Henley Africa has partnered with African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) to provide a customised and accredited 8-month Post Graduate in Management, Women in Leadership programme to develop skills and competencies that will enable women in ARM to move into executive roles.

“The skills and competencies learnt will enable delegates to have a proper conversation in the boardroom. The managers chosen generally came from technical backgrounds with the goal to become influential managers in executive roles,” said Patience Magwenzi, Programme Director at Henley Business School Africa.

“Delegates, divided into syndicate groups, worked on a project to address current challenges within the ARM business. Their final ALP was then presented to a combination of ARM executives and Henley facilitators. The praises received have been nothing short of amazing,” she said.

“The measurement of the programme’s success of the first of two groups was based on the delegates’ performance in their assignments and final presentation of the projects, which has been a resounding success.”

“Out of the group of ladies, we welcomed a little girl named ‘baby Henley’ and we’re expecting ‘baby ARM’ any day now. It was a phenomenal group to manage from arranging baby showers, making chocolate for deserving teachers in Soweto, to having drumming sessions and courageous conversations – all after eight hours of academic drilling,” said Ms Magwenzi.

“Henley customised a fully accredited programme specifically for our needs and we have loved the it to date. We look forward to working with Henley in the future,” said Lebogang Phasha, Organisational Development Specialist at African Rainbow Minerals.

One delegate commented: “As Women-in-Leadership delegates from ARM, we strongly feel that the following modules disrupted and positively impacted our leadership styles: self-mastery; lean thinking; entrepreneurship; and systems thinking.  Self-mastery was a powerful take-home because one cannot give what we do not have.” 

“Systems thinking came out strong for me. The area l operate in is highly complex and requires a value-chain approach. It is a simple methodology to use to manage complex issues,” said another delegate.

Delegates agreed that the 4P’s in lean thinking were a major breakthrough for them in their area of work. “Understanding that people can make or break a business were key learnings,” another delegate emphasised.

“Our lectures highlighted the importance of running our respective business sub-units as if they are our own businesses, knowing the costs, consumption and production performances and how they impact the overall bottom line.”

She continued: “We all agreed that courageous conversation was also a major take home. Any leader who cannot engage in hard conversation is not ready for change, and as women, we have a built-in submissive-dominant character, and if anything, Henley managed to break that for us all. As a journey, we implemented an aerobics class and established a gym for mental and physical fitness to drive healthy and optimal performance.”
 
Another delegate commented: “The programme offered me an opportunity I cannot express in words. It was the first time I had engaged with a personal coach. The experience of having someone help you work on your challenges while enhancing your hidden talents or skills was valiable. The coaching came in at the right time in my personal and professional life as I needed to re-assess the direction I want to take in my career.”

“This included looking at my personality assessment to determine the areas that were hindering me when it came to decision-making and leadership skills and how to be able to acknowledge and work on identified issues. I have been able to answer many questions and focus on my goals. I learnt that I am a work in progress and it is okay to make mistakes, but we need to learn from them.”
 
Another delegate added: “My personal assessments revealed that I’m a feeler. African Rainbow Minerals and Henley always had small knowledge gifts for us and I really enjoyed each and everyone one of them. I found them relevant and thoughtful.”

“The activities were not what I expected but they allowed time for us as a class to work together and unwind after many hours spent in class. We managed to let the inner child in us come to the playground.”

Regarding interactive learning, she continued: “I loved the fact that we were not crunching numbers or having to study hard for tests or exams. The course design seemed easy but served a great purpose with teaching that could be applied in our real working environment so we can apply this or resolve problems.”

“Overall, our programme director knew exactly how to manage the programme. Her level of knowledge is remarkable. I learnt a great deal from her. In addition, not many companies will take their employees on a course and actually make time to visit, participate and mentor their employees. I loved the fact that the senior management at ARM supports our growth and is interested in seeing us progress in our careers,” another delegate concluded.