Extended Executive Management Committee benefits from Gibs expert as the University redefines its future

Gibs’ Professor Adrian Saville

The University is taking various steps to redefine and secure its future. One of these steps has been the two-day lekgotla of the Extended Executive Management Committee (EMMC). The lekgotla, which took place from 31 August to 1 September 2022, benefited from GIBS’ renowned Economist and Strategist, Professor Adrian Saville. Professor Saville presented a multitude of case studies where leaders had moved organisations from being mediocre to greatness and from poverty to prosperity. The reasons for this success, according to Professor Saville, were “context”, and the pace at which things were done. Professor Saville emphasized that understanding the environment was key to achieving effectiveness.

“The countries and organisations that accomplished their vision understood that speed was paramount for their environment,” said Professor Saville. “They adapted agility and became customer-centric, and understood that both businesses and communities are intertwined.”

Using examples of collapsed states and failed economies, Professor Saville highlighted to the executive members that the University, as an organisation, had within it an ability to collapse. This fact gives every organisation a reason to examine itself from time to time and redefine its goals as it looks into the future.

Professor Saville focused on three key issues that he felt were necessary for the University to consider: Context, Innovation, and Agility. By context, Professor Saville meant that the University management had to scan the scene and look at what is available, and how it differs from others. What are the features that make it unique? It would be from that perspective that the University management can then start seeking solutions to its challenges.

By innovation, Professor Saville meant that the University has to be creative with its resources when it attempts to find solutions. By agility, he meant the University had to be flexible, adaptable and act with speed in its plans. This is how management can take the University forward.