Category Archives: management of people

How to Create an Innovation Culture that Lasts

By Henra Mayer

Many organisations kick-off an innovation programme with innovation training or brainstorming sessions. Seeing that it is easier to execute, this can be a good way to engage the organisation around innovation intent. A good programme that delivers fresh ideas utilise the power of collaboration to create repeatable differentiated value in the market and one can appreciate that creative brainstorming alone is not going to deliver that type of return. Training might equip innovation teams better for the task at hand, but done in isolation it will not build a sustainable culture of innovation.
The TT100 awards recognises that the management of people includes the human technology interface.  It embraces both the employee and the end user.  It is about the processes that organisations deploy in the development of their human capital, and how they retain and re-skill existing employees, how they incentivise their people and how they plan for succession to ensure organisational longevity. 
Culture is both about people management and technological enablement. Building innovation DNA is painstakingly hard work. It focuses on output and reinforcement of behaviours. Experience often teaches hard lessons like small steps at a time, avoidance of the big bang approach and learning as you go, but some of the most effective approaches to generating a sustainable innovation culture lies in the following, often overlooked activities.

Explaining the what and why


Many organisations have not taken the time to properly and eloquently define what innovation means in their organisations. It is about context and creating a common language that is understood and internalised by all in the organisation. How else will you get people to understand why it is necessary to participate in an innovation programme? Defining what innovation means for your organisation is not only a necessary first step, it is imperative if you want to create strategic alignment and lay the foundation for ultimate innovation success.    

Leadership buy-in


Without visible leadership support and clear communication on the imperative of innovation for the organisation, any effort to transform the culture will be dead in the water. Leadership needs to stand up and be counted, they need to fly the flag high. What type of behaviour is the organisation supporting, punishing or rewarding? Leadership needs to lead innovation, and this applies to all managerial levels. Success very often depends on middle management – who has the responsibility to ensure implementation of the corporate strategy. If middle management is not championing innovation, they risk becoming one of the greatest barriers to innovation in the organisation. Get them on board early with clear objectives and tightly aligned goals, which highlights the next point.

Have a game plan


The development of an innovation strategy is one of the first steps an organisation must take on the road to success. It defines your game plan, sets the rules (will we focus on incremental or radical innovation) what is the investment budget and who is responsible for tracking outcomes? It must outline the organisation’s overall strategic business goals, and show how innovation can be applied to achieve it. A well-defined innovation strategy will focus activities, manage outcomes, fund opportunities, track success and impact culture.

Provide structure and guidance


Innovation needs a home. What do people do with their ideas? The organisation needs an effective, transparent process to support innovation so that ideas can get from people’s heads to implemented value. What type of ideas are you looking for, how will you filter and decide on the best ones, how often will you run innovation challenges and campaigns, how will these align to your strategic objectives? Employees need to know the answers to these questions and have the information required to help them to participate and engage effectively.

Communicate and engage


You need to communicate about the what, why, where, when and how of innovation constantly. If the message is not clear and compelling, staff will not engage and your programme will drown in a  flood of more imminent pressures. This makes innovation reward part of the discussion. Rewarding people for innovation effort is a very important activity. Reward needs to be well thought through and need to encourage the type of behaviour you want people to display.

Celebrate and demonstrate


There will always be nay-sayers, non-believers or stubborn opposers of the new in an organisation. It is important to recognise who these people are and to find ways to get them to work with you. Not everyone will be an avid innovation champion or diligent contributor to the innovation programme,  but a diverse talent pool increases the quality of contributions and the chances of finding something truly impactful. Write up case studies, showcase successes and demonstrate results. It will help you spread the word while showcasing the outcome of your efforts. There is nothing as convincing as real-world results to help you build the business case for innovation.

Connect and Co-create

The days of innovation is seen as a top-secret internal activity is long gone. Isolated innovation effort often misses the mark or lacks the depth that comes from stakeholder engagement and an integration of different points of view. Although many organisations start with internal innovation campaigns to learn the ropes, it is important to consider integrating an outside perspective into the creation of your innovation pipeline. External stakeholders that include customers, suppliers, academia or other experts in industry can add tremendous value to your own effort and help you find an edge far beyond what you would have been able to do on your own. Organisations wining at innovation have embraced formal and informal mechanisms of stakeholder engagement and collaboration, to the benefit of the organisation. 

It is a truly extraordinary time for innovation. Changing business landscapes, disruptive and unconventional market forces and the reality of a true global village presents both opportunity and threat. It will be those organisations that flex their innovation muscle and strengthen collaborative networks that will lead the future.  It is no longer about whether you should invest in building an innovation capability as an organisation, it is about how you are going to win at it.

For more information on the TT100 Business Awards please click here or contact Da Vinci by emailing Sonya@davinci.ac.za. To talk innovation please contact Innocentrix by emailing henra@innocentrix.co.za or by visiting www.innocentrix.co.za. 

Dynamic mix of new and established innovators take 2017 TT100 awards

South Africa’s small community of technology and business innovators is growing. Some fresh new faces have appeared alongside experienced innovators at the 2017 Da Vinci TT100 Business Innovation Awards.

“What we find especially exciting is how emerging and small enterprises – the engines of growth – are not just coming up with great ideas but executing them with insight and precision,” says Professor Bennie Anderson, CEO of The Da Vinci Institute, School of Managerial Leadership.

Newcomers to the awards, which have been running for 26 years, include I AM Emerge, whose Vuleka app empowers township businesses to jointly make bulk purchases, and Passion4Performance, whose online assessment tool is revolutionising training and enabling learners to track their careers from school to retirement.

Among the new faces in the category for medium enterprises is Space Advisory, whose Gecko Imager is blazing new trails in satellite imagery and storage. The imager uses data streaming to and from satellites to capture images at the super-speedy rate of five frames per second.

 A newcomer in the large category is Indian company Nelito Systems, which provides credit facilities to unbanked people in rural areas.

“We welcome the entrants who have won awards for the first time and at the same time congratulate companies who have won TT100 awards in the past and were back again this year,” Professor Anderson says. “That they keep returning demonstrates the value they extract from the TT100 awards and their ability to constantly improve the way they manage technology, innovation, people and systems (TIPS™).”

Winners with staying power

These “repeat” winners include X/procure Software, whose online procurement portal processes over R10 billion worth of pharmaceutical orders a year, payroll software company Accsys, and Durban-based electronics company PFK Electronics.

In total, 28 winners were presented with trophies at a gala dinner held at the Johannesburg Country Club on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, which was attended by business innovators, industry captains, government officials, researchers, and academics.

For the 2017 TT100 awards, The Da Vinci Institute collaborated with several long-time partners, notably the Department of Science and Technology, Eskom, Blank Canvas International and Innocentrix.

Giving the keynote address at the 2017 Da Vinci TT100 Business Innovation Awards, Minister of Science and Technology Mrs Naledi Pandor said she was impressed with the quality of business innovation entries in this year’s competition, which was encouraging given the National Development Plan’s (NDP) objective of turning South Africa into a high-growth, employment generating, knowledge-based economy.

Minister Pandor said the long-standing alliance that the DST has maintained with the TT100 awards programme was central to the ongoing efforts to strengthen public-private partnerships in support of South African technology-based businesses.

“Such partnerships not only enable awareness creation of business technology development initiatives and opportunities, but also profile the innovation prowess of South African tech companies to local and international markets,” she said.

Identifying role models

Running since 1991, the aim of the TT100 awards programme is to promote the culture of innovation amongst large, medium, small and emerging businesses.

The programme seeks to identify role models within the management of innovation and technology domains who have demonstrated their excellence in co-creating new workplace realities.

“The awards do not judge the worthiness of new technologies, but rather focus on how organisations manage the process of creating new technologies and innovations, and to what extent they are doing it sustainably and systemically,” Prof Anderson said.

“We have become aware that unless organisations manage their technology, innovation, people, and systems, and connect the relationships between them, innovation does not come to fruition, its commercialisation is not sustainable, and its socio-economic impact negligible,” he added.

The 2017 awards attracted a total of 379 entries in seven categories:

·         Management of technology
·         Management of innovation
·         Management of people
·         Management of systems
·         Sustainability
·         Overall excellence
·         Innovation concepts

The Innovation Concepts category was introduced for the first time this year. “With the addition of this category to the TT100 awards programme, we are hoping to connect the innovators to venture capitalists and other potential funders to enable them to commercialise their concepts and take these promising ventures to the market,” Prof Anderson said.

How the winners were selected

A total of 91 category finalists were selected following a rigorous face-to-face adjudication process, which culminated in 28 category winners being selected as the top-performing innovators of 2017.

In the new Innovation Concepts category, I AM Emerge came out tops among emerging entrants with its Vuleka App, which facilitates the bulk purchase of goods for township businesses.

The small business award in this category went to Tabula Rasa Investments Private Limited with their Pundutso Musha (PDC).

The winner in the medium enterprise category was Space Advisory for their Gecko Imager, while India’s Nelito Systems Ltd came out tops in the large category for their rural credit facilities to the unbanked.

In the Management of Technology category, Brucol Global Development (Pty) Ltd was the winner among emerging enterprises, while Cura Risk Management Software (Pty) Ltd took top honours among small enterprises. The winner in the category for medium enterprises was Global Track, while Altech Netstar was the award for large companies.

In Management of People the winners were: emerging category – ThisIsMe; small category – X/Procure Software SA; medium category – Accsys (Pty) and large category – Nelito Systems Ltd.
Winners in the Management of Systems: emerging category – Passion4Performance (Pty) Ltd; small category – X/Procure Software SA (Pty) Ltd; medium category – Space Advisory and large category is PFK Electronics (Pty) Ltd.

Top honours in the Management of Innovation went to: emerging category – Brucol Global Development; small category – HearX Group; medium category – SSG Consulting and large category – PFK Electronics (Pty) Ltd.

The winners for Overall Excellence were: emerging category – Passion4Performance (Pty) Ltd; small category – HearX Group; medium category – SSG Consulting and large category – PFK Electronics (Pty) Ltd.

When it came to Excellence in Sustainability the winners were: emerging category – I Am Emerge and Passion4Performance (Pty) Ltd; small category – X/Procure Software SA (Pty) Ltd and Fetch Them; medium category – SSG Consulting and large category – Altech Netstar Electronics (Pty) Ltd.

A number of entrants won more than one category, such as Passion4Performance (Pty) Ltd, which came out tops among emerging companies in Overall Excellence, Excellence in Sustainability and Management of Systems.
The TT100 programme not only benefits the winners and finalists, but all participants. Everyone receives intensive, customised feedback on how they manage technology, innovation, people and systems, enabling them to improve the way they operate.

Winners and finalists becoming part of the TT100 community are invited to participate in TT100 events, including business forums held jointly with government and partners involved in promoting business innovation, particularly the DST.

Top Innovators Set Alight Da Vinci’s TT100 Business Innovation Awards

Johannesburg, 15 November 2017

Top innovators have received high praises from the Minister of Science and Technology Mrs Naledi Pandor at the 2017 Da Vinci TT100 Business Innovation Awards, showcasing how South Africa is building an inclusive innovation system through growing support for grassroots innovators and developing local innovation.

In total, 28 winners were presented by Minister Pandor with trophies at a gala dinner held at the Johannesburg Country Club on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, which was attended by business innovators, industry captains, government officials, researchers, and academics.

Minister Pandor, who gave the keynote address, expressed her admiration for the quality of business innovation entries in this year’s competition, an achievement she has described as encouraging and in line with the National Development Plan’s (NDP) objective of turning South Africa into a high-growth, employment generating, knowledge-based economy.

Minister Pandor said the long-standing alliance that the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has maintained with the TT100 awards programme was central to the ongoing efforts to strengthen public-private partnerships in support of South African technology-based businesses.

“Such partnerships not only enable awareness creation of business technology development initiatives and opportunities but also profile the innovation prowess of SA tech companies to local and international markets.”

“This is in line with the NDP’s recognition of the importance of innovation as laying the foundations for more intensive improvements in business productivity and a more intensive national pursuit of the SA knowledge-based economy,” said Minister Pandor.

The 2017 TT100 awards were held under the auspices of The Da Vinci Institute School of Managerial Leadership, which has partnered with the DST, MTN, and Eskom to make the TT100 innovation competition possible.

The TT100 awards programme has been running since 1991 and its aim is to promote the culture of innovation amongst large, medium, and small businesses.

“The objective of the TT100 awards is to promote the importance of developing an innovative management ecosystem, which can help boost innovation outputs in our companies in a manner that impacts positively on socio-economic development and the bottom lines of our companies, whether small, medium or big,” said Professor Bennie Anderson, CEO of The Da Vinci Institute School of Managerial Leadership.
There were 379 entries in the following 6 categories: management of technology; management of innovation; management of people; management of systems; sustainability; and innovation concepts.

A total of 91 category finalists were selected following a rigorous face-to-face adjudication process, which culminated in a total of 28 category winners being selected as the top-performing innovators in 2017.

Four industry winners representing emerging, medium, small, and large enterprises were selected, who respectively received the DST Director-General Award and Minister Award for Overall Excellence.

“This year, we have added the Innovation Concepts category to assist in raising the profiles of innovators who have outstanding concepts, but don’t have the funding to commercialise their concepts.”

“With the addition of this category to the TT100 awards programme, we are hoping to connect the innovators to venture capitalists and other potential funders to enable them to commercialise their concepts and take these promising ventures to the market,” said Professor Anderson.

The 2017 TT100 awards also received a resounding support from Kammy Young, Innovation COE Manager at Eskom, who concurs that the programme will go a long way towards driving socio-economic development in South Africa.

“Innovation is one of Eskom’s values. We strive to embrace new processes and technology to improve business efficiencies, while investing in science, engineering, technology and innovation in the country, with the aim to grow the economy in support of socio-economic development,” said Young.

The TT100 programme provides enormous benefits to winners and finalists. TT100 participants receive intensive, customised feedback on how they manage technology, innovation, people and systems, enabling them to improve the way they operate their organisations.

Winners and finalists receive the additional benefit of becoming part of the TT100 community and being invited to participate in TT100 events, including business forums held jointly with government and partners involved in promoting business innovation, particularly the DST.
ENDS.
About the Da Vinci TT100 Business Innovation Awards Programme
The Da Vinci TT100 Business Innovation Awards Programme is South Africa’s foremost business Awards programme. TT100 has been recognising innovation and technological prowess in South African companies for more than 25 years. In going forward, it is focused on identifying true managerial leaders who through innovation, tenacity and a belief in people, have been able to take their organisations to new levels of competitiveness.

The programme seeks to identify role models within the management of innovation and technology domains who have demonstrated their excellence in co-creating new workplace realities.
For media queries contact:
Alfa Destiny Communications

X/procure®: Small company, big impact

X/procure® Software (Pty) Ltd

#TT1002016 Winner of the 2016 Rica Viljoen Award for Excellence in the Management of People

Category for small enterprises

Taking the pain out of procurement for pharmacies

Running out of stock is a nightmarish scenario for pharmacies large and small, whose customers cannot wait until the shelves are replenished to have their prescriptions filled. In South Africa, the advent of electronic procurement has taken much of the pain out of the supply chain and one company, in particular, X/procure®, is helping pharmacies keep their house in order.

“About 76% of South African pharmacies use our ordering portal, which processes around 500 000 orders a month and R10 billion worth of orders a year, consisting of scheduled, over-the-counter and front-shop items,” says JD Henderson, X/procure® managing director.

The portal’s popularity is easily explained. It seamlessly connects pharmacies to the wholesalers who supply them and provides almost instantaneous feedback on whether the required product is available.

If that product happens to be an originator drug (the original patented version), X/procure®’s portal will instantly display an advert of the generic alternative. “This is unique to our system and is a very important feature because legislation dictates that pharmacies must always recommend the cheaper, generic alternative to an originator drug,” Henderson says.

The ordering portal also helps pharmacies improve their stock management. “Our software provides a clear history of what, when and how a product was ordered and alerts the client to any anomalies,” he says. “If you typically order 10 packets of a particular product but are suddenly ordering 100, the system would query that.”

Then there’s the portal’s ability to help pharmacies buy front-shop items (tissues, cosmetics, vitamin supplements and the like) at the lowest prices. “When ordering from multiple wholesalers, the pharmacy can see the prices from all the wholesalers and choose the lowest-priced options,” says Henderson. “That’s a major advantage because pharmacies can only make a profit on front-shop products, not on the medicines they dispense.”

Small company, big impact

Despite the huge volumes of orders that X/procure®’s procurement portal handles daily, it has a staff of only 38, many of them being technical resources and all of them hand-picked for their skills and their compatibility with the company culture.

“We employ like-minded people with the same values,” Henderson says. “No matter how great your skills are if you don’t share our values we don’t hire you.”

Those values include putting the customer first (“That sounds like a cliché but we really go out of our way to make the customer feel like the only person in the world.”), under promising and over delivering (“If we say something will be ready at 8am tomorrow, it will be.”) and honesty and integrity (“We will tell you upfront if we can’t do something for you.”)

Playing for points

Innovation, too, is a core value. “It’s important that everyone on the team is part of the innovation process, so we’ve created an in-house portal where people can log new ideas,” Henderson says. “You earn points for submitting an idea – whether it’s good, bad or ugly – and more points if our innovation panel picks your idea. If it’s taken to development you earn more points, and when it’s commercialised, you are involved in that – and you earn more points.”

At the end of the year, staff members redeem their points for PlayStation games, LCD screens and movie tickets. “But if you don’t want to redeem your points, you can convert them to cash and donate it to charity,” says Henderson, adding that this was a staff idea that became reality, as was the suggestion that flexitime be introduced to avoid sitting in Sandton traffic.

Other people management practices that X/procure® takes pride in are the benchmarking of salaries, drawing up of development plans for every staff member, succession planning for every position, and a culture of celebrating successes, birthdays and other memorable occasions.

Overindulgence at staff functions is not encouraged but if a staff member is feeling worse for wear, there’ll be a designated driver who’ll get him or her home safely, says Henderson. “We have a lot of fun here. We work hard and we party hard, and when we party, we do it responsibly.”

PFK Electronics: The art of dealing with ‘hunters’ and ‘farmers’

PFK Electronics

#TT1002016 Winner of the Da Vinci Award for Excellence in the Management of People

Category for large enterprises

The art of dealing with ‘hunters’ and ‘farmers’

When it comes to salespeople, there are acquisition salespeople or “hunters” and then there are retention salespeople or “farmers”. Understanding the differences and, more importantly, mobilising them advantageously, is a critical success factor for PFK Electronics, South Africa’s biggest manufacturer of advanced automotive technology. PFK uses its sales force to identify and nurture partnerships around the world as it is a partner-centric business.

“Our Global partners are key to our business strategy and a key to the PFK end customer. Nurturing these partnerships is incredibly important for our success. That is why it is critical that we appoint the right sales profile to look after our partners and customers, tailored to the sales lifecycle and market they find themselves in,” says Marco Valente, Managing Director of Sales & Marketing.

“Choosing the right people for the job – whether in sales, R&D or the assembly line – is a key part of PFK’s strategy to grow into a multibillion-rand business in the next five years,” says Valente.

“No one gets it right all the time. We’ve all made hiring mistakes, but the important thing is to understand upfront what and who it is that you want and need. Once your talent engine within your business understands exactly what they are looking for by using the various talent profiling tools we’ve developed, it makes for a mutually rewarding relationship for both the employee and employer,” he says.

From semi-skilled to skilled

“We invest greatly in skills, specifically in turning semi-skilled employees into skilled employees and giving them a career path. We also pay attention to the wellbeing of employees and support the health of their families.” Recent health and wellness initiatives include factory floor talks on early screening for cancer and many other health and wellbeing related topics, in addition to the availability of qualified nurses to assist with healthcare matters.

Valente believes that while it will always matter what salaries companies pay and what benefits they offer, company culture is crucial too.

“In our company, we like to encourage debate and there is no such thing as a stupid question. The company structure is very flat and I would describe the leadership style as open and passionately communicative with the goal to challenge and grow our people to meet their career aspirations.”

About PFK

Since opening its doors in Durban in 1985, it has grown into the largest automotive electronics manufacturing company in South Africa, with solutions that include vehicle alarm and immobiliser systems, stolen vehicle recovery, driver behaviour profiling, insurance telematics, fleet management telematics, video telematics and, under the PFK Shurlok banner, Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) approved plastics, instrument clusters, harnesses, among others, as a first and second tier OEM supplier.


Misfits and the power of collective genius

Systemic Logic Innovation Agency

#TT1002016 Winner of the 2016 Blank Canvas International Award for Sustainability

Category for small enterprises

Misfits and the power of collective genius

Individually, the people who work at Systemic Logic Innovation Agency are a “bunch of misfits” – their own choice of words – but collectively, they’re a formidable team. “Innovation has become a team sport. It is the many little things done by many people that make a big difference. It is where enlightened trial and error trumps the workings of a lone genius,” the business incubator and accelerator services company said in its TT100 entry.

The adjudicators were certainly impressed with Innovation Agency’s clear vision, range of technologies and the way it has integrated its processes to form a cohesive organisation. Highly commendable, they said, was the patent the company has been granted for its innovation implementation approach.

Patenting is often a good indicator of business sustainability as it implies uniqueness that is protected from copycatting, enabling the holder to maintain its competitive edge.

The adjudicators also liked Innovation Agency’s strong focus on implementation, especially its emphasis on helping clients turn ideas into reality. “We bridge the gap between great ideas and real results,” the company says, referring to this space as the “dark side” of innovation.

It helps shed light on this dark side by offering incubator and accelerator services such as advice on how to turn good ideas into “great ideas with true commercial potential”, assisting with market research, business development and innovation strategy, and running practical workshops that expose clients’ employees to innovation design thinking and methodologies.

Innovation Agency works with established businesses wanting to fast-track product innovations, as well as with start-ups in the critical early stages and small businesses seeking to grow into successful sustainable enterprises.

“Business incubators are the lifeline of innovation, especially in social settings where support for start-up businesses is limited,” says the company, which has so far helped accomplish over 200 of its partners’ major innovation goals.

And it all comes back to a belief that innovation takes place through the collective effort of many people. “Ideas are everywhere. It is about our collective genius … Because no one is smarter than everyone.”


Leading Innovation

Leading Innovation
By Henra Mayer 
Da Vinci Head of Faculty: Management of Innovation
The significance of innovation is widely recognised as an important business driver in a dynamic world of rapid change and shifting business models. Many organisations invest in innovation initiatives to create more competitive and resilient organisations, but how to continuously produce repeatable, strategically significant outcomes remains a challenge for many. 

Intent needs to be supported with effective innovation practices, and at its core, this includes a focus on innovation leadership. It invariably points to the leader’s ability to enable a strategic vision for entrenching an end-to-end innovation capability within the organisation.


The annual Da Vinci Technology Top 100 (TT100) Business Innovation Awards programme was launched in 1991 to create an awareness of the role of technology and innovation leadership in South Africa.  It employs the TIPS™ model, which refers to the inter-relationships between how we manage our technology, innovation and people in a systemic way to enhance sustainable development within the organisation.

In essence, this model acts as a good starting point for focusing the leader’s role as orchestrator of innovation by integrating management disciplines that considers:

The Management of Technology (MoT)

The management of technology is all about the ‘tools’ and metrics organisations use to gain competitive advantage.  Simplistically it is “a way of doing things better” and may involve the use of anything from computers and hi-tech, to simple hand-held tools.  In this context, it refers to the small “t” in technology where organisations manage their technology to best position their products or services to maximise their market share.

The Management of Innovation (MoI)

The management of innovation is about how an organisation stimulates and capitalises on the ideation process to develop an innovative product or service which demonstrates either commercial or social value. It’s about hard metrics such as income generated from new products, processes or services as well as success rates in commercialising new offerings, coupled with the softer side of change management, co-creation and employee engagement.

The Management of People (MoP)

The management of people is all about the human technology interface.  It embraces both the employee and the end user.  It is about the processes that organisations deploy in the development of their human capital, and how they retain and re-skill existing employees, how they incentivise their people and how they plan for succession to ensure organisational longevity. 
The Management of Systems (MoS)

This is the process of synthesis, where systemic integration of all organisational activities and performance is used to solve unique problems, and where a hyper-competitive redesign of the landscape occurs. This includes internal synovation and organisational ecology that allows the parts to become greater than the whole.

It is evident from the TT1000 research results gathered over the past 25 years that companies who link their technology and innovation practices effectively tend to become more agile. Agility in this sense refers to the link between people and innovation practices so that employees become engaged in seeking solutions at work.  The appropriate linkage of technology and people practices tend to create better alignment to react to changing circumstances and this ensures that the organisation up-skills (by acquisition or development) the appropriate human capabilities to match, and even exceed the technological needs at any one time. From here the organisation develops, improves and adapts its technology needs and appropriate innovation is applied to generate real market value and profitability. 

It is about speed to market, response to change and an ability to cope with new world flexibility. But none of this will lead to real-world outputs if people do not make it so. People and innovation need to be managed in such a way that it impacts on the commitment and motivation of people in the workplace so that people take personal initiative and accountability. The TIPS™ model is graphically depicted below.
Figure 1: The TIPS™ model used with the TT100 Awards
In a sense, the TIPS™ framework could serve as a meta-framework for managerial leaders within the workplace, but leadership is about more than frameworks. It talks to the heart of an organisation.  

In the 2016 South African Innovation League Awards, administered annually by Innocentrix, innovation leadership emerged as South Africa’s strongest capability. It seems to be driven as a clear outcome by the majority of organisations who believe that overall strategic objectives are translated into innovation objectives. 

Although executives are demonstrating an intent by aligning innovation outcomes with overall organisational objectives and supporting tactical thinking with concrete strategies, leadership intent alone is not going to make innovation happen. Success lies in the execution of intent and while organisations are willing and able, it is clear from the League results that much room is left for improvement as weaknesses in execution coupled with ad-hoc activities and misaligned interdependencies needs attention.[1]

Effective approaches for leading innovation could include enabling a strategic innovation vision, a focus on the customer and creating a climate of reciprocal trust. Add to this the importance of communication, the power of persuasion and an emphasis on speed[2] and it becomes clear that the role of the leader is more about being an orchestrator and supportive enabler of success. If the point is to foster organisations that are willing and able to innovate over the long haul, then tomorrow’s leaders of innovation must be identified and developed today. Great leaders of innovation, see their role not as take-charge direction setters but as creators of a context in which others make innovation happen. That shift in understanding is critical to fostering the next generation of innovation leaders and must permeate the organisation and its talent management practices.[3]

In the end, leaders who do innovation well focus on providing an enabling environment,  they create an open culture and inspire an engaged workforce, they act with strategic intelligence and foresight.  They get the experts together and connect from ground level up to forge relationships within the innovation eco-system on a local, regional and global level. Inspiring leaders provide opportunity, mentorship, and empowerment and they act with integrity and courage in integrating these values across the organisation.

For more information on the Da Vinci TT100 Business Innovation Awards Programme and to enter the Awards programme, visit www.tt100.co.za or email carol@davinci.ac.za. To talk innovation and the SA Innovation League, please contact Innocentrix by emailing henra@innocentrix.co.za or by visiting www.innocentrix.co.za.



[1] SA Innovation League Report (2016) by Innocentrix (www.innocentrix.co.za)
[2] Research: 10 Traits of Innovative Leaders (2014) by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman (2014): Harvard Business Review
[3] Collective Genius (2014) Linda A. Hill, Greg Brandeau, Emily Truelove, Kent Lineback: Harvard Business Review

Kirkonsult (Pty) Ltd: Keeping food and beverage-making clean and simple

Kirkonsult (Pty) Ltd

Winner of the Eskom Award for Excellence in the Management of Systems
Category for emerging enterprises

Keeping food and beverage-making clean and simple

When opening a bottle of beer or a can of soda, few consumers pause to wonder about the cleanness of the equipment used to make it. They shouldn’t have to: the laws around the cleaning of manufacturing facilities for food and drinks are stringent, and manufacturers are obliged to test their equipment for residual contaminants.

The downside for manufacturers is that it may take up to two or three hours to clean the equipment before starting on a new batch of product, and four to five days before the microbiological assessment results from the last batch come back. In the meantime, the products they have just manufactured sit in a warehouse under quarantine for four or five days until the equipment and process under which they were made receive the all-clear from the laboratory.

Through the ingenuity of Dr Robin Kirkpatrick of Kirkonsult, the time taken to test for possible contaminants can now be drastically shortened.  He has developed and patented Carbotect™ to do the same job in a matter of minutes.

Colour-coded test delivers quick results

“It’s a quick, colour-coded diagnostic test that picks up residual contaminants in the equipment or the water used to clean it. My technology can pick up extremely low levels of contaminants and it can do it within five minutes instead of five days,” says Kirkpatrick, who originally trained as a vet before switching to Microbiology, in which he has a PhD. He was also one of the brains behind the development in South Africa of Radical Water, which uses electro-activation to treat water and is now used worldwide.

Back to food and beverage manufacturing and the cleaning of equipment: Kirkpatrick says that manufacturers use high-pressure, piping hot water and various chemicals to clean their equipment, and at the end of the cleaning process, use more clean water to flush everything out. “That final water is tested to see if it is clear of any residue.”

Apart from affording a rapid and highly sensitive result for the detection of organic contaminants, Carbotect is simple to use and can be administered by a relatively unskilled worker. “I developed the solution in close association with South African Breweries, whose requirements were for a low skills-based, rapid and reliable piece of technology,” he says.

Plenty of scope for expansion

His technology is well suited to other high-risk, perishable products too, from fruit juices, soft drinks, soups and sauces to pharmaceutical syrups and other liquid-based preparations. It has also been used at membrane-based water treatment plants.

There is also scope to upscale this colour-based diagnostic system for more sophisticated settings, such as by digitalising it, as well as the potential for growth beyond South Africa’s borders. “I am now finalising the product for the international market,” says Kirkpatrick.

He is on a constant quest to improve and enhance Carbotect, which was in development for several years and went through a number of versions before he was satisfied it was ready to patent and trademark. “I never stop questioning the status quo and looking for new avenues and new opportunities for fresh insights. So far, I have barely scratched the surface.”


SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS PERFORMANCE

The “Big Picture”
Sustainable Business Performance requires business to transition from creating shareholder value in the short term, to creating inclusive wealth (i.e. making a NET+ contribution) to all stakeholders in the medium to long term. 
Sustainable Business as defined by the NBS (Network for Business Sustainability):
-“Are resilient and create economic value, healthy ecosystems and strong communities.
-Survive over the long term because they are intimately connected to healthy economic, social and environmental systems”.
Balance – KEY to Sustainable Business Performance:
Sustainable Business Leaders have to carefully balance:
  • A Triple Bottom Line Business Strategy (Short, Medium and Long Term),
  • Anticipating Market Demand and constantly analyse the Voice (ever-changing needs) of the Customer,
  • Leveraging fit-for purpose Technology,
  • Offer a World Class Delivery Capability, through operational excellence and high performance teams.
The Da Vinci Institute TIPS™ Framework enables Sustainable Business Performance, and balances these Strategic Focus Areas by establishing:
  • Alignment through Workplace integration
  • Engagement ensuring Performance output
  • Agility facilitating Performance and Value Returns.


The Da Vinci Institute TIPS™ Framework: Management of Technology, Innovation, People and Systems.

The TIPS Sustainable Business Performance Framework enables Business Leaders to rapidly benchmark sustainable business performance maturity, make informed strategic and project decisions, as well as identify and innovatively acting on material business risks and opportunities, unlocking inclusive value for all stakeholders.
Operationalising a Sustainable Business Performance Strategy will require a High Performance Leadership Culture, Business Model Innovation, integrated Supply Chain Design (Demand & Investor LED), and Collaborative Technology Innovation.
S – ORGANISATION / SYSTEM
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Vision of a Sustainable World in 2050 outlines a valuable Transformation Pathway – strategically directing industry on this incredible Sustainable Business Performance journey.

WBCSD Vision 2050
Sustainable Business Performance is only possible, provided business is participating in a Sustainable Supply Chain creating inclusive value to all stakeholders.
The current reality is that current Global Supply Chains are only effectively servicing 29% of Global Consumer Demand – as depicted in the below graph:


System Pressures and Trends Cambridge David Rice

Critical Supply Chain Re-design facilitates Disruptive Growth opportunity for Sustainable Business to satisfy the needs of new customers (unmet needs) in white space markets.
Kasi-Nomics – Research by GG Alcock outlines incredible near market opportunities in South Africa and the African context.
Supply Chain Design is similarly disrupted by the notion of “Circular Value Chains”: integrated and designed for a Circular Economy (Cradle to Cradle Thinking).
P – “PEOPLE ENABLEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS PERFORMANCE”
It’s all about Bold Leadership and a Vision:
“Vision is the articulation of a company’s unique role in and contribution to a sustainable future. It is best when it is a direct evolution of the existing core vision of the firm, with fundamental sustainability needs or challenges. It describes a competing and relevant destination for the organisation, and inspires employees, partners and other stakeholders to help achieve it!” The Regeneration Roadmap (2013)
Industry example:
  Unilever plans to double its turnover while halving its environmental impact – Paul Polman 2013.
** For successful implementation, it is critical to prepare a comprehensive stakeholder map and engagement strategy – as these will inform your Sustainable Business Transformation Strategy.
** Gear your Leadership Team with relevant Skills of the Future, by providing “Toolkits for Step Change”-TM (Innovation Management, Design LED Thinking, Systems Thinking) and Technology Enablement.
Collaboration:
“A leapfrogging organisation needs allies and builds trusted networks all around the world. They believe no man is an island and seeks intimate relationships. They do not see an “us” vs. “them”, they instead see networks and alliances where information is freely shared and which is based on trust. To cap it all, leapfrogging organisations look to partner with competitors and customers to move on to the next level.” Dr Oren Harari (2013)
I – “INNOVATION FOR SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS PERFORMANCE”
Innovation for Sustainable Business Performance is about the “Implementation of NEW Ideas with Sustainable Impact”.
  • Growth
  • Differentiation
  • Sustainable Development
This calls for Business Model Innovation!
New Businesses applying these unconventional Sustainable Business Performance principles are totally disrupting Industry – examples include:
  • Uber the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles
  • Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content
  • Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory
  • Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider owns no real estate.
T – “TECHNOLOGY ENABLEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS PERFORMANCE”
Technology Enablement: allows organisations to – “Leapfrog” their competitors through Effective Adaption and Rapid Implementation.
The Value of Fit-for-Purpose Technology Enablement for Business will include:
  • Increased productivity while institutionalizing a Culture of High Performance Leadership,
  • Increase local and global collaboration,
  • Reducing complexity by simplifying complex tasks and decision making,
  • Empowered Workforce!
Market Leading organisations achieve Sustainable Business Performance through leveraging primarily two kinds of Technologies:
  1. ICT – Technology Enablement – High-Impact Examples include:
  • Internet of Things:
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings and other items — embedded with electronicssoftwaresensors, and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data (big data). The IoT allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, Wiki (2016).
Real Time Analytics and Exception Management – leveraging the IoT’s Technology will unlock significant Business Value across the Value Chain.
  • Convergence of Technology Enhances Business Performance and allows for regular efficiency breakthroughs – examples include:
  • Mobile (Commercial – Snap-scan, Retail Specials (Xx), Learning, Social Media), Etc.
  • Remote Sensing Technology and Satellite Technology
  • Drone Technology
  • Enterprise Collaboration Technologies
  • Traceability, Operations Visibility and Sustainability Platform – for the whole Supply Chain
  1. Clean Technology – Technology Enablement – High-Impact examples include:
Leadership has to drive the adaption and implementation of new “Clean Technologies” Technology Enablement throughout their organisations, especially new Projects.
This requires a New Design Brief from Shareholders to Business, Project Managers, Design Engineers and Supply Chain:
  • Energy Efficiency e.g. Optimised Equipment, Variable Speed Drives, Natural Light/ventilation,
  • Water Efficient and Recycling Technology e.g. Constructed Wetlands,
  • Zero Waste to Energy Technology, etc.
A Design Brief, which is Inspired by Natures design principles e.g. Biomimicry & Ecological Engineering.
  • Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies—new ways of living—that are well adapted to life on earth over the long haul. Ref: http://biomimicry.net
  • Ecological engineering is an emerging study of integrating ecology and engineering, concerned with the design, monitoring, and construction of ecosystems. Ref: http://www.ecological-engineering.com

“One of our main responsibilities is to leave successor generations a sustainable future”

-Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General.
Comprehensive information available on:
Sustainable Business – Da Vinci TT100
Collaboration – Sustainability Summit: http://www.blankcanvas.co.za/sustainability-summit/

By Raldu Nel, Faculty: Monitoring and Implementation Da Vinci & CEO Blank Canvas Int.

REFERENCES
Bertels, S.. 2016. embedding sustainability in organizational culture. [ONLINE] Available at: http://nbs.net/wp-content/uploads/Executive-Report-Sustainability-and-Corporate-Culture.pdf. [Accessed March 2017].
Biomimicry 3.8. 2017. Biomimicry 3.8 Homepage – Biomimicry 3.8. [ONLINE] Available at: https://biomimicry.net/. [Accessed March 2017].
Blank Canvas International. 2017. African Sustainability Summit – Blank Canvas International. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.blankcanvas.co.za/sustainability-summit/. [Accessed March 2017].
Coulter, C. & Lee, M.. 2013. Changing Track: Extending Corporate Leadership on Sustainable Development . [ONLINE] Available at: http://theregenerationroadmap.com/files/reports/Changing-Tack.pdf. [Accessed March 2017].
Ecological Engineering Group. 2017. Ecological Engineering Group. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ecological-engineering.com/. [Accessed March 2017].
The Da Vinci Institute. 2017. How we do it | The Da Vinci Institute. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.davinci.ac.za/how-we-do-it/. [Accessed March 2017].

Media Release: TT100 awards show innovation is alive and thriving in SA (Winner Announcement)

Media Release
28 October 2016
TT100 awards show innovation is alive and thriving in SA

Despite widespread pessimism over South Africa’s skills shortages and economic prospects, the country has a thriving culture of business innovation capable of flourishing in adversity. This was abundantly clear at the 2016 TT100 Business Innovation Awards, where the quality of the award winners revealed the depth of innovation in South African companies of all sizes, from emerging and small enterprises to medium and large.

From car-locking systems that won’t let the driver behind the wheel if over the limit to technology that ensures the integrity of cleaning procedures in the food and beverages industry, the achievements of the winners showed how companies are putting their talents to work to overcome uniquely South African challenges.

The 2016 TT100 awards – the 25th edition since the programme was established in 1991 – were presented at the Johannesburg Country Club on Thursday, 27 October, under the auspices of TT100: The Da Vinci Institute School of Managerial Leadership. Da Vinci’s awards partners are the Department of Science and Technology, MTN and Eskom.

Minister of Science and Technology Mrs Naledi Pandor gave the keynote address and presented the awards, which recognised top-performing companies in four main categories: management of technology, management of innovation, management of people, and management of systems and sustainability.

In each category, awards were presented to the top emerging, small, medium and large companies.

In addition, four special awards from the Minister and Director-General of Science and Technology were presented for overall excellence. 
  
Here are the 2016 winners and finalists in each category:


MANAGEMENT OF TECHNOLOGY CATEGORY
Emerging enterprise
WINNER:  SVA Innovate Pty (Ltd)
Finalists: RocketMine Aerial Data Solutions
                JoinCircles (Pty) LtdVicfirth6
                Niche Integrated Solutions (Pty) Ltd
Small enterprise
WINNER: Technetium (Pty) Ltd
Finalists: X/procure Software SA (Pty) Ltd
                Agilitude
                COLONYHQ (Pty) Ltd
                Hazleton Pumps International (Pty) Ltd
Medium enterprise
WINNER: Cornastone Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd
Finalists: SSG Consulting
                Accsys (Pty) Ltd
Large enterprise
WINNER: Allied Electronics Corporation Limited
Finalists: De Beers Technologies South  Africa (DebTech)
                PFK Electronics

MANAGEMENT OF INNOVATION CATEGORY
Emerging enterprise
WINNER: SVA Innovate Pty (Ltd)
Finalists: IoT.nxt (Pty) Ltd
                Tuluntulu (Pty) Ltd
Small enterprise
WINNER: COLONYHQ (Pty) Ltd
Finalists: Technetium (Pty) Ltd
                X/procure Software SA (Pty) Ltd
                Hazleton Pumps International (Pty) Ltd
                Khonology
               LucidView (Pty) Ltd
               BOSS Office Projects(Pty) Ltd
               Systemic Logic Innovation Agency (Pty) Ltd
Medium enterprise
WINNER: Cornastone Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd
Finalists: Accsys (Pty) Ltd
                SSG Consulting
Large enterprise
WINNER: Allied Electronics Corporation Limited
Finalists: De Beers Technologies South Africa (DebTech)
                Altech Netstar (Pty) Ltd


MANAGEMENT OF PEOPLE CATEGORY
Emerging enterprise
WINNER: No winner
Finalists: RocketMine Aerial Data Solutions
                SVA Innovate Pty (Ltd)
Small enterprise
WINNER: X/procure Software SA (Pty) Ltd
Finalists: COLONYHQ (Pty) Ltd
                Metro Minds (Pty) Ltd
Medium enterprise
WINNER: Accsys (Pty) Ltd
Finalists: Cornastone Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd
                Five Friday
Large enterprise
WINNER: PFK Electronics
Finalists: Allied Electronics Corporation Limited
                African Oxygen Limited
      Altech Multimedia (Pty) Limited

MANAGEMENT OF SYSTEMS CATEGORY
Emerging enterprise
WINNER: Kirkonsult (Pty) Ltd
Finalists: Memeza Shout (Pty) Ltd
Small enterprise
WINNER: Khonology
Finalists: COLONYHQ (Pty) Ltd
                Systemic Logic Innovation Agency (Pty) Ltd
Medium enterprise
WINNER: Accsys (Pty) Ltd
Finalists: SSG Consulting
Large enterprise
WINNER: Allied Electronics Corporation Limited
Finalists: I CAT Environmental Solutions
                Altech Netstar (Pty) Ltd
                Altech Multimedia (Pty) Limited
BLANK CANVAS INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR SUSTAINABILITY
Emerging enterprise
WINNER: SVA Innovate Pty (Ltd)
Finalists: RocketMine Aerial Data Solutions
                Tuluntulu (Pty) Ltd
Small enterprise
WINNER: COLONYHQ (Pty) Ltd
       Systemic Logic Innovation Agency (Pty) Ltd
Finalists: X/procure Software SA (Pty) Ltd
                Khonology
Medium Enterprise
WINNER: Accsys (Pty) Ltd
      Cornastone Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd
Finalists: SSG Consulting
Large enterprise
WINNER: Allied Electronics Corporation Limited
      PFK Electronics
Finalists: De Beers Technologies South Africa (DebTech)
DIRECTOR GENERAL AWARD FOR OVERALL EXCELLENCE
Emerging enterprise
WINNER: SVA Innovate Pty (Ltd)
Finalists: RocketMine Aerial Data Solutions
                Tuluntulu (Pty) Ltd
Small enterprise
WINNER: COLONYHQ (Pty) Ltd
Finalists: X/procure Software SA (Pty) Ltd
                Khonology

MINISTER AWARD FOR OVERALL EXCELLENCE
Medium enterprise
WINNER: Accsys (Pty) Ltd
Finalists: Cornastone Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd
                SSG Consulting
Large enterprise
WINNER: Allied Electronics Corporation Limited
Finalists: De Beers Technologies South Africa (DebTech)
                Altech Netstar (Pty) Ltd
How the winners are chosen

The winners of TT100 awards were chosen through a unique selection process, starting with pre-qualification. To qualify, companies must have been in business for at least one year and must not merely resell an existing product or service but must have introduced an innovative element within the TIPS™ model.

Next, after completing a comprehensive online questionnaire, each participating company is invited to a two-hour consultative interview with the awards adjudicators.  For the first 45 minutes, each entrant gives a presentation on the company and its business. The last 45 minutes are spent on questions from the adjudicators, all of whom are champions of innovation and have experience in enterprise development or entrepreneurship.

For 2016, 22 adjudicators representing a cross-section of the economy, from banking and business incubation to auditing, energy and public policy-making, volunteered their time and expertise to the judging process.

Scoring is done electronically. The adjudicators individually assign scores to each company and input these into a dedicated TT100 awards system. The system collates and consolidates the scores, and produces a matrix of the winners and finalists.

Unique opportunity for feedback

A special benefit of the TT100 awards programme is the feedback participants receive from the adjudicators. This takes the form of the verbal feedback received during each two-hour adjudication session and an electronic dashboard that each entrant can download after the awards. The electronic dashboard contains detailed, confidential comments from the adjudicators on where the company concerned is doing well and where it could consider making improvements.

In addition, each participant receives a 30-minute post-awards feedback session with the chief adjudicator.

Winners and finalists receive the additional benefit of becoming part of the TT100 community and being invited to participate in TT100 events, including business forums held jointly with government and partners involved in promoting business innovation, particularly the Department of Science and Technology.

The quality of the feedback participants receive is the reason why many companies enter the programme year after year – regardless of whether or not they win an award. In fact, some companies entered the awards for the first time in 1991 and are still taking part today.

Enter now for 2017 awards

Entries for the 2017 TT100 Business Innovation Awards are already being accepted. Entry is open to all companies, South African and international, as long as they have been in business for at least a year and consider themselves leaders in the way they manage technology, innovation, people or systems.
To enter, please register @ www.tt100.co.za or send an email to Carol Varga at The Da Vinci Institute, carol@davinci.ac.za


Ends
Contact
Storm Thomas
Communications Manager
The Da Vinci Institute / TT100 Business Innovation Awards Programme
011 608 1331 / 078 797 0096