OUR STORY and a message from Deborah

Previously in Executive Search, I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing brilliant people every day. My challenge wasn’t finding talent – it was finding great companies I wanted to find talent for. I didn’t appreciate the urgent need to address this until I received a link to water poverty. This wasn’t water poverty caused by a drought. It was due to a water privatisation deal where the tariffs set were too high for the poorer members of the community to afford. The result? The water supply was cut off. One of the consequences? Little girls being bullied and teased at school for being dirty. What confounded me? The company leading the transaction had a link on their website to CSR (corporate social responsibility). I ask you, how can a company’s business practices cause harm but they have a department ‘to do good’?

It got me thinking about the people leading the transaction and the company’s strategy and modus operandi. Having interviewed many Investment Bankers, I knew that none of the ones I helped my clients hire would ever have been so short-sighted, so irresponsible. Moreover, my clients would never have accepted them.

So what was creating this? What impact is business having on society? How can we improve things?

I explored water poverty – what’s causing it, who’s impacted by it and what needs to be done to solve it. I was saddened by what I found, from questionable policies and poor principles to bad practices, misaligned performance metrics and poor decisions. The crux of it all? People and organisations – their collective mindset and motivations, their actions and inactions.

But I also found some great companies with incredible people doing a lot of good. These weren’t charities. They were profitable commercial entities (including banks). I studied these companies and profiled their people. The findings were extraordinary. These companies and their people gelled and excelled. They were principled and profitable. They were companies worth emulating. The findings were translated into the AMANI™ protocol.

AMANI™ is a work in progress, strengthened through the thoughts, actions and interactions of our community. Join us.

OUR STORY

Previously in Executive Search, I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing brilliant people every day. My challenge wasn’t finding talent – it was finding great companies I wanted to find talent for. I didn’t appreciate the urgent need to address this until I received a link to water poverty. This wasn’t water poverty caused by a drought. It was due to a water privatisation deal where the tariffs set were too high for the poorer members of the community to afford. The result? The water supply was cut off. One of the consequences? Little girls being bullied and teased at school for being dirty. What confounded me? The company leading the transaction had a link on their website to CSR (corporate social responsibility). I ask you, how can a company’s business practices cause harm but they have a department ‘to do good’?

It got me thinking about the people leading the transaction and the company’s strategy and modus operandi. Having interviewed many Investment Bankers, I knew that none of the ones I helped my clients hire would ever have been so short-sighted, so irresponsible. Moreover, my clients would never have accepted them.

So what was creating this? What impact is business having on society? How can we improve things?

I explored water poverty – what’s causing it, who’s impacted by it and what needs to be done to solve it. I was saddened by what I found, from questionable policies and poor principles to bad practices, misaligned performance metrics and poor decisions. The crux of it all? People and organisations – their collective mindset and motivations, their actions and inactions.

But I also found some great companies with incredible people doing a lot of good. These weren’t charities. They were profitable commercial entities (including banks). I studied these companies and profiled their people. The findings were extraordinary. These companies and their people gelled and excelled. They were principled and profitable. They were companies worth emulating. The findings were translated into the AMANI™ protocol.

AMANI™ is a work in progress, strengthened through the thoughts, actions and interactions of our community. Join us.

REAL IMPACT OR GREENWASHING?

REAL IMPACT OR GREENWASHING?

Recent years have seen an increase in ‘sustainability’ initiatives, but there is a difference between real impact and greenwashing. That difference lies in what gets measured and what gets done. Here are some questions to ascertain true impact.

read more
A FOUNDER TO BACK?

A FOUNDER TO BACK?

Most investors say they do due diligence on the team. We have found many fall short in picking up the telltale signs of potential risk factors and what needs to be done to increase the likelihood of success.

read more
WHEN INVESTORS COME IN

WHEN INVESTORS COME IN

Bringing investors on board can help a company scale, but difficulties can arise from growing too quickly. Here’s how we helped a high-growth company tackle transition and the associated growing pains.

read more
VISION + EXECUTION = VALUE

VISION + EXECUTION = VALUE

A budding entrepreneur wanted to create an investment company focused on Africa. We helped him define and shape the vision, as well as the values and behaviours he wanted to stand for and demonstrate. Wanting to ensure he could translate his vision into practice, we...

read more
GOING AGAINST THE HYPE

GOING AGAINST THE HYPE

When a company is receiving a lot of attention and significant funding, it takes great resolve to buck the trend and quash FOMO. It is wise to take time to peel back the layers and do proper due diligence.

read more
HARMONISING CO-FOUNDERS

HARMONISING CO-FOUNDERS

A new venture had three founding partners all sharing the same vision. However, in trying to deliver on that vision, it became rapidly apparent they had different views on how that vision should be executed. We had to figure out if and how they could best work as a...

read more