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Leaders set to face challenges in 2014

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Leaders set to face challenges in 2014

Business leaders look set encounter manifold challenges in 2014 in the face of headwinds buffeting the local economy, and unrest and uncertainty across the globe.


As South Africa enters its third year of a struggling economy, companies need to continue to streamline their operations and take unnecessary costs out of the business. Leaders must deliver seamless strategy execution, innovation and process excellence.


The challenge is to spot opportunities locally, and gear up to tackle fast-growing markets in other African countries and overseas.


Economic rumbles include a weakening rand, labour union turf wars, corruption, and confrontation between unions and management. Globally, there are energy deliberations, social upheaval, skilled labour deficits, youth unemployment and inequality.


South Africa is not alone. Greater specialisation and division of labour between skilled and unskilled people has widened the skills gap at a national and global level. According to a new Oxfam study, 50% of the world’s wealth is in the hands of the 85 richest individuals. Inequality is one of the main issues occupying the minds of delegates at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting taking place this week in Davos, Switzerland.


Within South Africa, there are pockets of excellence where people are doing remarkable things. The fast-tracking of green energy initiatives – supported by government – is one example. Then there’s the R9-billion Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope – the biggest, most sensitive radio telescope ever built, slated to move from “concept to concrete” this year.


In the technology space, we continue to show we can innovate with the best in the world. Space tourist Mark Shuttleworth and inventor Elon Musk come to mind. More recently, a Durban start-up has developed a mobile point-of-sale terminal that allows traders to accept card payments using their phones. And a Midrand entrepreneur is about to launch the first locally-made smartphones and tablets.

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Last modified on Friday, 31 January 2014 13:23
Sandra Burmeister

Sandra Burmeister

Sandra Burmeister is the CEO of Landelahni, established in 1997, Landelahni was the country's first black-owned and women-owned executive search company. Today, the Landelahni Recruitment Group consists of a number of companies offering recruitment, assessment and coaching services in both the public and private sectors.

The group consists of:

  • Landelahni Business Leaders (Amrop SA) – Executive and non-executive director search
  • Landelahni Leadership Development – Board and executive coaching and mentoring
  • Landelahni Assessments – Executive and management assessments to identify leadership potential
  • Landelahni Professional and Technical Appointments – Large project professional and technical recruitment
  • Landelahni Workforce Management – On-site managed staffing.

Since inception, Landelahni has built a substantial track record in the appointment of black executives, and more than 40% of the executive appointments made by Landelahni are black women.


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