Diligent Executives in Africa  take an interest in the kind of workspaces they provide for employees. They wrangle about the pros and cons of open plan offices. They challenge IT to make virtual meetings easier. They engage employee committees on areas for rest and food. They compete with each other on who gets which private office. This marks a positive evolution. The previous ‘Lions of Business’ generation focused only on how the look and feel
“Succession” is the name of a superbly dark TV series on HBO, that caricatures a powerful business family’s failure to empower to the next generation. Here in Africa we know all about that. The most prolonged and troublesome successions occur in family enterprises. Families here are large, so their issues are complex. And in most cases the patriarch says he wants to let go but just can’t bring himself to do it. Perhaps when we
Flying to Dar this week, I overheard two Kenyan executives discussing the challenges they were facing. It was a familiar story – the last trading year (however strong) lay firmly in the past. The pressure was on to win in 2020; to make the commitment promised late in 2019.  The fixation on the coming 12-month period was such that one of the two, who was preparing to on-board a new team member in April had