Where to from here?
Part two of Mpowered’s B-BBEE navigational guide
This morning you left home thinking today was just another day. You boarded a local flight, took out your laptop and started planning for upcoming meetings. But just after the flight attendant had handed you your morning coffee, things took an unexpected turn.
The lights flickered off. The pilot’s voice crackled onto the PA system telling everyone to prepare for an emergency landing. And then, chaos.
Two hours later, the smoke has cleared, and you and several other passengers are unharmed but feeling a little dazed. You’re trying to get a sense of your surroundings. From the barren, hot dust surrounding you, you deduce you are somewhere in the Karoo. Flat, rolling plains surround you in every direction. There is absolutely no sign of civilisation.
By all accounts, you’re lost. One of the passengers has a young baby and is starting to panic. You need to find a place of safety. Where to from here?
Okay so that was a pretty extreme example, and hopefully something none of us will have to experience in real life. Nevertheless, we all have those moments in life when we realise we are a bit … lost. If you read our previous blog (here), you might have discovered that was you. Once you’ve recovered from the existential crisis this might usher in, you will inevitably start to wonder: where to from here?
We’re going to draw from our desert crash analogy to provide a few pointers.
1. Use The Landscape To Get Your Bearings.
You’ll pay attention to every little detail : the position of the sun; the shape of the horizon; any signs of life.
In B-BBEE terms, this means taking stock of what your company has already done towards achieving a B-BBEE goal. If you’re doing this for the first time, it can mean a lot of probing and detail work. Make sure that you’re aware of absolutely everything that could be relevant to your B-BBEE. Just as it would help for you to be able to read the sun to pinpoint your location, so it helps for you to clue yourself up about the various B-BBEE elements to know whether your company is already contributing in that way. For example, research or seek advice on the many different ways you can score Skills Development points or points towards Enterprise and Supplier Development. You might find that your company is already doing several things that could count towards your B-BBEE score. The better idea you have of where you are now, the better you can plot out your course.
2. Identify Your Ultimate Destination.
In the plane crash example, you’re probably imagining being reunited with your family or loved ones. You’ll keep this mental image in your mind as you trek across the terrain in the gruelling heat. When things get really tough, you imagine walking into your living room again or being greeted with a warm hug from a loved one.
In the same way, you need to identify your broad-stroke big goal for your company’s B-BBEE efforts. This is your one single vision : the thing that will motivate and guide your B-BBEE actions. It should be simple and inspiring. Two examples just to get the creative juices rolling:
‘To harness and leverage the strengths of every single one of our employees.’
‘To make our company a place that every South African would like to work.’
3. Set Milestones Along The Way.
So your ultimate goal is “to get home”, but there are several smaller things to achieve along the way. In the desert, your first aim might be to find some water. Or you might see the light in the distance and set out to reach it.
In B-BBEE, organise your milestones into stages. The first thing you’ll want to identify is programmes and actions to follow to achieve your goals. You’ll need managers overseeing them. You’ll need people assigned to track the data. It’s a daunting task, but identifying ‘checkpoints’ along the way will make it more manageable.
4. Use The Tools Available.
You might be in the middle of nowhere, but it’s certainly worth checking if anyone can pick up cell phone signal. Does someone in your group have a compass or an old-school GPS? Anything that helps you pick out and follow a particular direction is something of value to you.
Just as you would feel a huge sense of relief if you managed to phone a loved one via cell phone in the desert, so using B-BBEE tools can help you feel confident, focused and less ‘alone in the world’. Mpowered has a range of tools that can help focus your journey. Check them out here or find out more about them in our next blog. We’ll talk about that all-important question of: now that you’re moving, how do you know you’re headed in the right direction?
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