DATE:  18 MAY 2009

Corporate SA

High noon in corporate SA – time for the new age entrepreneur

By Robert Sussman, joint CEO at Integr8 IT
The resolve of a company to remain resolute amid the turmoil of the current global economic climate can be either strengthened or limited by the calibre of management at the helm.
In essence, the quality of management within a company can either make or break a business in today’s commercial environment, irrespective of size, core focus or sector of operation.
This is why it has become imperative for businesses to adopt a new approach or style of management – one that promotes the advantages of a combination of entrepreneurial flair and technical expertise.
It is a careful but strategic blend of innovation and business acumen and can be best described as being a break away from the typical generic, structured and traditional leadership style.
The fact is the market at the moment is highly pressurised and companies cannot afford to simply go with the status quo and respond accordingly.
To illustrate, take the information, communication and technology sector as an example.
There are numerous stakeholders in this sector and it is a powerful representation of an environment in which competitive advantage is gained by the strategic balance between people and technology.
Our viewpoint is that the time has come for service providers, clients, customers, vendors and partners to eradicate the misperception that this industry is boring and convoluted.
To this end we have instilled a business leadership style that accurately and effectively promotes the flair that this sector naturally possesses.
We continue to gain ground in our mission to change the face of the ICT industry and grab the attention of those who have long since abandoned any hope of seeing the sexy side of technology and what this can do for business.
Coupled with this strategy is the establishment of an organic management structure, as opposed to one that is flat. The former is based extensively on the principle of open communication across all levels of management and operation, both vertical and horizontal.
It recognises and encourages initiative, hard work and commitment, and also reassures employees of their value to the organisation.
This is a more pragmatic tactic and one that allows the organisation or business to grow, and for decision makers to better manage the growth. It also helps to ensure that businesses are able to adapt more efficiently to changing market conditions, to acquire the benefit of the latest trends and recuperate more quickly from any battle wounds received during combat – both foreseen and unforeseen – in competitive marketplaces.
The style of management not only has external implications and consequences in terms of market standing and success, it will also affect the foundation of the business with regard to resource acquisition, application and return on investment.
Technology aside, people and information are your two most important assets in business. While we continue to refine our processes and procedures to secure and leverage off information, we have to remind ourselves of the need to help instil modern workplace considerations for employees – that being an improved work/life balance and remuneration that is in line with socio-economic considerations.
As we dust ourselves off from the daily competition for market share, presence and profit, we need to continuously evaluate the state of our leadership and management style and determine what, if any, changes need to be made to strengthen, not dilute, potential and potency.