The Annual HR Directors Summit 2012, IPM, South Africa

The Institute of People Management (IPM), South Africa, held its annual HR Directors Summit at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), today, the 9th February 2012. The summit was attended by 50 top HR Directors in South Africa, plus one delegate from Sri Lanka.
Every HR Director in South Africa ought to have been at this Summit.
The following key speakers delivered high level presentations and conducted well structured Q&As:
·         Greg Solomon, CEO McDonalds, South Africa, and IPM 2011 CEO of the Year Award Winner. Topic: Improving company and individual Performance through targeted Skills Development (McDonald Case Study)
·         Professor Cecil Bodibe (Holds a Doctorate of Literature and Philosophy): Special Projects – Empowaworx. Topic: Survey Report – How to navigate your way from an artisan level to an Engineer level. Insights from interviews conducted with 30 senior HR Executives who have a combined experience of over 300 years on how to develop a leadership pipeline
·         Professor Shirley Zinn, HR Director – Standard Bank, and Fergus Marupen, HR Director – Absa Bank. Topic: The 2 case studies from the interviews, as well as responses to challenges facing emerging HR Executives.
·         Professor Roy Marcus, Chairperson of the Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management. Topic: Design thinking, How could it be used to develop and train the critical talent required to unleash economic growth and contribute to global economic competitiveness.
The following panelists address the topic: How could we shield the South African economy from the devastating effects of the Euro-zone debt crisis – A people leadership perspective:
·         David Conradie, Director in the Human Capital Service Area, Deloitte Consulting
·         Sam Alexander, Managing Director, The Pacific Institute
·         Dr Albert Woecke, Professor & Executive Director, Faculty at the Gordon Institute of Business Science
The Programme Directors of the day were:
·         Humaira Mooketsi, HR Executive, Transnet
·         Babalase Bulunga, Group HR Executive, Eskom
The highlights from the summit:
·         The McDonald South Africa CEO, Greg Solomon, shared the McDonald philosophy with regard to Strategy, Organization, Culture and Leadership. Greg is certainly a CEO that believes strongly in the strategic role of HR in the company. The delegates were fascinated by the concept of Enthusiasm Committees, which played a key role in making sure that the introduction of the 24 hours service at McDonald’s restaurant was a success. These staff committees provided the solutions that they had to implement themselves. These are cross functional teams that address business issues across the company, than focusing on their specific functional issues. The McDonald succession philosophy is: One Ready Now – One Ready In the Future. For McDonald to duplicate and standardize operations across the globe they look at systems, processes and people. McDonald balances business needs with people value.  The company’s Employee Value Proposition is categorized into: Family/Friends, Flexibility, and Future.
·         Professor Shirley Zinn and Fergus Marupen shared their real life experiences with the summit delegates. They presented the following nine habits of the HR Professional from their experiences:

ü  Stay close to your talent
ü  Think employee experience
ü  Share a sense of purpose
ü  Replicate & enhance the wheel
ü  Think it through
ü  Match the speed of business
ü  Embrace a sense of wonder
ü  Keep the balance
The summit requested that Professor Shirley Zinn and Fergus Marupen package these nine habits and partner with the IPM on a national road-show to take these lessons to the bigger HR community in the country. The IPM national office will act on this request as a matter of urgency. The IPM national branch network will become part of this road-show and support in the mobilization of the HR professionals to attend.
·         Professor Roy Marcus challenged the IPM as a member of the Human Resources Development Council of South Africa, chaired by the Deputy President, Hon Kgalema Motlanthe, to put together a working committee made of HR Directors to put together a systems thinking model to address job creation problem. He is prepared to facilitate this design thinking process, on behalf of the IPM, for free of charge. The aim is to present the design thinking model to the South African Government, President Jacob Zuma specifically, to be applied in resolving the unemployment problem. This will be the best way of contributing to solving this major problem facing the country by the HR Professionals. The IPM welcomes this challenge and will be coordinating this Working Committee as soon as possible. This is an opportunity for the IPM to also respond to the challenge posed by the Minister of Higher Education & Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, during the IPM 2011 Annual Convention at Sun City, where he requested the IPM to assist the local Government with HR solutions to improve on service delivery.

·         The panel brought the day’s discussions into perspective by discuss the response by the HR professionals to the challenges brought by major economic developed and developing markets. The main issues discussed were talent pipeline and the fact that the graduates from the institutions of learning are not relevant to the needs of the industry.
This was an excellent summit. The HR Directors expressed a need to have this summit at least two times a year.
The IPM acknowledged the attendance of a delegate from Sri Lanka, Mr Dinuksha Devasurenda, Head of Global Sales, hSenid Business Solutions (Pvt) Ltd.


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