June 2015 Newsletters

What Every Board Should Ask the CIO!

In an information age, it is folly for any medium to large-sized company to be without an information technology (IT) policy. It is even more to an organisation’s detriment if there is no chief information officer (CIO) to oversee that the policy is enforced in such a way that takes the company ahead. Because the CIO is hands-on on a daily basis, the decisions they take are highly critical to the survival and success of the company. This cog in the company’s machinery has to be able to answer effectively to the board. It is often difficult for the board to keep up with the rapid changes that occur in the IT world. Just what should the board be asking the CIO? The board oversees the company’s overall strategic direction and management. As part of this responsibility, it has to keep abreast of issues pertaining to the management and control systems in place to keep the risk of loss arising from fraud and error to an acceptable level. There are three areas that the board should focus on when assessing the CIO: strategic planning, internal control, and risk. 


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Sustainable Cities for a Sustainable South Africa

The world is experiencing a rapid rate of growth in urbanisation, with Africa and sub-Saharan Africa leading the way. By 2030, it is estimated that Africa will have 760-million urban residents. This figure will grow to 1.2-billion by the year 2050. The challenge that cities face in an effort to become sustainable is enormous! In South Africa, 31% of the population can be found in six of its major cities. With more citizens trekking into cities every day, how sustainable are our cities to cope with this influx? – never mind the fact that it is this 31% that accounts for as much as 55% of South Africa’s annual gross domestic product (GDP). But are businesses equipped to cope with the demand that this creates? Sustainability, as defined by the United Nations, is “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Therefore, a sustainable city is inhabited by people dedicated to the minimisation of required inputs of energy, water and food, and waste output in the form of heat, air pollution, carbon dioxide, methane, and water pollution.


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Building Personal and Organisational Effectiveness

Managerial effectiveness is crucial to the survival and growth of an organisation. Increasing competition in South Africa requires a crop of effective managers to breed effective companies. Organisational effectiveness and success have everything to do with how effective you are as an individual in the bigger picture. Personal effectiveness means the ability to solve four of the systems problems: adaptation, goal attainment, integration and tension management. Executive success which leads to organisational effectiveness includes more than just the achievement of profits. It is more than individual brilliance and personal ability to solve problems. In reality, individual and organisational effectiveness complement each other. Simply put, it is the ability to strike balances among responsibilities to oneself and one’s company, associates, industry and community.


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