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Issue 05 September 2013
Unleashing Africa's potential
Growth and business opportunities in Africa are getting global investors excited, reports Olivia Kokushubila Lwabukuna in Pambazuka News. But Africa's leaders must counter multiple threats to its prosperity. How? By boosting competitiveness, fostering inclusive growth, promoting resilience and tapping talent, writes the author. To unleash Africa's human development potential, leaders will have to invest more in areas like education, nutrition and health, especially for young people. Empowering women, supporting young entrepreneurs and promoting greater mobility should also be priorities on the development agenda.
> Full story: Olivia Kokushubila Lwabukuna: "Tracing Africa's progress and potential", Pambazuka News, Issue 643 (15 August 2013)
For further insight, read: Cracking Africa’s Talent Challenge: Why Executive Development is Key
Leadership: in praise of introverts
Action-takers and risk-seekers may be sexy, but introverts definitely deserve more attention, reports management guru Tom Peters in the Financial Times. He cites - Susan Cain's "Quiet" and Frank Partnoy's "Wait" - which both argue that introverted employees, who are often perceived as too slow or passive, can actually help executives to think deeply, strategise, and solve complex problems. Similarly, introverted leaders tend to excel at listening to and encouraging employees. Charisma, writes Peters, is vastly overrated. The power of procrastination and thoughtfulness, on the other hand, is often underestimated.
> Full story: Tom Peters, "Leaders must watch and wait more often" in the Financial Times (26 August 2013).
Chief Financial Officer: with a little help from your HR friends
Finance and HR - functions both undergoing major transformations - should team up to meet their new, more strategic responsibilities, writes Andrew R. McIlvaine in Human Resource Executive Online. Surveys show that many finance leaders are struggling to attract top talent by failing to advertise the exciting new facets now offered by senior financial roles. Fearing that finance may limit their career development opportunities and offer uncompetitive compensation, many potential candidates tend to opt for non-finance roles instead. How can HR help? By fostering a greater focus on capability building and leadership in the finance function, as well as on building career paths, the author concludes.
> Full story: Andrew R. McIlvaine: "The beginning of a beautiful friendship" in Human Resource Executive Online (1 August 2013).
Supply chain and logistics: tackling the talent deficit
Talent shortages represent a huge challenge for logistics in the years ahead, reports SDC Executive. According to a recent survey by the global supply chain and logistics membership organisation BVL International, around 70 percent of participants predict a talent deficit at both the operational level as well as in the planning and controlling function. Demographics are fuelling this trend in the United States and Europe, while fierce competition from other segments like finance, strategy and IT is draining talent away from logistics in emerging economies. Training programs and strategic cooperation with universities and research institutions are the key strategies that companies plan to adopt to counteract this talent shortage.
> Full story: "New Study Reveals Nine Key Trends of Global Logistics", in SDC Executive (9 August 2013)