Mindcor and Colegacy unite
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The 16th of December is day that seems to have been destined to be commemorated in the South African history books. This date carries 3 significant moments in our young democracy’s history. The first is the Battle of Blood River between the Voortrekkers and the Zulus in 1838, the second is the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1961, and the third marks the birth of the Day of Reconciliation. The Day of Reconciliation was first celebrated in 1995 in an effort to promote unity amongst the South African citizens and bring stability to a nation divided by its past.
Today marks 21 years since the first Day of Reconciliation was celebrated, and we as a country still have a long way to go to achieve the unity this public holiday attempts to create. Whilst the day offers us the special opportunity to come together as a nation, it requires daily commitment to make transformation and unity a reality. All leaders in society have the responsibility to create the necessary environment and structures to support transformation amongst all South Africans, particularly when inequality exists within so many facets of our society.
Policies such as B-BBEE have been established in an attempt to drive equality promoting practises within organisations, but the effects can be overshadowed by uncertainty amongst business leaders leading to scepticism towards compliance. For individuals, B-BBEE is not only helpful in increasing racial and cultural diversity within organisations but also support women in the workplace and the challenges they face. Likewise, B-BBEE can offer organisations many new opportunities for growth, not only directly through preferred procurement but also as a result of the indirect benefits of greater diversity amongst workforces and the positive impact it has on the company’s bottom line. For example, a study amongst Fortune 500 companies revealed that organisations with a strong female leadership presence experienced up to 53% higher return on equity than their male-run counterparts. They also gained 66% more return on invested capital and boasted 42% higher sales figures. In spite of the overwhelming evidence that highlights the benefits of a strong female presence within leadership positions, there is still a worldwide prevalence of men occupying C-suit roles with only 4.6% of CEOs on the Fortune 500 companies being women. This example shows the dismal rate in which women are occupying executive and leadership positions and the consequences it holds for organisations across many industries.
In the broader vision of transforming businesses in South Africa, the responsibility rests upon all of us to make inclusion a reality and not pass it off as the responsibility of a government or department to implement. The power that can be harnessed through increased diversity and unity in organisations can be unparalleled if all parties make a full commitment to change. With this in mind, 2016 saw Mindcor and Colegacy step up to the plate and show that transformation is not only possible, it is an advantage that more South African organisations should embrace. Mindcor has invited the Colegacy Business Group to be a part of their growing consulting practise, collectively combining the agility, skills, and diversity of a small consultancy organisation with the expertise and reach of a holistic human capital business partner. This has resulted in the Mindcor team welcoming the CEO of Colegacy, Zanele Luhabe, as the new Managing Director of Mindcor Consulting. Not only does this exciting time bring with it a whole new injection of capabilities and perspectives, introducing an established business woman like Zanele Luhabe into the leadership team has created a host of potential opportunities through the networks that she has built up across her successful career as an entrepreneur and consultant.
What makes this partnership ideal is the capabilities and structures we have in place to support business growth and assist in negotiating the applicable B-BBEE regulations and requirements. It is also ideal to have a diverse leadership team in place to ensure that the business and related strategies have been considered from a multitude of perspectives, placing focus on developing the best solution possible as opposed to settling for the top suggestion made.
Our hope is that this story can serve as a reminder for individuals and organisations alike of the great deal of strength that lies in utilising local talent and businesses. Inclusion will ultimately combine our strengths, minimise our weaknesses, and encourage collaboration in working towards the ultimate destination of success, sustainability, and unity within our beloved country.