Alumni News 2019

Shaun Vorster USB

Business Education and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Alumnet

Business Education and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

  • Dec 12 2019

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Article by Dr Shaun Vorster*, University of Stellenbosch Business School
Alumnus of the Year

Introducing a new chapter in human development, the Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a tectonic shift in how we learn, work and live. It challenges the traditional route from learning to earning, from degrees to careers. As the scale and speed of change accelerates, it forces us into new ways of thinking, considering how we could train job creators instead of mere job seekers, and how best to manage the relationship between unemployment, inequality and education. Reskilling and upskilling the workforce at scale, including young people for careers that do not yet exist, will be one of our biggest callings in the Economy 4.0. Defining the scope of the jobs of the future is even harder; which is where research on economic and business behaviour in light of technological advances becomes key.

Amidst the many unknowns of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, one thing is for certain: The skill sets required are changing. While machines or robots might replace tasks such as physical labour in a predictable environment, or data processing, what will set you apart in the workplace of the future is the ability to problem-solve and be creative, identify the right problems, think globally, critically and entrepreneurially, and display emotional and cultural intelligence. Students equipped with the ability to engage in self-awareness and self-reflection are those who will prosper in tomorrow’s workplace and as responsible citizens in the society of the future. Whereas knowledge and skills can be built through directional education delivery, the critical differentiators, namely values and attitudes, require co-creation and human interaction.

This means the demands on the education system are shifting, with implications not just for our curricula and the relevance of our research, but also for the way we learn. Some institutions are challenging tradition, and have managed to unlock education for millions in the process. Content has become ubiquitous; a commodity. So-called MOOCs (massive open online courses) mean everyone has instant access to content. Flexible teaching modes along with digitisation create new opportunities for distance learning, blended learning, modular learning, affordable customisation, virtual reality simulation and – unnerving to some hard-core academics – the unbundling and rebundling of curricula. Students, corporate clients and lifelong learners appreciate less linear, more customised, “bite-size” education – education tailor-made for the so-called Netflix generation (both young and old), who want to study what they want, when they want, transcending disciplinary, geographic and institutional boundaries. Our methods of teaching, materials and content need to adjust to reflect the generational shift to Millennials and Gen Z – the students of the future.

Naturally, this brings new challenges. It throws up questions of governance and institutional identities; maintaining and recognising academic standards; valuing emotional intelligence as much as grades; assessing outputs and capabilities of both students and faculty; integrating a focus on values and ethics. It also challenges the holy cow, namely the one-size-fits-all approach to accreditation, rankings and publication credits. In fact, it challenges centuries of dogma in tertiary education that have unfortunately fossilised outdated conventions and if I may say so, confused institutional identities in universities. It also challenges us to rethink business education from every possible angle and respond to difficult questions such as: ‘Is the MBA dead?’, ‘What space will business education of the future occupy?’, and “How do we educate the business leaders of the future if we do not yet know the skills they need and the tasks they will be asked to fulfil?”

In addition, questions on accessibility and affordability tend to resurface. Should the new EdTech end up being only high-tech it may simply perpetuate the digital divide, defeating the goal of creating opportunities for those previously excluded from the knowledge-based economy. New means of delivery could democratise business education in unthinkable ways and formats – with channels already ranging from inflight entertainment to YouTube, radio and mobile devices. Wherever you have a screen or audio channel you could potentially have access to education. The challenge is not to produce content, but to curate relevant content in a way that cuts through the over-load and questionable quality of information across different channels and platforms.

Programme Director, the future of work is changing at breakneck speed. The gap between the returns to capital and labour is widening, steadily chipping away at social stability in many parts of the world. On top of that, the existential debate about life and living within planetary boundaries rages on.

Considering the complexity of the disruption – be that technology, big data, geopolitics, resource constraints or markets – I can hardly think of any entity in the broader university environment better positioned to provide and nurture the thought leadership and skills we require than a business school. But it cannot be business as usual. We have to challenge current boundaries, conventions and identities. And we have to ask whether the pace of change in education is aggressive enough.

Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research and teaching is the bedrock of responsible leadership. Diverse groups make for better decisions. And relevant research focused on real-world challenges across all dimensions of sustainability makes for better solutions. Business schools have the flexibility to connect the diverse minds – from engineers and scientists, to investors, philosophers and artists – and inspire the nittygritty research we need to build the knowledge, skills and values that the workplace of the future demands.

The debate on how business schools rebundle relevant content is an important one. The opportunity for business education lies in the continued curation of learning across multiple and diverse disciplines, and across geographies, digital domains and networked institutions. It is about striking the right balance between fundamental business theory, experiential learning and leadership coaching, towards a greater 3 sense of purpose. It is about how we manage to create the individual experience at mass – to meet the scale of demand. An important point when we talk about ‘curation’ is the prerequisite for faculty that are not just teaching experts, but also creators of knowledge through research themselves.

Taken together, all of the above demonstrates why a business school should never be pigeon-holed or boxed in – neither physically, nor as an academic discipline or an institutional form. A business school should be agile and flexible enough to stay ahead of the market and anticipate disruption, and to be innovative in what and how it teaches. It should be free enough to engage with business and the public sector, including through consultancy and contract research; to shape the evolution of business and its place in society through integrated teaching and research, and to draw on university-wide faculty, alumni, business leaders and civil society.

That will also better position it to address the corporate need for customised education. Corporate inhouse training functions are simply not agile enough to align learning with the new skills required by Workplace 4.0, and to do so at scale. This involves not only hard skills, which are increasingly becoming commodities, but also, and perhaps more so, the soft skills and leadership capabilities to cope with complexity.

In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, running a country, non-profit or corporation with leaders schooled in yesterday’s models is akin to running an all-electric car on fossil fuel. Radical imagination and highly responsive environments are needed. We need to adapt, and the best way to do so is through reverse learning, bringing business leaders into the classroom to impart knowledge, skills and values, placing faculty in the field, and creating a space in which business leaders can enhance their ability to argue critically and assess other viewpoints. Business schools as a radical laboratory of the future would be an ideal vehicle to achieve just that.

The latter is a bold statement. A ‘radical laboratory of the future’ implies a highly responsive, suprainstitutional form and an openness to accelerate its own (r)evolution, before the tectonic shift triggered by the fourth industrial revolution renders it irrelevant and obsolete. To borrow from Joseph Schumpeter, it is about ‘creative destruction’ as we challenge the old and aggressively pursue change to unlock new energy and innovation.

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Dr Nolu Mashologu Choosing success

Choosing Success

Alumnet

Nolu Mashologu: Choosing success

  • Dec 06 2019

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Noluthando Khulukazi Mashologu was born in 1985 as the last born in her family with four other siblings. Generally the perception is that the last borns are the most spoilt and everyone has to take care of them but Khulukazi has lived a different experience being a pioneer and breadwinner of the family.

Growing up in an impoverished home in the township of Khayelitsha, Khulukazi always had a deep knowing that she wanted a better life for her future. She did not know how but her early love for books would set her apart from many of her peers in the township. Her mother was very strict and did not like children to wander around the streets. Khulukazi found escape and solace in books from a young age where she would spend hours hiding in a corner in one of the back shack rooms playing with her dolls, making clothes for them and reading. Here she would daydream about living in better neighborhoods, staying in a mansion, having cars and having all the clothes she could dream of. This all seemed like play at the time, only later she came to understand that she was shaping her future in her mind first before all could come to fruition in reality. This is a method she continues to use to this day to always see herself as she wants, regardless of the current circumstances. A quote by Albert Einstein says “Imagination is everything. It is a preview of life’s coming attractions”.

In her primary school years where she attended Homba Public Primary School she quickly  developed in the English language mostly due to her love for reading and was recognised by the school a number of times where she was selected to read for parliament ministers to show progression of the school and to represent the school at various networking events. Her Grade 4 teacher, Ms Memani recognised even further talents in her, selecting Khulukazi to become part of the Drum Majorettes team, where she later became the leader of the team, leading the team to win their first ever competition which saw the participants going on a trip to Johannesburg, which was a first for most of the youngsters.

She continued her schooling, starting her high school at another township school called Zola High School. This high school was notorious for having unruly students but this did not scare her off. Her first year at the school she made history by winning all the awards for all the subjects in her grade. She was fascinated by this, as she did not put in that much effort into studying hard everyday and was just as surprised at winning all the awards. One afternoon at the school would change the course of her life: a new semi-private school was recruiting students from the township schools in the quest to groom them in Maths, Science and Technology in preparation for university.

She was sold at the idea of being groomed for university because she knew her only ticket out of poverty was education. That afternoon when the application forms were handed out the hall full of students became chaotic, with students stepping on each other. She had to scramble for a form from those that had fallen on the floor. She applied to the semi-private school. To her surprise, she was invited to go write the entrance exams. It turned out she was the only one who applied from that hall full of students. Her father Zwelinzima, who was her greatest fan had always told her that she was the chosen one in the family, accompanied her to go write the exams. Her mother was a domestic worker and her father a taxi driver but they always encouraged her to focus on school. She was accepted at the school, forming part of the second ever intake of this school and her life would turn for the best.

The school was different to any other she had ever seen; It is where she got her first introduction to computers. It was highly academic-focused and instilled a great amount of discipline and self confidence in the students. In her years at the school, she continued to excel, almost always being in the top 3 at the school and the top girl student overall. Another academic achievement came when an essay she wrote was selected as one of the top English essays written in the province. The funny story with this essay was that she wrote it at the last minute on the way to school, scrambling just to have it completed. Highlighting one of the life lessons that creativity comes at times best when you flow effortlessly without having to put too much thinking in the process. Writing a book is still one of her life missions which she plans to undertake in the next year.

She got into the school which is called the Centre of Science and Technology (COSAT). In Grade 10, when she started at COSAT, would be the last time her parents would ever have to pay for her fees. Six months after she started, because of her excellent academic progress, she and one other student in the school were granted a bursary from Vodacom which would take care of all her fees, books, accommodation up until she completed university. She saw the favour of God upon her life because she had not even applied for the bursary herself but her Computer Science teacher had endeavoured on her behalf.

This bursary not only provided for her and the other recipient but some of the funds went to the school feeding programme which provided soup and bread to those students that hardly could bring lunch to school or even had anything to eat at home.

In 2001 she was dealt with much tragedy as she unexpectedly lost her biggest fan, her father,  to hypertension.  Sixteen weeks later, her eldest brother who had now become the breadwinner of her family was shot dead while trying to protect a young woman from a gangster. Out of all this, she knew that the family’s hope had been taken away and she was determined not to let her father down.

She was chosen as one of the school monitors at COSAT and was the one who delivered the valedictory speech at the end of the Matric year in 2002. In 2003, she was accepted at the University of Cape Town for a Business Science extended programme. The change from township life and school proved to be quite a challenge not only for her but her other high school peers who were accepted at the school. At the end of the first year the adjustment challenge proved to be too hard for others that out of her group of girlfriends she was the only girl who was not academically excluded. She believes she made it through even though there was so much freedom at university to do whatever she wanted because she always remembered where she came from. She knew that if she lost her bursary, her dream to complete university would be shattered and that was too high of a price for her. She graduated in 2007 with a BCom specializing in Economics.

She started her career as a junior Economist specializing in Public Finance at the Gauteng Treasury Department. A year and a half later, she was promoted to a Deputy Director position which was very rare to happen in such a short space of time. Her role saw her working with various departments such as the Gauteng Department of Health, the Gauteng Department of Sports assisting them to monitor their yearly budgets, finding solutions to curb over-expenditure and assessing new proposed projects such as the National Health Insurance (NHI). In 2009, while working full-time she enrolled for a full-time BCom Economics Honours Degree, which was one of her most demanding years managing a full-time job and attending classes after work. At one point she had the highest marks in the class for Econometrics and went on to complete the degree in record time.

She went on to expand her career in the corporate sector, spending 5 years working at Old Mutual South Africa in various roles from Strategy development for Sales teams to HR support to name a few. It was at her time at Old Mutual where she went on to embark on an MBA degree at the Stellenbosch Business School. This is where her greatest foundation in leadership was built. The reason she chose the USB MBA was the focus on leadership development which, as she puts it, dissected her personality, giving her insight on who she is, her past and her experiences that have shaped her that now contributed to the adult that she is today. She feels this has been her greatest contributor towards the resilience she has shown in business and how she focuses more on her internal self first as she believes leadership is not about overseeing employees but it’s about leading yourself first.  “A man who conquers himself is greater than one who conquers a thousand men in battle” ~ Buddah.

Entrepreneurship was always in her blood as she grew up with her parents always having businesses on the side even when they had jobs. Her parents actually had a spaza shop when she was born, which they named after her. When she was in high school she would sell sweets and muffins to make money for herself and to help out in her home as she knew that money was scarce and she did not like to burden her parents with the mundane requests, like asking for toiletries, when she felt she had the strength and ability to do something. When her eldest brother would bring dozens of chocolates, she would go and sell these at school for a profit. When she was at university, her love for education saw her landing an online job where she taught English online firstly to children in China via virtual classrooms and later to business people in France and Germany. The online English teaching during university meant that she created her own allowance money as her domestic worker mom could only afford so much for the household. And further, online English teaching is a role she picked up at different times when she was not employed and roped in other friends into the sector as an unemployment solution.

Thus, it was no surprise that after her time in corporate she wanted to go the entrepreneurship route. Initially, she did not know exactly what she wanted to do but took a leap of faith.

Shortly after resigning, she landed in the network marketing field. She spent about 3 years from 2016 building and supporting sales teams across South Africa for one of the pioneering network marketing companies in the digital currency space. She had long since had an inquisitiveness on how the world of Trading Financial Markets worked and decided to refocus her energies in this field towards the end of 2018. She re-trained herself on what she had been taught years earlier and sourced out new mentors in the space.

In the second quarter of 2019 she founded her company Regal Capital, an education company on trading Financial Markets. The business was met with some financial losses soon after it started but she had to remember all she had learned about business and that the business world can be lonely, is not always smooth, it can take time for the business to break-even and start being profitable. She had to remember that “Coca-Cola only sold 5 bottles in its first year of operations.”

With all this understanding she did not give up and worked tirelessly for months to find solutions to stabilize the business, change strategies and craft a niche offering. She has now incorporated automated financial trading solutions as part of the business offering and focusing her training mainly on trading commodities: Oil and Gas CFDs.

She is also currently working part-time on a volunteer basis with one of the top Digital currency exchanges in the world, assisting them in educating people on digital currency and helping the company expand their footprint in South Africa. In this role, she also assists in the social impact initiatives of this company by forming relationships and creating channels for charity work with different NGOs in South Africa.

She is a mom to a 5 year old daughter who is highly intelligent and is the greatest motivator for her mom to never give up. She starts her days with meditation and prayer as the foundation of each and every single day. The journey of self-discovery began at the USB in 2011 and is an ongoing journey that improves over time with no destination. She has a passion for education and for the empowerment of women and the youth. In her spare time she enjoys time with her daughter, reading, writing and public speaking. She lives knowing that we all live on borrowed time. It does not matter where you come from, who your parents are and what happened in the past. It is all circumstantial, you can still choose to be who you want to be. Run your race, whatever it may be, crawl if you must until you can sprint, just keep on moving.

khulu kazi @nollyt

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Berdine Nel My leadership of crossroads

My leadership journey of crossroads

Alumnet

My leadership journey of crossroads

  • Dec 06 2019

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December 2019 marks seven years since my graduation from USB following the completion of the Modular MBA. My time since has indeed been a journey of crossroads. Having spent the best part of my career in the corporate healthcare environment, I have strived every day to remember what our role as healthcare leaders in South Africa should be. My particular passion for maternal and child health helps me to never lose sight of the goal of caring for and bringing healthcare to the broader population of our country.

I have also understood increasingly that a substantial part of leadership is about drawing from your past and thinking about how these stories have shaped one’s life. In the words of one of my all-time favorite leaders, Steve Jobs: “Everyone has a usable past, leaders just use theirs better and you can only connect the dots looking back and not forward”. Life is a series of happenings and they all lead up to events that you cannot always foresee.

I have always been fascinated by how our individual life paths are created as we make our decisions at one point or another. If I connect the dots and think about my own stories, I see clearly how my decision to apply for a position in Saudi Arabia in the 90s turned out to be one of the major crossroads that brought about a turning point in my life. My world opened up and once I started travelling, my original one-year commitment turned into four and a half years of discovery as an expatriate in a foreign land. The team working at the King Fahad National Guard hospital was diverse and had as many as fifty-two different nationalities interacting at any given time. I returned to South Africa with a sincere appreciation of the benefits of diversity and an ability to leverage off the strength of a dynamic team. This has stood me in good stead over the years as, together with my team, I navigated the various amalgamations and business restructures that came our way.

The lessons from this time led me to always encourage my teams to break down silos and collaborate. Learnings from emergencies within a hospital setting, show that it is always the team effort and how various skills come together that enable one to save a life. It’s about the power of the collective; being stronger than one individual. We are blessed to live in a country as diverse as South Africa, where every day you can learn something new about a fellow countryman/woman. All you have to do is stop, ask a question, listen and appreciate the colourful backgrounds and languages that represent our rainbow nation. In that lies our strength and as leaders we are privileged to be able to tap into this.

My second great learning is about how hardship in life alters one. It is a fact that certain life-changing events, the crossroads, can throw you off balance. At the same time, these tough moments can also positively influence your leadership style if you allow yourself to work through the difficulties and think about the choices you’ve made. These reflections and lessons learned in turn feed into the development of others. As a leader, I believe it is imperative to share these learnings when appropriate. You cannot be an emotionless leader – you have to have a heart and passion that shows authenticity and a vulnerability which people can and do relate to. Reflection has therefore become one of the most important leadership tools I have put into practice over the years, as I live and learn every day.

My next cherished learning is taken from one of the world’s greatest leaders: Madiba. He tells the story of how as a child he herded cattle. He walked behind the herd and allowed the “clever” cattle to lead at the front as the herd followed. This great man’s servant leadership style has been an enormous inspiration over the years as I learned the critical importance of leading from the back. Nothing is beneath a leader and at times it is important to know when to jump in and get your hands dirty. Dedicating time to your team and developing them should be one of our key aspirations. As Tom Peters stated, “Leaders do not create followers but they create more leaders”. Madiba’s legacy lives on for me, not just because of his words, but because he lived his values publically through his humble and forgiving nature. This is integral to the leadership mantra I strive to live by.

In the words of Anne Lamott, “Almost anything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes – even you.” This captures my fourth important story – one of taking care of yourself and in turn of others. I realised the benefits of time out last year when I made the decision to take a five-month sabbatical. I had reached a point in my career and personal life where I had lost my passion and had no energy left to give back. Once again, this was a decision which led to a crossroads that I believe changed the thought process and direction of my life. In these pivotal months, I not only successfully completed a five-day hike at altitude to Machu Picchu, I also spent time volunteering in Lima, Peru. The fulfillment of giving back and sense of personal achievement opened my eyes to the reason why we are called human beings and not human doings. We cannot stand still and listen to others when we are traveling at 120km/hour either on a highway or in our racing minds. So important was this to me that I once again volunteered earlier this year, this time for an Eco-Marine programme in Mozambique. These weeks were extremely rewarding and took me forward on my personal goal of ensuring that I stop, breathe and give back.

I tell these stories as I contemplate the dire need for strong leadership in our healthcare environment at the moment. We are indeed at a crossroads and we have an opportunity to drive the right agendas and influence the broader direction that healthcare will take. The successful implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) will achieve universal healthcare coverage for all our citizens, but we need leaders who are passionate, compassionate, collaborative and not burnt out. Leaders who can lead from the front but who can also see the potential of allowing others to lead.

We need leaders that are guided not only by their heads but also by their hearts and who understand that change in the healthcare environment is inevitable. The leadership of our companies should realise that it is imperative that their teams are encouraged to consider the opportunities that could arise from the future landscape and that out of the box thinking is critical. There are considerable needs in the healthcare environment and not all of them center on the payment of claims or management of administrative processes.

Globally, the demand for healthcare is driven by an ever-increasing trend in patient empowerment and burden of disease. In the South African context this has never been more relevant than today, since the low satisfaction with the quality of our fragmented healthcare system and the quadruple burden of disease have resulted in very unique challenges that have to be addressed. A speaker at the World Economic Forum said that the health of a mother and child is a more telling measure of a nation’s state than economic indicators; sadly as a country we continue to lag on this front.

Meaningful progress cannot come from government alone, it requires the collective buy-in of all stakeholders to drive change. I believe that one of the leadership dilemmas we face is how to navigate the future roadmap to ensure that healthcare legislation and processes are reviewed and in place. Financial outcomes must be achieved without forgetting that the basic healthcare needs of every man, woman and child is at the core of what should be driving this change.

As I consider the ideal future of the healthcare landscape in our beautiful country at this crossroads, my wish is for authentic leadership that considers and thinks hard about the legacy that will be left behind. This change will impact at the heart of every citizen’s wellbeing and quality of life. It cannot be underestimated. I hope with all my heart that as a leadership collective, we will one day look back on this period in time and be proud of the change we brought about. I will therefore continue to tell my stories, to empower my team and to serve the greater community as I believe that with every discussion and every step I take, I will have done my bit along the way.

I am grateful for the opportunity to tell my stories as I reflect on my leadership journey and what the last few years in the dynamic private healthcare sector of our country has taught me. I conclude with the words of Robert Fritz:

“The future is ours to create. And your future is yours to create in a large degree. None of us have a crystal ball. But we don’t need one. We have something better, we have a creative spirit, we have a dynamic urge to take matters into our own hands; we have imagination, discipline and great possibilities. The good news is that we are given the raw materials to create a better life”

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My story about Chasing Destiny using Development Finance

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My story about Chasing Destiny using Development Finance

  • Oct 22 2019
  • Tags Alumni, journey, Development Finance

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Dr Nthabiseng Moleko

The journey towards the completion of my doctoral thesis titled “Pension fund reform towards the development of national economy: A South African case study.” culminated from two previous sectors I had worked within.

Having spent time in pension fund Management Company which managed at the time the biggest infrastructure asset fund on the continent, and navigating between a policy research think tank, and development agency I saw that there existed a resource gap. In the largely rural Eastern Cape I headed up a Development Agency that had a capital constraint, though viable projects existed.

I needed to find a solution, it was in development finance tools using capital markets to resolve our own problems I realized therein lay the answer. Having completed the MPhil in Development Finance I was not yet sure of the key issues and knew I needed to engage further research. This is how in consultation with Professor Ikhide, we formulated a topic.

I want with all my heart to see a developed Africa, fulfilling her destiny as a continent and her people. A flourishing people who reach their greatest heights and fulfil their continental mandate on their shores, moving not because of dire circumstances but rather from the vast array of opportunities the world offers (also offered on their shores). Thus my passion for development finance and using it as a vehicle of ensuring we see African development is close to my heart, beyond academia. I came to academia with an intent to use this education to help advance continental development.

It is exciting that as Alumni of both USB’s Masters and Doctoral programmes the message of African development by Africans, thought of using African scholars can reach the shores of many different parts of our world. The ability to reach different audiences and integrate poetry, issues of women economic participation and gender parity in our economy, and development finance issues occurs well through USB Alumni related events and chapters. It is my belief that USB Alumni should bring change after receiving their qualifications.

This is what I have encountered in the various Alumni chapters I have attended, both East, West and Southern Africa have welcomed the theme “Grow Africa using Development Finance”. In Port Elizabeth, Southern Africa we experience robust discussion with the emphasis on political will and ensuring private sector participation and buy in to the national programmes and goals.

West Africa had the same emphasis of political risk and the stage of financial sector development. Lagos had a good turnout and amazing coverage post the event as the media was present during the very engaging discussions¹.  Nairobi with former Minister of Finance attending the session and various delegates deeply engaging the project planning, preparation and soft skills within the sector.

USB Alumni Chapter; West Africa, Lagos, September 2019

Traditional USB alumni is different in each province and country, with the face of alumni changing. This allows changing narrative and discourse on how to approach development coming from different parts of the continent. It is encouraging to see how Alumni chapters participate in the transformation of Africa debate and the triad being formed across the East, West and Southern Africa. One thing is clear across the continent, we must grow Africa.

Question is what will we each contribute to this growth and transformation having the skills developed from years of working and education? The Alumni network theme of “Grow Africa” is perfectly positioned to integrate and pitch student and possibly academic research outcomes towards this end, thus more alumni with research and industry experience should partner with the USB Alumnus and continue making an impact.

Making sure we all pursue our destinies, which is entwined with the continents future. May we all chase destiny and make a difference whilst at it.

Dr Nthabiseng Moleko, October 2019

Author of Book #BeenChasingDestiny and part time Academic at USB, also Deputy Chairperson of Commission for Gender Equality

http://www.cge.org.za/ms-n-moleko/

https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6827


¹https://guardian.ng/news/nigerians-heed-the-call-to-grow-africa-using-development-finance/ and Business Day Sunday on 29 September 2019

      Business Day, Nigeria, 29 September 2019

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Dr Candice Booysen

USB PhD alumnus Candice Booysen receives top leadership award

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USB PhD alumnus Candice Booysen receives top leadership award

Success, go get it

  • Oct 22 2019
  • Tags Alumni, PhD, Awards, Women in Business

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Dr Candice Booysen, who completed her PhD at USB, recently received a Top Pan African Award from CEO Global in the category, Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government in the ICT Sector. These awards, based on a rigorous judging process, honour excellence in the private and public sector, and help to dispel the notion that Africa has a scarcity of leadership talent.

Dr Booysen is an industrial psychologist registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. She is also an executive member of the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology of South Africa and is currently the Human Resources Director of Interconnect Systems.

Her PhD research focused on, Antecedents to intention to quit among Generation Y information technology professionals in South Africa.

Over the years, she has served as a talent specialist and organisational development practitioner in organisations such as BCX, Deloitte, Aspen Pharmacare, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Media 24 and the University of the Western Cape. She is a dynamic leader who is passionate about the development of organisations, teams and individuals.

Various accolades and awards confirm her expertise. In 2016, she won the HR Rising Star Award from HR Future. She was also nominated as a finalist in the Standard Bank Woman of the Year Award as well as in the Institute of People Management’s HR Director of the Year Award. In 2017, she received an award at the 25th HRD World Congress in Mumbai, India, recognising her as one of the 100 most influential HR professionals globally.

She is the founder of a non-profit organisation called Releasing Eagles, which focuses on the mentorship and coaching of young people.

She lives to serve, inspire, develop and teach people, and to act as a change agent for people from her generation. Her motto is: “Do not let your circumstances dictate who you are. Introduce the world to the gifts, talents and magic inside of you.”

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Adwoa Opoku-Nyarko

‘Development Finance changed me as a person’ – Adwoa Opoku-Nyarko

Alumnet

‘Development Finance changed me as a person’ – Adwoa Opoku-Nyarko

‘Development Finance changed me as a person’ – Adwoa Opoku-Nyarko

  • Oct 22 2019
  • Tags Alumni, journey, MDev

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Adwoa Opoku-Nyarko has always believed that Africa is rich with history, culture and potential. But it was only after completing her MPhil in Development Finance (MDevF) that she began to realise her role in contributing to Africa’s development.

Here she shares how she discovered the key to unlocking a prosperous future for the continent:

Learnings

Since completing the MDevF I can definitely say that I am a completely different person to who I was prior to completing the programme.

“The MDevF taught me how to think critically about what it will take to effectively contribute to the development of the African continent.”

I have always believed that Africa is rich with history, culture and potential. However, it was only after completing the MDevF that I began to “connect the dots” in terms of how I could practically do my part with regards to contributing to its development. I now see how entrepreneurship (both on a small and large scale), financial inclusion of the poor, infrastructure development and responsible investing are some of the keys to unlocking a prosperous future.

Effective time management is definitely a skill that I credit to the part-time study route, as clear prioritisation and focus are paramount to successfully completing on time. It was very stressful at times, but the programme also enabled me to take a long term approach and work towards an end goal. I had to realise that the strict deadlines were only for a season and that it would be worthwhile in the end.

“Working within a team always comes with its unique set of challenges. However, it can also develop you as a person.”

Working with individuals from different industries and countries also taught me some key lessons. Working within a team always comes with its unique set of challenges. However, it can also develop you as a person – making you reflect on how you can improve for the sake of achieving collective goals.

Highlights

Sitting in a classroom filled with students from across the continent was a definite highlight. Not only did it enrich the classroom discussions, it provided insights into how the practical implementation of theory differs depending on specific country context. Over and above this, it provided me with an opportunity to form some amazing friendships with like-minded people.

“Another key highlight for me was the exposure that we had to the “softer skills” needed in order to achieve development.”

Another key highlight for me was the exposure that we had to the “softer skills” needed in order to achieve development. Some of my favourite modules were Microfinance, which focuses on financial inclusion of the poor, and Governance and Ethics. I found such modules to be very enriching.

Career path

The MDevF has had an undeniable impact on my career development. It developed my critical thinking skills and I have really seen the value of this within the workplace, as I am now better equipped to make decisions that consider all angles. I am currently working for USB Executive Development (Pty) Ltd (USB-ED) as the Customer Experience Brand Manager, and this ability to think critically about situations that I face has served me very well. In addition to this, I following my completion of the programme, I have been very privileged to work alongside the Institute for Futures Research (IFR) and USB on some development, governance and ethics-related projects.

“The MDevF has had an undeniable impact on my career development. It developed my critical thinking skills and I have really seen the value of this within the workplace.”

Final thoughts

I can honestly say that doing the MDev has changed my life for the better. I didn’t realise, at the start of my journey, the impact that the programme would have on my life. I am truly grateful for the opportunity that was granted to me. If you are passionate about growth and development, I would definitely recommend this programme.

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Rudo Zhanda

Rudo Melissa Zhanda: An inspiring journey of leadership

Alumnet

Rudo Melissa Zhanda: An inspiring journey of leadership

  • Oct 22 2019
  • Tags Alumni, Journey, Leadership, Learnings, MBA

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Rudo Melissa Zhanda is a qualified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Professional Quantity Surveyor (PrQS). She has been working as a Cost and Contract Management professional and Commercial Advisor for over 13 years and has attained the highest level in this field as a Fellow (FRICS). Furthermore, she has attained an MSc in Business and Management Research from Henley Business School in the United Kingdom and graduated with distinctions (cum laude). She holds an MBA from USB and is currently pursuing a Doctorate (DBA) at Henley Business School. Her technical, managerial and advisory prowess has led to the successful delivery of major construction and strategic projects in Africa and the Middle East.

Here she tells her story:

Childhood

I was born in 1984 in Harare, Zimbabwe as the last of four children to Hudson, a successful businessman, and Irene, a Registered Nurse. Together they worked hard to ensure that we had the best of everything and did not lack anything including the opportunity to attend excellent private schools. My parents instilled the value of education to us at an early age.

In the late 90s, the declining economic situation in Zimbabwe led to my mother making the hard decision to leave the country and work in the UK to supplement the family finances. She believed that her children’s education and wellbeing were of the utmost importance and in order for us to continue to receive the best education, this was a sacrifice she had to make. Despite her physical absence, my mother remained the pillar of the family and the glue that kept our family unit together.

Value of education

In Zimbabwe the value of education is held in the highest regard and I believe parents showcase the success of their parenthood through their children’s academic achievements. Therefore, it was expected that after high school I would automatically attend University. My oldest brother Tafadzwa was studying a Bachelor’s degree in Law at Rhodes University and my other brother Tendai was also studying a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems at the University of Cape Town (UCT). I wanted to study at the same university as either of my brothers, so I chose to enrol at the UCT which was offering the Quantity Surveying degree.

I successfully completed a BSc Construction Studies degree in 2005 and a BSc (Honours) in Quantity Surveying degree in 2006 at UCT. I started my career as a Project Quantity Surveyor in 2007 working at a relatively small PQs firm in Cape Town called Narker and Associates. The first project I sunk my teeth into was a low-rise residential apartment development called Crimson Square in Woodstock. I gained extensive experience working on this project as I was solely responsible for the all commercial aspects of the project from inception to closing. I was thrown into the deep end right from the start and was attending site meetings, presenting cost reports to the Client, dealing with an aggressive Contractor and working in coordination with the Architect and Engineers. I had to quickly learn how to survive an older-male-dominated construction industry as a young African female. Lessons which would prove to be useful throughout my career.

In 2008, I moved to a larger international firm, Davis Langdon (now AECOM). I worked hard to build up a notable portfolio of projects which led to my success in attaining the designation of a Professional Quantity Surveyor with two highly reputable Quantity Surveying Professional Bodies: the South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession in 2011 and the Royal Institute of Charted Surveyors (RICS) in 2012.

Continuous learning – USB’s MBA

In 2010, a friend who had been a classmate at UCT was undertaking an MBA at USB and recommended that I enroll. I will always be grateful to her for showing me that age should never be a limitation to follow your dreams. I was completely in awe of the prospect of doing an MBA, as I always had a passion for business and leadership. So I applied and was fortunate to be accepted for the 2011 MBA Modular programme, which proved to be an intense journey of self-discovery.

“The decision to embark on the USB MBA journey was one of the best decisions I ever made.”

The strength of the Leadership Development module was evident through the acceleration of my personal and professional growth over the four-year period. The decision to embark on the USB MBA journey was one of the best decisions I ever made. It opened my eyes to “big picture” thinking and afforded me the opportunity to engage with highly intellectual cohorts and faculty members. I was fortunate to achieve a number of distinctions for the coursework, namely for Leadership, Strategic Management, Project Management and Research Methodology to name a few.

At the commencement of the MBA programme, the client on a project I was working on, saw something special in me and recommended me for a position as a Project Manager and Quantity Surveyor for a small consulting firm called AMF Project Planning and Design Services in 2011.  Under the auspices of AMF, I was seconded to the Western Cape Government from 2011 to 2013.

The experience and exposure was invaluable as I engaged with highly experienced, creative and driven colleagues who formed part of a multi-disciplinary team of consultants and together we developed a strategy and vision for the programme. I worked hard and always aimed to positively affect and motivate others around me and was blessed that my efforts did not go unnoticed and as a result was awarded Employee of the Month in November 2011.

As I was embarking on the final year of my MBA, I was approached by a recruiter for an opportunity to work in Qatar. Despite some concerns as a single, Christian female moving to the Middle East alone, my family were 100% supportive. So I left the city I regarded as my ‘second home’ and moved to Qatar.

I successfully completed the MBA in December 2014 and in December 2015 successfully completed the Professional Project Management (PMP) certification. I was subsequently promoted to the Project Manager for the section in January 2016. Further responsibilities included planning and implementing Departmental strategic initiatives and developing Ashghal policy. In January 2017, I was awarded Employee of the Month and it was a momentous achievement to be recognised within the organisation for my efforts.

In October 2016, I was appointed as a Board Member for the RICS Qatar National Board to participate in the governance of the professional and ethical standards in land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. I was assigned as the Chair of the Membership Subcommittee and was overseeing a group of members to accomplish various RICS strategic initiatives. I was responsible for creating the collaborative opportunity between RICS and Ashghal, which involved fee earning advice, promotion and advocacy of professional standards and training opportunities. In August 2017, I was awarded the Fellowship status by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS) for achieving excellence in Construction Cost and Contract Management.

“I believe giving back is a true measure of success so I aim to share my knowledge and mentor those aspiring to follow in the same footsteps.”

I believe giving back is a true measure of success so I aim to share my knowledge and mentor those aspiring to follow in the same footsteps. It is to this end that I elected to be an RICS APC Councillor and Fellowship Councillor mentoring candidates to achieve Chartership. Furthermore, I accepted the role of being an RICS Senior Professional Assessor and Fellowship Assessor and sit on a panel of assessors to evaluate candidates aiming to achieve Chartership.

In May 2018, I was promoted to Project Manager and Commercial Advisor in the EBD Manager’s Office. I currently provide Commercial counsel to the Manager for high profile construction claims and disputes which include the $50million Al Karanaa and Umm Birka Treatment Plants.

In September 2019, I was awarded an MSc in Business and Management Research from Henley Business School in the United Kingdom and graduated with distinctions (cum laude). God has blessed me with a gift and passion for education, therefore in order to fulfil my highest potential in this regard, I am currently embarking on a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at Henley Business School and anticipate graduating in 2021.

I am grateful to God for my parents and the sacrifices they made to give me the best possible upbringing and education. Furthermore, I would like to thank my siblings Tafadzwa, Tendai and Kuda Zhanda and my close friends for their continued love and support. As a young African woman working in the construction industry, I have faced many adversities and trials and I believe God has used those situations to build my character and to shape me to be the person I am today. With God nothing is impossible, so the road ahead may be tough but I am confident that my faith and continued hard work will be a winning combination to excel.

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Dr Ferdie Lochner

Pursuing my dream of professional independence through lifelong learning – Dr Ferdie Lochner

Alumnet

Pursuing my dream of professional independence through lifelong learning – Dr Ferdie Lochner

Pursuing my dream of professional independence through lifelong learning – Dr Ferdie Lochner

  • Oct 30 2019
  • Tags Alumni, Dream, Journey, Lifelong learning

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Being brought up close to nature, Dr Ferdie Lochner had always thought geography would be his chosen path – until he decided to pursue his lifelong dream of studying law. After being awarded a PhD in Business Management and Administration at USB, he embarked on a BA LLB degree. He is currently completing this qualification via UNISA, studying environmental law, medical law, and the evolving ethics of artificial intelligence.

Here he shares his journey from rural Namibia to the boardroom:

I was born in Moorreesburg, about 100 kilometers north of Cape Town, and was privileged to spend my childhood years in Okahandja, Namibia.  Having matriculated during 1982 from Jan Möhr High School in Windhoek, I returned to Namibia from Stellenbosch University with political sciences and an Honours degree in Geography and completed my military duty during 1989 and 1990.  However, I wanted to further my studies and subsequently accepted a position as university lecturer at the Faculty of Military Sciences at Stellenbosch University, where I presented Military Geography for the next six years.

During this period I completed a Master’s degree in Geography focusing on Geographical Information Systems, and this led to an appointment by the Town Engineer at the Paarl Municipality during 1997.   From here, I moved on to first become the IT Manager for the former Helderberg Municipality, and eventually I became the Finance & Commerce Head for the IT Department at the City of Cape Town.  At the end of December 2018 I took early retirement from the City of Cape Town.   

Post 1997, though, I continued my part-time studies and during 2011 was awarded a PhD in Business Management and Administration by the USB, focusing on the subject field of Management of Technology.  Following on the PhD, I took on additional responsibilities at the City of Cape Town, among which was that of technology innovation lead for the IT Department at the City of Cape Town, and that of research associate at the Institute for Futures Research (IFR) at the USB.  In the latter capacity I had the privilege of contributing on a wide range of technology topics, among which were the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), macro experiments, space-derived technologies, mechatronics, data economics, robotics, artificial intelligence, the Circular Economy and so-called appropriate technologies. 

I also became a public speaker on a range of topics, including innovation, Public Cloud, IT in Africa, technology cost optimisation, technological literacy, sustainability, and space politics. Simultaneously I had five articles published in academic or professional journals, two of which were peer-reviewed. 

With an ongoing interest in sustainability, my most recent contributions in this regard deal with, respectively, birds as eco-markers of climate change, a paper published by the IFR, and edible plants and insects, a presentation delivered at a farming congress in Windhoek.  I am strongly in favour of the Circular Economy movement, an emerging economic paradigm.*

After my early retirement from the City of Cape Town at the end of 2018, I became a freelancing Chief Technology Officer under the Independent CTO brand introduced at https://independent-cto.webnode.com/ focusing on a spectrum of technology advisory services aimed at technology-intensive businesses and industries. 

Given an interest in law, I am busy on the side with a BA LLB degree via UNISA, and recently became an accredited mediator in the field of medical negligence, also with an interest in environmental and political disputes for which I am registered in South Africa, in Namibia under a local brand known as Mediation Namibia, as well as with the Africa Institute of Mediation and Arbitration, operating from Harare, Zimbabwe. 

I am, furthermore, senate member for a tertiary institution in the IT industry, study supervisor, and the designated presenter for the subject field of Technology Ventures forming part of a new Master’s degree in Management at the Namibian University of Science and Technology, kicking off in 2020.

I have many interests, but enjoying priority is reading, birding, insects, indigenous plants, bacterial and plant intelligence, indigenous cultures, San rock art, Namibian landscapes, fitness, and cooking.  I have, in closing, served twice on the Western Cape branch of the USB Alumni Association committee and during my first term successfully launched the Coffee Shoptalk series of events, which served as the predecessor of the exciting new USB Alumni initiative known as The USB Business Breakfast.  During my second term on the alumni committee, I focused on and actively promoted a single event branded as The Conference: Listening to the Marginalised.  Not succeeding in finding sponsorship, I must admit initial failure at the end of my second term during 2018.  

I am not giving up on this worthy endeavor, though, because it remains one of my primary social innovation objectives and aims to offer representatives of marginalized and poor communities, and also rehabilitated criminals, a stage to speak freely of their experiences on the fringes of a broken society. 

My purpose with this idea is to allow more prosperous and fortunate South Africans a peek into the daily suffering and struggle for survival of these communities, insights into how this struggle for survival influences the perceptions of these communities about the rest of our society, with the objective to indeed encourage “uncommon” conversations between the speakers on the stage and the audience, led by a prominent and wise facilitator. 

The art of failing successfully, though, has always been an integral part of my professional life, and I have been mentoring young prospects since 2011 about lessons of my professional journey so far, and am welcoming new mentees! 


*Dr Ferdie Lochner is presenting a Circular Economy workshop on 20 November 2019 at the Zevenwacht Wine Estate, located in Kuils River, Cape Town, and would like to extend a warm welcome to our USB alumni in this regard. 

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Starting Business Consciousness Coaching

Alumnet

Starting Business Consciousness Coaching

  • Aug 30 2019
  • Tags Coaching, Business, Advice, Entrepreneur

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Paul Diepenbroek, the Practice Manager and Lead Coach of Business Consciousness Coaching, a business he founded in 2016, shared with the USB MPhil Class of 2019  his experience of establishing his coaching business after stepping out of the corporate world. His story is one of having to face reality and embrace change.

His journey started with a performance review in 2008 when one of the engineers on his team told him that, “you are good at what you do but not so good at how you are towards me!”  Paul wondered if he was a human-doing or a human being at the time. This self-awareness launched his consciousness coaching journey and he quickly realised that there is a lot to be said for a coaching management style. It is results oriented, it is people centred, empowering and leads to self-transformation.

Paul stepped up to the challenges of being in the business of coaching by establishing what informs his coaching approach and the practicality of how to go about coaching in a commercial sense. His purpose of creating a continuous shift in business consciousness drives the coaching insights experienced by his clients and he is of the firm belief that coaching is the most effective when delivering business value.

In his talk, Paul shared some of his experiential learnings from coaching in his business:

  • As his practice informs, showing up as not knowing does not mean you don’t need to know something about your client’s business. Showing up as not knowing means using incisive inquiry with context, being genuinely curious and not being attached to your client’s authentic sharing. Knowing builds client intimacy with your client. He gave an example of an Engineering Manager who was sharing his feelings of anxiety about plant availability during coaching. Paul’s engineering background did inform the relevance of his coaching inquiry and created a certain relatedness without biasing the inquiry.
  • Meeting your clients where they are at does not mean that they DO have the answers. Paul’s practice includes what he calls “awareness creations,” used most effectively to unlock possibilities and creativity from within his clients. He gave an example of a senior financial manager who was having trouble sustaining his new-found approach to communicating with his people in a way that builds trust. A conversational intelligence dashboard (Glaser, 2014)[1] equipped him with the ability to gauge the impact of the responses he was trying to create. Another example is of the manager who experimented with the truth behind her limiting assumptions using an immunity to change model (Kegan & Lahey, 2009) and found that empathy and caring served her better as a liberating assumption when trying to get the best performance from her people.
  • Paul ended his talk by sharing that despite the anxiety of establishing a coaching practice, being comfortable with his feelings and emotions has allowed him to show up with his purpose in an authentic way, being patient with his impatience and testing to what extent “do I have my anxiety or does my anxiety have me?”

Paul Diepenbroek can be contacted at paul@businessconsciousness.coach, 0833266239 or via www.businessconsciousnesscoaching.com

[1]       Glaser, J.E. 2014. Conversational intelligence : how great leaders build trust and get extraordinary results. Brookline, MA: Bibliomotion.
Kegan, R. & Lahey, L.L. 2009. Immunity to change : how to overcome it and unlock potential in yourself and your organization. Harvard Business Press.

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What it takes to set up and run a coaching practice

Alumnet

What it takes to set up and run a coaching practice

  • Aug 30 2019
  • Tags Coaching, Management, Business, Entrepreneur

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By Zelda Burger

I have been an executive coach at Montage Leadership Development for the past 16 years. Here’s what it takes to set up and run a coaching practice – 5 C’s

Credibility:

Business knowledge and experience is critical for your credibility with potential and existing clients. Professionalism and an academic qualification in executive coaching are essential for differentiating yourself in the market. This was key in my decision to achieve the MPhil and has since proven highly successful. My MPhil research assignment adds value to my contracting practices and achievement of outcomes for the individual and the organisation.

Confidence:

Believing in your coaching abilities and trusting your professional instincts empower you to converse with authority on coaching’s value within different business contexts. Educating and influencing organisational decision makers regarding professional coaching practices is critically important.

Connection:

Building relationships with key players in related and unrelated industries broaden your business network and create opportunities. Continued professional learning within leadership and organisational contexts enrich your professional and personal growth. In return you deliver high quality client assignments based on new learning.

Communication:

Marketing yourself in a focused, targeted manner through business online media such as LinkedIn and Twitter are powerful ways to differentiate yourself in the market. An updated website and exposure as coach, facilitator or speaker at strategic business and academic events creates dynamic business opportunities.

Curiosity:

Displaying a genuine interest in clients’ strengths and challenges within their organisational contexts enable achievement of individual and organisational outcomes. Enhancing professional effectiveness of clients and sharing their developmental path with passion and energy adds value to the individual and the organisation.

Zelda Burger

Executive, Leadership and Team Coach
Master’s Degree in Business Leadership (University of South Africa Business School)
MPhil Degree in Management Coaching (University of Stellenbosch Business School)
Neuro-leadership Group Coach – accredited by the ICF (International Coach Federation)
Credentialed Practitioner and member of COMENSA (Coaching and Mentoring South Africa)

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