Is there real value in having a vision

Management courses are never complete without a discussion of visions, missions, objectives and goals, however do leaders of companies really know how impactful a clearly defined strategic intent can be on their business’ reputation?

Founder and Managing Director of Reputation Matters, Regine le Roux is certain that while some corporates may consider business values as ‘stale’ or going out of fashion, they are critical for good reputation management.

“All businesses must have a vision that is translated into a meaningful mission, objectives and specific goals. It is the first business building block to know what the business is about and where it is heading towards.” 

Le Roux warns that the important link between strategic intent and reputation should not be overlooked.

“Employees play a fundamental role in a business’ strategic intent as their work contributes towards achieving the vision, making it critical to communicate this to employees.” 

Having sat around many a boardroom table discussing strategic intent, le Roux has far too often seen executives become confused when finding that they all have a different version of the business vision.

“It goes without saying that this type of confusion has a major impact on the ultimate reputation of the organisation. When internal perceptions are misaligned and employees don’t know the vision of the business, how are they supposed to help achieve it?” she asks.

When the vision is not clear to a few senior managers, just imagine what the rest of the employees and other associated stakeholders may think, comments le Roux.

“If an organisation can’t be aligned internally, there is no way of expecting external stakeholders such as customers, partners or the media to be on the same page. The larger the discrepancy regarding strategic intent, the worse the impact will be to the organisation’s reputation.” 

Correcting such problems, shares le Roux, is about aligning the core concepts of the strategic intent to an organisation’s key communication initiatives. Key messages must be identified and communicated to the different stakeholder audiences. She further explains, that the crux of the message should be aligned to the overall, single-minded strategic intent of the company, regardless of the different stakeholders the business speaks to.

Regular communication of these key messages on the most appropriate channels of communication is important, says le Roux.  

“These channels differ from organisation to organisation, however, very often the most effective channels of communication are not necessarily the most expensive.”

Feedback from stakeholders through research is also valuable.

“When we measure an organisation’s reputation with our unique Repudometer® tool, we analyse the strategic direction of the organisation,” explains le Roux.

“Through analysis of feedback from respondents we can ascertain whether the concepts and terminology used to define the business’ direction is appropriate and understood by all.”

This, le Roux says, helps to identify gaps and pick up on any misaligned perceptions. Based on the research results, Reputation Matters offers customised recommendations to help take the organisation’s reputation to the next level by shaping the strategic intent into a clear direction and assisting the organisation with focussing on creating new capabilities to maximise future opportunities. 


State fund eyes Chevron’s SA business

According to IOL The state-owned Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF), the guardian of South Africa’s strategic crude oil stocks, had made an offer to purchase oil major Chevron Corporation’s South African business, the SFF said in a statement yesterday.


South Africa to cut time to register new businesses, Rob Davies

  • Issues impacting retailers, manufacturers under the spotlight at The Consumer Goods Forum Global Summit in Cape Town, 15 to 17 June.

South African trade and industry minister Rob Davies told a room of international CEOs and executives from the FMCG sector that government was working hard to cut the red tape inhibiting foreign business from entering the country. He said that the process of setting up a business in South Africa would, soon, be done within a more specific – and faster – time frame and that business visas would be granted more flexibly and easily going forward.


Business Opportunities Being Showcased At Sign Africa and Africa Print Cape Town Expo

The Sign Africa and Africa Print Expo will take place in Cape Town from 11-12 May 2016 at the CTICC. The expo's will feature a host of solutions geared at helping visitors expand their businesses and enter into new revenue streams.
Visitors can speak to industry experts about business opportunities in wide format digital printing, laminating, finishing, vinyls and substrates, point of sale displays, screen and pad printing, T-shirt printing, LED’s, banners, flags and laser engraving, commercial printing, finishing, software, media consumables, cutting and more.

South African printers face the challenges of slow economic growth and fluctuating currencies. Despite these challenges, the recent Africa Print and Sign Africa Expo in Cape Town had a quality visitor attendance and garnered great feedback from exhibitors, who reported good leads and sales.
This is a positive indication for the Africa Print expos that took place in 2016 at Durban, Polokwane and the upcoming Nelspruit and Johannesburg ones, which are expected to be a valuable platform for exhibitors to showcase their latest solutions, as well as an informative event for visitors. 

The Sign Africa and Africa Print regional expos are sponsored by Canon, Avery Dennison and Roland.

In addition to the expo’s being held around South Africa, visitors can also look forward to the FESPA Africa event, being held in Johannesburg from 7-9 September 2016. The FESPA Africa expo will be co-located with the Sign Africa and Africa Print Expo.

Entrance is free. For more information, and to pre-register online, please visit: or

Upcoming events include:

  • Sign Africa & Africa Print Nelspruit: 29 June 2016.
  • Sign Africa, Africa Print & FESPA Africa Gallagher Convention Centre: 7-9 September 2016.

Take your business to new heights in 2016

SAB Foundation’s Tholoana Enterprise Programme invites applications from entrepreneurs looking to grow their business

Do you have a viable, black-owned small business that would benefit from mentorship, training and business support? SAB Foundation invites interested parties to apply to the 2016Tholoana Enterprise Programme.

Successful candidates will be part of a high-energy solution that has helped hundreds of businesses to accelerate their success. Wrap-around support, c and qualified investment-readiness support, has been shown to improve the confidence and skills of entrepreneurs.

“Our partnership with small business growth specialists, Fetola, boosts the sustainability and success of the businesses in our Tholoana programme,” explains Bridgit Evans, head of the SAB Foundation.

“Tholoana offers committed candidates an incredible opportunity to take their business to the next level.”

The Tholoana Enterprise Programme supports small enterprises that benefit – or are run by – women, the youth and those living in rural and peri-urban areas. The SAB Foundation is especially keen to create opportunities for disabled entrepreneurs, who are strongly encouraged to apply. Similarly, applications are welcome from businesses working in new and/or growing sectors such as export, manufacturing, food processing, water, energy andwaste management.

“We want to make an impact in communities, areas and regions that are often under-resourced and have limited opportunities. To achieve this we are looking for the best candidates across all nine provinces, and will only consider enterprises with a proven business concept, a track record of trading and potential for growth,” concludes Evans.

If you are an entrepreneur or business owner with a registered business (or in the process of registering) that has been in operation for at least six months and less than five years, you may be eligible for the programme. Visit to review the entry criteria and submit an application.

Applications open on 1 March and close at noon on 31 March 2016


Traditional 13th cheque still used by companies throughout South Africa

The traditional guaranteed 13th cheque used as an employment benefit for senior management and other employees is still alive and used throughout many organisations in South Africa in addition to performance bonuses. This is supported by data from the recent REMchannel online survey where 72% of the general staff category employees which represents in excess of 500,000 employees reported that they receive a guaranteed bonus 13th cheque as a benefit.

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