GSB news

25 July 2005

Leaders graduate from groundbreaking INSETA programmes

Fifty-one leaders in the insurance and investment sector graduated from two groundbreaking leadership and executive development programmes at the Graduate School of Business (GSB) recently. The programmes were developed by the GSB after an intensive consultation process with representatives from the Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority (Inseta) and key players in the insurance and related financial services sector. The programmes, which are sponsored by Inseta, are among the most successful skills development initiatives to have been introduced under the Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta) legislation. They are helping to transform the equity profile and advance management skills within financial services organisations.

GSB launches conflict resolution training

The UCT-based Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), in association with the GSB, is launching its first training programme for the business community in August. The newly-designed programme is among the first of its kind in the country, and aims to train organisations how to resolve conflicts effectively. It aims to introduce managers to, among other things, deal with disputes in the workplace in more efficient and constructive ways, says Kholisile Mazaza, senior manager for national programmes at the CCR. "Whenever conflict has occurred, more often than not the people involved interpret this as negative, and the tendency is to resort to power play and win/lose solutions that lead to an escalation of the conflict," he explained. "The cost to organisations is high - the tendency is interpersonal strife and negative organisational culture, leading to high staff turnover and diminished productivity." On the flip side, conflict, if well managed, also presents organisations with opportunities for growth.

GSB prof at World Bank conference

The GSB's Professor Anton Eberhard was a keynote speaker at a World Bank conference in Cape Town in June, attended by more than 300 delegates including ministers from many African countries, and representatives from the World bank, private sector and civil society. The theme of the conference was Towards Growth and Poverty Reduction: lesson from private participation in infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa. According to Eberhard, the event was important because the World Bank is rethinking its investment strategy in Africa and is embarking on a "learning process". The Bank steered away from direct investment in infrastructure - electricity, telecoms, water, transport, etc, in the 1990s in favour of an approach geared more towards opening space for investment in the private sector. But after a sharp rise in private investment in mid-1990s, this has fallen off dramatically. "The bank is once again thinking of playing a larger role," says Eberhard. "It also seems to have a less rigid ideological position and is looking at public/private partnerships, as well as direct support to governments."

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