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10 December 2014


CASE STUDY: Afrika Tikkun: an astounding culture shift in one year

Afrika Tikkun is one of the largest NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in South Africa, employing 551 people in six centres.

After one year of concerted effort within Afrika Tikkun, before- and after- surveys conducted by an independent organisation, Mindset Management Programs, have shown that whereas staff were relatively under-committed to the organisation previously at 27% (compared to Mindset’s South African national average of 29%), a year later employee engagement had soared to 59%. This shift was described by Mindset as “astounding”.

Leonie van Tonder, chief operating officer (COO) of Afrika Tikkun, was appointed to this position in July 2013. She previously headed up one of the business units of one of South Africa’s leading banks, First National Bank, until 2009, when she retired.

Van Tonder accepted the position of COO of Afrika Tikkun on the express condition that the Care and Growth model would be implemented by Legitimate Leadership in Afrika Tikkun. She had previously implemented the model in her section of First National Bank.

Legitimate Leadership implemented Care and Growth programmes with all of Afrika Tikkun’s management over the 12 months, starting with the executive management. All management staff participated in two-day Care and Growth workshops. These initial introductions were comprehensively followed up with 10 days (a day per month) of coaching sessions to help managers internalise the philosophy and practice it in their everyday management of staff and programmes on site.

Van Tonder says that in the “dramatic change” that was shown by the Mindset surveys

some key actions made a lot of difference, namely:

• If you want staff opinions, ask them – not the human resources department.

• Staff will only trust you if you prove by your actions that they can rely on you.

• Do not ask staff for their opinions and then fail to do anything about them.

• Establish the legitimacy of leaders in their respective roles in the organisation by respecting and supporting their decisions in word and action. You don’t always have to agree with them, but get out of their way!

• Executive management needs to be visible and must NOT interfere. Nothing demotivates and disempowers a manager more than staff receiving instructions from others.

• Appreciate and praise staff in public for tasks well performed.

• Censure in private. Never do to another which you would not appreciate when done to you.

• DO NOT celebrate mediocrity – you devalue high standards and affect morale.

• Be authentic and true to your values.”



AWARD: Johnson Matthey site: recognised for continuous improvement

In July 2014, the Smithfield, USA, site of Johnson Matthey was recognised for its progress in using continuous improvement methods – it achieved the group’s MEER (Manufacturing Excellence Efficiency Recognition) Silver Standard. The site’s continuous improvement programme was responsible for an approximately £2.8 million impact on costs and revenue, according to a report in Johnson Matthey USA’s internal newsletter, Insight.

The newsletter says: “The most impressive part of Smithfield’s continuous improvement programme was its integration with the Care and Growth model that lies at the heart of most of the site’s activities … Successful CI (continuous improvement) requires an empowered and engaged workforce and everything that Smithfield does begins with building that cultural ground work. Many of the barriers that impede similar CI initiatives (resistance to change, doubt, ‘carrot and stick’ method) have been avoided, allowing the site to quickly transform its culture into one of teamwork, empowerment and self-motivation. With its emphasis in allowing employees to lead the change, Care and Growth dovetailed nicely with the CI programme.”

Legitimate Leadership is applying Care and Growth across a number of sites and organisations within the wider Johnson Matthey group – including in Britain, Macedonia, the USA and Mexico.

Johnson Matthey is a specialty chemicals company with operations in over 30 countries and around 9,000 employees worldwide. Its principal activities include the manufacture of autocatalysts, heavy duty diesel catalysts, pollution control systems and the marketing, refining and fabrication of precious metals. Johnson Matthey is a FTSE 100 company; in 2014 it won the prestigious title of Britain’s Most Admired Company in Management Today’s annual awards – even though it is not a company commonly known to consumers.


ARTICLE: When we focus only on the result, it’s the result that suffers

By Ian Munro

It seems sensible: if it’s results you want, then your focus needs to be – on results. In fact, you should be single-minded about it.

It seems so obvious – so indeed this is the way which most people and organisations currently operate.

But the Care and Growth Model argues that a single-minded focus on the end result is problematic – especially one which fails to explicitly recognise the importance of the actions, motivations and learnings which ultimately combine to deliver the outcome.

Make no mistake; the result is still important – very – but rather as a means than an end.

But (as in the Care and Growth Model) I learned in my previous career in information technology (IT) that a single-minded focus on the end result in IT systems development often creates more problems than it solves. The world is so complex, and changes so quickly, that by the time the system you so painstakingly designed is implemented, it is no longer relevant.

In leadership and software development we can reach the same conclusion regarding the result: keep it in mind, but understand that it is actually just the outcome reached because of the incremental contribution made.


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