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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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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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Bite-Sized Management Training

4 July 2015

Bite-Sized Management Is your management team on diet? Too busy for training but in need of an update on people -management issues? Contact Ian Webster at Simply Communicate for bite-sized input into your management meetings. Whether half an hour or an hour, once off, once a week or once a month, it’s up to you.…

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Indicators: lighting the way forward

30 December 2014

It may not cause many accidents on the road, but the failure of drivers to indicate is a cause of great frustration to other drivers. I think that the problem is primarily a lack of awareness of others. We are focussed on where we are going or on the children in the back or the…

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Six steps to effective communication

6 October 2014

In last month’s article, ‘Communication: better than normal,’ I promised to post the six steps to effective communication I had discussed at the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business. Here they are. 1. Prepare thoroughly They tell us we only get one opportunity to make a first impression. The same is true of communication. We only get…

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Birthdays and milestones

17 September 2014

Simply Communicate celebrated its second birthday on 1 September 2014. (The balloons in the picture were for my own birthday celebrated a couple of weeks earlier.) I wrote what follows in my September Simply Communicate newsletter. Let me share it here. Two years ago I wrote, ‘I started Simply Communicate with the aim of simply helping…

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Communication: better than normal

12 August 2014

Some 35 people attended the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business Small Business forum last week. I had been asked to repeat a talk on Communication skills I had given some 18 months ago, but for the sake of those with better memories than mine, I updated it a little. It was gratifying to have so many.…

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Spelling affects sales (and saves lives)

22 July 2014

I was reading a youth-focused science journal the other day that included some letters published verbatim from school children in grade 11 and 12. I do not expect English from second-language English speakers in rural or semi-rural schools to be any better than my Matric-level Afrikaans, which was pretty bad. But one of the letters could…

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They are changing the guard at Buckingham Palace

11 September 2013

The newspaper headlines tell us that zealous police officers from London’s Metropolitan Police accosted Prince Andrew while he was walking around his mother’s Buckingham Palace garden in broad daylight. If I were a member of the British Royal Family, I would object to the use of the word “zealous”. They were simply doing their job as…

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