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A COO’s five-point plan for managing organisational change

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 17th November 2021 -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- For most organisations operating on the African continent, the past 18 months have forced unprecedented change in how they operate at every level of their business.

From dealing with the initial impact of the pandemic, subsequent lockdowns and enabling a hybrid workforce, to digitising customer-facing and back-office processes and dealing with disruptions in the supply chain – organisations have had their hands full.

“The pace of change and the extent to which organisations have had to adapt are forcing business leaders to completely reimagine how their organisations operate,” says Tracy Bolton, chief operating officer at SAP Africa. “Organisations have had to rethink how they engage with customers, reengineer their supply chains, and completely transform their talent management capabilities to ensure the success of the business. And all indications are that further changes are inevitable as disruptions continue to affect the operating environment.”

One recent study found that more than three in four executives expect changed customer behaviour to continue after the pandemic. And while improving vaccination rates are making a return to the office likely, most organisations are expected to continue offering the option of a hybrid workforce where employees work from home at least some of the time.

“Changes in the workplace can cause immense stress to employees and managers alike,” says Bolton. “One recent survey of South Africans working from home found higher levels of stress and lower levels of productivity, with managers expressing concern over managing and motivating their remote workers.”

Organisations have been digitising their business processes at an unprecedented scale, with the pandemic accelerating digital transformation at 59% of global organisations. “Each time an organisation undergoes digital transformation, it brings new processes, which require changes in how employees operate,” says Bolton. “These changes can bring friction to the business and, if left unattended, cause misalignment within the organisation at a time when everyone needs to be working toward common goals.”

Chief operating officers have been in the hot seat as they try to guide their organisations through the impact of the pandemic. “Each change brings new challenges, as organisations are pushed out of their comfort zones in order to adequately adapt to their environment,” adds Bolton. “How well organisations conduct their change management efforts can greatly influence the extent to which new back-office or customer-facing operations benefit the business.”

Having helped guide SAP’s Africa market unit through the past 18 months, Bolton has some practical tips to help organisations improve their change management and ensure they successfully adapt to ongoing change and disruption.

1. Team up: “Set up change management project teams for each new initiative,” advises Bolton. “Establish clear governance parameters for who is involved, and secure the support of an executive sponsor to ensure the change project is driven from the top-down.”

2. Be clear: “Establish clear objectives for the change project, and communicate these upfront with all affected stakeholders. Ongoing stakeholder communication is essential as it significantly increases the likelihood of a successful project outcome.”

3. Train, train, train: “Empower the change management team and the super user involved in the change initiatives with the necessary training,” says Bolton. “This knowledge transfer can then cascade to other affected stakeholders and the broader organisation to ensure everyone is aligned with the changes.”

4. Monitor, measure, manage: “It’s essential that progress against the set objectives is tracked and measured,” advises Bolton. “Where needed, the team may need to adapt using a change management tool set and continuously communicate such changes back to the organisation to ensure everyone remains on board.”

5. Celebrate: “Take time to acknowledge progress and celebrate every success,” says Bolton. “By recognising the efforts of those driving change within the organisation, it becomes more likely that the changes will achieve a shift in mindset, which will help instil a change mindset for future change management efforts.” 

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of SAP Africa.

Visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @SAPNews.

About SAP

As the Experience Company powered by the Intelligent Enterprise, SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP® system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables more than 440,000 business and public customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

Note to editors:

To preview and download broadcast-standard stock footage and press photos digitally, please visit www.sap.com/photos. On this platform, you can find high resolution material for your media channels. To view video stories on diverse topics, visit www.sap-tv.com. From this site, you can embed videos into your own Web pages, share video via email links, and subscribe to RSS feeds from SAP TV.

For customers interested in learning more about SAP products: 

Global Customer Center: +49 180 534-34-24
United States Only: 1 (800) 872-1SAP (1-800-872-1727)

For more information, press only:

Delia Sieff, SAP Africa, +27 (11) 235 6000, delia.sieff@sap.com

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African Media Agency -English

Promoting African agency on the global stage: communicators gather in Rwanda to establish roadmap 

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KIGALI, Rwanda, 23 May 2022 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The flagship event of Africa Communications Week 2022 hosted by KGL FWD with support from Africa No Filter and RwandAir will take place on 23 and 24 May 2022. The event brings together Africa focused communications professionals across Rwanda and other parts of the continent to discuss how communication can strategically position African nations on the global stage, thereby strengthening their transformation agenda. 

Recent global governance issues such as climate, public health, trade, and security, have demonstrated that African actors are not passive agents in international relations. Strategic communication plays a fundamental role in improving their capabilities to exert various levels of agency and, increasingly, set the terms of engagement.

“Far too often, Africa has been framed as a place acted upon, not as a diverse continent with an evolving agenda of its own, however the increasing visibility of African leaders and experts in international organizations is bringing African narratives and interests into the mainstream” says Africa Communications Week co-founder Annie Mutamba.

Communicators from across the continent will gather in Kigali to identify concrete priority areas to promote African agency on the global stage. Working groups will be tasked to come up with clear, actionable recommendations for Africa-focused communicators to adopt.

“African agency should not be viewed as solely emanating from state actors. Africans from across public and private sector and civil society need to keep pushing for a seat at the table and this is where strategic communication can amplify their voice in shaping the global agenda.” Africa Communications Week co-founder Eniola Harrison explains

International speakers and facilitators at this year’s flagship event include Yolande Makolo (Rwanda Government Spokesperson), Mimi Kalinda (Africa Communications Media Group), Diana Mpyisi (Blue Oceans Rwanda), Nkiru Balonwu (Africa Soft Power Project), Uzo Madu (What’s in It for Africa), Joan Mazimhaka (Illume Creative Studio), Ndeye Diarra Diobaye (Euros Agency) and Fiona Kamikazi (PR Professional). 

“With today’s technology and digital communication tools Africa is able to talk to the world and we have more agency over what is said about us than ever before. Being able to come together and explore this as communications professionals from across the continent is a powerful and exciting opportunity. As KGL FWD, we are honored to be hosting this year’s Africa Communications Week flagship event and look forward to celebrating the evolution of our communications industry with the Rwanda Communications Network .” says Autumn Marie, managing director KGL FWD. 

Communication experts have a voice, they have resources and they have networks. They also need to be strategic and intentional about how they are deliberately shaping a narrative that is so vital to the transformation of the continent. As the world emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, now more than ever, communicators should proactively support the economic recovery of the continent. 

Distributed by African Media Agency on behalf of Africa Communications Week.

About Africa Communications Week

Launched in 2017, Africa Communications Week is a bilingual (EN/FR) global movement building bridges between communications professionals committed to Africa’s transformation. AfricaCommsWeek is not meant exclusively for African professional but is open to international organisations and companies with a presence, a stake, interests or expertise in Africa 

AfricaCommsWeek’s mission is to empower and equip Africa-focused communications professionals with the tools and resources to change the current narratives about Africa. 

For Press Enquiries: 

info@africacommunicationsweek.com 

www.africacommunicationsweek.com 

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African Media Agency -English

Four tips for redeploying high-value skills within your organisation 

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 19th May 2022 -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- The past two years have marked a seismic shift in the way companies manage, motivate, and retain their employees as hybrid work models and a more flexible work environment became commonplace. However, this has created new challenges, as many of the roles within the organisation changed or became obsolete.  

Genevieve Koolen, Human Resources Director at SAP Africa

According to Genevieve Koolen, Human Resources Director at SAP Africa, many companies are now having to implement strategies to redeploy skilled employees to other areas of the business. “What started out as an emergency measure to maintain productivity during the early stages of the pandemic has now become an embedded issue, where the duties of highly-skilled workers in some roles are being replaced or become entirely obsolete.” 

The changing role of managers 

One example of this change is the way managers are having to shift to other roles that don’t necessarily involve direct management of employees.  

“Companies have long taken a bums-in-seats approach to productivity and accountability that demanded that employees commute to a central office and work under the watchful gaze of their manager,” says Koolen. “One of the most surprising outcomes of the shift to work-from-home during the first year of the pandemic is the extent to which most professionals could self-manage. In some cases managers have become unnecessary to the smooth running of the business, resulting in a situation where their key skills need to be redeployed lest the business risks losing them to competitors.” 

According to Harvard Business Review, managers were traditionally selected and promoted based on their ability to manage and drive the performance of employees. However, the acceleration in the use of technology to improve workplace management combined with the impact of the pandemic has radically changed the situation at many organisations. 

Retaining high-value talent and experience 

“Managers and other high-value roles within organisations are having to shift focus and apply their skills in new areas,” says Koolen. “These changes are not always easy for either the employee or the organisation, but it is essential that companies implement policies and processes to retain their skills, as the employees often have extensive corporate knowledge that would take years for a replacement to learn.” 

According to Koolen, companies that can successfully redeploy these workers to other areas of the business will more easily retain their skills and ensure the organisation benefits from their expertise and experience.  

“Redeploying senior or specialist skills within the organisation can boost talent retention, drive cost savings, improve flexibility and efficiency and help build a more consistent company culture. However, it can be tricky to develop a strategy for redeployment that consistently delivers value to the business and employees.” 

Koolen offers four tips to assist organisations with developing a successful talent redeployment strategy: 

#1 Focus on skills, not tasks or titles 

Instead of trying to find a like-for-like role within the organisation – for example, a sales role in another department – focus on the employee’s skills and match those skills to another area of the business that can benefit from more access to those skills. “Managers, for example, often have inherent skills, experience and corporate knowledge that can help coach less experienced team members and enhance their capabilities, to the benefit of the broader organisation.” 

#2 Embed lifelong learning into the company culture 

According to McKinsey, one in sixteen workers will need to find a different occupation by 2030 as technology and other trends drive huge changes in how we work and what skills are required. “No one is immune to the disruptive influence of technology,” says Koolen. “Companies wishing to retain high-value skills in the long term must build a culture of lifelong learning that allows employees to continuously develop new skills and expertise that can add value in specific areas within the business.” 

#3 Accurately match skills to business needs 

Successful redeployment depends on having the right person at the right time for a specific task or duty. “In larger organisations, finding the right match is nearly impossible to do manually,” says Koolen. “Instead, companies need to build a comprehensive technology-led talent platform that brings visibility to the available skills within the organisation, and allows business and HR leaders to easily identify candidates for redeployment based on business and employee needs.” 

#4 Keep in tune with employee expectations  

New AI and analytics-driven employee experience tools can help companies keep their finger on the pulse of employee expectations by constantly getting real-time feedback on a broad spectrum of culture and workplace metrics. “Companies that can effectively use employee experience tools are more likely to take the right course of action to improve productivity, innovation, talent planning and people-led initiatives. When done well, this offers companies the opportunity to turn employees into ambassadors while driving positive business outcomes.” 

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of SAP Africa.

Visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @SAPNews.

About SAP 

SAP’s strategy is to help every business run as an intelligent, sustainable enterprise. As a market leader in enterprise application software, we help companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: SAP customers generate 87% of total global commerce. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables business and public customers across 25 industries globally to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com.   

© 2022 SAP SE. All rights reserved. 

SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. Please see https://www.sap.com/copyright for additional trademark information and notices.  

Note to editors: 

To preview and download broadcast-standard stock footage and press photos digitally, please visit www.sap.com/photos. On this platform, you can find high resolution material for your media channels. To view video stories on diverse topics, visit www.sap-tv.com. From this site, you can embed videos into your own Web pages, share video via email links, and subscribe to RSS feeds from SAP TV. 

For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:  

Global Customer Center: +49 180 534-34-24 

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African Media Agency -English

African Media Agency Partners with AFSIC one of the Largest Annual Events Showcasing Exceptional Opportunities Across the continent 

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The partnership aims to drive increased investment across the trade landscape in Africa and promote economic growth

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 12 May 2022, /African Media Agency/-African Media Agency, a leading pan-African PR and communications firm, today announced its partnership with Africa’s most important conduits of investment into Africa, AFSIC – Investing in Africa. The partnership aims to promote visibility and strengthen conversations around the investment opportunity and trade landscape of the continent at AFSIC 2022.

AFSIC is believed to be the largest annual event bringing together African investors and investments taking place outside Africa and has become one of the most important conduits of investment into Africa. AFSIC 2022 is entirely focused on bringing together Africa’s business leaders and Africa’s most important investors and dealmakers. The event will showcase investment opportunities from across the whole of Africa demonstrating new investment opportunities, with focused streams in Banking, Informed Investing, Building, Fintech Innovation, Sustainable Growth, Agriculture, and Power.

“African countries with growing economies are integral to global economic development. Since our inception it has been our core value to change the narrative of Africa by showcasing the development, innovation, and opportunity across the continent. AFSIC is the most accomplished investment event for the continent, and a meeting place for influential players in African business. Events like AFSIC provide the perfect forum for facilitating new conversations and relationships that promote economic success all over Africa. We are delighted to partner with AFSIC 2022.” Said CEO and Founder of African Media Agency, Eloïne Barry.

“I am excited about the potential of AFSIC once again providing an exceptional opportunity to network with sessions offering unparalleled opportunities to develop strong business relationships with investors, financial intermediaries and African business leaders through an array of multiple presentation and panel streams, discussions, networking events, exhibition stands, business match-making meetings and seminars.” Said Rupert McCammon, Managing Director of AFSIC
Since 2013, AFSIC continues to play a pivotal role as a business accelerator linking the different stakeholders of the international ecosystem, for more qualitative and inclusive growth. AFSIC 2022 is slated for 10 and 11 October 2022 in London.

Distributed by African Media Agency in partnership with AFSIC- Investing in Africa.

About African Media AgencyAfrican Media Agency (AMA) is an integrated communications agency that unifies PR, creative services, and digital marketing to create strategic, content-rich communications campaigns that inspire action and build value. With a footprint across Africa, we understand the dynamic of the African newsrooms, the challenges that journalists are going through, what makes a story interesting and the different styles and editorial cultures within the continent.

About AFSIC
AFSIC – Investing in Africa is a large-scale Event and Expo focused on matching business and investment opportunities in Africa. The event has grown over many years into one of the most important conduits of investment into Africa.

Notable characteristics include:

  • The event is attended by many of Africa’s most important investment firms
  • Networking is at the heart of AFSIC with multiple events allowing companies to meet appropriate investors
  • Dedicated Country Summits allow deep dives into some of Africa’s most important economies
  • Sector Focused workshops and sessions allow companies to focus on one or more of Africa’s high growth business sectors; e.g financial services, energy, agriculture, health etc.
  • Our sophisticated AFSIC African Investments Dashboard allows companies to upload investment propositions that can be viewed by Africa’s leading investors prior to AFSIC so that highly efficient investment meetings can be held within the AFSIC event to finalise investment deals
  • AFSIC – Investing in Africa builds on a massive network across Africa, and high profile digital platforms enabling companies to grow their business, trade and investment across the African continent

Media contact:Amy Minnie amy@amediaagency.com
Media contact:Olivia de Villiers olivia@africaninvestments.co

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