MEIBC | Transformation into the Future
For a host of reasons, the past year is one that will be remembered by many South Africans. The year will hold particularly fond memories for the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) says Thulani Mthiyane, General Secretary, Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council. “When my predecessor assumed office, he was tasked with transforming the Council to reflect the industry that it serves. They were tasked with formulating strategies that would make the MEIBC a well-known brand in general. We are building on their efforts and implementing the outstanding plans from their strategic document,” says Mthiyane. He observes that the present council has continued to make sure that employment in, and within, the industry is fair and takes into account all the factors that were noted then. In short, it means that the Council will continue to represent the industry to the best of its ability and look to grow its influence wherever possible.
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Reversing the Brain Drain
By Dan J. WangTo an outside observer, highly skilled workers and entrepreneurs who globetrot between the United States and their home countries may appear enviable. “Why wouldn’t someone who can straddle two cultures, who is familiar with both the local context of his home country but also brings new skills, resources, and networks acquired abroad be better off than his peers?” asks Professor Dan Wang, whose research in management and sociology focuses on social networks, international migration, and globalisation, especially as they apply to venture capital, private equity, and entrepreneurship in emerging markets. Wang found that many developing countries were among the least friendly and successful at welcoming returnees back. Brazil, China, and Russia, for example, while quickly developing infrastructure to support international business, have not yet developed a global perspective that would be more welcoming to returnee knowledge. In contrast, European nations tend to benefit from returnee knowledge transfer because Europe is culturally and institutionally more similar to the United States.
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Today’s business executives face a very different set of risks from that of their predecessors. New risks continue to emerge ranging from cyber-crime and security breaches, through to the risks that are associated with meeting increasingly complex regulatory and compliance requirements. Many executives will have to find a balance between making tough and multifaceted decisions while operating in a challenging global environment. All businesses, whether a small SMME or a listed corporate company, have to contend with a seemingly endless list of requirements for better transparency, disclosure, accountability and governance, to name a few. It inevitably brings about a barrage of responsibilities that directors and officers need to comply with, not to mention keeping abreast of various enactments, corporate codes and best practices. The personal risks for executives and the reputational risks for corporates themselves are significant. In extreme cases directors and officers may even be forced to surrender personal assets due to circumstances beyond their control.
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Share a Little, Save a Lot
Conventional corporate wisdom does not always readily endorse so much transparency and information sharing. “There are plenty of reasons a firm or its staff might resist information sharing,” Professor Marco Di Maggio says. “First, it’s not easy to demonstrate that it’s productive.” Consider a taxation expert at a law firm. “She may not work directly with clients and so produces no billable hours — but her expertise is sought out by colleagues who are producing many billable hours. By serving as a source of expertise on tax questions, she’s undoubtedly improving the firm’s productivity, but the firm can’t readily measure just how much.” High-skilled workers may feel they confront a double-edged sword: being tapped as an expert by one’s peers can signal expertise to superiors, but spending time answering questions may seem like an inefficient use of time.
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