5 Books, One Author, One Big Sale

Consider buying one or a combo of these books and add to your wealth of knowledge in the respective areas. You have a choice to buy the e-book format or the paperback edition for your convenience.

All available on amazon.com or from the author on +27-71-408-6585 for those based in South Africa.

Buying is as simple as clicking here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=claude+phiri&ref=nb_sb_noss

Going Digital: Adapting to the New Normal

happy ethnic woman sitting at table with laptop

It is time to seriously consider migrating as many of your organisational functions as possible to the digital options! How ready is your organisation? The 4th Industrial Revolution is here to stay…in fact there’s strong talk of the 5th Industrial Revolution already that’s being tested in some countries.

If your organisation is behind on this, you are not the only one. It is not too late. Join like-minded professionals and managers from the 13th to the 17th of April 2020 for this five part webinar. Fortunately, technology offers several alternatives for business continuity even in crises like the coronavirus and the resultant lockdown. I will be running a 90-minute, five part webinar to discuss this and other critical questions and offer solutions and pathways you could adopt to migrate and remain relevant in today’s tech world.

Adapt or die

Click on the link below to register:

Registration Form


Employee Performance vs Employee Presence

The Coronavirus is wreaking havoc and leaving destruction in its tracks, disrupting life and work in more ways than one. Authorities have ordered shutdowns or lock downs in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.

Some employers have been forced to consider the work from option.

I suggest its about time to talk about the benefits of allowing employees to work from home, to the extent practical of course.


Paradigm shift

One of the key considerations is in the change of attitude and behaviour by management. It is time start looking at deliverables and not necessarily the presence of an employee at his or her desk or workstation. People can now connect to almost anything through the world wide web. ICT has made contact so much easier. Managers can easily reach employees without the need for a physical presence. Managers must now turn to and focus their attention on getting employees deliver on set performance goals and not necessarily insist on employees being present. They can be present anywhere, anyway, through emails and other video contact avenues.

Time to learn and reinforce performance management

Having employees work from home will force managers and employees to seriously consider detailed performance goals that can be measured, again focusing on outputs and not inputs. Studies have shown that working from home increases performance. Careful thought must be given to performance targets and how success would be measured.

Time to start trusting your employees

Some of the reasons why managers feel uncomfortable about letting employees work from home is the lack of trust. Managers seem to think that employees will always use the time at home to do other thigs that are not work related. Well, back to my earlier proposal: If you set realistic performance targets and deliverables, who cares whether the employee accomplishes them in half the time and then use the other time for whatever they choose to? The manager will be happy to have performance goals accomplished and the employee will be happy to have some time on their hands to do other things. Remember, employees have a life outside of work. Their life does not consist of work and work only. Let employees be and they will deliver. You can explore several monitoring systems to ensure work is delivered but managers must start  trusting their employees and giving them an opportunity to prove themselves.

Time to value output and not only presence.


Corporate Governance is concerned with holding the balance between economic and social goals and between individual and communal goals. The aim is to align as nearly as possible the interests of individuals, corporations and society. — Sir Adrian Cadbury

Recently there has been considerable interest in the corporate governance practices of companies, particularly since the high-profile collapses of large U.S. firms such as Enron Corporation and Worldcom. This is also happening on the background of legislative and regulatory changes, an increase in the scope of audit and other internal control and risk management activities and
increased public scrutiny. Ultimately, it is companies’ practices that determine whether corporate governance delivers benefit or not.

Successful businesses don’t get to the top by chance. They get there with the right people driving them forward with the right ethos, in the right market. Good corporate governance can help companies achieve success faster as well as ensuring that the company is attractive to external investors and purchasers.

As they say, an organisation or company rises or falls on the shoulders of its leadership. This places a great responsibility on the board and senior executives of any company. Inevitably, the leadership must have the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding of the issues around governance and the good practices that have led successful companies to great heights.

This three day course breaks these discussions down for the participants, equipping them with skills necessary to steer their organisations to success and sustainability by emphasising the place of corporate governance and ethics in today’s challenging business environment.

The main purpose of the workshop is to help the participant gain a good understanding of the corporate governance concept within the business and its financial environment;

The course is meant for:
Board members in public and private companies
Individuals expecting to be named to a board in the near future
Executive managers
Company Secretaries

By attending, you will:
Gain a new perspective of the impact of good corporate governance practices on ensuring the efficient
management of a firm.
Enhance the appreciation and practice of ethics in the business/work environment.
Examine the key provisions of the King IV Report

Date and venue: 10th to 12th June, 2020. Protea Hotel Fire and Ice Umhlanga Ridge, Durban,
South Africa.

Critical Thinking Skills and Design Thinking including Appreciative Enquiry

Course Overview

Do you want to get ahead in your career? Do you want to expand your horizons? Do you want to advance in your life? You need to learn the skill of thinking for yourself. You need to learn to think independently but productively. Then this course is for you. The course brings together three independent, but rather related modules that will broaden your thinking skills and help you manage change and culture within your organisation and contribute to value creation. You will learn skills that help you to innovate and solve business problems with the confidence and efficiency that increases performance. The course also opens your mind to appreciative enquiry that helps shift your paradigm
from the blame culture that characterizes some organisations and individuals.

Who Should Attend?
This is a must attend course for every manager, human resource practitioner, supervisor
and team leader who wishes to have positive influence in their organisation. The course
will benefit anyone who aspires to assume leadership or managerial responsibility at
any level.

Course Content

Day 1 – Sharpen Your Thinking Skills Through Mastery of Critical Thinking

Day 2 – Design Thinking for Enhanced Performance that Boosts the Bottomlines

Day 3 – Transform Your Organisational Culture through Appreciative Enquiry

The Modern Executive Assistant, Personal Assistant and Office Manager

The role of the executive assistant has evolved. Being an EA or PA isn’t just about managing the diary and booking flights. EAs now make key decisions and manage budgets. They now assume a key role in supporting important decisions. The advent of technology has also enabled the modern EA to take on middle management roles as they manage teams and sometimes conduct meetings on behalf of their principals. The modern EA also manages events or projects.

This changed role demands more skills than simply typing and shorthand as the case was in the past.
This course equips you with various skills that will make your work a lot easier and increase your efficiency and productivity.

Register for this flagship week-long course that will equip you with the skills demanded in this critical role. Limited seats available. Book yours early.

Contact: info@mapalo.co.za

Snapshot Of Symposium

Last week, Thursday the 15th of November, I was privileged to convene a symposium challenging the relevance of university and college curriculum in meeting the need for work-ready skills, in relation to the future of work. We also asked the question, are learning and development practitioners preparing employees with suitable skills for the future of work? Highly informative and thought-provoking papers presented by all five speakers and engaging discussions with the delegates.

Seen in the pictures below are some of the speakers and delegates at the symposium.

Here is a summary of the salient points from each presentation;

ETD Re-imagined! A Snapshot of the Presentations.

First paper: Are Universities and Colleges up to speed with their curriculum development? By Professor Nombeko Mpako (UNISA) from Pretoria. She spoke in her personal capacity.

“My personal opinion is that I DO NOT THINK AND BELIEVE THAT UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES ARE UP TO SPEED in addressing pertinent issues pertaining to Education Training and Development in order to be abreast with the rapidly changing industries and or world of work.  With regards to the curriculum development my view is that there are issues which require urgent attention such as reconsideration of the…experiential training model as well as incorporating entrepreneurial skills within all qualifications offered by universities and a lot still needs to be done…The issue of employability of graduates…could be dressed through experiential training in partnership with various industries”.

She went on to state that studies have shown that countries that have entrepreneurial education and training as part of their education curriculum have obtained greater results in fuelling economic growth.

She concluded by saying that the problem of unemployed graduates can be minimized by restructuring the educational curriculum through partnership development between institutions of higher learning and the relevant employment providers. This partnership will ensure that the knowledge and skills developed through education are in line with the changing needs of industries, thus addressing the skills mismatch that contributes to rising graduates’ unemployment.

Second paper: An alternative way to prepare youth for leadership by Mr Chris Meintjes, CEO of Activate! Leadership, Cape Town.

Chris challenged the delegates on how to grow leaders with vision. He emphasised the need for growing the ‘right’ mindsets, including the need for entrepreneurial mindset, mindset for success, for critical thinking and problem solving, mindset for effective written and oral communications, for collaboration across networks. Mindsets for agility, adaptability and initiative. He stressed education as a catalyst to achieving these mindsets. He also highlighted opportunities for leadership development and for social entrepreneurial leadership and lifelong learning on the job, in the family and within the community.

Paper: How are human resource policy makers and regulators coping? By Mr Meshack Tafa, COO and Deputy CEO of the Human Resource Development Council in Botswana.

Meshack prefaced his presentation by giving some background to some of the work being done at their Council in addressing key National Human Resource Development (HRD) challenges. For example, they have plans to respond to the stakeholder need to have equitable access to a wide range of employment opportunities and high-quality jobs that will build the foundation for a future knowledge economy and provide ‘high knowledge–high-wage’ employment.

As a country, they are also looking at the skills mismatch in terms of training and education, being skewed to certain areas that are now in surplus not being absorbed by the labour market as well as the lack of entrepreneurial skills, which are key for self-employment and driving economic diversification through small and medium enterprises.

They have also resolved to introduce STE(A)M. In line with the changing global trends, the NHRDP has identified the need to incorporate the role of the ‘Arts’ in STEM, hence changing to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics – STEAM for short.

“There is need to introduce STEAM curricula from pre-primary to tertiary education, and to incentivise girls and women to join STEAM fields to bridge existing gaps in the system”.

Paper: The impact of the 4th industrial revolution and artificial intelligence on jobs by Dr Kgabo Badimo, Founder and CEO of Badimo Group Consultancy in Johannesburg.

Dr Badimo spoke about Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies that are not only changing the business value chain ecosystem but also transforming the world of work. They are re-shaping the profiles and skills needed. He cited research that indicates that within the next two decades, a staggering 47% of jobs will be made redundant thanks to digitalisation.

He disputed the growing public view that AI systems will be detrimental to the workforce and that AI will be used to automate humans out of relevance as being untrue. He admits, though, that AI systems will change the workforce but not at the expense of workers.

In response and preparation for these changes, he suggests, “companies need to build robust talent pipelines to stay competitive in their industry. An action framework could help to establish an ecosystem for re-skilling and right skilling: recognising current and future skill requirements”.

Companies must now focus on skills such as complex problem-solving skills, strategic and critical thinking skills. Skills in creativity and imagination, leadership and people management as well as skills in coordinating with others.

Regardless of the future of work, skills in emotional Intelligence, judgement and decision-making and service orientation will still be required. So, will skills in negotiation and cognitive flexibility be necessary, even in the future of work.

In conclusion, change won’t wait for us: business leaders, educators and governments all need to be proactive in up-skilling and retraining people, so everyone can benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Vote of thanks and closing remarks: The future of work is exciting! Dr Jerry Gule, CEO of the Institute of People Management in Johannesburg

Dr Gule was upbeat and gave a fitting vote of thanks and a call to action as he challenged delegates and speakers alike, to look forward to an exciting future of work. He elucidated a point that the future of work is people by explaining that the focus of the future of work must be on employees. Attention and effort must be paid to the people with a view to re-skilling them and positioning them to take on those roles that a machine may not be able to easily take over.

Conclusion and the next steps

Professor Mpako ended her paper with the following statement, a suitable conclusion to this summary;

“Ladies and gentlemen, let us begin this conversation”

Join us for the sequel to this symposium; How should we prepare for the future of work? It’s happening in Cape Town on April 29th and 30th 2019. The afternoon of the second day will incorporate a tour of the mother city and a cocktail in the evening. Save the date and secure your seat now for an early registration discount.