Achieving Success in Business during Challenging Times Analysed at GSB&L Breakfast ForumGeneral

From left: Professor Theuns Pelser, Dr David Schwegmann, Mr Siphamandla Ndlovu, Ms Nicky Weimar, Dr Abdulla Kader and Dr Fayzel Omar.From left: Professor Theuns Pelser, Dr David Schwegmann, Mr Siphamandla Ndlovu, Ms Nicky Weimar, Dr Abdulla Kader and Dr Fayzel Omar.

The Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L), in partnership with Nedbank, hosted a business breakfast themed: “Running a successful business in a world of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) requires agility, speed and sound leadership as part of their ongoing strategy of shaping visionary future leaders”.

The meeting saw UKZN alumnus and Managing Executive of Nedbank’s retail branch network in South Africa, Dr David Schwegmann and Nedbank’s Senior Economist Ms Nicky Weimar deliver the keynote presentations to business professionals, MBA students and GSB&L academics.

How do leaders navigate through this world of VUCA? This is the question Schwegmann responded to during his talk. He highlighted that current leaders were different in many ways to those of yesteryear hence new leadership strategies prioritising a clear vision, authentic and inspiring leadership were needed to manage and succeed in the world of VUCA.

‘As leaders we need to be clear of our vision and how we present it to our teams and the people we need. There is a need to create forums for dialogue where people can be heard and where they can challenge the status quo.

‘The time of leaders ordering and commanding is over, we need to train and coach the future generation so we have clarity and inspiring leadership and a collaborative culture in this time of VUCA,’ said Schwegmann.

Nicky Weimar delivered a presentation giving an assessment of South Africa’s economic performance and also looked at prospects for next year.

The breakfast was preceded by a public lecture that saw Schwegmann deliver a presentation titled: “Turning Turmoil into triumph-case study in change management”.

The talk focused on the need for organisations to create a climate for change through principle centered and accountable leadership. He highlighted that it is vital for organisations to not only focus on implementing change but they also need to be good at sustaining change and leading with humility and transparency during these tumultuous business environments.

GSBL’s Dean and Head of School Professor Pelser said that the School is working towards transformation and collaboration with business industry and the community is key in achieving this goal.

‘UKZN has a broad footprint in the province where teaching and learning are concerned. Events such as this breakfast forum are one of the ways we can ensure that collaboration contributes towards the School engaging with the business community and contributing towards transformation,’ he said.

Thandiwe Jumo