Daily Archives: August 31, 2016

YPO Leaders Share Insights into Building an Optimal Board of Directors

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Aug. 31, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — YPO, the premier chief executive leadership organization in the world, hosted a live Twitter chat discussing best practices and innovative strategies to create an optimal board of directors.

Featured guests included YPO members and experienced board advisors Bernie Tenenbaum (@exprof2), founder and managing partner of Lodestone Global, and Carl Bates (@CarlBates), CEO of Sirdar Global Group and co-founder of Contribution Compass.

Bates and Tenenbaum kicked off the hour-long interactive session focusing on the most effective strategies and best practices of creating an impactful board of directors for business of any size and structure.

“Complexity is key – simple businesses with a local orientation might find it too expensive to justify,” noted Tenenbaum. “More complex businesses benefit from insight, resources and perspectives that differ from the owner or management. It’s a simple cost benefit. Everyone can benefit from a different viewpoint.”

Bates added: “Not every business needs one – it depends on the objectives of the company, shareholders and other stakeholders. Founders need to understand the changes having a board brings, but also the benefits that come with it.”

When asked about the appropriate range of responsibilities of board members, Bates said, “Directors must understand the company, provide insight, attend meetings and do their preparation! Ultimately, the board is the compass – management is there to do the climbing. Directors must understand the work that occurs outside the boardroom – where the value can often be found.”

Tenenbaum added, “Be the landscape architect, not the gardener. Remember: the meeting starts where the board book ends. The key to board contribution starts with clarity of vision and strategic alignment with reality and management.”

Both Tenenbaum and Bates agreed that diversity is key in structuring an effective board, and that those board members representing  experiences, skills and perspectives from varied industries and backgrounds prove to be invaluable.

“Diversity is absolutely critical – whether it be gender, background or skills and experience,” said Bates. “In appointing boards, we focus a lot on the balance of natural energy, too, the diversity of focus.”

“More than 90 percent of boards with at least one woman director reported that their companies increased revenues by an average of 35 percent since the participant joined the board,” said Tenenbaum. “More importantly, it’s just obvious that group intelligence is improved by diversity.”

Tenenbaum and Bates reinforced the importance of selecting those individuals who have a vision for the future and will challenge the status quo.

“Design your board to support where you’re going, not where you are today,” said Tenenbaum. “Wayne Gretzky famously explained his success as ‘skating to where the puck was going!’

“You want the people who challenge (and upset you),” said Bates. “Founder/managers often will steer clear of the challengers they really need on their board – that’s the value.”

Finishing the chat, Bates and Tenenbaum shared their advice on creating a more engaged board, agreeing that the best practice is to get members involved and invested.

“Encourage disagreements, reward differing viewpoints and align around a strategy, commented Tenenbaum. “Relationships precede transactions: expose the board to your team, and encourage interaction between meetings!”

Search #YPOLeadership on Twitter to view the full discussion with @YPO.

About YPO

YPO is a global community of chief executives dedicated to becoming Better Leaders through Lifelong Learning and Idea ExchangeTM. We create trusted spaces where leaders gather, connect, share and grow. The YPO platform provides more than 25,000 members in more than 130 countries – representing diversified industries and types of businesses – with access to extraordinary educational opportunities, alliances with leading institutions, and interest-based communities to support their businesses, communities and families. For more information, visit ypo.org .

Linda Fisk
Office: +1 972 629 7305 (United States)
Mobile: +1 972 207 4298 


An independent body will investigate claims of racism, the deployment of police and security forces at Pretoria High School for Girls.

The investigation should be concluded in 21 days and the department will take action following the recommendation of the investigation, the Gauteng Education Department said on Tuesday.

This comes after Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi’s visit to the school on Monday to address the concerns that were raised by learners.

The MEC had a variety of meetings with the School Management Team (SMT), learners as well as the School Governing Body (SGB) and parents.

Some of the concerns raised by learners were that the use of African languages on the school premises was not permitted, yet the other learners were allowed to express themselves in Afrikaans.

Learners also raised concerns over not being allowed to wear hairstyles such as Afros. Furthermore, the learners feel that educators use abusive and demeaning language when they address them regarding their hairstyles.

Learners also experienced racial abuse and victimisation by both white educators and white learners, in particular the use of hurtful terms such as monkeys, kaffir and being told they belong at Mamelodi High and not at Pretoria Girls.

Management and senior officials in the school deal flippantly with or in ignore learners’ complaints about racial abuse and victimisation, the department said.

The harassment and victimisation is not only limited to the schoolgrounds, but at school excursions as well.

In the meantime, the department said the Code of Conduct of the school must be reviewed and the clause dealing with hairstyles should be suspended.

The group that will review the Code of Conduct must include as wide a representation of the school community as is practicably possible. The emerging Code of Conduct must be workshopped with all stakeholders at the school, especially learners, the department said.

The provincial department will provide psychological and related social services to counsel the learners for the trauma they appeared to have suffered.

It must be stressed that none of the learners, who reported the prevalence of racial and emotional abuse at the school, will be intimidated. The SGB and the school management team must do their level best to directly address what appeared as a serious trust deficit between themselves and the learners, the department said.

Additionally, the Group of Eminent Persons in the Premier’s Office, assisted by the Department of Basic Education Social Cohesion Branch, should assist in dealing with challenges related to social cohesion, race relations and diversity management.

This should include the conservative ethos and doctrinal make-up of the school in general.

The terms of reference for addressing challenges related to social cohesion, race relations and diversity management must be submitted to the MEC within 21 days.

Learners must submit their written submissions to the Office of the MEC not later than Friday, 2 September 2016. The MEC will further apply his mind on these submissions and where necessary, seek clarification and/or rebuttal from the SMT and/or the SGB of the school. This interaction must be completed with 21 days, the department said.

The matters that must be dealt with immediate effect, include the return of cell phones which were confiscated. This must be done within 24 hours.

The mocking of learners’ hairstyles must cease, pending the finalisation of the review and amendment of the Code of Conduct.

The mocking of African learners’ for usage of their mother tongue also needs to stop.

The learners’ unqualified right to quality basic education must be ensured at all times. Teaching and learning must occur in a conducive and safe environment. To that end lessons must continue uninterrupted, the department said.


South Africa: Deputy Minister Pamela Tshwete Hands Over School Uniforms to Learners At Frankfort

Today Deputy Minister Mrs. Pamela Tshwete of the Department of Water and Sanitation in collaboration with the Department of Social Development, Amathole District and Amahlathi Local Municipalities as well as South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) handed over sets of school uniforms to the learners at Zamukukhanya Lower and Higher Primary School in Frankfort.

A total of 102 learners received sets of brand new school uniforms. This came as a result of the merger between Zamukukhanya and another school from Hokwana Village within Frankfort. The intervention was made to bring uniformity in the school because the learners’ parents could not afford to buy the new uniform. With the assistance of SASSA, the department managed to secure uniforms for learners that joined the school.

Further, 100 community members also received hippo water rollers and another 100 were given 20l buckets to carry water. The criteria focused on the elderly and sick people who are really struggling. The Deputy Minister pleaded with the community of Frankfort to conserve water especially because there is drought and rain is scarce. The Deputy Minister promised to give the school water tanks to harvest rain water and promote water conservation.

Source: South African Government.

South Africa: Couple in the Dock for R1.1 Million Fraud

Mathakha David Madzivhandila (40) and his 36-year-old wife, Hilda Lutendo Madzivhandila, were on Monday granted R5 000 bail each by the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court following their arrest earlier in the day for fraud.

The couple allegedly approached the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and applied for funding to develop their business. They provided the institution with fraudulent documents which left the IDC suffering a loss of R1.1 million.

The duo would also source quotations from suppliers and service providers and alter the quoted amount to be claimed from IDC. The Vosloorus couple will be in the dock again on 15 September 2016.

Source: South African Police Service.