BE TRUTHFUL TO THE TRUTH (Reflections of apartheid – 1995) A poem by Ian Fuhr Did I raise my voice when others were not heard Did I break the laws to prove they were absurd Did I opt for silence or...
John and Lerato are coworkers at the same organisation. Lerato has been feeling chronically stressed at work. She thinks her manager expects her to be available 24/7 and she becomes anxious if she...
Complaining about ‘reverse racism’ and BEE serves no one. South Africa’s white youth should be focusing on entrepreneurship instead. Johannesburg: 45 years ago, on the 16th of June 1976,...
When I launched Sorbet in 2004, I had a culture framework that I had spent decades designing and testing, learning as I went along. The result was that I had a very clear idea around the type of...
Ian Fuhr: 100% focused on helping South African organisations to build strong company culturesBy Charndré Emma Kippie for Topco Media
Ian Fuhr: 100% focused on helping South African organizations to build strong company cultures By Charndré Emma Kippie Serial Entrepreneur and Founder of the Sorbet Group and The Hatch...
Business: Forget empty Freedom Day platitudes, take action instead South Africa has many things to be proud of. It was 27 years ago when we successfully transitioned from the apartheid regime into a...
In the United States, Boss’s Day is celebrated on the 16th of October. This year however, it would be amiss not to address the changes that COVID-19 has brought to our working environments and the...
The great leaders of today serve the people who are serving the people. What does this look like in organisations across South Africa? After ten months of COVID-19 turmoil and trying to find a firm...
Culture has always been a critical factor in business success, but after the disruptions of the past year this topic is firmly front and centre of many business discussions and strategy meetings....
Before launching Sorbet, which grew to become one of South Africa’s top beauty salon groups, I developed the culture framework around obsessive customer service that would be the cornerstone of the...
3 Steps to a Stronger 2021: Focus on Your People for Healthier BusinessBy Ian Fuhr for Goodthingsguy.com
Business owners should focus on their employees this year and 2021 will lay the foundation for a stronger, healthier business. South Africa (22 January 2021) – It’s an understatement to say...
It's difficult to say what the long-term repercussions of 2020 will be. My hope is that even though we are still struggling through the emotional, physical, and economic impact of the Covid-19...
6 tips to creating a happy workforce who deliver exceptional customer serviceBy Ian Fuhr for Bizcommunity.com
The last few weeks of any year are always characterised by exhausted teams who are looking forward to a holiday. This year we've been under more personal, professional and financial pressure than...
As a nation, how do we move from hopelessness to hopefulness?South African mindsets need a fundamental shift if we are to revive hope in the future of our country.
South Africa is currently in a race for hope. After the glory and expectations of 1994 and how we all collectively reached for the elusive dream of a Rainbow Nation, it’s painful to watch the overwhelming negativity and sense of hopelessness that has infused the hearts and minds of many South Africans.
We are still a nation at war with ourselves, even if we don’t like to admit itAs a nation, we can’t heal ourself until we face race relations head on.
In 1994, I wrote an article for The People Dynamics magazine. In it I stated that ‘the ‘eggshell issues’ of racial discrimination, bias, prejudice and stereotyping, till now far too sensitive to discuss openly, need to become the subject of continuous debate at all levels of the organisation.’
How to approach unavoidable retrenchments5 ways to approach your employees when you can no longer avoid retrenchments due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
As an organization, Hatch Institute believes in always putting people first. This means that on the whole, we do not support the idea that corporates should retrench people to save costs and to protect their bottom line. A healthy economy that we can all benefit from requires employed people who are earning a salary and can therefore spend money.
Your business can weather Covid-19 if you focus on cultureFrom large to small, businesses across the board have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Here’s how we believe you can weather the storm.
Even though lockdown restrictions have eased, and most businesses and industries have reopened, we know that we’re still far from being out of the woods. Economists are predicting another recession and there is no doubt that South Africa’s economy is depressed.
Ending racism in business is an economic imperativeWe cannot wait for government. As business leaders, we need to solve our economic crisis ourselves.
A white person in South Africa writing about racism is like a criminal talking to the victim about integrity. As a white South African, born during the apartheid years, I question my right to even discuss the matter. I also struggle with the guilt of not having done more to challenge the status quo during the apartheid years, and worry if I will ever earn the credibility of black people.
3 Lessons in Building a Strong Culture from Brimis EngineeringA strong culture that delivers exceptional customer service begins at the top, with leaders serving their employees.
When Andile Nqandela left his corporate job to launch Brimis Engineering, it was because he had spotted a clear gap in the market and an opportunity for change in the corporate culture that predominated in the engineering sector.
Racial polarisation: the undying curse of our countryIt’s time for South Africa to face racism head on if we want to build a strong, inclusive economy.
A global pandemic, world-wide recession, spiking unemployment, and glaring inequalities shape South Africa’s current reality. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by negativity. However, we are at the precipice of a new world order, where humanity and inclusion will take priority over individual greed and wealth accumulation.
The Race to Change in the BoardroomBusiness leaders who understand the critical need to embrace board level diversity will build the businesses of tomorrow.
I grew up participating in the school protests during the 1980s on the Cape Flats in Cape Town. The burning sensation of tear gas, the angry voices, riot police and the all-encompassing violent clashes with the inevitable brutal arrests that followed were scary, unrelenting and real.
How do we get comfortable with the uncomfortable?Let’s talk about Race Relations within a business context, and why we need to begin this powerful, uncomfortable and above-all necessary journey.
We are all biased, whether we like it or not, and whether we accept it or not. It is part of the human condition. The problem is that if unconscious bias is left unchecked, it can have an insidious way of eroding our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and, as a result, the conclusions we draw and act upon.
Important Culture Levers in a Time of CrisisNow more than ever, what we say we do as leaders, and what we actually do, becomes critical. Organisations can no longer hide behind a good story of how great their culture is, with a well-worded core values poster placed strategically on the reception wall. It is April 2020 and we are living through a pandemic. This ‘new normal’ has forced thousands of people into working remotely and for many, in isolation.
Now more than ever, what we say we do as leaders, and what we actually do, becomes critical. Organisations can no longer hide behind a good story of how great their culture is, with a well-worded core values poster placed strategically on the reception wall. It is April 2020 and we are living through a pandemic. This ‘new normal’ has forced thousands of people into working remotely and for many, in isolation.
South Africa requires a new breed of business leaderFinding a compromise between profits and employment is a social, moral and economic imperative
For many years I have advocated the business approach of ‘people before profit’. I’ve always believed that if you focus on people and service, profit will follow, but if you focus on profit instead, people become a cost burden. The resulting culture is not conducive to great customer service because people end up feeling like things, and without the commitment and support of people, profit becomes an elusive objective.
Cultureneering and a new breed of South African leaderCultureneering and Culture-Driven Leaders are the solution that South African businesses are looking for to build stronger teams, customer loyalty and overall business growth. Here’s how it works.
I have spent more than 40 years building businesses and coaching business leaders and management teams around the importance of culture within their organisations.
The 4 Phases of Community Building in your businessThe most successful companies in the world are based on strong internal communities – but building a real rainbow community is tough. Here’s the framework you’ll need to follow to get there.
When we were building and running Sorbet, our greatest focus, challenge and ultimately success came from the community we were able to build and maintain.
How to spot toxic employees before they destroy your businessLearn to understand who the ‘I Specialists’ are in your business so that you can stop them from eroding your culture – and killing your employee morale.
If you’re familiar with the Hatch Institute or our previous business, Sorbet, you’ll know that we believe the cornerstone of a successful business is building a rainbow community. This is the foundation of our Cultureneering philosophy and business framework.
How to build a high-performing rainbow communityInstead of trying to ignore South Africa’s unique diversity, embrace it, and give your business a super power that will lead to success.
There is no way to avoid the unique and specific socio-political environment we operate within in South Africa.
When you put people before profits, the profits will followStop focusing on the bottom line. If you put your people first, the bottom line will take care of itself.
While many businesses say they put people before profits, in reality it’s a statement that challenges the conventional business paradigm, which states that in order to run a successful business, you need to focus on the bottom line.
Reward great service and your employees will deliver exceptional customer experiencesSpoiler alert: Most people are not financially driven. Yes, certain needs have to be met, but most employees want to be happy in the workplace and to be recognized for their efforts. Do that, and your business will soar.
When I speak to business owners and management teams, one of the most common problems (or complaints) I hear is staff-related, usually relating to under-performing employees who make mistakes or just ‘aren’t doing their jobs’.
The 4 Pillars of an unbreakable company cultureIf you want to deliver exceptional service to customers, you need to start with the people who are custodians of that service: your employees.
Our greatest assets are our people. Your people are looking for a home where they can be valued as contributors. Are you giving it to them?
Happy employees have purpose – and purpose translates into profitsHere’s the truth about Higher Purpose-focused business: Translated into basic numbers, a 5% increase in employee satisfaction can lead to an increase in up to 20% in profits.
No great career ever started with a lack of self-belief. When we were building Sorbet, we understood that if our employees (whom we called citizens) believed that their purpose was to touch lives, then they would find meaning in their own lives and would strive to achieve bigger things. Rewards naturally follow this mindset, and financial security becomes a reality.
Storytelling is your most powerful tool – are you using it to build your business?Stories are an unparalleled way to lead by inspiration. When we share and celebrate stories of hope and achievement in an environment that we have created, we connect with everyone around us.
I once saw a plaque at a restaurant that read: “Drink wine because no great story ever started with a salad.” I began my Cultureneering journey three decades ago. There have been many books and individuals who have influenced the way I have developed my leadership style, my understanding of what Cultureneering and Culture-Driven Leadership is, and how powerful it can be for the successful and sustainable growth of an organization.
Create a culture that’s built to serve peopleCulture-Driven Leadership is all about putting your people first – so that they in turn put your customers first. If you want an organization that’s passionate about service, you need to become a Cultureneer that focuses on people first.
If customer service is important to you (and in today’s competitive environment where all customers are spoilt for choice, it should be), then you need to build a culture that is based on passionately serving people.
5 Ways to build a strong culture that drives successSuccess isn’t measured by top-line growth. It’s measured by your employees, how passionate they are about serving your customers, and how driven everyone is to succeed together.
Reg Lascaris, a truly great entrepreneur in the advertising world and co-founder of Hunt Lascaris, which later became TBWA, once told me that culture eats strategy for breakfast.
The single most important mindset shift you can make about trainingAre you training your people to see an ROI, or to improve their lives, and the love they give your customers as a result? The difference can mean the difference between training success – and failure.
When we train and develop people in the working environment, who are we doing it for – us or them? This is a key question I have asked over the years, both as a business owner and a consultant working with blue-chip clients when I ran Labour Link in the 1990s.