Day 1 – Futurex Conference 2007 – Lauri Elliot on Stakeholder Management

Lauri worked for several Fortune 500 companies including Xerox. She discussed the importance of stakeholder management and relationships. There is a shift in power to the masses instead of the elite. And with this there is rising power in emerging markets instead of traditional markets. And as Stephen Covey once said, interdependence instead of independence is they way you create a culture of sharing and trust. What you want is partnership instead of domination; sharing instead of selfishness.

She emphasised the importance of Relationship. If your company does not manage relationships well you will fail. This is relates to key concepts from the Strategic Coach. Stakeholder management is all about managing these relationships. Instead of going into more details here please watch the video podcast interview with Lauri Elliot and see her presentation below for further details.


Day 1 – Futurex Conference 2007 – Elmar Roberg on Project Management

Elmar Roberg, a past president of the Computer Society, and current president of the Project Management Institute discusses Project Management the State of the Art.

Here is my 2nd video podcast interview with Elmar Roberg:

Elmar quoted Tom DeMarco as saying “people under pressure don’t think twice as fast.” Bad decisions are made when technology is ignored. Project Management is a young profession. And the first body was formed in 1965 is incidentally called Internet. Currently the Project Management Institute globally has over 230,000 members. Prince2 UK certification with 80,000 practitioners.

There is so many strategies and tools available in project management so if you just started using what you got you’ll be better off.

What is a Profession – initial education – accreditation of knowledge requirements – skills development – certification – licensing – professional development – professional societies – code of ethics – organisation certification.

Competence – basic knowledge set – you need to know what you are talking about. You need to have appropriate skills with years.

Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister did series of studies and one of they key findings in teams was that the strongest person is 10 times more productive than the weakest person. The weakest person from a quality perspective will produce 25 times more bugs or mistakes in their programming.


Capable project managers must be employed but just how good is your organisation as a project incubator – reference maturity models.


Elmar is a very vocal speaker generating great enthusiasm while speaking. I can tell for sure that he is very passionate about Project Management. And I would say that project management should be a compulsory course for all Computer Science and Information Systems student from first year through to third and fourth year. The benefits will be substantial in the long term with the quality of projects improving over time. This will bring us into a world class level of competitiveness when we contrast where we are compared to North America, Europe and Asia (especially India) for software development projects.

Here’s Elmar’s presentation with some more details…


Day 1 – Futurex 2007: Anthony Fitzhenry on the Technology Trends

Anthony Fitzhenry, CEO of Axiz, and IT Personality of the Year 2006, delivered the opening address at the annual Futurex Conference. The conference is co-located with the Futurex and Equip exhibition, which is possibly the biggest ICT exhibition in Africa. This is really a stunning presentation because it is about you, the consumer and eventually leads you into the opportunities for South African entrepreneurs. The biggest one in my opinion is really creating content for mobile platforms like cellphones and also developing more sophisticated applications like MXit for business or more specifically mobile commerce – allowing consumers to pay with their phones from airtime is a huge opportunity. Just think of 2.4 billion cellphones users vs 1 billion Internet users worldwide.

Here is Anthony’s presentation which you can also download from This was one of the highlights from the Futurex Conference, where most of the presentations have been sub-par, especially given the speakers are from the technology industry. This keynote for the 2007 Futurex Conference was in fact the last one where the Futurex branding was used.

And here is a my first ever video podcast with my new Sony Ericsson w880i recorded today:


Blogging the Futurex Conference 2007

Futurex ConferenceThe Futurex Exhibition is the biggest ICT event of the year. And it coincides with World Telecomms Day on 17 May. Futurex is also the merger of the old Computer Faire and Tel.Com Exhibition run by Computer Society up until the merger. And with the exhibition there is also the Futurex Conference that takes place annually. I’ll be blogging this conference over the next two day…

Here’s some more background information:

Programme Outline

A four part conference over two days, each part a stand alone, but linked by common threads: urgency – getting it right first time, on time – understanding your business without continually looking backwards – lessons learned from other scenarios and economies.

Strategic thinking, latest technologies, a business growth environment, international drive and energy combine in this year’s conference under the theme:

ICT: Foundations of the Economy

One year nearer 2010 and the pressure is on! Amidst the power failures, Gautrain disruptions and stadium cost over-runs & delays, ICT has emerged as a crucial tool to meet the promises of the future.

This year’s Conference will focus on four main issues:

Day 1: Future and current technology and management developments.

Project management using ICTs.
Business Analysis, a critical tool for business success.

Day 2: Creating an Environment for Growth with ICT.

ICT Environmental & Regulatory issues targeting growth of the ICT sector.
The Indian ICT Success Story.
Day 1: 16th May 2007
Strategic Thinkers.

Leading international and local strategic thinkers discuss technologies and management theories to create thought channels for South African entrepreneurs and corporates.

Experts agree: two key business practices working together with Information Technology can assist you in making a success of your activities:

Project Managing our Future with ICT.

Project Management is a complex mix of inter-related actions & outcomes. Applicable from Bridge building to software stabilization, today’s sophisticated methodologies are project processes.

In partnership with the Project Management Institute PMSA and the CSSA Special Interest Group for Project Management


Keynote: Looking Forward – Anthony Fitzhenry, CEO Axiz, IT Personality of the Year 2006
Lead Speaker: Elmar Roberg, President Project Management Institute SA PMSA: Making project management work.

Panel Discussion: Project management and IT.

Business Analysis/ Systems Analysis: the keys to organizational & business success.

Is IT looking after your business processes? Is it aligned to them? Are there gaps?

Business Analysts can sort through the chaos and extract a concise description of the business. They work with business users and IT professionals as a business problem solver, acting as a liaison between the technical and business worlds. They are capable of analysing the business to identify problems and/or opportunities and to define solution characteristics, but are not intoxicated by technology.

See and hear how the analysts can keep their cool whilst all around others are losing theirs!

In partnership with the CSSA Special Interest Group for Systems Analysis/Business Analysis.


International speaker (waiting confirmation)
Lead Speaker: Mr. Robin Grace – Software Futures: Where business analysis stops and systems analysis starts

Panel Discussion: Business Analysis or system analysis: which comes first?
Day 2: 17th May 2007
World Telecoms Day.

Environment Update.

2006 saw the EC Act; Neotel started operations as the 2nd network operator; Virgin Mobile flew into the market; number portability was implemented; international calls got cheaper as call back card usage spread….but telecoms costs changed little if at all, and a reported shortage of ICT skills hampered development. What does the rest of the decade hold for us as we prepare for 2010.


A number of industry leaders will be speaking, details to be confirmed

Panel Discussion: The future of Telecoms in SA

India @ Futurex.

In partnership with the India Consulate General.

The phenomenal growth of India’s ICT industry – software development, call centres and more…will be explored by top executives from that country.

Session 1:

Opening: Speakers will include the Deputy Minister of Communications Roy Padayachie.

Session 2:

Indian Industry at work: Leaders from the Indian IT Industry will give examples of their success stories.


Cocktail, Invitations courtesy Indian Consulate General @ 7pm


Social Media pilot at AAA School of Advertising

This week I was in Cape Town to give two talks at two private schools on MXit. Even more exciting news was how well received my Social Media seminar went down at the AAA School of Advertising.

Social media in my opinion is both the combination of blogging, podcasting, vlogging, RSS technology and how it is used to generate content. Social networking is part of social media. Social bookmarking is part of social media. And much, much more. In the end it is a shift in how media is created and consumed.

Why did I create this social media seminar (2 hours) – because in 2006 I attended a meeting of Advertising Media Association of South Africa (AMASA) at the JSE in Sandton, and it seemed every time new media was mentioned the old guard would go into a panic. Now it does not have to be like this. If you become aware of the big picture and then focus on understanding how social media can compliment your traditional media planning activities you can still play a role as an advertising agency advising your clients on creative ways to get their marketing message out there. What’s really different when it comes to Internet technologies is that they can be much more accurately measured than broadcasting or print.

If you are in a marketing or advertising agency this seminar will bring you up to speed in a few short hours. You can download the presentation from here. If you are interested in my seminars please view my training page here.


Ramon Thomas on 3Talk with Noeleen this Friday

For help on getting onto the 3Talk show, contact Urban Brew: Tel 011 781 0902, 8 Harley Street, Ferndale, Randburg.

Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu 3Talk SABC3Urban Brew, the producers of 3Talk with Noeleen called me this afternoon to invite me back onto the show for the 2nd time, this Friday, 4 May. 3Talk is a daily show that runs from 5h45pm-6h30pm every weekday on SABC3.

As you know Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu is South Africa’s answer to Oprah, the Queen of the daily talk show. The show topic: “Where are South Africans meeting their partners.

I look forward to your comments after the show on Friday. And for those interesting in hiring me as a dating coach can go here.


Norbit is another bad role model for men

Norbit Eddie Murphy comedyEddie Murphy plays multiple characters in a his latest comedy once again. And yes it’s about fat people. Murphy plays and Norbit, a shy, introverted orphan; Rasputia, the obese, loud-mouthed, girl who saves him from the playground bullies, and whom he later on ends up marrying; as well as Mr Wong, the rude, racist Chinese owner of the orphanage where Norbit is raised.

I must agree wholeheartedly with the review on Filmthreat that Murphy seems to be getting lazy in trying to come up with new ideas. The humour is dated to say the least. The thing about Norbit, the main character, is that he is such a nice guy that he gets walked over his whole life. This means that he essentially has very low self-esteem and lacked a strong male model growing up. Mr Wong tells him a few times throughout the film that his inner strength that will one day emerge.

Thandie Newton, the hot MILF, is one of the few redeeming aspects of this movie. She plays Norbit’s childhood friend, who returns to town with her fiancée played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. This presents a challenge to Norbit that will hopefully bring him out of his shell. This movie is so far from reality of male-female dynamics in the real world, it can only happen in a Hollywood movie. In the real world a gorgeous woman like Newton will never choose a wimp like Norbit. He does practically nothing to show any grain of confidence except for a brief moment towards to the end when she almost marries her fiancée. This is certainly not a relationship that can last. Why?

Norbit is one-dimensional, predictable. He puts himself down to make her happy and even states his sole purpose for the rest of his life is to make her happy as happy as she made him. And over time this type of relationships dynamic has been shown to cause resentment in women. Women will get bored with a man like Norbit very quickly because everything he says or does will be predictable.

So what is my advice to you? Find your own path, your own purpose and focus on realising your own ambitions. When you are on this journey you become much more attractive to women and people in general. You then go about your life inviting others on the journey. And when it’s an attractive woman, you say it’ll be great if you join me, but I’m going to continue anyway.

If you are lonely or frustrated with your dating life I highly recommend you read David DeAngelo’s ebook Double Your Dating.


Who is the Millionaire Next Door?

Chris Rock once explained the difference between being rich and being wealthy very succinctly. He said Shaquille O’Neil is rich but the guy who signs his cheque is wealthy. When you are rich you can loose all the money when you’re a big spender, live beyond your means or try to keep up with the Jones, also known as conspicuous consumption. The education system creates a society of consumers and that is a fact. Nobody in particular is to blame except yourself. When you stay blinded to the reality of life you continue to suffer. The signs of success can be overt and people may pay attention to you for a little bit longer. When it’s not over they may ignore you completely.

This leads me to Millionaire Next Door. The person who recommended this book was non other than Tom Leykis, the American talk radio host. He is a self-made multi-millionaire and brags about it often. In fact it only seems like bragging when it’s taken out of context or when you are jealous of his success. I’m not. I’m a admirer. He speaks honestly and directly about the reality of the world we live in. So I recently picked up a copy of this book, ordering it online as do most of my shopping these days.

This is not an easy read because it has heavy emphasis on numbers, statistics. Something which you may not enjoy reading because again the school system creates a society that dislikes mathematics in any shape or form. Now the research has been done by two Ph.D’s and you can’t fault the depth of their analysis. They surveyed large groups of millionaires and high income producers for several decades. This book is a very good snapshot of the research and you can start to see the common sense almost boring methods by which the millionaires become millionaires.

Here’s the most common denominators of millionaires:

  1. They live well below their means.
  2. They allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth.
  3. They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status!
  4. Their parents did not provide economic outpatient care.
  5. Their adult children are economically self-sufficient.
  6. They are proficient in targeting market opportunities.
  7. They chose the right occupations.

In South Africa you may be interested in the Who’s Who list of Wealthiest South Africans.


Blogging Evangelism advice from Guy Kawasaki

Marketing Voices is one of the best podcasts about Social Media available. And the most recent post indicates a shift towards video blogging or vlogging. Jennifer Jones previously interviewed Guy Kawasaki, author of several books on marketing as evagalism on his general opinion on social media here. Since I first saw Guy’s Art of the Start presentation I have followed his insights closely and recommend his blog How to Change the World very highly. Here’s the latest interview…