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TIPS™ 2018





The Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management is a managerial leadership school that is focused on the creation of trans-disciplinary, socially relevant knowledge and of which the intent is to find solutions to practical work-based problems for future business leaders and innovative entrepreneurs. The institute aims to equip managerial leaders with the relevant tools to enable them to appreciate the importance of (and contribute to) the socio-economic transformation of South Africa.
Through the TIPS framework, Da Vinci enables managerial leaders to thoroughly understand technology management, innovation management, people management, systems management as well as business management.
Business management is defined as the process which enables managerial leaders to make value judgements on ways to improve the performance of their operations using processes that include technologies relevant in the market. It also includes human interface as well as innovative processes.
Speaking about the origins of the TIPS framework, Da Vinci Chief Executive Officer/Vice-President, Prof Benjamin Anderson said, “The management of technology, innovation and people in a systemic context found its origins in the work that has been done over the past 26 years in the TT100 business innovation Awards programme.”
“In the beginning years, we were curious in understanding, how people manage technology and how they make linkages in managing the results into innovations. In doing so, we realised that the companies who demonstrated competence in managing their technologies efficiently and effectively, and those who at the same time managed to put forward certain innovative constructs and commercialise them in the company DNA, start[ed] seeing a more agile engagement at work,” he added.
As part of their findings, Da Vinci realised that people were more interested in how problems are probed as opposed to how they are solved. The institute also found that people were also excited about creating solutions.
“As time went on, organisations started talking to us about how they engage and manage their people in ensuring the sustainability of the technology they have in place, as well as the longevity of the innovations that they are starting to emerge in. We then started seeing a more integrated picture emerging. The first was [that] the companies that had good management of technology, engagement and good management (of people) practices seem to be more aligned and can align themselves to changes in the world of work,” said Prof Benjamin.
When there is a recession, an uncalled-for crisis or changes in legislation, companies that manage technology successfully can be more sensitive towards the changes and align themselves to the emerging emergencies.
“We then saw a linkage between the way these companies managed their people in the workplace and the way they manage the innovation; this results in companies getting a more engaged workforce. The companies that were successful on those axes will talk easily about how they are involved in other community projects, how they are involved in reaching out to new communities, how diverse they are in their thinking of people being at work,” said Prof Benjamin.
“The linkages between how you manage your technology, your innovation and your people brought the frame of a more agile, a more aligned and more engaged workforce,” said Prof Benjamin.
Prof Benjamin says the risk is [that] organisations not balancing technology, innovation and people will ultimately show a detrimental effect on the bottom line.
Speaking about Africa embracing technology, Prof Benjamin says that the fact that there may be easier access to technologies in some of the developed socio-economic contexts doesn’t necessarily mean that people are not competent in utilising those technologies in Africa.
According to Prof Benjamin, the continent’s people practices is a strength; he says, “… but I am not sure that we are embracing enough the establishment of a system to ensure continuous development of new innovations. We may not already be the bright sun or the bright star, but we are definitely the rising sun.”
Prof Benjamin believes that the integration of the TIPS core themes could result in organisations being more agile, more aligned and having a more engaged workforce. He said, “These three principals or energies are critical in suggesting sustainable socio-economic development both within an organisation and outside of it. The TIPS framework is not the only frame that could facilitate socio-economic development, but I’m sure that it makes a real contribution.”

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