Message from the SAS SA Managing Director
Providing organisations with The Power to Know® since 1976.
We are quite far into the year and it’s certainly been a whirlwind period! I truly believe that this is a year of highlighting the importance of leadership and leaders. We see it throughout the globe as more people are challenging leaders and demanding accountability and reassessment of how things are done. Here at home, we are seeing that, from a political front, there is greater engagement from the constituents on the running of the country.
I have settled into my new role and dealing with the issues that are part and parcel of the role, and leadership is very much on top of my mind. A recent article in Forbes by Kevin Kruse was titled “What is leadership?”, and this got me thinking that we assume we know what leadership is, yet so many people have different interpretations of it. For example, John Maxwell defined it as influence, whilst Warren Bennis states that leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. I am more inclined to resonate more with Kevin Kruse who defines leadership as a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.
Although this may sound very clichéd, as SAS, we fully embrace Kruse’s definition through what we do – the provision of analytical tools helps us enable people to gain data, use the data and maximise the data in order to reach their organisational goals. Our passion in what we do is further demonstrated in the amount of time we spend doing research and development to ensure that our solutions not only deliver, but continuously exceed their intended performance.
I attended “The Premier Business Leadership Series” in Amsterdam, which is presented by SAS. This is a great platform that gives leaders a new way of approaching day-to-day business decisions, showing them how to improve business performance, create business intelligence and apply business analytics. I definitely gained a lot of insight and I encourage you to attend the next one, which will be hosted in Orlando, USA in October 22 - 24.
Leadership is also about empowering others and recently we ran a competition live on Google Plus Hangout, where we invited post graduate students from learning institutions across South Africa to enter the SAS Hangout Game Show. The questions were around statistics and the prize was a fully paid trip to the SAS Analytics Conference in London. The young lady who won the trip was ecstatic about the opportunity and we will share some of her experiences as part of our promotion of the “Year of Statistics”. During the month of August we will be launching Customer Intelligence 6.1 - the interface has been given a sleeker look and capability - so look out for the invitations to attend the showcase.
Lastly, on the 2-3 October we will be hosting our annual local forum, and this year, this illustrious event will be hosted at The Campus in Bryanston. It promises to be greater than last year so make sure you diarise the event in your calendar. We are engaging our partners and clients locally and in Kenya and Nigeria to present papers at the event to ensure that we are sharing and experiencing SAS across the continent!
My goal as the leader of SAS Southern Africa is to ensure that SAS is making a positive difference in the communities, organisations, clients, partners and individuals that we engage.
I look forward to engaging with you on our various communication platforms and we appreciate your feedback and views, so feel free to contact us.