Decision Inc.’s Leadership Development Programme celebrates the Class of 2021
Training and leadership development underpin the pursuit of progress at Decision Inc.
Decision Inc. embodies the adaptability, resilience and drive for continuous learning that defines an agile organisation.
Recent research emphasizes the value of reskilling and upskilling as a critical cornerstone of any organisation’s success. McKinsey and Deloitte both underscore the importance of learning within the business context and our careers as organisations globally move to ensure they have skilled people to thrive in the constantly changing world of work. This is a mandate shared by the World Economic Forum (WEF). In 2020, the WEF announced the dire need for a global reskilling revolution thanks to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, changing job requirements, and the demand for specialised skills.
The Decision Inc. Leadership Program
Knowing the importance of continuous learning and advancement of the knowledge and skill of our young leaders, Decision Inc. invests in its own Leadership Development Programme (LDP). The programme nominates a select group of current and upcoming leaders and invites them to participate in a tailored nine-month learning journey. During this time, Decision Inc. supports them to grow their business leadership skills, enhance their critical leadership moments with their teams, and explore and build on their own leadership style and strengths through a series of workshops, coaching circles, case studies and assignments. It is designed to transform how leaders within the organisation engage with customers, strategy, the people, and business.
Ultimately, this programme underpins the new Decision Inc. mission statement – ‘The Pursuit of Progress.’
“With my clients, I’ve seen a big shift towards progress over the past few years,” says Leandra Webb-Ray, top graduate of the LDP and Principal Data Scientist at Decision Inc. “Instead of asking for isolated data work or analysis, they’re looking at the bigger picture. They understand how much value data can provide to the business and that, to stay ahead of the curve, they need to look at their data in a more intelligent way and take actions based on the trends that they’re seeing.”
This insight into client needs has been fuelled by the organisation’s ambition to give space to leadership – space where they can focus on clients and dig down into what they genuinely need, to ensure long-term success.
The Class of 2021
Our team set out to get some further insights in terms of leadership and progress from some of the LDP graduates:
What does the word ‘leadership’ mean to you?
“Leadership is the ability to inspire others towards a vision. Good leaders can identify potential in others and inspire them to develop towards their potential,” says Robert Kilburn, Managing Principal – Support, Decision Inc. UK. His leadership ethos is a quote by John Quincy Adams: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
Once you’re in a leadership role, what does progression look like from there?
“Often, the mandate for leaders in our organisation is to ensure that we transform our business to keep our clients at the centre of our operations. But I think that progress also rests in being able to unpack the unique interests of our clients and connect those to the personal interests of our teams in the daily execution of projects,” says Nobantu Radebe, Project Manager, Decision Inc. SA.
What signifies progressive leadership?
“The instructions executed in fear, micro-management, and top-down hierarchies may have worked in the past, but a company in 2021 needs to fully optimise and lead a workforce by embracing creativity, remote team engagement, trust, and motivation,” says James Cronje, Engagement Manager, Decision Inc. South Africa. “When you invest in younger staff and provide opportunities for growth earlier while removing barriers and silos, you have the entire company moving in one direction. This is the way business succeeds in the so-called new world.”
Silos are perhaps one of the oldest and most stubborn barriers within organisations. They cement traditional approaches, reduce communication and collaboration, limit transparency, and negatively impact on growth and productivity. Overcoming these requires leadership that is prepared to look over the walls and find new ways of bypassing restrictions and segments while providing people with the skills needed to grow in new and unexpected directions.
“There is still a need for roles to give direction and delegate certain responsibilities,” says Cronje. “It’s a culture where people feel they never need to hold back on their recommendations, where the greater team is involved early on, and where access is given across the board.”
The LDP graduates feel equipped and inspired to lead this kind of progress and role model Decision Inc.’s value of collaboration. Through the programme James and his classmates have unlocked exciting new business relationships with young leaders across the globe and collaborated with them on thought leadership work and team projects.
What are the three tips that you’d give to any leader looking to help their team progress?
According to Rakesh Shah, Engagement Manager, Decision Inc. Australia, the three tips he would give any leader is:
- Empower: Give your team the freedom to thrive, micromanagement typically does not work.
- Have their back: Always have your team’s back, celebrate their success.
- Inspire: Inspire your team to be their best, by being your best.
What does the word “progress” mean to you?
“Progress means always challenging yourself to go further, to try something new,” says Stephanie Marran, HR Business Partner, Decision Inc. South Africa. “Developing your skills towards an improved condition is what it means to progress. This requires passion and determination, and the desire to always move forward.”
The future looks bright
We are immensely proud of our exceptional graduates from the Decision Inc. LDP Class of 2021. The LDP graduation ceremony took place on 29 July where our graduates and top achievers: Tanya van Zyl, Leandra Webb-Ray, Daniel Lombard, Rob Kilburn and Leigh Whting, were celebrated.
We look forward to seeing the continued leadership impact of this team grow from strength to strength as they lead our clients and people to progress and success.