Leadership in South Africa and its Talent Competitive Challenges

Professor Paul Evans sharing his insights into the new world of dualities we now live in with the audience

INSEAD alumni, company leaders of French Corporates in South Africa and Volkswagen SA employees, had a stimulating, early morning start to their day last week attending INSEAD’s Professor Paul Evans’ seminar – Leadership in South Africa and its Talent Competitiveness Challenges. This event was hosted by the IAASA and Volkswagen at the VW offices in Sandton. Prof. Evans, recognised as one of the most influential global though leaders in his field, was masterful, and engaged attendees’ despite the early start.

Due to time constraints on the day, not all the content was covered however the link below contains the entire slide deck as well as Prof. Evans’ Letter to the President on Vocational Education Reforms. Prof. Evans thoroughly enjoyed the discussions on the day and has sent through this personal note:

“Thanks for coming to the INSEAD seminar at VW Sandton on Wednesday. I enjoyed the questions and comments, especially after we had broken the ice by coffee break time.

Along with a copy of the slides, as promised, is the Letter to the President on reform in Vocational Education, coming from a year of discussions and work by the HR Think Tank that was set up by Knowledge Resources and Stellenbosch’s Institute for Future Studies. There are contact details re this Think Tank if anyone is interested in more info or getting involved. PAUL EVANS”

Link to slides and letter: https://goo.gl/WouxVa

INSEAD South Africa’s Alumni Perspectives

In conjunction with the IW50 event held at the JSE, INSEAD South Africa NAA is proud to present its inaugural Alumni Perspectives book. It is a publication that spotlights,a few of INSEAD’s trailblazing alumni in the country and pays tribute to their accomplishments.

Within this series, you will hear from inspiring alumni whose journeys weave the very fabric of INSEAD’s identity. Industry leaders, entrepreneurs and contributors to their communities, they have found exemplary ways to harness ‘business as a force for good’ at both a global and local level.

Download the full copy here

and for even more Alumni Perspectives from the other parts of the world click here


How to Become More Innovative

How to Become More Innovative

The 4 DOs and DON’Ts

by Jenny Tyobeka


We know that we all have the propensity to innovate, although some of us are either too demotivated to activate our innovative selves, constrained by organisational barriers, or too ingrained in our ways of acting and seeing the world.  Whatever the constraints we face, there is a growing imperative for organisations to find new solutions to old problems and to create new products for emerging consumer demand. As consumer markets become more global, unpredictable and technologically disruptive, the need to innovate has become ever more pressing for differentiation and continued competitiveness.

Differentiation in the presence of intensifying consumer demand uncertainty is a tall order.  It is therefore encouraging to know that innovativeness can be learnt, and that it is possible to identify processes and behaviour that promote or constrain it.

Here are my 4 key DOs and DON’Ts to becoming more innovative:



1. Implement an iterative process of discovery to test and validate your assumptions about the consumer problem you are trying to solve; how big it is; and the appropriateness of your solution and business model for taking it to the market

1. Use the traditional, linear, milestone- based stage gate process of decision-making for new product development, where progress depends on achieving the previous milestone.

2. Employ a divergent approach by identifying and testing as many promising ideas as possible

2. Converge on a single promising idea and defend it tooth and nail with consumers, instead of listening intently to their feedback

3. Get into the market as soon as possible with the aim of validating your ideas rapidly as you go along, and iterating based on consumer feedback to reduce uncertainty and costs.

3. Try to manage uncertainty of consumer demand by aiming for desk-bound perfect planning & execution.

4. Aim to learn fast from consumer insights, and fail fast and cheaply by constantly iterating as you progress.

4.  Engage in unnecessarily lengthy internal decision-making, locking in ideas not validated by consumers, that may result in costly failure.

To learn and practice an implementable process for innovating in your business, refer to Professor Nathan Furr’s on-line programme, Innovation in the Age of Disruption  

View details.

Apply here     

Drawing on his own prolific research, numerous publications and interactions with Silicon Valley icons, Professor Furr has ‘nailed’ the innovation process in this programme, making it easy to master and implement, to effect change, in our present highly uncertain, digitised markets.


INSEAD Giving Day 13 March 2018

INSEAD Giving Day is an alumni-driven initiative which aims to strengthen the relationship between the school and alumni and increase the number of alumni supporting the school. This year’s Giving Day highlights the importance of the Dean’s Innovation Fund. The Dean’s Innovation Fund allows the school to pursue new initiatives, above and beyond any current gifts and funds that are returned from the endowment.