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Power of perception in business

On the 20th of June 2022, UKZN Extended Learning hosted suppliers from Spring Lights Compressed Natural Gas (SLCNG) for the second module of the Supplier Development Programme, Essentials for Business. This entrepreneurship-oriented module assisted delegates in gaining the skills necessary to be innovative leaders and the knowledge to thrive in business, management and entrepreneurship. Delegates will be better prepared to assertively contribute to business discussions. During this module, the topics surrounding lean value stream management, the fundamental ways to win, and financial ratios formed key discussion points.

Individuals involved in business must be aware of the impact their decisions have with regard to functionality, finance and management. The onus lies in the entire team working collaboratively. This will determine the extent to which the business succeeds or fails. As a business owner, you need to be aware of the consequences of your actions, particularly when making business decisions with operational implications. Leaders must have an enlightened and progressive mentality that will help the business grow, keeping the bigger picture in mind.

This module had an exciting element, as the delegates participated in a ‘Shark Tank’ challenge. Divided into teams, they enthusiastically pitched their business ideas to our distinguished panel of judges that carried the expertise from finance, business and academia. This element of the module was to better prepare the delegates on pitching their ideas to potential investors or stakeholders in the future. In this high-pressure environment, they were tested on their presentation, business idea, business model as well as ability to answer questions on the spot.

One of the beneficiaries of this programme, Mr Lungani Nene (Executive Director, Spot On Fire Control), stated:

“The ‘Shark Tank’ presentation aspect of the programme taught me to consider numbers. The facilitator highlighted that we need to ask a lot of questions when it comes to business and pay attention to the numbers so we can get a story by checking what the numbers are communicating to us. The analysis, accounting ratios and trying to look for opportunities to capitalise on to grow the business were topics that we touched on which will benefit me going forward. I also learnt to make sure that my staff must be capacitated, competent and efficient in their respective roles to perform the best industry practices. At the end of the day, the customer is key as they determine the success of the business. The message the business has must resonate with the customers. I also learnt to look beyond the position my company is in and consider the bigger picture. The facilitator shared a lot of case studies and testimonies about a lot of bigger conglomerates that worked their way to the top of their respective industries which inspired me and stretched my mental capacity.”

A leader's exceptional qualities are derived from their greatness. In any leadership role, it is necessary to have a clear narrative about what is going on. In order to lead, leaders need to be courageous enough to speak their truths constructively. Leadership that is authentic does not operate in illusions and instead acknowledges the state of business honestly and objectively. Leadership is the domain where accountability plays an important role as it helps maintain integrity in the business vision.

UKZN Extended Learning can cater to niche needs as we provide in-house customised programmes for clients with our uniquely designed programmes that can apply across sectors and industries.

If you would like to find out more information about our Essentials for Business programme, please click here.

You can also contact us directly for more information about this programme:

Useful resources:
UKZN Extended Learning
UKZN Extended Learning is committed to enrichment through lifelong learning, by providing high quality credit and non-credit bearing short courses and academic programmes in collaboration with schools and colleges of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
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