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Monthly Archives: July 2012


By Mwangi Wanjumbi – Newtimes B. S. CEO & Chief Consultant/Trainer Board room intrigues and wars are now common occurrences and somehow favorite news items for not only the print and electronic media, but also the dynamic social media. Interestingly, people have been banned from ever sitting in boards of public companies. Perhaps, their past involvements, may have led to ongoing upheavals, in the companies that have been under their care. In other situations, national agendas continue being derailed by the same intrigues. It is really incomprehensible why some of us are determined to continue being stuck in old habits and culture in a fast changing world. In the recent years, meanwhile, I have personally been involved in 2 boards of some professional bodies. I have also had a stint in the leadership of a social organization. In the 90s, I chaired an estate security committee for a considerable while. Thus, I have good hands on exposure to boardroom intrigues, besides understanding the theoretical aspects only too well. Ideally, leadership principles and concepts apply in the same way, in all situations. In our own situation however, leadership is seemingly confused with politics. There is nothing bad in this as such, but let us avoid discussing an occupation whereby, it is almost always about who outsmarts who, how and in what, for most of the players. Further, power games and personal interests will many times outweigh the wider interests of the other stakeholders. Luckily, just like the world is changing rather fast especially in light of technological advancements and global dynamics, even our own situation is similarly transforming. That is despite stiff change resistance that is sometimes presenting overwhelming setbacks. Indeed, promulgation of our constitution in 2010 seemed not to have given any signals to some of our countrymen. To them, it has been business as usual despite the fact that Kenyans had resolutely voted for change through the August 2010 referendum. And as is normally the case, change anywhere must somehow encounter resistance, one way or the other. There are many reasons which explain this seemingly natural phenomenon. Firstly, we fear losing control particularly when the change threatens our sphere of influence. Secondly, we love our habits, a situation that makes it difficult to establish new behavior. Thirdly, we fear the ripple effect rightly believing that change comes with even more change that is presented in different scenarios. Fourthly people are never sure of how long it would take to adjust to the new circumstances. That is besides losing ability to predict what could eventually happen after the changes take shape. Perhaps that explains why we are now faced with predicaments of venturing into the 2013 elections using technology challenged modalities. Leaders cannot agree on the process of implementing desirable changes for reason of being driven by this change resistance phenomenon. Moreover, people do not seem to be in a hurry to outgrow the same challenges that the new constitution was largely meant to address. Ideally, it may be in the best of the interests of all of us to read the signs, as is being continually presented through the judicial arm of our national management system. Even worse to those continually resisting change is that this judicial arm is capable of enforcing the direction and behavior of parliament and executive, the other two arms. Another concern for those bent on resisting change is that the laws of the land have invaluably empowered ordinary mortals like me and you. At the promulgation of the constitution, we acquired one major right that we had been denied by the previous one. The legal maxim referred to as locus standi was earlier invoked by judges and lawyers, any time a litigant decided to seek legal redress on matters of public interest. This principle ensured that no member of the public could interfere in any matter that he/she had no personalized interest. Those in positions of authority were therefore left to do as they wished. But, the situation is now fundamentally different. Anybody can go to court to sue on behalf of the public. Grabbing of public property for example can no longer be free for all affairs as used to be the case in the past. Infringement of personal and legal rights of others can not be treated as private matters anymore. Indeed, it is a whole new world for both the corporate and natural citizens of this country. It is no wonder then that the civil society is now keenly watching over the excesses of the political order as well as the executive, and appropriately rushing for the guidance of a now continually empowered and seemingly independent judiciary. This new order of doing things is discomforting a system whereby the leadership has been used to crises and at best maintenance management. Action was seemingly being delayed or not taken until the emergence of crises situations, which could have been nipped on the bud. So, which way now? Gentlemen and Lady CEOs of both the private and public sector! Resisting change whether actively or passively may no longer be tenable. Actually, the practice of innovative leadership and management is inevitably beckoning, especially for those who may not have embraced the same. At the minimum, this involves anticipation of challenges and developing the requisite solutions before hand. Alternatively, it entails continually crafting the future today and working out ways of achieving that future. In view of dynamic changes driven by new realities, the practice of strategic leadership and management becomes a way of life for every future oriented organization. That is probably a smart way of aligning with the new order of doing things, given that change resistance may no longer be of help. For now do enjoy a continually re-aligned week.

By Mwangi Wanjumbi – Newtimes B. S. CEO & Chief Consultant/Trainer In line with global and national developments that affect business organizations, it is becoming increasingly necessary to be up-to date on emerging trends. Thus, some recent business research activities have yielded interesting conclusions that may be worth considering.  The first one is that that most of our organizations may need to embrace some inevitable shifts. The second is that the same need to be two-pronged.  On one hand is re-inventing the organization itself, whereas

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Organizations Are Entitled to Formulating and Controlling Their Brands as They May Deem Fit

By Mwangi Wanjumbi – Newtimes B. S. CEO & Chief Consultant/Trainer This week presented very interesting observations on organizational culture. As our daughter who studies at Strathmore University joined us, on her way to school one morning, I wondered aloud whether she will actually be allowed in class. Sure enough, she was asked to go and change even before entering the school compound. Strathmore University strictly maintains a documented dress code, which must be adhered to by all the stakeholders, irrespective of age or gender.

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Agreed! The Power to Read and Do What Appertains…Needs to be saved from further degradation

By Mwangi Wanjumbi – Newtimes B. S. CEO & Chief Consultant/Trainer It is yet another great season of graduations for both public and private universities. Traditionally, I have not been short of a few tips in the last 3 years or so. But, as I express my views, I wish to say a big thank you to the president for recently refusing to assent to the bill, which advocated possession of university degrees for Kenyan Legislators. There is no doubt that this bill was misinformed.

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It Is Time to Let Go the Command and Control Mentality That Is Incompatible With Modern Day Leadership Practices

By Mwangi Wanjumbi – Newtimes B. S. CEO & Chief Consultant/Trainer Perhaps, you have noticed that Manu Chandaria, a Kenyan Industrialist, recently received the Life Achievement Award, at the Africa Business Awards ceremony, that took place in London. You may also have noticed his numerous appointments through various boards and commissions as well as peace ambassador amongst others. These are no mean feats especially for one who could befittingly be enjoying life in the company of his grand children. But, what attracts my attention even

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