Branding as a fundamental skill was delivered by Chris Harrison and got the participants reflecting on their company’s brands as well as their personal brands. To take in the scenic beauty and abundant wildlife in the Mara, there followed a really fun Game drive challenge with the very knowledgeable guides from Governors camp driving teams to find specific wildlife, all were found except…a Tortoise!
The weekend wrapped up with a dawn Hot Air Balloon Ride (A Bucket list tick off for a number of us) followed by a Champagne breakfast in the wild surrounded by Zebra, Wildebeest and Topi. Those who stayed in camp got some excitement too, with Lions taking down a Buffalo merely 300 meters away.
The sessions wrapped up with Dr Yolande Coombes taking the participants through Hallmarks of Leaders, then guiding them on crafting their personal leadership journeys that they wish to embark upon during the course of Amalgam programme.
All in all a wonderful weekend of deep self reflection, learning, and communing with Nature.
THE AMALGAM 2019/2020 LEADERSHIP JOURNEY STARTS OFF IN SPECTACULAR STYLE
The picturesque Governor’s camp in the Maasai Mara was the setting for the foundational weekend for the 2019-2020 Amalgam cohort.
The first session of the programme is based on the Amalgam tenet that leadership starts from within, whereby faculty and participants reflected on their journeys – the moments that have mattered – to get to where they are now, and events that shaped their leadership styles.
This was followed by sundowner drinks on the banks of the spectacular Mara River, where Harrison (Governor’s Camp Manager) in full Maasai regalia took the group through his personal leadership journey.
The next day’s session commenced with a life balance assessment session across 9 different life areas, followed by a session on setting up dashboards for both business and personal lives, led by the eloquent R.B. Ndungu, where the cohort worked on setting goals and measurement yardsticks for the year to come.
First Amalgam Graduation – September 2019
A GRADUATION, A TALE OF BUSINESS TENACITY, AND A NEW ASSOCIATION
This September, Amalgam Leadership’s pioneer cohort completed their one-year learning and growth programme that began in October 2018.
The Karen Country Club was the setting for the day which started off with an appreciation of the journey all the CEO’s and faculty had been on together. To further crystallize their key learnings and change commitments, they put together succinct presentations on how the Amalgam programme had impacted their business and personal lives, as well as advice to the incoming cohort.
The graduands then took the audience through the highlights of their path through the course, the learning, the self-discovery, and the changes it had brought about for them and their businesses.
In the audience were the incoming cohort of the 2019/2020 programme, the Board level sponsors of the CEO’s, and Amalgam Faculty members.
The inaugural graduation’s keynote speaker was Rose Kimotho MBS, a successful and seasoned businesswoman, an innovator in media, and a board member of several prominent corporations. Rose imparted the wisdom and lessons learnt in starting and selling businesses, being a pioneer innovator, resilience in the face of adversity, and bravery in striking out in new and unknown directions.
In recognition of their achievement, each participant was presented with a personalized Plaque plus a certificate of completion by the keynote speaker.
The Amalgam alumni association was then launched, in keeping with a key Amalgam objective of creating peer networks for mutual learning and support.
The occasion wrapped up with a sumptuous networking lunch accompanied by some fine wine….everyone deserved it!
Amalgam Cohort 1 Graduation – September 2019
July 2019 Session
WHAT INVESTORS LOOK FOR
Paul Kavuma surprises Amalgam Director Lenny Ng’ang’a by insisting that chemistry always trumps hard financials in the search for the right investment.
To balance the group’s perspectives, our lunch time guest speaker – Paul Kavuma of Catalyst Principals – spoke about what a Private Equity investor looks for in a business. The most important element is emotional, which he defines as finding investments where he can create a good chemistry with the people involved. He described the business and funding institution relationship as a marriage that provides mutual benefits over the long term.
VALUING AN ENTERPRISE
RB Ndungu: ‘At the end of the day, a business is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it.’
How do you value a business? When should you value a business? These questions provided the background for the last finance module delivered by the captivating RB Ndung’u at the July Amalgam Day.
And while he explained that there are many ways to value a business, ultimately its true worth is the amount of cash that an investor is willing to pay for it or a financier is willing to lend. The valuation of a business is at the end of the day subjective, which makes it more of an art than a science.
THE CEO AS BRAND MANAGER
Chris Harrison of The Brand Inside encourages our Class of leaders to set the right direction for the brands under their control.
Marketing is too important to be left to the Marketing Department (often the most junior people in the organisation). That was the key message Chris Harrison of The Brand Inside got across to our July audience. Drawing on 37 years of continuous experience in brand building, Chris gave great examples of local CEOs who have driven their companies to exceptional profitability by setting the marketing context and inspiring the brand. He also provided a clear checklist for any business leader who wants to take control of brand direction.
PROTECTING YOUR ASSETS
Johnny Walker, Head of Investigations at Salama Fikira takes a tricky question from our Class of 2019.
Johnny Walker and Adam Lakhani of leading risk management company Salama Fikira gave our Class an illuminating presentation on the modern means available for screening potential business partners and key employee hires to mitigate risks to the enterprise. Participants were amazed at how much information is available on the Deep Web and Dark Web, and how mobile communication and social media are rich sources of critical information on individuals.
June 2019 Session
The June Amalgam session was held on Friday June 21st, and covered the leadership, marketing and technology areas of the curriculum.
EXCEPTIONAL BUSINESS RESULTS POWERED BY CREATIVE MARKETING
Creativity in marketing was the second area covered and the participants were taken through case studies and videos showcasing some of the most creative campaigns that delivered exceptional business results for their brands and companies. The case studies were both local and international in scope. A distillation of the key elements that made these campaigns so successful, and pointers on how to foster creativity in their marketing were provided and discussed animatedly.
UNPACKING THE VARIOUS IT TECHNOLOGY ROLES
The role of the CEO in a hyperconnected world was the technology module for the day and was delivered by the CEO of CIO East Africa, Harry Hare. The participants were taken through the expectations of the CEO in this age, the role of a CIO as distinct from an IT manager, and how the CEO guides, and can analyze gaps, in the company’s holistic IT strategy.
The day was punctuated by great pastries, vol-au-vents, and excellent coffee to accompany the great engagement and camaraderie in the room.
ESSENTIALISM, CREATIVITY, AND PRIORITIES, A PRECIS OF THE JUNE AMALGAM DAY
LEADERSHIP OF SELF – WHAT IS ESSENTIAL?
On the leadership side, the focus was on leading the self, and the participants learned the concept of “Essentialism” i.e. Identifying and focusing on what is essential to your goals and performance and being ruthless about cutting out the non-essential. This was followed up with a practical exercise where each participant mapped out where their time goes, and where it ideally should go.
True to the Amalgam philosophy of implementing practical solutions; each participant drafted an action plan to work towards their ideal time allocation.
May 2019 Session
OBSERVE AND EXECUTE: ROYAL MEDIA SERVICES’ FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
Royal Media Services CEO Wachira Waruru addressing Amalgam Leadership Programme participants on 17 May 2019
Royal Media Services leadership in broadcast media, from Citizen TV to a wide range of radio stations, is undisputed. Royal Media Services CEO Wachira Waruru narrated the story of the Group’s journey to the Amalgam Leadership Programme class. The key lesson is that in their focus on the mass market, they applied common sense observations (strategies) and executed them very well.
HOW BUSINESS LEADERS SHOULD DEAL WITH UNCERTAINTY AND RISKS
Amalgam’s Dr. Yolande Coombes giving a presentation to Amalgam Leadership Programme participants on 17 May 2019
Dealing with uncertainty and taking risks is an integral part of the job of a business leader. There are ways to minimise the risk of inaction and to mitigate the danger of disastrous results arising from poor decisions. Dr. Coombes took the Amalgam Leadership Programme class through a practical process to handle uncertainties and risks.
April 2019 Session
WHAT PUTS YOU IN THE GRIP?
Dr.Yolande Coombes engages our CEO’s on managing anger and frustration in work and home life. Today we learned that anger is a choice. We also discovered that breathing in a controlled way is a great way to dissipate anger, giving you back control in difficult situations.
Amalgam’s leadership curriculum addresses three aspects of leadership:
- Leading the self
- Leading others
- Leading the organisation
BUSINESS FINANCING ALTERNATIVES
RB Ndungu explains the New Age of Funding. With his avuncular style he always makes the most complex Finance issues clearly understandable. Ever heard of Mezzanine Financing? Do you understand the difference between Angel Investor, Venture Capitalist and Private Equity Funding? Do you know the best Crowd Funding sites? Understand the potential of Carbon-Credit Funding? All Amalgam participants now do!
Tim Oriedo continues his exposition on how interconnectivity is making business efficiency more possible. He shares dozens of applicable lessons for our participants to try in their own businesses. For example, classifying customers, profiling them biometrically and, through voice recognition, directing them to the most appropriate customer service response automatically.
Tim stresses the importance of balancing strategy, culture and technology: “Big data is not a technology, it’s a state of mind”
February 2019 Session
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE HEADS THE AMALGAM LEADERSHIP AGENDA
Mike du Toit, the Managing Director of Liberty Kenya Holdings Limited and Liberty Group’s Regional Executive for East and Central Africa, sharing a common-sense, yet powerful, approach to corporate governance at the February 2019 Amalgam session.
APPLYING THE INTERNET OF THINGS TO TRANSFORM SUPPLY CHAIN EFFICIENCY
John Waibochi, Founder and CEO of Virtual City – experts in Supply Chain Automation, Knowledge Management and Interactive Solutions – illustrates how to digitally transform distribution solutions to counter fraud and improve efficiency. He took a Horticulture supply chain as his live example at the February 2019 Amalgam session.
ONE-ON-ONE COACHING MAXIMIZES THE IMPACT OF AMALGAM’S APPLICABLE LEARNING
Amalgam leadership provides personal mentoring to help our CEOs make progress on the deliverables they want from the programme – specific commitments to change in personal, professional and business life.
March 2019 Session
GUEST SPEAKER – MICHAEL G. WAWERU
Amalgam was privileged to host Michael G. Waweru, the first Commissioner General of the Kenya Revenue Authority as our guest speaker for the March session.
Michael Waweru took the Amalgam participants along on his journey from starting, implementing, and entrenching culture change in the KRA. He was the KRA Commissioner General from 2002 to 2012, and at the helm when the diverse tax organizations that existed before had to be brought together under one roof, had to learn to work together, and have a common purpose and vision.
He shared with the Amalgam class how he steered the organization to the remarkable achievement of improving collections from Kshs 183 billion in 2001/2002 to Kshs 707 Billion in 2011/2012, implementing the balanced scorecard in an organization with a headcount of over 4,700, and getting the KRA voted the most respected public sector organization; very rare for a tax authority anywhere in the world!
We sincerely thank Michael Waweru for taking the time to enlighten the Amalgam cohort.
January 2019 Session
In a packed programme, Amalgam CEOs first gained more applicable learning in three key curriculum areas:
In Technology Curriculum, John Waibochi, CEO of Virtual City, lectured on The Internet of Things (IoT) and shared an amazing case on the revitalization of the supply chain for Kenya Tea Development Authority.
In Leadership Curriculum, Chris Harrison, Africa Partner at The Brand Inside, spoke about the factors influencing organizational culture inside modern African enterprises.
And in Finance Curriculum, RB Ndungu offered practical advice on setting up business dashboards.
Our Mid-day Speaker was Guy Jack, CEO of the highly successful ABM Group, which includes a million-unit per year automotive battery factory, regional Sales and Marketing operations
for Chloride Exide and Chloride Solar, solar panel manufacturing plant Solinc and injection moulding plant Precision Plastics. The Group has grown from small beginnings to a Ksh 8 billion turnover group under Guy’s 25-year leadership.
Outside work, Guy has:
- Represented Kenya internationally in 2 competitive sports – skeet shooting and rally driving – at World Championship Level
- Become a Karate Black belt and a Krav Maga expert
- Climbed Mt. Kenya six times
- Qualified as a pilot
Amalgam CEO’s learnt that goals, focus, commitment and mental toughness are among several leadership traits that produce wins, both in sport and business.