Understanding your credit report: the 8 most-asked questions

Jeannine Naudé Viljoen, General Counsel at TransUnion

Johannesburg – If you’re not reading your free credit report, you could be putting your financial health at risk. But you’re not alone: according to the Credit Bureau Association, only 188 000 South Africans access their credit report every year – out of a total of 25 million credit-active consumers.

Regularly reviewing your credit report should be at the top of the list of your personal financial habits. It can tell you the state of your financial background, your personal payment history, and your creditworthiness. It even flags identity theft and consumer fraud. But to benefit from reviewing a credit report, you have to not only read and understand it, but know how to use the information it contains to your advantage.

What is a credit report?

A credit report is a record of your credit history and payment behaviour that is maintained by credit bureaus, such as TransUnion. It reflects a 24-month view on your account history and payment behaviour. It contains both positive and negative information about how you manage your credit. Your report details:

  • Personal information: Your name, ID, address, marital status, employment information and contact details.
  • Account information: A list of every bank and business that’s lent you money; your credit limits, loan amounts and how you are managing them in terms of payment.
  • Current financial information: Your level of debt, and how many times you’ve applied for credit recently.
  • Enquiries: Who has viewed your credit profile and for what purpose.
  • Negative information: Accounts where you have made late payment or no payment at all, court judgment and notices to name a few.

How does it get created?

Every month, lenders send information on your credit and loan history, and your payment record, to credit reporting companies like TransUnion. This information is then analysed to create your credit report.

What’s the difference between a credit report and a credit score?

Excellent question. Your credit score is formulated from the information contained in your credit report.

  • A credit report is a document that contains information about your financial history, and payment behaviour which could be both good and bad.
  • A credit score is a three-digit number provides a snapshot, is one of the factors that helps lenders evaluate how safe or risky you are as a customer. Remember, each lender will have their own criteria on how to assess your risk for your credit application.

Why is it important to have a good credit score?

Having a high credit score might help you to get a lower interest rate on credit products such as a house or vehicle loan. A credit report with negative listings such as defaults and judgments; as well as too many enquiries for loans or credit over a short period of time could result in a low credit score, which means you may pay a higher interest rate, or even be denied credit.

What affects my credit score?

The biggest influence on your credit score is your account payment history – that is, how you manage your accounts and whether you pay your accounts on time. Focus on paying the full instalment of every bill on time, so you’re offsetting past negatives with more recent positives. It also helps to maintain a healthy mix of credit – store accounts, credit cards, home loan, and service contracts such as cell phone accounts – to establish a good credit history.

Who views my credit report, and why?

When you apply for credit – like a home loan, a car loan, a new credit card, a clothing store account or a new cellphone contract – banks and lenders will access your credit report as one of the factors to assess if you’re suitable for credit. Other companies that may view your profile include insurance companies, landlords and even employers. But they need to get your permission first.

How do I access my credit report?

Good news: your credit reports are easy to obtain. You can download your Credit Report once every 12 months for free from TransUnion and other credit bureaus in the country.

Who do I speak to if I want to dispute items listed on my credit report?

Often, consumers have errors on their credit reports that affect their credit scores. Request your report and check for mistakes, such as payments marked late when you paid on time or negative information that’s out of date. If you see errors or discrepancies, you can contact either TransUnion on 0861 482 482 or the credit bureau you got your credit report from to lodge a dispute. Provide as much supporting documentation as possible, like receipts or evidence of payment. TransUnion will investigate and respond within the legislated 20 working day period.

What are you waiting for, download your Free TransUnion Credit Report today!

Editorial Contact:

ByDesign Communications

Motlotlo Mosiuoa

Tel: 010 593 4509

m.mosiuoa@bdcomms.co.za 9

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

CredoLab jumpstarts financial inclusion in SA using smartphone data

Tuesday 1 October 2019 – Johannesburg: Alternative credit scoring fintech company, CredoLab, has officially launched on the African continent with the signing of three new clients – two banks and a leading airtime credit provider.

Starting from South Africa, CredoLab is seeking to drive financial inclusion in emerging economies on the African continent by credit scoring more people, especially those who are new to bank and new to credit.

CredoLab announced that it has signed up one of the large banks and one of the new digital banks and is in negotiations with other large financial institutions, credit bureaus, and consumer lenders in South Africa.

Michel Massain, Sales Director for Europe and Africa at CredoLab says, “South Africa is a country desperately in need of ways to help more people access financial products and participate in the economy. It is estimated that about 76% of the Sub-Saharan African population has a need for credit but cannot access it, as they are excluded from the traditional banking sector.   

“You need a credit score to participate in the economy, but what about people who are new to credit and new to bank? How do they get a credit score? How can someone with no credit history get a credit score? And how can they start a business if they can’t lend money to do so?” asks Massain.

Many people in South Africa remain neglected by the mainstream financial sector and are invisible to lenders because of a lack of data for risk assessment. Existing options for the underbanked are limited, traditional credit scoring is inadequate, and as a result, many turn to informal money lending with excessive interest.

Says Massain, “CredoLab was launched in 2016 in Singapore with the goal of solving one problem: the lack of instruments available to assess the credit worthiness of nearly two billion consumers globally.

“By harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence applied to smartphone data, we enable financial institutions to grow by reaching new segments that they weren’t able to access through traditional systems, at a lower cost of risk, based on real time decisions.”

CredoLab collects more than 50 000 data points from a customer’s smart phone through a state-of-the-art propriety mobile technology, and turns them into more than 500 thousand behavioural features. Their collection process is always consensual and permissioned. The collected data is anonymised, securely stored within the country, and never shared with third parties. All digital scorecards are customised for clients, whose requirements, risk appetite and credit scoring thresholds are unique.

This use of non-traditional data and predictive analytics for credit scoring enables lenders to expand their pool of borrowers while keeping risks under control.

“Millennials, new graduates, self-employed and other thin credit history customers increasingly try to access credit, but to no avail. Here, digital scorecards help provide predictive insights into borrower behaviour, thereby redefining credit-decisioning,” adds Massain. 

Commenting on their vision for the country, CEO and Co-Founder of CredoLab, Peter Barcak says, “We are excited about our launch into South Africa, which is our gateway to the African continent where too many people remain locked outside of the mainstream economy because they do not have the credit history in the traditional sense to participate in it.”

With plans to expand further into other countries on the continent, Barcak adds, “Our hope is that CredoLab will help to remove a key barrier to entry in South Africa and complement traditional credit scoring systems with the power of behavioural data.”

In just three years, CredoLab has mushroomed to become an award-winning business delivering better credit decisions to 51 clients in 15 countries. It has powered almost USD 1-billion in loans issued after analysing about 1 trillion data points. Making granular credit assessments possible, their clients have seen results like 20% higher new to bank customer approvals, a 15% reduction in non-performing loans, and a 22% dip in fraud rate.

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

Government leaders throw weight behind Durban ICC Leadership

Leaders in government have lauded the Durban International Convention Centre’s efforts aimed at empowering leaders through hosting the landmark Durban ICC Leadership Summit taking place on 19 September 2019, featuring accomplished business leader and internationally acclaimed speaker Bishop TD Jakes.

The Leadership Summit is a platform where thought leaders will engage in a strategic dialogue about pressing leadership issues in South Africa. 

Bishop TD Jakes is the Keynote Speaker for the Summit and will also be imparting his business knowledge during a Masterclass session themed: “Principles to succeed in business”, in which he will discuss developing business leaders, entrepreneurship, developing successful businesses and building sustainable enterprises.

Leader of Government Business, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, who is also the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal has pledged her support for this event, which promises to be a thought-provoking Summit.

Other prominent speakers who will be engaging on various topics include Bishop Vusi Dube, Apostle Collins Dhlomo, Vivian Reddy, Pastor Phil Dooley, Dr Basil Tryon, Ms Zanele Mbokazi, Bishop Mosa Sono, Ms Nomusa Dhlomo and Dr Allen Joseph.

During the Summit Speakers will be discussing topics such as ethical leadership, transgenerational leadership, women in leadership, progressive leadership, and leading in difficult times.

Dube-Ncube who is passionate about women empowerment said she has always held the view that the economic well-being of a society cannot be achieved if women are massively underprivileged, particularly in the employment sector, compared to their male counterparts. 

She also believes that an economy cannot remain healthy without utilising the contributions and skills of women in different economic activities whether it’s education, health, engineering, construction, information technology, maritime, mining or automotive industry.
 
“It is for these reasons as the provincial government we are championing women empowerment programmes. The governing party in this province, has made significant progress in political representation of women in decision making, particularly at the provincial and local tier of government,” she said.

Dube-Ncube said there are different sectors of the economy that government has identified to drive radical economic transformation for the benefit of women across the province.  These sectors include manufacturing, tourism, automotive, mining, maritime as well as clothing and textile.

“We are serious about empowering women to get into these sectors of the economy. We commit to work with all government departments and municipalities to make it possible for women. The key issues that we need to discuss include how to speed up economic empowerment and skills development initiatives for women especially those in rural areas,” Dube-Ncube added.

EThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said he was pleased that EThekwini will host this Leadership Summit which will be instrumental in building both our business and community leaders in general to be better leaders. 

“This Summit could not have come at a better time when the country is repositioning itself to grow our economy. I have no doubt that the knowledge that will be imparted in this Summit by internationally acclaimed speaker and businessman Bishop TD Jakes will assist in addressing some of the challenges facing our country such as unemployment, poverty and inequality,” said Kaunda.

The one-day Summit will take place from 9am to 4pm. Tickets for the event are available through Computicket and package prices range from R500 to R5900 per person, and R6900 for the Masterclass ticket.

For more information about the Durban ICC Leadership Summit visit https://icc.co.za/event/durban-icc-leadership-summit-2019/<Image: It’ s all systems go for the inaugural Durban ICC Leadership Summit featuring Bishop TD Jakes including a host of other prominent leaders. This Summit taking place on 19 September 2019 promises to be a powerful interaction between pastors and business leaders.>


Issued by: The Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (Durban ICC)
For more information contact: Durban ICC Corporate Affairs Manager
Gugu Sisilana, Tel: 031 360 1302 or Email: GuguSisilana@icc.co.za
 

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

Tatami Tallies 53 Medals at SA Judo Championships

It
was an action packed week at the 2019 SA Judo Championships hosted by Sedibeng
at the Emerald Casino Resort from the 30th June to the 4th
of July.   The National Championships are held annually by Judo SA and
qualified judoka compete in their respective age and weight categories as
representatives of their provinces.

The
martial art known as the “gentle way” in Japanese is currently enjoying massive
growth in South Africa.  In addition to the
elite South African jukoda, this year the event included a section for novices.
The country’s premier judo event also attracted athletes from Angola, Botswana,
Congo, Mozambique, Namibia, USA and Zimbabwe with a total of 1400 competitors
competing for top honors during the week long competition where skill, strength
fitness, honour, respect and dignity were put to the test.

The
local Tatami Judo club based in Bryanston, lead by Sensei Basil Smith and representing
the Joburg Judo District, brought home a total of 53 medals from 39 athletes during
the week-long competition: 20 gold, 12 silver and 7 bronze. These medals were
achieved in the individual, team and kata events.

Tatami
judoka attend various schools in the area including; Beaulieu Preparatory,
Bryanston Primary, Bryanston High, German School, St Davids, Cooper College,
Kings, Bryanston Parallel, Dainfern, Parktown Boys, Curro Aurora and Bryneven
Primary.

Outstanding
achievements in winning gold medals and being crowned SA champion for 2019 in
their age and weight categories for advanced Judoka were: Thomas Baumann
(German School), James Hulett (St Davids), Cameron Jardim (Bryneven), Kendra de
Beer (Cooper College), Meegan Zomero (Bryneven) and Reinier Van der Bout. 

“The Tatami
Judo athletes shone this year with some fantastic performances and achievements
on the national stage.  The techniques
practiced and perfected over years of dedication and training were on display,
which is obviously very rewarding for me as their Sensei. Performing so well
under pressure is also testament to fitness, discipline and fortitude which is
what the sport is all about too.” said Basil Smith

According
to Smith “Judo is an ideal sport for both boys and girls of all ages. It
enhances the body’s core stability and strength.  Footwork and co-ordination learned here complement
the training for other sporting activities. In addition to physical fitness,
Judo boosts self-confidence, develops discipline, manners, punctuality,
strength, stamina, perseverance, tenacity, toughness and character – all great
preparation for life’s many challenges.”

Judo
is practiced by more than 20 million individuals. Not only is it the world’s
most popular combat sport, but in terms of sheer numbers, it is the second most
popular of all sports after soccer. In
1964, Judo was the first of the martial arts to be included as a medal sport in
the Olympic Games.

Tatami Judo Club was started by Sensei Basil Smith in 2007 and trains on Monday and Wednesday evenings at Bryanston Primary School.  For further information please email tatamijudo1@gmail.com.

 

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

Slow down with Joburg’s newest artisanal market

Cedar Square launches new Slow Market with a wide variety of stalls and entertainment for everyone

Markets and fairs are enjoying a growing wave of popularity as must-visit lifestyle destinations that feature organic foods, on-trend artisanal products, and a unique community spirit.

The artisanal hand-made ‘vibe’ has always been a counterpoint to mall culture, but South Africans have turned that trend on its head, with malls inviting markets in as ‘pop-up’ tenants – going even further in their quest to provide shoppers with all the resources they need.

The new Slow Market at Cedar Square in Fourways, welcoming more than 40 stall-holders each Saturday from 9h00 until 15h00, catering to the community which is increasingly looking for healthy, sustainable and authentic experiences.

Stalls include artisanal cheeses, delicious baked goods, pure honey, handmade leather goods and handsewn clothing, as well as art, crocheted toys and jewellery, among others.

The product range has been carefully curated to ensure that there are no mass-manufactured or poor-quality goods for sale, with each vendor committing to the ethos of ‘slow’, i.e. prepared by hand, using high-quality locally sourced ingredients or materials.

The stallholder mix has been designed to complement the products and services offered in Cedar Square, giving visitors to the centre the best of both worlds: the uniqueness of artisanal produce and goods, and the range of premium products and services expected in an upmarket retail setting.

“Participating in Cedar Square’s Slow Market is the ultimate opportunity for local makers and smaller brands to cultivate real connections with customers,” says Zoe van Onselen, Head of Marketing at Accelerate Property Fund, the centre’s owner. “It’s a great launch platform for new businesses, giving them the opportunity to engage directly with customers. The market is also a manageable and affordable way for entrepreneurs to showcase their products in more of a ‘pop-up’ context in a premium environment, rather than investing in a full-scale brick-and-mortar location. ”

The Cedar Square Slow Market is more than a regular market experience – regular live music performances add to the spirit and excitement of each morning, while scattered seating and tables offer comfortable resting areas for shoppers to take a break and enjoy a snack or craft drink.

Visit the Slow Market at Cedar Square every Saturday from 9h00 to 15h00. Vendors accept cards or cash, and visitors are encouraged to bring their own reusable shopping bags. For more information and a list of vendors, please contact Jacqui van den Berg.

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

Where to find your untapped profit potential…

 Let
us make the point that, it is not just one solution that works, but more a
number of simple solutions (let’s call them profit-drivers) that can be applied
throughout many areas of your business, to work in combination, and to drive
and multiply your bottom-line profits. 

A number
of years ago, Trevor Nel developed a series called the GROWTH PROFIT-DRIVERS,
which we would like to share with you.

The GROWTH
Profit-Driver Series

  1. Your PHILOSOPHY
  2. Your BUSINESS STRATEGY
  3. Your BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS
  4. Your BUSINESS OPERATING SYSTEM
  5. Your USP – UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION
  6. Your MARKETING STRATEGY
  7. Your PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
  8. Your SELLING PROCESS
  9. Your PEOPLE PROCESS
  10. Your CAPITAL RESOURCES

These
PROFIT-DRIVERS are very simple to apply, but it takes courage to make a
decision to actually apply them and learn from them, to proactively commit to
action them, and to persist with them long enough to see a trend or result
appearing.

 What
it takes is a good positive entrepreneurial attitude towards yourself to learning
new concepts, to looking at business principles in a new light, to your
business and staff, and to your current and prospective customer-base.

In essence
what we are saying is that, the key to successfully building your business is
to be found in your determination and enthusiasm to learn and implement the simple things and remember that life is
controlled by a very simple law called the Law of Cause and Effect.

It is the inevitable process that is the
thread throughout your business framework and methodologies, each step being a
cause, step or action that results in the ultimate effect or desired result.

The universal law
of cause and effect states that for every effect there is a
definite cause. So, if you decide on a desired effect, such as to run a
marathon, the causes or actions required are regular and specific training and
personal development that will allow you to achieve your desired effect, which
is to run the marathon.

The law of cause and effect relates to your thoughts as well. Your
thoughts express themselves through your behaviors and actions which create
specific effects that in turn manifest and create your life.
Negative thoughts will create negative behaviors; similarly, positive thoughts
will create positive behaviors.

If you are not happy with the effects or the results you are getting
in your business
, then you must change the causes or actions that
created them in the first place… which is the essence of what the book “The Fixer – simple ideas to grow your
business”
program is about, offering guidelines, rules, ideas and processes
to assist you in managing the causes.

The point of this process is to do the small
things extraordinarily well all the time and remember that consistency is the
key to successfully achieving your objectives.

This article is an excerpt from the book “The
Fixer – simple ideas to grow your business” by Iain Johnston and Trevor Nel 

For
more information and to purchase a copy of The Fixer contact Iain at iain@fccc.co.za


About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

Employee Engagement through management communications

One of the unique features of the ‘An Even Better Place to Work” (BP2W) engagement solution is the “Satisfaction at Work” (S@W) diagnostic, which allows individuals, in a team, department or group environment to measure their level of engagement around 7 key areas, and then more importantly take responsibility for addressing and improving the concern scores that are indicated through online speed training interventions, resources and supporting materials.

By having each team in the organisation complete the S@W diagnostic, it provides even more meaning for senior leaders who are able to see the levels of engagement across their teams and in so doing, gives them an indication of the effectiveness of their leadership.

An elegant way to grow leadership across the business is for the MD/GM/directors to have conversations with division leaders about the S@W scores for their part of the business, division leaders can then have conversations with team leaders and then team leaders with individual team members.

What is happening in some organisations (which is encouraging) is the MD puts aside an afternoon and invites all the division leaders to present the S@W data for their part of the business to the leadership team. This ensures the leadership team has up-to-date people data and can make interventions to ensure there are no people crises.

We spend lots of money supporting IT, preventing computer breakdowns and under- performance. How much is spent supporting people, preventing their under-performance? We need to take a different approach to leadership, employee engagement and the art of ‘simply getting the best` from people, by utilising, empowering and developing junior and middle managers in the art of engagement, as they are best positioned to engage at team level.  Using this approach the question constantly asked by the people and their teams is “What are we going to do?” not “What is management going to do?” The result is that BP2W is 5% diagnostic and a 95% people solution that is driven by individuals not management.

But I don’t have the time you might say! People come to work to have their needs met. If their needs are not met in the workplace you can expect, higher absenteeism, blame, criticism and increased disengagement. If all your people ever hear is management’s agenda and the business agenda but never their own agenda, expect them to disengage and underperform.


Leading your people and getting the best from them is about connecting with their needs. Do you know the needs of your people? If not how can you lead them effectively?

To take the ‘hit and miss’ out of your leadership, talk to your people about their needs – What are their needs? – Are they being met? – What can be done about it?

“But I haven’t time for these conversations, we need to deliver the numbers” There is always pressure to deliver the numbers and your ability to deliver these numbers is linked to how motivated your people are. That motivational energy flows from people’s needs being met.

Do you know the motivational needs of your team? “But I don’t have the time” you reply, which is a bit like saying “I want to go to Durban, but I haven’t the time to travel”. In other words leadership is not going to happen. You just cannot lead effectively if you don’t connect with the needs of your people.

If you genuinely cannot find the time to get to know the needs of your people, you may wish to discuss this issue with management. For leadership to happen, we need to budget time for people to lead and resource them – give them a system, tools and information.

Adapted from a post by Shay McConnon CEO of McConnon International and our website www.anevenbetterplacetowork.com

For more information www.anevenbetterplacetowork.com  or contact Iain Johnston on 0834104440 or iain@ijc.co.za

THE UNDERLYING MODEL OF LEADERSHIP

Leadership is about individualising not universalising. It is responding to the specific needs of an individual rather than behaving in standard, generic ways.

Leadership is complex. It is not realistic to expect one person to be “getting it right” for his/her colleagues no matter how many leadership courses they have attended. Leadership is likely to be most effective when viewed as a partnership between the leader and the led. When people are willing to engage and take ownership for being led rather than sitting back and expecting the team leader to be solely responsible for leading.

Do we pass ownership for my health to my doctor? Of course not! While the doctor is a significant resource in maintaining my health, we are responsible for my own well-being. Do we pass ownership for our appreciation and motivation levels onto our team leader? This happens in the “entitlement” culture where people blame others for not meeting their expectations and often do little themselves.

At the heart of the An Even Better Place to WorkTM solution is this engagement of colleagues and people taking ownership for their issues and Satisfaction @ Work levels. This will only work in a culture where people are open, welcome feedback and connect with each other’s needs. It is precisely this culture that An Even Better Place to WorkTM is designed to create.

It is in the context of joint responsibility for leading and being led that leadership across the company grows. This model of shared leadership will not only improve satisfaction levels for your staff but will free up your managers’ time to focus on the strategic side of their role.

The question constantly asked is “What am I going to do?” not “What is management going to do?”

THE 7 KEY INDICATORS

The approach uses seven indicators to measure Employee Engagement and by implication the impact of leadership in your company. 

People who are well led:

  1. Feel Valued – they feel appreciated and appropriately rewarded – people believe in them – they are made to feel special and hence they act special.
  2. Are Open – they are receptive to new ideas and engage in genuine two-way communication – can talk freely about a wide range of topics including those delicate and difficult issues.
  3. Engage in Feedback – they recognise the importance of regular constructive feedback to improving performance levels.
  4. Are Motivated – their abilities are recognised and utilised – they have positive feelings about the job and their colleagues and have an intrinsic drive to achieve and support each other.
  5. Manage Differences – they create collaborative relationships with colleagues and ensure that differences are not allowed to get in the way but are seen as a source of strength.
  6. Take Ownership – they take ownership for getting their needs met rather than moan behind backs. They view leadership as a partnership and take joint responsibility with the leader for being led.
  7. Are Conflict Free – they engage in proactive feedback and hence dysfunctional conflict is minimised and time is not wasted.

An Even Better Place to WorkTM quickly creates a well-led, motivated and highly productive workforce. For more information contact iain on 0834104440 or iain@ijc.co.za

Adapted from a post by Shay McConnon CEO of McConnon International and our website www.anevenbetterplacetowork.com

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

Want to stir up your working world?

Start by asking a different question

The thought experiment goes like this: imagine a hypothetical factory that is subdivided into areas of specialty. Each area has its own boss, and they, in turn, are watched over by a foreman from above. The chief executive of this hypothetical factory is a dedicated man with a performance orientation, arriving early and leaving late every day, and personally making all of the important decisions in between…

Ricardo Semler, the CEO of a highly-creative company called Semco in Brazil, likes to pain this picture when he addresses audiences. And they find nothing strange about this – it’s a typical pyramid-shaped business with hierarchical structures of authority. That is, until Semler reveals that he is describing an actual English textile factory that existed a long time ago. In 1633, to be precise.

Why, he rightly asks, given the advent of computer technology, automated machinery, rapid new product development and efficient global communication, do we still work this way? That’s how we worked before there were complete maps of planet earth!

Inherited thought is invisible

The answer is: Because the thinking that gets handed down to us becomes invisible to us. It is an extremely human behavioural pattern to do things the way they’ve always been done, on the merit that they have always been done that way. Over time, the goals may change. But the behaviours that informed the original goals remain, adding the burden of senseless labour and the cost of time to our processes.

Studies are increasingly showing that disruptive innovation almost always comes from outside of an industry, and rarely from within. That’s because individuals who did not inherit ‘the way things have always been done’ can often see more clearly, unburdened by precedent.

So how can you buck this trend? How could you disrupt your own industry from within?

In ‘They’re Your Rules, Break Them!’ I suggest asking a different question. Here’s the psychology. If you pre-load a scenario with an alternative question, you will cause yourself to see it differently. By way of a simple example, if you go into a sales scenario consciously asking yourself the question: ‘What’s interesting about each participant’s body language in this meeting?’ you might then notice specific information that you may not have registered otherwise.

Which question?

Perhaps the strongest question to ask, in order to intentionally disrupt your own business, and your own industry, is: ‘What’s awful about us?’

By wilfully seeking out soft-spots, sore-points, bones of contention and customer complaints, you pour into your mill the gristle necessary for serious innovation.

Track your customers’ experience. Begin before they even encounter you. What do they have to do? What must they go through? And what’s awful, ugly or inefficient about it? Innovate there. You just may change things in ways that your competitors never considered.

Douglas Kruger specialises in dismantling needless rules. A business coach and author of 6 books with Penguin Random House, including ‘They’re Your Rules, Break Them!’, he speaks locally and internationally on the topic of disruptive innovation and how to reduce your own rules in order to achieve it. Douglas is also a multiple award-winning speaker, who was inducted into the ‘Speakers Hall of Fame’ in 2016. See him in action at www.douglaskruger.com.

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

How to run an Awesome Small Business: When is a plan not a plan?

The answer is when it is a business or financial plan.

Sometimes it’s hard to run a small business.  Where are all the good people to be found? Why are they so expensive when you do find them? Who to trust? Why aren’t you making any money again this month?  How on earth have you just lost that key customer?

A business plan, complete with sales projections and growth plans, is probably something you wrote in order to raise some bank money and you’ve not necessarily looked at it since.

A financial plan is something you might have created to pitch to investors somewhere along the way.  Maybe you’ve looked at and acted on it in small ways since.

Chances are that neither these plans, nor any others that you’ve created, are live working documents, because they are written looking forwards and they were mostly created to fulfil a particular need at a particular moment in time. Their value usually does not extend very far beyond meeting that need.

As a small business owner you need to think differently about your plans by creating and committing to a different sort of plan, a strategic, lived and acted-upon plan which will form the heart of your thinking. This plan must help you to:

  • Define your most valuable customers
  • Map sales by your products and services
  • Align forecasts to both existing and new customers
  • Establish real sales targets 
  • Work out exactly what activities, skills and systems you need.

Most small business owners fall into one of a few traps when it comes to business planning.

  • They don’t plan at all
  • They don’t know how to plan, so their plan does not cover the questions and actions that will improve their chances to succeed.
  • They plan but do not go back weekly, monthly, quarterly to check that what they are doing is in line with achieving their plans.

One of the easiest ways to make sure that you do not fall into these traps is to get a trusted advisor into your business management habits. This could be a friend or family member, but they are usually not completely honest because they believe it will spare your feelings.

The better way is to join a network of like-minded individuals, such as the Fourways Community Chamber (see them on Facebook) or mentoring groups, or to engage a business consultant or coach.  These advisors and networking groups should be selected on their ability to bring the right questions to the discussion, and their willingness to be honest with you to make sure you stay on track.

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

Communicating through 0’s and 1’s

Reducing human interaction to a string of digits – the great misconception.

In an already highly digitised environment, corporate environments need to mindfully adapt their approach to engagement, with employees, stakeholders and customers.  The approach that needs to be taken is wilful adaptation.  This means that corporate environments should only progress with digital advancement if they have sufficient resources, capacity and capability to manage developments that come with the advent of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and the 4IR (4th Industrial Revolution).  

A simple example is activating social media platforms, when as a business you do not have the capacity to respond to your audience.  It is far wiser to not engage on social media at all, than to be seen as an unresponsive and unengaged business.  In addition corporates need to understand the implications of instant, messages that are not in-line with business values can have devastating consequences for corporate reputation.  Businesses should also ensure that implementing advanced communication platforms should never replace person-to-person communication but rather compliment it.  This is often where corporate environments fail.  Social media should never take-away from existing constructive stakeholder engagement platforms. 

It is less about the exchange of human intervention for AI and far more about being mindful of the impact that the removal of person-to-person engagement has on the psyche of the individual in a corporate environment.  Already, there has been a significant reduction in telephonic and face-to-face communication, which has been replaced by e-mail and instant messaging, with the addition of even more instant highly advanced sharing of information, the risk for a person to process information becomes greater as technology develops. 

In an already highly digitised environment, people are currently unable to cope with the large amounts of information churned out daily, thus we are already living in an environment where people rapidly scan information for personal applicability and taste.  This has already greatly impacted the advertising industry as it is almost impossible for individuals to pay attention.  Often this high overload of information is why employees and stakeholders believe that corporate environments fail to communicate, there is far too much information for employees to constructively extract meaningful information. 

The added concern with the dramatic advancement in technology without acknowledging the disruption to human relations is that people are already so consumed with digital that they forget what it means to look someone in the eye while having a meaningful conversation.  The more accustomed people become to reducing interaction to words on a screen, the more removed they will become from the spirit of humanism.

In order to protect good corporate cultures, business leaders should therefore apply wilful transcendence that is aligned to the strategic intent of the business. 

Deirdre Tholet

SMC Incorporated

083 324 3163

deirdre.tholet@smcinc.co.za

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020