Around the Fire

A fire in Africa is magic. It is the place where people gather to get light in the darkness and to protect them from the cold. It is a social place, where folklore is transferred from one generation to the other. A fire provides energy for preparing food, provides safety and a sense of belonging. It is where the shamans predict tomorrows, drive out bad spirits and cleanse the souls of their followers. The flames provide images that are ever-changing and stimulate the imagination of those who stare in them. A fire is what inspires us, ignites the will to take on the future and provides faith in the beauty of human existence. We all need a fire…

What is “Around the fire…”?

We are presenting regular events consisting of short facilitated and interactive sessions on specific topics in collaboration with TBi. We announce these events on a regular basis and they take place around a real fire at the TBi premises, or around a virtual fire, using on-line meeting tools. You are welcome to send us suggestions for topics. We normally publish a blog on the topic to prepare you for the thinking. The rules are simple: no formal PowerPoint presentations, an expert introduction of the topic may be given and a lightly facilitated discussion takes place. When we have a physical fire, you bring your own drinks and we provide a light meal, when it is a virtual fire, you do both from where you want to. You may even light your own fire. What you take away are concepts mentioned by other participants contextualised against the background of the blog to apply to your life and work. We all make new friends and broaden our views on many aspects of work and life. 

Book your seat around the fire early, since limited numbers can be accommodated.

Sessions

Personal Branding

The need for a courageous conversation

Thursday, 27 August 2020, 17:00 – 18:30, on Zoom

One thing that cannot be taken away from us is our freedom to choose how we react to any situation. We can choose to act as victims and become paralysed and passive and fall deeper into the prevalent blaming culture. But we can also choose to react and take responsibility for our lives. How we respond will always and at the deepest level be driven by how we see ourselves. How we react to circumstances in life is no accident. We react true to the character we have created. True to the picture or brand we hold ourselves to be.

For background on this discussion look at the guest blog by Jaco Boëttger

Our fragile food system

This session was held on Thursday, 13 August 2020

It is more than food and … beer. We cannot not eat. Do we need COVID to remind us of this? A crisis is an opportunity. In this case, an opportunity to reflect on the impact of disruptive events on the South African food system. What is food security? Is South Africa food secure? It is more than just the availability of food, more than technology. It is a new way of thinking that is required to ensure that our people are not hungry. We have a fragile food system operating in a dual economy. Although no South African should be hungry or malnourished, a large percentage of our people do not have access to food, or the right food. The problem is in the techno-socio-political dimension. We need technology, but also smart thinking. Markets respond instantaneously to need, like the rising volume and price of pineapples in the COVID lockdown to make beer…

For more information go to the “Our fragile food system” blog by Justy Range

The essence of technology

This session was held on Thursday 23 July 2020

Do we understand technology? Do we know why we created it? Do we know how it contributes to economics? How do we work with technology? We may have started to take technology for granted. We even have different perceptions about technology. What are the basics behind understanding technology? Do we have frameworks to describe it in such a way that it makes our workplace and our lives more efficient? To go to Mars, we need a fundamental understanding of physics. Do we have a fundamental understanding of technology that our livelihoods and economics are built on? We will look at technology governance duties for modern day decision making, how technology can be described by elementary frameworks, how techno-economics has changed the rhythm of long waves of change, how our C-suite executives can be assisted by a deep fundamental understanding of technology as the driving asset in their enterprises, and how we can learn from eco-systems mother nature has given us to guide us in knowledge.

For more information, look at two of our guest blog posts by Ferdi Lochner:

The egoless leader

This session was held on Thursday 30 June 2020
When challenged with physical distance our minds open up to ideas that will assist to get our team members to perform and deliver. Now that we are faced with remote leadership and management, you may increasingly be expected to answer to your teams when it comes to why? When the why is answered satisfactorily, buy-in from teams can be expected because control shifts from manager or leader to the team member. It is now so more important to allow yourself to be human and vulnerable – acknowledge your dependency on the support of you team. Answering why, asks of the leader to be egoless. In times like these your employees and customers need your authentic self. The core assets of our organisations are found in the intelligence, values, skills and experience of our employees.

For more information go to “The Egoless Leader” blog by Chris Heunis

Nature inspired leadership

This session was held on Thursday 11 June 2020

The human being is a learning organism. Our self-perceived superior intellect on earth has made us believe that we know best, and if not, can learn from our theories, our experience, our places of higher education and our peers. However, we keep forgetting to learn from the greatest master who had time to perfect things for millennia – nature. 

For more information go to the “Nature inspired leadership” blog by Anthon Botha.

Virtual Business Leaders

This session was held on Thursday 28 May 2020

Boardrooms are empty during the Corona virus lock-downs and our leaders are challenged to operate in virtual space. Older versions of leadership have changed and the leader’s ability to truly lead, influence and communicate is now being tested. The concepts of feeling, sensing and experiencing conjure up associations with heightened awareness. Now, more than ever, the higher purpose of the organisation, business, company, firm, or industry, steered by strong virtual leaders, will be respected and understood: to collectively achieve a shared goal to the benefit of all, in a fair and compassionate manner.

For more information go to the “Virtual Business Leaders” blog by Chris Heunis.

Making sense of uncertainty


This session was held on Thursday 21 May 2020
We have come to a sudden stop to our stampede. We are still milling around, locked in and blinded by our own dust. The river ahead is deep, the other side unknown. Some are taking the first steps to cross into uncharted land. How do we take the herd along?

For more information go to the “Make sense of uncertainty” blog by Anthon Botha.

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