Our CREPES–Thinking™ blog explores cultural perspectives across Africa to drive performance innovation

USIU-APPI Certified Process & Performance Professional (CPPP) Program

 APPI    USIU, CREPES™, 1000 Comments September 9, 2016 11:18 A.M.

As African economies lose billions of dollars annually due to inefficiencies, millions of professionals skilled in business process and performance analytics will be needed in the next 5 years. The new USIU-APPI Certified Process & Performance Professional (CPPP) program provides you the practical experience and skill sets needed to stay competitive locally and globally. It also gives you the opportunity to pioneer the next frontier for Africa innovation, efficiency, and productivity across all industry sectors.

The program uniquely certifies your knowledge and validates your capability to implement business process and performance global best practices in the context of Africa cultural, social, political, economic, and business environment. Certified candidates will be added to APPI Consultant Network to lead future projects and performance improvement programs for governments, businesses, and organizations across Africa.

Training starts October 24, 2016. Application deadline is September 30, 2016 and only 20 slots are available.

Click here to view or download the brochure: usiu_appi_training_brochure_online

How to Drive Organizational Culture Change and Results in Africa

November 6, 2015 10:48 P.M.

African Process & Performance Institute In course of our work, business, travels, and adventures across 20 countries in Africa, we enjoy the opportunity to explore and experience the habits, cultures, mindsets, work ethics, and ease of providing and/or obtaining services. We also enjoy the conversations with our colleagues, clients, business partners and random people about the future of their country. We hear stories about how difficult it is to do business if you are not connected to the right individual(s). We hear stories about how an application for business permit took six months instead of one month because the one individual or “personality” that is authorized to sign the document is on vacation? We even heard stories of business owners and top managers who never took vacation due to fear that their business will collapse during their short absence. The list goes on.

These are real experiences that, in our opinion, underscores our observations that majority of African public institutions and private organizations are built around individual(s) or “personalities.” The type and quality of service you get depends on who you know and/or who knows you. Consequently, the ultimate success in (1) getting a job/contract; (2) obtaining permits and starting a business; (3) running and staying in business; (4) providing and/or obtaining quality services; depend to a large extent on knowing the “right individual / personality,” regardless of the established processes.

For the privileged with the means and access to the “right personality,” this kind of a setup is a perfect world. However, the adverse consequences to our respective countries and Africa at large can no longer be ignored. There is no doubt Africa has made enormous progress in the last decades. But due to the personality-driven cultures, public and private sector service delivery across Africa are yet to be optimally (1) Consistent in meeting customer/citizens expectations, (2) Responsive to market/citizens demands (3) Effective in making desired positive impact (4) Profitable enough to spur economic growth (5) Efficient in saving time & money, and (6) Sustainable for the next generations.

We don't need this blog or a 250 pages research paper to tell us our daily realities across Africa as a result of the collateral damages inherent in “personality-driven” societies. But we do have options:

  1. Do Nothing: we can decide to remain contented with the status quo as long as the consequences –positive or negative are understood, acknowledged, and accepted. The “Do Nothing” philosophy requires no action and upsets no one. However, ignoring the very obvious problems that are growing daily will only postpone the inevitable disruptive results.
  1. Choose Good: We must understand that doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons is not only a moral imperative for our citizens but a good business and diplomatic strategy for Africa. To that end, we must make a fundamental conscious decision – LET AFRICA BE GOOD. This decision requires involvement and commitment of concerned citizens, respective countries, regional bodies, and super-regional institutions such as Africa Union.
  1. Establish a culture of process and performance: organizations with “personality-driven” cultures depend and/or fluctuates based on the moods of few individuals. To build strong and stable environment, organizations must ensure that these ten steps are taken: (1) realistic goals/objectives are set; (2) policies are defined; (3) processes & procedures are clear and well understood by all; (4) roles, responsibilities and accountability are assigned/owned; (5) right metrics and performance are tracked, measured, and monitored; (6) incentive structures for performance are established; (7) skills are constantly updated (8) cultures and change are managed; (9) compliance and risks are mitigated; (10) people, technology, infrastructures, and information are aligned to enable the processes to achieve the desired result. We will expand more on the 10 steps in our future blogs.
  1. Transition African public institutions and private organizations from personality- driven to process and performance driven cultures: Cultural transformation does not happen overnight. It requires a sustained and committed effort for the long term. There will be a lot of head winds but we must keep our eyes on the price. The hope that one day our citizens will be able to get a job or obtain a benefit they qualify for even if they don't know any “personality.”

Culture change is never an easy or a quick task. It requires long term strategy, constant communication, concerted efforts and commitment from all stakeholders. What must be vehemently resisted by all is the defeatist attitude that “This is Africa” and that's the way it is. We must not succumb to the soft bigotry of low expectations. The change will come only when we take a stand and say NO, that is NOT how Africa should be. But we must also be willing to make the necessary sacrifice to transition from “personality-driven” culture to process and performance culture to make our process more sustainable for the future generations.

[ About the Authors

Emeka Okonkwo and Marie Vandenabeele are Directors of African Process & Performance Institute (APPI). APPI advocates, train, and advice executives about ways to make organizations more Consistent, Responsive, Effective, Profitable, Effective, and Sustainable (CREPES™). ]

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