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Racist Rants: Six Rules for the Workplace

13 June 2017

A Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School learner ranted on WhatsApp recently, using the K-word against her fellow learners. What was she thinking? Did she learn nothing from Penny Sparrow? However, this article is not about the young woman’s foolishness, parental responsibility or how the school is handling it. We are discussing racism in the workplace, and…

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It’s the Gift That Counts?

27 January 2017

I saw an advert in one of the local shops over Christmas. It read, ‘It’s the gift that counts’. And I thought not now, surely? All year round, every advert screams at us: ‘It’s the gift that counts.’ It’s the outward show that matters. It’s the latest model, it’s what people see, it’s the ‘look’.…

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Avoiding Marikana: Four Years On

29 August 2016

The Marikana massacre four years ago, was a watershed moment in South African labour relations. The Farlam Commission into the tragedy pointed out multiple failures on all sides. For employers, the failure of management on a number of levels makes for sober reading. However, it is tempting to heave a sigh of relief at their…

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Democracy in the Workplace: Too Much or Not Enough?

16 August 2016

Sorry ladies. Women’s month got knocked off the front pages by the Local Government Elections this year. For those who supported the smaller parties, there was hope that this would be the year of breakthrough. Mixed results there. For ruling-party supporters, perhaps this would be the year of service delivery? But for everyone, whatever our…

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Changing Employee Benefits: Radical Steps Needed

12 August 2016

I’m taking a risk here. I’m likely to lose readers on this one either because the advice is so ridiculously obvious you’ll be bored or because it is so radical you’ll disown me. But humour me, please. It’s that important. Not many of us are brave or foolish enough to go about unilaterally changing contracts…

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Rugby Coaches and Acting Positions: Three Questions

15 April 2016

The ‘secret’ is out. Allister Coetzee has been appointed the new Springbok Rugby coach. Some say it is nine years late, and that he should have been given the job when the ‘poisoned chalice’ passed to the ‘quirky’ Pieter de Villiers. In spite of the delay, Coetzee appears upbeat and ready for the challenges that…

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Is Retirement The End or a New Beginning?

16 March 2016

We were blessed to be able to celebrate a 90th birthday this month. My father turned 90 on 3 March 2016. Since my mother is only a couple of years behind him, and both have all their faculties (if not quite all their memory), I am nervous about how long my retirement funds are going to…

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Three ways to increase certainty and control within chaos

25 January 2016

Following his book In Search Of Excellence, Tom Peters wrote another called Thriving on Chaos. It was a recognition that the environment in which a business operates and in which decisions have to be made is intrinsically chaotic, subject to constant change. Our 21st-century world is even more chaotic, and change is far more rapid…

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What matters: How to Make Your Business Fly

4 January 2016

What matters to you? What are you passionate about achieving in your business? What is it you want your employees to ‘get’ and to do better than anyone else? What is it you want your clients and customers to understand about you? What do you offer that is different from anyone else? What is really…

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VW and Discovery: Living Our Values

6 November 2015

I was invited to speak at the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business Breakfast Forum this week – always a pleasure. My inspiration came from David Grossman’s article last month on his Leader Communicator Blog: ‘HIT or MISS’IVE: Discovery Health CEO, Adrian Gore, Nails Post-VW Analysis for Employees’. Go and check it out. Better still, subscribe and receive his…

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