Reflection: A look back at the key principles of business improvement


Technology has emerged as the great enabler, while disciplined finance provides the glue that keeps everything together, writes Gert Theron.

Pause for a moment and take a firm hold of this thought: Two legs to stand on and it falls over. Four legs to stand on and it is unstable unless the conditions are perfect. Three legs to stand on and it is almost unmovable on any surface, even or uneven. In business, those three legs are IT, HR and finance, the key enablers.

1. IT enables (but things are changing)
IT in the traditional sense is an enabler because it builds communications networks, safeguards data and information, and assists in the use of software and data management to all functional areas of the business.

In recent years we saw a fundamental shift where IT is moving from the background to being a key part in business strategy. This fact is even recognised in the King IV report on corporate governance.

2. HR takes care of our people
HR safeguards the people and manages the employee’s life cycle. HR takes care of recruitment and selection, performance management, learning and development, succession planning, and compensation and benefits.

3. Finance provides the discipline, the glue that keeps everything together
Every action has a financial impact and it is the responsibility of the finance people to ensure that all stakeholders know what they need to know, customers pay what they should pay and that the shareholders receive an acceptable return. Finance keeps track of the added value.

Reflection, imitation and experience will make you wise. Connecting the dots between IT, Finance and HR will take you forward beyond your wildest dreams.

Finance is the glue that keeps everything together. HR takes care of your organisation’s most important asset, its people. Technology is the great enabler, connecting each component.

Become comfortable with a little discomfort, always. This simply means that there is growth. Think about these points and how to apply them in your business. Find someone that you can imitate, and yes, experience a little discomfort – this is what business improvement is about.

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