Remember the Bokke victory in 1995 with Francois Pienaar and Nelson Mandela holding the trophy? Well, a painful twelve years have passed before the Web Ellis trophy returns home. (Who cares if the final between SA and England was won on penalties?) In a year marked by knife edge divisions in this country, it was gratifying to see politicians, business and fans, unite behind the green and gold jersey. That groundswell of support was promptly squandered by SA Rugby Union, days after the victory. The thunder of the celebrations was overtaken by the underhanded lightning process to find a new coach. Was Jake White supposed to apply for the position? Or was he correct in stating that his contract did not require him to apply and would be considered in the annual review? Loads of questions around talent management. Granted, some are pleased to see Jake White leave on account of his involvement in the Springbok team selection and poor transformation in the game. Another hornet’s nest of controversy for a MBA case study. But there is something to said for an individual that has transformed the Springboks from a defeated team in 2003 to a national treasure in 2007 – borne out by the Tri-Nations title, twice winning the IRB Coach of the Year Award and the world cup. In the end, the acrimonious fallout between Jake White and his employer, reminds us that no matter how brilliant your performance, no matter how many supporters you have and no matter how significant your contribution to the country, tunnel vision bureaucrats get their way. Good luck to the successor. He is stepping into giant boots and should have a black belt in conflict management.
From peanut butter to insecticide, from fish fillets to citro soda products, Tiger Brands Limited is in the enviable position of their brands holding a sizeable share in your wallet. In the 2006 Tiger Brands Limited Annual Report, letter to shareholders, it is stated that, “The strength of Tiger Brands lies in its people and in its powerful basket of brands…” It has been an action period with the basket of brands taking their people on a tough journey. About nine months ago, Tiger Brands Limited completed a strategic review of their healthcare interests and took a decision to exit from the Adcock Ingram business. I can’t blame them – the regulated, healthcare industry pales in comparison to their fast moving consumer goods business. Their exercise with UBS South Africa (Pty) Ltd was to evaluate the options of separating the healthcare interests by way of potential sale, unbundling and a separate listing. After five cautionary announcements, shareholders are waiting for direction in this matter. Behind the scenes, in the group and the Adcock Ingram, there has been reshuffling with movement of some staff and loss of others in the hierarchy. I have noticed the loss of strategic HR personnel while compliance/administrative HR staff are retained. Weird. More action in the months ahead.
Not joining the crowd this month? Staying at the office until 31 December? Go ahead and bend a few rules.
1. The Best Parking Bay
A remnant from the Industrial Age is the ‘reserved’ parking bay for so called important people in the corporate zoo. Now is your opportunity to park a different reserved bay each day and discover whether it is a worthwhile status symbol.
2. Management by wandering around
Management guru, Tom Peters introduced the concept of management by wandering around (MBWA) in the 1980’s and it remains a favourite in some organisations. You may have to wander on several floors to find other dedicated skeleton staff. Meet your new friends, swop jobs for a day and sign up for each other’s 360 degree feedback.
3. Reverse micro-management
Tired of micro-management throughout the year? Reverse micro management is about over communicating your performance to the boss during their leave period. Drop hourly e-mails and sms updates to your boss. Call at inconvenient hours with trivial customer requests. Gently, mention the work flowing from their in trays. Feels great!
Until next year, take care this holiday period of your loved ones and possessions. Don’t be a statistic for identity or credit card theft over this period. Smile for those speed traps too.
(HR Future, December 2007)