”
Second, TT100 companies have access to the forums that the Da Vinci Institute holds with government departments, specifically the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Trade and Industry. Having facilitated a number of these sessions, Aronson cannot stress enough the value of these opportunities to engage with open-minded, receptive delegates from these departments.
Keeping small business on Government’s radar

“It’s important to educate Government about the challenges that small business faces in trying to grow. One example is the idea for a Government-sponsored handbook for small business, detailing key issues like tax and labour laws, BEE, grants and subsidies and internships. Speaking from bitter experience, the first time start-up companies find out that they have not followed proper tax or legal process happens when they receive the corresponding penalties,” he says.   
“Another example is the financial and legal barriers small business faces when looking to apply for patents. South Africa has a horribly low level of patent registrations and it’s frightening to see how we fare against countries very similar to us. Forums like the TT100 discussions are part of the process of educating Government and keeping small business on the radar.”



The Da Vinci Institute is a private provider of higher education with a focus on socio-economic transformation. As a school of managerial leadership, The Institute offers under-graduate and post-graduate qualifications with a strong emphasis on new knowledge creation and solving actual work based challenges.

This approach serves to cultivate managerial leaders who are able to think creatively, make informed decisions and find solutions to complex problems. Through this refinement, students are equipped with the appropriate tools to go out in to the workplace and contribute toward the development of a sustainable society.

The Institute has experienced immense growth in 2016. In review of the first and second quarter performances for 2016, the growth observed is in terms of actual workshops held. The increase in workshops highlights The Institute’s success in enrolling interested students in managerial leadership programmes.
The first quarter revealed substantial growth in workshops held, and as February 2016 concluded, a total of 47 workshops were held. In comparison with February 2015, the figure increased by 88% for this period and increased by 67% compared with February 2014.

The month of March 2016, concluded with 44 workshops held and exceeds the amount of workshops held in March 2015, with a 26% increase, and a 46% increase in comparison to the previous year.
The second quarter showed growth in actual workshops held from month to month, as 49 workshops concluded in April 2016, 53 workshops concluded in May 2016 and 56 workshops concluded in June 2016.

In comparison with actual workshops held last year, this translates to a 36% increase from April 2015, an 18% increase from May 2015 and a 37% increase from June 2015. This is enormous growth if compared with the actual workshops concluded in 2014.

Table 1.0. Number of workshops: 2014 – 2016 (First and Second Quarter)

Mrs Sharlene Vania, Key Account Manager at The Institute commented on the growth, “The one source of growth is from our existing clients that continuously send us more students. The other source of growth is the on-boarding of new students who are sent from new clients.”

Mrs Vania further stated that, “The support that I receive from my administrator, Mrs Luendri Chetty, allows me to keep all of my focus on both my students’ needs as well as my clients’ requirements.”

Client Engagement Manager for The Institute, Mrs Carin Stoltz-Urban commented on the growth, “The reporting period saw a number of all-time records in the history of The Institute, in terms of the number of students, the number of workshops, and the number of Post Modular Assignments (PMAs) administered.”

Mrs Stoltz-Urban further stated that, “A total of 473 new students enrolled for programmes at The Institute during the period January to June 2016. While this growth put considerable pressure on the Client Engagement team, excellent service levels were maintained throughout, even resulting in a considerably increased Customer Service Index (CSI) rating from students and clients.”
The world is experiencing a time where economic downturn is a reality for many organisations, and higher education institutions find themselves in a fast-paced environment filled with numerous challenges.

In such a challenging environment, The Institute continues to remain agile in its ability to customise and align its requirements with that of its clients’ needs. In addition to this, The Institute continues to remain engaging and relevant. This approach of maintaining the standard for remarkable client service should not be comprised.

Therefore, it follows that it is imperative that The Institute continues to cater to all of its students’ needs. This includes the academic quality and integrity, as well as the commitment to a conducive learning environment, an environment that promotes engagement, critical thinking and mental stimulation.

Compiled by Storm Thomas

July 2016

Leading into the 4th Industrial Revolution: Thriving in the realities and challenges of the 21st century

By Dr. Paddy Pampallis
Founder Director of The Integral Africa Institute™ and the TCC Ubuntu Coaching Foundation™

*The Coaching Centre is an Associate of The Da Vinci Institute
We are in the midst of a highly tumultuous wave – a cycle of disruptions, and I celebrate this as each disruption brings a rebirthing!   The big challenge this year will be to create perspective, to connect even more deeply to both our inherent and transcendent humanity, and to create the opportunities to generate conscious intentional action that will alleviate suffering and promote health and well-being through transforming mindsets, structures, systems and processes, for a better world!
This is the time to cultivate deep reflective spaces, to slow down to examine that which is easily distracted into ‘busy, more important’ activities because it is so hard; this is the time to take a few minutes to read on…
The Challenge
In a space of our multi-diverse, multi-cultured, multi-traumatised world – the seething boil has at last burst! And I am relieved, because we can now truly have the conversations that count without the euphemistic ‘niceness’ that is hiding the brutal facts.
As a psychologist, an integrative psychotherapist, a systems thinker, process facilitator, integral practitioner, businesswoman and global citizen, I see it as essential for us floundering humans, who hold many flawed assumptions about our selves and others, to have a navigational tool, a MAP, with which to help us traverse truly treacherous terrain!  To this end we have developed a unique application of integral thinking into the Integral+ Practice of Leadership and Coaching™ to support people through this terrain.
That map has to be one that can help us find our way by introducing a common language – and I am not of course speaking of our mother tongues,– I am speaking of a conceptual map that holds the multiple complexity of the lived experience of ‘all of us’!  Conventional thinking and wisdom encourages either /or thinking – “if only / but then …” and justifies our fears and anxieties.   Any system – individual or collective – reacts and shifts quickly to stress through homeostasis (self-correction). Our self-correcting, protecting world-views can, and often do lead to delusion, blocking the healthy evolution we so need.  Our thinking has to evolve! So we welcome ‘disruptions’!  They spur us to continue to calibrate and seek deeper for that co-operative and inclusive space of natural hierarchies, rather than those ego- based, imposed hierarchies driven by self-interest, power and greed which only benefit a few.
We need to continually practice ‘crossing the road’1.  We need a 4D+ map for our 3D world©!
What would these conversations look like?
They include both hard and soft issues and experiences, processes and systems that impact our national psychology, values, economics, social justice, education, health, generosity of spirit, and a drive for the next levels of integration.  In fact – everything!!!
These conversations take into consideration the vast mix of mindsets, worldviews, experiences, competencies, capacities, affiliations, beliefs, cultures, contexts, environments, and the variety of systems – human and non-human – that form part of this mix.   This MAP – our human GPS –needs to point its light into the tendrils of darkness (unawareness and unconscious spaces) that infiltrate our worlds in both gross and often, more subtle, but equally disturbing, ways.
It would need to be a 4D+ map© that can:
Å      Offer acknowledgment and validity to ALL points of view!
Å      Navigate through partial lenses onto situations that are held as an absolute truth (view of the world), and find a way to hold multiple truths. Your experience and mine are equally valid! So what does a co-created viable solution look like for us all?
Å      Enable sight onto different perspectives, both vertically and horizontally,  and enable a way to allow the films of illusion to clear
Å      Honour the vast range of intelligences available to us as a whole, knowing that each part is vital (a cell to the organism).
Å      Engage the vast range and levels of understanding and interpretations to include: my view, your view and our view (not just MINE)
Å      Show that our differences are not the enemy – our limited and partial and unconscious shadow mindsets are!
Å      Invite that deepest need of all of us to be seen, validated, valued, secure, trusted, and to grow.
To do this we have to WAKE UP! to see and build the capacity to look at what we do not want to see.
Then we have to GROW UP! To take on the complexity and the responsibilities necessary for adult maturity!  (I hear so often in the workplace and in families and in government institutions: – “if only he/she would grow upjust act with some maturity!)
Well – here is our chance!  (We have had many by the way – many of us have not listened!)  And why?  Well as a human race we are only 12 minutes old in a 365 day long year!   We are young! We are not yet competent!  We are trying to find our way! We are making mistakes! We are impulsive, unable to control our hungers and our anxieties!   Yes, we are still babies finding our way!
There are a number of competencies, and internal capacity creating developmental stretches that need to take place for us to respond to a world that is pushing us all to new frontiers.   There is so much complexity and vast sensory overload!  Even the simple tasks will rapidly multiply and ‘overwhelm’ will be the order of the day.   As an organization we will need to prepare our people: as individuals and family members, and members of various communities, we will need to have the kind of coaching, support, and interventions that will help us assimilate, cultivate, integrate, and take action with ease.
…and architects of note, in sourcing, accessing, initiating, solving, and prototyping the ‘new world’.  This stage of our evolution in modern life is being termed the Fourth Industrial Revolution  (Davos 2016 WEF). We will have to cultivate some very distinctive capacities and competencies in order to navigate our way through.   Leaders today are going to have to work with upgrading their own internal operating systems and those of their organizations into becoming integral operating systems.  Preparing coaches that can support this development will mean that these coaches need to similarly develop some of these competencies.
Our new realities are in our own making and the internal and external capacity development needs are high!  My adaption of these competencies and roles, worded towards leadership, are listed below -with acknowledgements and apologies to the originators.
1.  The ability to deliver immersive and intuitive experiences that are tailored for their industry (Gavin Kelly – Artefact)
2.  The ability to work with media (Glen Murphy)
3.  The ability to integrate holistic business design (Yves Béhar)
4.  The ability to conduct teams through the complexity barriers (Bill Buxton)
5.   The ability to provide conceptual leadership and creative vision through being versed in the ‘language’ of all cultures: this requires visual fluency and the ability to balance collective possibilities with individual styles (Matias Duarte)
6.  The ability to cultivate embodied interactions:  this requires thoughtful attention and skill at persuading disparate business stakeholders of a product’s viability, while also being able to access the resources needed to deliver on it (Matt Schoenholz)
And perhaps my favourites are:
7.  Becoming a fusionist: this will require that a leader have the ability to transform an element in one form to another and in doing so create cross-disciplinary (function) opportunities. – (Atsa Roseway)
8.  Being an interventionist – which will require the ability to help people digest new ideas, and build towards a better future (Ashlea Powell).
And ultimately –
The 4D leader will need to be able to access the full spectrum of human experience. This takes years of practice to operate at a high level – just like free lunches, there are no quick –fix solutions!   The 4D+ leader will be able to unite teams to create spaces in which to solve complex interaction problems, allowing interconnectivity, communication and co-operation to reach unprecedented levels.
These shifts will need to start in many areas, one of them being a shift in school curriculum! So the disruptors to current ways of thinking and doing are necessary to bring about disruptions that will shift things through exponential trajectories.   In our evolution, we will come to see that even some medical treatments will be looked upon as barbaric in its current form.
Ultimately leadership must ensure a healthy society; business will need to connect itself to social development while governments need to truly play their role as public servants in service of this fusion.  Power needs to shift its consciousness so that the economic, health, education and social landscapes are better for all.
And with this singularity –there will be no need for jobs for leaders!
Now what a radical idea is that!

The Integral+ Africa Institute TM /The Coaching Centre (TCC) is an internationally accredited leadership coaching and organisational development company, founded on a deep passion for growing people in all dimensions, and healing society in a complex world. We are “in the business of being human”. We embed our Integral PracticeTM in a range of offerings including: an accredited coach training school (TCC); bespoke Leader as Coach certificate programmes; Strategic Alignment consulting; Executive and Organisational coaching programmes; and Integrated change management and cultural alignment programmes. The TCC Ubuntu Coaching Foundation is an NPC channelling our passion and work into a commitment to leadership for social and community development.