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Sunday, 21 December 2014 04:38

Speech for chief executive officer, Anglo American, Platinum

The chief executive officer's announcement of change management and the introduction of a new strategy and business model; for presentation and print, written to brief for multinational mining company Anglo American. I was responsible for research and writing.



A message from Chris Griffith, chief executive officer (CEO) of Platinum

As you all know we have recently reviewed our strategy and refocused the business on driving and delivering value from our operations, rather than pursuing a volume driven strategy. Our company’s history   can be traced back to 1923. It is a history of resilience and innovation, of ‘staying power’; a history of a successful organisation that has faced, and overcome, a number of internal and external challenges by making the necessary changes. Our recent challenges and changes are therefore a new era in our history. 

With change comes a choice: do you take it as a positive opportunity or as a negative defeat? Our approach, needless to say, is the positive - change presents opportunity for greater success. We have therefore responded to the recent fundamental changes in the market for platinum group metals by asking an equally fundamental question: ‘’what does a successful Platinum look like?’’

Our answer … a successful Platinum drives value and is an employer of choice. To these ends we have initiated steps to address systemic and humanistic change in the organisation. The systemic changes focus on processes, technology, headcounts, policies, infrastructure etc. The humanistic changes focus on acknowledging the importance of the ‘person’, his and her perceptions, emotional well-being, contributing roles in the organisation etc. The whole company is now working towards the same desired outcome of a 15% ROCE and these changes support the operations towards this achievement.

Success also means winning the hearts and minds of all our stakeholders, both internal and external. Driving value wins the hearts and minds in terms of financial gains, stability and dividends. We are good at these ‘hard’ business challenges; we have proved this over the last 90 plus years of staying in business.

Winning the hearts and minds of our internal stakeholders, becoming an employer of choice, is possibly our biggest challenge. This is our cultural transformation journey, best described by the Setswana and Sotho word ‘’tshiamo’’, meaning a ‘’bridge to wellness’’. The foundations of tshiamo are the three pillars: leadership, values and engagement.

The three pillars comprise 14 critical focus areas that will heal our organisation, develop a serving and supporting leadership style and an engaged workforce. A key outcome of tshiamo is that we work together as a team with a common purpose.  Many of you are already familiar with the 14 critical focus areas, or ingredients, of tshiamo. Over the coming months a concerted educational drive, ongoing communications and measurements will embed all aspects of our cultural transformation, making it an intrinsic part of how we do business and who we are as an organisation.

To ensure a holistic and focused approach to managing and delivering our strategy we support the organisation through the Platinum Review Office to facilitate and coordinate all the value-adding initiatives through the operations and functions.

I thank you all for embarking on this new journey with Platinum and I view it as an exciting and innovative chapter in our long and rich history, inspired by a commitment to all our stakeholders and to South Africa at large.

Finally, I thank you all for your considerable achievements in business improvements and efficiencies, cutting costs and increasing profitability since we introduced our new operating model, and I challenge you to take the bold steps to becoming an employer of choice.

The graphic below shows how Platinum’s success requires both ‘business changes’ and tshiamo or ‘people changes’. 

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Robert Colman

Call: 0420 528 575 | Email