Companies can have the best systems, processes and procedures in place, but if the people entrusted with the responsibility of delivery are not consistently engaged and invested in these activities, then such processes are futile, said Terrence Harrison, ArcelorMittal SA group manager: learning and knowledge, at the 2015 ArcelorMittal Rising Star Summit.
The summit held at Emperor’s Palace last week, saw CEOs, human resource and talent directors and managers, talented individuals, policy makers and agenda setters from South African blue chip as well as multinational companies, and future leaders gathered to focus on future leadership and challenge industry norms and traditional ways of working. The resounding message from all present was that talented young people, as natural challengers to accepted norms, will be the leaders in this new world of innovative thinking.
Harrison delivered the keynote address on immersive learning and the power of feedback. He stressed that the core of any company is its people, “Feedback, whether positive or negative, is the food of champions.”
He further stressed that companies needed to be agile to change.
ArcelorMittal has over 300 000 employees globally which partake in the company’s employee development programme which covers eight generic sets of skills competencies. “It is only through technology enablement that we are able to teach the ‘softer skill’ of inclusive leadership by giving 70% on the job learning, 20% mentoring and coaching, and 10% online or classroom learning. Developing a learning organisation no longer means feeding information from a top down structure but rather having knowledge available to those who seek it at the appropriate time.”
The recurring theme of people being the core of businesses successes and failures was also explored by acting chief director of National Artisan Development, Dr Florus Prinsloo, who spoke about the next generation of leaders providing an opportunity for enterprise. Key to his address at the Rising Star Summit was how knowledge management can take the tacit, which is the rawest of ideas, and turn it into the explicit, which is tangible workable ideas, that addresses South Africa’s skills shortage.
Says Dr Prinsloo: “This process can only be managed by brave leaders who dare to venture into the unknown in their quest to find innovative solutions.”
A brave leader who has led her organisation to a net asset value of R8-billion, Phuti Mahanyele, CEO of the Shanduka Group, debunked the myths of leadership and highlighted accountability as the real hallmark of successful leaders. She said, “Despite the challenges South Africa still face, it is still a land of opportunity. Successful emerging as well as established leaders invest in educating future leaders to ensure they have the platform on which to flourish.”
Laura Barker, managing director, Black Bark Production added “The ArcelorMittal Rising Star Summit is a natural progression from the awards ceremony hosted earlier this year. Through the Summit were able to analyse the changed world in which future leaders need to operate, provide insight from today’s leaders, showcase the leaders of the future, support future leaders in building their own global networks and explore the qualities leaders need to thrive in a new-look economy.”
The day concluded with a panel discussion, facilitated by CliffCentral.com’s Siya Sangweni-Fynn, featuring three of the 2015 Rising Star winners, Kristel Sampson, Michelle Ramnath and Lee Naik, who discussed their challenges as twenty first century leaders reaching the top.