The question is not: “How many transformation managers does it take to change a light bulb”, but rather “How much light can the transformation manager shed on a principal that is leaving most people in the dark”? In a country were B-BBEE has become not only a national ideal but also a company imperative, the role of a transformation manager has evolved so substantially that a transformation manager is required to wear many hats.
In the ever-changing environment of B-BBEE, many decision makers rely on the transformation manager to guide them on the way forward. As you are no doubt aware, decisions made on incorrect information could have far-reaching effects. In many companies, however, the decision makers are the ones with limited or no B-BBEE experience. This is where the transformation manager puts on his “Knowledge” hat. With this hat, the transformation manager can provide not only relevant B-BBEE knowledge but also keep the decision makers abreast of the latest developments within B-BBEE, the interpretations put forward by the verification agent(s) and any identifiable gaps in the business where B-BBEE opportunities exist.
The next hat that a transformation manager has on his/her hat stand is the “Relationship Management” hat. When the transformation manager puts on this hat, he/she becomes the crucial link between the directors who make the decisions, the person(s) responsible to implement these decisions and the person(s) responsible to capture the data and/or documents related to the changes. Without the transformation manager to maintain and manage these relationships, most businesses would not be able to benefit from effective decision making and implementation.
The transformation manager also has a “Mentoring” hat that is used when engaging with data capturers and implementers. Mentoring of implementers (occasionally called element champions or element specialist) and data-capturers has multiple advantages. Firstly, implementers and data capturers start to understand how B-BBEE works and how they can contribute to the overall B-BBEE process. Secondly, implementers start taking ownership of their element, leading to critical thinking around ways to better either the element score or even the overall B-BBEE score. Thirdly, employees realize the importance of B-BBEE as a business imperative and, once they understand the different requirements, can contribute positively to ensuring that the B-BBEE verification procedure runs smoothly and seamlessly. The “Mentoring” hat can, therefore, lead to upliftment of not only the spirits of the employees but could potentially lead to an increased understanding of the requirements, which in turn could also positively influence the overall B-BBEE scoring.
No matter which hat the transformation manager wears, his/her role within the B-BBEE space is one of the most important there is. Through his/her knowledge, relationship management and mentoring, the transformation manager can bring about actual business growth, both from a B-BBEE and an internal operations point of view. So next time you look over at the transformation manager, and it looks like he/she is a bit wind-blown, remember, it may just be that he/she is in the process of changing hats.