In honour of Madiba's 97th birthday, the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) coaches and faculty members will be volunteering two hours of their time on 17 July at the Illovo campus, to ensure that competent South African Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) can continue to be effective and work towards the improvement of social conditions in our country.
GIBS had initially planned to offer one-on-one leadership sessions with heads of 27 local NGOs - a recognition of the 27 years Madiba spent in prison, but due to the increased demand, the number has risen to 41! Specialist coaches have also put their hands up by the numbers and GIBS will pair them to share their skills according to the organisation's needs.
"Madiba famously encouraged everyday South Africans to take the continued progress of the nation into our own hands" says Phyllis Byars, associate director of the GIBS Centre for Leadership and Dialogue. "At GIBS we seek to use one of our core strengths of business leadership to carry Madiba's dream forward. Supporting these leaders in their quest to strengthen society and meet the needs of the vulnerable is one means to do just that."
The consultation sessions will take one of two forms depending on each organisation's need. Faculty members with subject area speciality will offer related advisory consultation. This may be in the area of human resource management, financial planning or any number of business specialties. Separate to the advisory sessions, the coaching sessions are conceived as a reflective thinking space where the organisation leader will share their area of concern and the professional coach will help them think through the challenge to gain a fresh perspective.
Coaching was chosen as the means to commemorate Mandela Day because it creates context-friendly, leadership relevant solutions to challenges, echoing Madiba's authentic leadership style.
Alison Reid, head of GIBS Applied Learning Unit explains that "coaching gives the leader the change to think through the present dilemma and come to their own solution according to what they know to be true for their particular situation. On the other hand, we are pulling from a well of deep context knowledge to offer advice for those NGO leaders who are stuck around technical challenges. In using both options, we are providing this important community of leaders support for a range of challenges they may be facing."
The NGO's invited to participate are part of the GIBS Network for Social Entrepreneurs, a pool of socially focused entities interested in enhancing their offerings through continually improved business practice.
The event is run in partnership with LeadSA, which is running a simultaneous venture in Cape Town.