PMS Youth Empowerment Network (YEN): South Africa is one of the countries in the world that has taken a decisive step to promote Youth Entrepreneurship, and yet we are one of the poor performers in Youth Enterprise Development. We have created this network to add to the country’s efforts in developing and empowering our youth. Every year in June, the South African youth month, we will host this network to remind ourselves that the youth are our future and we should take stock of how we are performing in their empowerment through entrepreneurship. However, this network goes beyond enterprise development. It covers all the areas of our society where we want youth input and participation. We are proud of this network. It has been running annually since 2011 and we would like to promote it beyond South Africa and the continent. We want to connect our youth with the other youth of the world, and build exchange platforms and programmes, like the Conceptualizing a Successful & Sustainable Youth Enterprise Development Model (Products & Services, Business Development & Market Access, Systems & Knowledge Support, Exports Markets Development, Financial & Technical Support, etc.).
PMS Savings & Investment Network (SAINet): (Coming soon)
PMS Global Talent Mobility Network (GTMN): The African continent is one of the highest recipients of global talent. Business practitioners in the global talent mobility space are experiencing complex client demands and therefore are encouraged to work together in developing a talent pool that will be able to service the needs of the growing number of highly specialized expatriates that are deployed in Africa by the global multinationals. Secondly, the African governments are becoming sophisticated in the regulation of the movement of foreign talent into the continent. Most countries are pushing for compliance with localization policies to make sure that their countries are not only benefiting the foreign countries but also the local citizens. The platforms create the opportunity for the practitioners to make sure that the local and global trends are aligned. This is one of the young sectors in Africa with the highest relevance to the African economy.
PMS Development Agencies Network (DAN): South Africa is known to have benefited from the active society of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) who volunteered to resolve community development problems associated with the neglect of the previous Apartheid Government. However, post-1994 a number of NGOs disappeared as more and more people opted for business opportunities that came with our young democracy. We are now where we were before. There is a need for more social entrepreneurs and NGOs to tackle the problems of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Some private companies have established Foundations and Corporate Social Investments (CSI) Programmes to respond to these challenges. We would like to bring these practitioners and organizations together to discuss the trends in this important sector of our society. We encourage professionals and companies to present case studies and insights to develop each other. Some institutions of learning have introduced Social Entrepreneurship Programmes to equip practitioners with knowledge to grow and professionalize the sector. This is a welcomed development and is encouraged. Our Forum pledges to continue supporting such initiatives.
PMS Economic Empowerment Network (EEN): There are very few institutions of learning that teach Economic Empowerment & Transformation as a qualification, and yet this is one of the key components of the South African economic & political environment. Any business strategy that does not start by unpacking these two phenomena is ignorant of the realities of the South Africa of today, and it is likely to miss the opportunities that are associated with this country. The forum is created for the practitioners and academics to get together and unpack the issues. We will encourage the participants to bring case studies to the round tables, discuss and present them to the plenary for further deliberations. The only constant in today’s business is transformation and change. The economic empowerment of the neglected sectors of the South African society is imperative for all the companies that are committed to the growth of our country.
PMS Entrepreneurship Development Network (EDN): Economic empowerment and transformation in the South African context means growing the participation by previously disadvantaged individual in the main economic sectors of the country. However, the current economic players seem not to see the benefit in allowing new players in. We want the current and aspiring entrepreneurs to come together and debate on what needs to happen to change the status quo. South Africa cannot be globally competitive as long as the bigger part of the population is excluded from the economic activity. This is self-defeating and must be addressed. Business, especially, the private sector must want to address this situation. It is to their benefit. Let us drive entrepreneurship development until we have reached the critical mass that guarantees the country a meaningful position in global entrepreneurship competitiveness. This is more than Black Economic Empowerment. It is about global entrepreneurship competitiveness. When are we going to feature meaningfully in global entrepreneurship week competitiveness?
PMS TRIAD Human Capital Network (THCN): The TRIAD is a concept that entails three sectors at which holistic human capital and skills development take place, namely, (i) Community; (ii) Institutions of Learning (Academies, Colleges, Universities); and (iii) Industry. This forum encourages the country to approach human capital and skills development holistically, and invest at all levels of individuals’ development. Programmes and interventions should be introduced within the Communities, Institutions of Learning, and Industries. Then, there are those programmes and interventions that should be aimed at transitioning between the three sectors, and closing the gaps between them. The type of transitional & bridging programmes & interventions, i.e. (a) Study & Learning Readiness Programmes (Bridge 1 – Between Communities and Learning Institutions); (b) Work Integrated Learning Programmes (Bridge 2 – Between Learning Institutions and Industry); and (c) Socio – Economic Development & Scholarships/Bursary Programmes (Bridge 3 – Between Companies and the Communities from which the pull labour force).
PMS Women Empowerment Network (WEN): Since 2011 we have been hosting Women Empowerment sessions in August, the South African women’s month, to support the country’s commitment to empowering women and integrating them in the key sectors of our economy. This does not mean that men are excluded from this network. As long as they support the objectives of emancipating our female citizens, they are welcome to participate. Women are encouraged to take the leadership in their own empowerment and challenge men to be supportive of the programmes and initiatives. There is a need to consolidate Women Empowerment Programmes and Initiatives in South Africa to achieve maximum impact. Women are in the majority in South Africa. Their active participation in the economic activities of the country will increase our economic production, management and leadership capacity. This will make us economically competitive in the continent and globally. This is not a favour to women, but economic resource needs that cannot be ignore any longer.
PMS Professional Translators Network (PTN): It is a known fact that South Africans are quick at learning foreign languages. However, when it comes to international business relations and communication, please do not take chances. Employ the services of the professional translator. How would you know if the translator is not genuine? This network has been put together to create the opportunity for those qualified professional translators to protect their profession. We also need to grow interest in this profession. This could be one of the highest paying professions, especially now that South Africa is a full member of community of nations like AU, UN, BRICS, etc. We will take regular stock of the sector at our dialogues. We hope to connect with similar networks globally and collaborate in our service offerings. How does one become a professional translator? What are career opportunities? Where does one study to become a professional translator?
PMS VIP Management Services Network (VIP MSN): South Africa is very unique in the world in the sense that most of its successful entrepreneurs are those who transitioned from executive positions in corporate into self-employment. However, the challenge that most of them encounter is how to effect this transition. Some are forced to initially operate part-time, i.e. while they are employed. They end up being ethically conflicted. Some of them are caught and their careers are destroyed before they could achieve their objective of becoming self-employed. It is for this reason that we are holding this Forum to offer solutions to this important career stage. This is like an incubator for professionals. Over and above this dialogue, Cometsa offers VIP Management Services to those professionals who want to make this transition. Join other professionals at our dialogues to hear how they are or have handled their transition. Do not take chances, plan it carefully.
PMS Professional Interpreters Network (PIN): (Coming soon)
PMS Executive Coaches Network (ECN): The Executive Coaches Network is a platform established for the practitioners in the Executive Coaching Sector to interact, network, exchange knowledge, information, and discuss trends in the sector. The dialogues provide the opportunity for the coaches, clients, sponsors and aspiring professional coaches to discuss new methodologies, approaches, practices, and challenges nationally, continentally and globally. The resolutions from the round table dialogues and plenary are posted onto the social media platforms to attract inputs from the international and local network who could not attend the dialogues. The ultimate objective is to continue the dialogue beyond the day of the event and grow human capital through executive coaching interventions.
PMS Professional Speakers Network (PSN): The United States of America has successfully created a lucrative sector out of the professional speaking sector. We believe that South Africans have natural talent in speaking that will even challenge the Americans, if not come close second to them. Their success was not by chance but their education system instils confidence in their children early in their education life. We want teachers, educationists, politicians and practitioners to consider growing the speaking sector in the country. It sounds less important but it is indeed one of the sectors that inspire a lot in the nation’s people. Our dialogue is committed to making this sector attractive to many people. Once you are a subject matter expert, you can develop yourself as a speaker and then specialize in speaking about the subject you master very well. How do I develop the business of public speaking in South Africa and globally?
PMS Management & Leadership Network (MLN): Many books have been written about Global Management & Leadership. Every country has a specific global context of management and leadership to deal with. More and more South African companies are venturing into foreign markets/countries and they are sending their best managers and leaders there. Companies like MTN, SABMiller, and Sasol, are some of the successful South African companies that have sent their best managers and leaders to foreign markets to lead their operations. The Global Management & Leadership Forum’s main aim is to bring both South African and global managers & leaders together to discuss and share insights in Global Management & Leadership practices that are necessary for companies to thrive in new and foreign markets.
PMS Professional Writers Network (PWN): Professional writers, like artists, can be very isolated, and yet the rest of the population wants their writing. It is amazing that these inspirational professionals do not get together to share their professional experiences often enough. We have created this network to allow the professional writers to get together and support each other. We also want them to hear from their clients, the readers. If you are a professional and aspiring writer, register to attend our dialogues. You will appreciate the value you will obtain from meeting fellow writers. You may also meet authors that are open to co-authoring of books and articles.
PMS Work Integrated Learning Network (WILNet): In South Africa Work-Integrated Learning is often confused with learnerships, graduate programmes, and on the job training after completion of studies. Work-Integrated Learning is an integral part of the studies (the diploma or degree). It is a partnership between the vocational office of the college or university, often referred to as Cooperative Education Department, Faculties, and Industry. The Cooperative Education Department works closely with the industry to determine the availability of learning spaces in the companies, while the Faculty Coordinators are there to make sure that the student fulfills the faculty academic requirements as they go through the programme in the industry. All the Universities of Technology in South Africa, and some other Comprehensive & Traditional Universities are members of the Southern African Society for Cooperative Education (SASCE), www.sasce.net , which advances Cooperative Work-Integrated Education (CWIE) and Learning (WIL). Some TVET Colleges are also members of SASCE.
PMS ICT Applications Network (IAN): (Coming soon)
PMS Projects Consulting & Management Network (PCMN): (Coming soon)
PMS Conferencing & Events Management Network (CEMN): (Coming soon)
PMS Public Relations & Communications Network (PRCN): (Coming soon)
PMS Philosophy Network (PhilNet): (Coming soon)
PMS National & International Languages Network (NILN): (Coming soon)
PMS Business Strategy Facilitators Network (BSFN): Depending on the size of the organization, Business Strategy Development is either done in-house or an external strategy development consultant is engaged. This network is for both independent and in-house business strategy development facilitators. There are a number of books written about strategy facilitation. However, there is no one universal business strategy development template. Every business has its own template, approach and business strategy. Whoever facilitates the development of such strategy has to first invest time in understanding the business or receiving a thorough briefing from the management and leadership before embarking on the process of developing and formulating the strategy of such a business. The risks associated with the strategy that do not speak to the context of the business are very high since strategies tend to be medium to long-term. So, strategy development facilitators have huge responsibilities on their shoulders. We have established the Business Strategy Facilitators Network for the facilitators, consultants and advisors in business strategy to get together to reflect on the role and responsibilities they carry as they assist their clients. They are also expected to be highly ethical in their work. They are expected to keep confidentiality and not to abuse the privilege they have in accessing strategic information. The Network will address topics like ethical practices expected of the business strategy facilitators, advisors and consultants.
PMS Business Consultants Network (BCN): Business Consultants are the most innovative, creative and pragmatic business practitioners, and yet individualistic practitioners. We have created the network for the business consultants to network with each other and share their expertise, methodologies, challenges and frustrations. They are encouraged to contribute to the good course of sharing and growing the market. The network is there to attract the new entrants into the business to do business consulting, encourage mentoring of the beginners and to make the consultants accessible to the industries in a relaxed and less pressurizing environment
Music Entrepreneurs & Agents Network (MEAN): (Coming soon)
PMS BEE Practitioners Network (BEEPraNet): Since the introduction of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) legislation, the growth of the consultancy sector in Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) has been phenomenal. As much as the consultants have a right to operate independently, we felt a need to create a network for them to interact with each other. The reason is that Black Economic Empowerment is a national Economic Transformation Imperative and somehow we need to encourage and foster alignment in the thinking. This network will be a sought after for benchmarking and collaboration. It also serves as a source for BEE associates and specialists to collaborate. The consultants will also have the opportunity to network with their potential and current clients. The issues of ethics and compliance will also be discussed and resolutions taken on how to conduct ourselves as BEE consultants.
PMS Internal & External Mentors Network (IEMN): The Internal & External Mentors Network is a platform for the human capital development practitioners who are charged with the responsibility of developing talent through mentoring. The extent to which Mentorship Programme in companies is formalized varies from one company to another. Irrespective of that, there is either an internal or external mentorship approach. The talent development circumstances of a company influence the approach that each company follows. Some companies have a combination of both internal and external mentorship programme. External Mentorship is mostly appropriate for the executives and senior managers. An Internal Mentorship programme would be more appropriate for the large portion of the staff. For any internal Mentorship programme to be successful, the company must develop a standard programme, and develop internal mentors to participate in the programme.
PMS Advisory & Spokespersons Network (ASN): Advisors and Spokespersons are the professionals that find themselves in the firing lines more than any other professionals. They are often called in very late, when the leaders have already implicated themselves. Yet there are very few forums at which these important professionals get together to share their frustrations and experiences. The Advisory & Spokespersons Network has been established to create the opportunity for this purpose. It is also for those who aspire to be developed as advisors and spokespersons. We want to regularly assemble these professionals in the Networks and Forums to take stock of their profession, interact with the other professionals and the public they serve. The Network and Forums would, among others, look at the key characteristics of a successful and professional advisors and spokespersons. We will answer career questions like, why executives, senior managers, business leaders, and politicians need advisors and spokespersons.
PMS Social Media Practitioners Network (SMPN): Social media has taken the knowledge and information age to the highest level. It is not only about the knowledge and information alone, but the technology that enables us to play an active role in this era. It is very risky to ignore this platform. As much as it has its own risks, we cannot afford the risk of isolation. We are appealing to many professionals, especially the golden talent, i.e. those who consider themselves too old to be involved in social media, to welcome the challenge and embrace social media. If there is one form of exclusion people are likely to subject themselves to, it is opting not to be active in social media. Here is the platform to create your own community, based on your own creativity, and grow your following, and yet many of us we opt to ignore it. Rather learn to manage the terrain than staying out of it. The risk of isolation is too high and can be avoided. Participate in our dialogues and listen to the experts sharing their insights, advices, experiences, wisdoms and successes. You will feel more empowered and free.
PMS Sport Entrepreneurs & Administrators Network (SEAN): Sport is a sector that fits in both the entertainment and business sector as a result of the role it plays in social and business life. It is the most complex sector to make a career in. The barriers of entry are very few, and as a result you find professionals from other sectors becoming entrepreneurs and administrators in sport. We would like to open the debate around the professionalization of the sector. As much as we welcome the low barriers of entry, we want to encourage people to take studies in sport management and then enter the sector to grow it. If you are a practicing or aspiring sport entrepreneur and administrator we would like to invite you to join the network and make contribution. Should the sport sector insist on sport graduates to become entrepreneurs and administrators in the sector? What are the investors and sport club owners’ views on the future of the sector with regard to professionalization?
PMS Transformation & Change Management Network (TCMN): There are very few institutions of learning that teach Economic Empowerment & Transformation as a qualification, and yet this is one of the key components of the South African economic & political environment. Any business strategy that does not start by unpacking these two phenomena it is ignorant of the realities of the South Africa of today, and it is likely to miss the opportunities that are associated with this country. The forum is created for the practitioners and academics to get together and unpack the issues. We will encourage the participants to bring case studies to the round tables, discuss and present them to the plenary for further deliberations. The only constant in today business is transformation. And the economic empowerment of the neglected sectors of the South African society is imperative for all the companies that are committed to the growth of our country. What does it take for one to become a sought after Economic Empowerment & Transformation Facilitator & Practitioner in South Africa?
PMS Marketing, Business Development & Sales Network (MBSN): Marketing, Business Development, and Sales are related fields, yet very different. To enter any of these specialised areas, one needs the generic knowledge in Business Management (theoretical and practical). The Network seeks to grow a number of specialists, and yet with insight into the relatedness of these fields. Marketing is about all the customer related functions. It gives general knowledge about the products, pricing, promotion, distribution, advertising, public relations, and the markets (including digital platforms). It is about the company winning the market share and staying in business. Business Development is bout cultivating the field in preparation for the sales personnel to do their selling. And lastly sales personnel must sell the products and services, and earn revenue for the business. So, any enterprise that does not integrate these functions, it will not achieve its potential. What a great opportunity to have all these functions under one Network, and sharing expertise through the Lekgotla Learning & Development Methodology. So, this Network’s work directly affects the Profit & Loss Account of a company, and therefore crucial for the enterprise.
PMS Equal Opportunities & Employment Equity Network (EOEEN): An EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY is a commitment by an organization to the development of procedures and practices that provide genuine equality of opportunity for all employees, regardless of sex, age, marital status, ethnic origin, or disability. Its remit goes beyond strict compliance with the law and ensures the effective use of all human resources within the organization. Employment Equity is a legislated intervention in South Africa. The purpose of the Employment Equity Act (CH1; Section 2) is to achieve equity in the workplace, by promoting equal opportunity and fair treatment in employment through the elimination of unfair discrimination; and implementing affirmative action measures to redress the disadvantages in employment experienced by designated groups, to ensure their equitable representation in all occupational categories and levels in the workforce. A designated employer must implement affirmative action measures for designated groups to achieve employment equity by consulting with the employees; conducting an analysis; preparing an employment equity plan; and reporting to the Director-General on progress made in the implementation of the plan.
PMS Diversity Management & Inclusion Network (DMIN): A company’s economic success relies on its encouragement of employee competencies and diversity. Diversity Management seeks to strategically use the various talents of each employee, which are based on diverse cultural and social backgrounds, to increase entrepreneurial and economic success. The following aspects of Diversity Management & Inclusion are discussed; Diversity Management & Inclusion Guiding Principles; Broad Definition of Diversity Management & Inclusion; Reasons (and the Rationale) for Diversity Management & Inclusion; The Diversity Management & Inclusion Dimension; The Advantages and Objectives of Diversity Management & Inclusion; Diversity Management & Inclusion Challenges; Diversity Management & Inclusion Implementation Guidelines; and Cultural Diversity & Social Cohesion in South Africa
PMS Board of Directors Development Network (BDDN): Traditionally anybody could become a Member of the Board of Directors of a Company or Organization. The appointment is used to be based on the standing of the person in the community and/or business fraternity. But with changes brought about by changing Companies Act, and initiatives like King Report, it is imperative that the members of the Board of Directors are knowledgeable about their responsibilities as directors. The directors are in most cases personally liable and therefore the risks are very high for them. It is also no longer a preserve of the few, experienced and old. It is possible to aspire to become a member of the board of directors of companies and develop yourself toward achieving this objective. It is no longer a glamorous role. As the complexities of the economic sectors and companies themselves grow, the directors are expected to stay up to date by constantly developing themselves. We see this network providing this opportunity and continue demystifying the role of directorship. This is the avenue through which we are going to develop the previously disadvantaged individuals as future members of the board of directors of their companies and organizations.
PMS Corporate Social Investment Network (CSIN): Any organization or company that regards itself as a responsible corporate citizen has to keep itself engaged with the well-being of the community, especially the community from which it attracts its labour force. The Corporate Social Investment programmes are critical for the sustainability of these communities. They must collaborate with a number of stakeholders in the identification and implementation of the projects. The days of writing cheques are over. The communities want to be involved in their own development. Companies require stakeholder relationship management and projects identification skills. Members of these communities are great resource and could participate actively as project implementers. The Network will facilitate knowledge exchange and bringing various stakeholders together.
PMS Governance, Compliance & Ethics Network (GCEN): Every member of the company, including the staff, is affected by governance, compliance, and ethical code of good practice. Organizations have to comply with both national and international laws and regulations. Global bodies like United Nations are promoting compliance with global human rights in employment practices. Reporting is now universal and non-compliance could harm the company, irrespective of the country where the incidences take place. There are many environmental care NGOs that are working as watch dog against non-compliance by companies. Some are fighting against corruption practices and act as whistle blowers. No enterprise can afford collusion against governance, compliance, and ethics.
PMS Psychology Network (PsyNet): (Coming soon)
PMS Music Entrepreneurs & Agents Network (MEAN): Art, culture, and music have a potential to become the highest foreign currency earner for the South African economy. However, the belief that our natural talents are sufficient to make us world-beaters is seriously challenged by us. We need programmes, academic and practical to grow the sector. Natural talent is appreciated, but it must be enhanced by formal programmes in music and art. We want researchers and academics to invest their energies, efforts and resources to develop the South Africans’ natural talent. Is Mzanzi’s golden sector truly happening or is it up to now only a concept? What will it take to make our music sector a big export player?
PMS Accounting & Finance Network (AFiNet): It is indeed true that life is about numbers, and yet not everyone is keen on numbers. The love for accounting and finance is not going to happen at college level. It must be encouraged at all levels of the society. The fear factor pushes people away from engaging with accounting and finance. That is why too many of us are dependent on private equity consultants and investment advisors to look after our financial assets and investments. The accounting and finance fields appear to be difficult to penetrate. But with technology this is changing and it is easy to have matters simplified.