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APR 07 by Lyndie Visser

We would like to thank Emmanuels Advance for sponsoring this awesome event.

Find it, fix it, and... pay for it! This was the clear message we were left with at the last Inspired Leaders event. There is no doubting the passion that oozes from people at the mere mention of talent management, but how many really understand it or perhaps worse do nothing about it. 

SANDY MOHONATHAN, HR Director - Microsoft South Africa

Sandy Mohonathan has been involved in talent ownership at a number of companies and her message was clear and insightful with four clear thoughts:

  • Look for it everywhere and everyday
  • Never oversell the company or the role - it will come back to bite you!
  • Sell the leadership beliefs and ensure congruency 
  • Know the organisational fit

Perhaps the most telling facts revealed by Sandy was the approach adopted by Microsoft. Their dedication to talent expands globally and includes cross border development, secondments, learning events and the keen interest that Bill Gates himself plays.

The work environment also plays a part and Microsoft prides itself on providing the best -even the Cappuccino is the best in town!


The second speaker on the hot spot was Royston, a visiting guest who specialises in "accelerating business growth through growing people". He has grown his own company, PTI International impressively, based on an obsession on creating the best people. But this is talent everywhere!! There is no position that impacts the customer more than the receptionist and yet how much time do we dedicate to talent in this area?

He exposed us to the great lengths some of his customers now go to to ensure they are attracting, developing and paying for the appropriate talent. At Olgilvy one of the worlds marketing giants, their vision is plain and simple: "We develop and manage talent - everything else follows!!"

This is brutal but simple in focusing the whole culture to creating a rich talent bank full of diversity required to compete in today's world of imagination and creativity.


Our CEO Andy Rigg led a fantastically entertaining Q&A and brilliant questions from the floor created a stimulating environment to explore a very hot topic!

A key question went straight to the heart of the South Africa challenge; "Are we over promoting and paying black talent and then setting them up to fail??"

The answer is simple any talent "black or white" needs careful handling with focussed programmes, exposure to leadership, mentorship, networking and care!! Microsoft is a great example of being sure before they appoint and are obsessed with the nurturing and growth phase.

Andy told the Steve Jobs story - "Having learnt the hard way he spends 30% of his personal time on and with the company talent agenda. Since he took this approach both Apple and Pixar have flourished". A shining example!


Andrew (Andy) James Rigg is Chief Executive Officer for Inspired Leaders Network South Africa.

Andy started Inspired Leaders Network South Africa in July 2006.

Prior to this Andy headed up the Retail Integration for Barclays/Absa in South Africa after Barclays purchased a major share in Absa.

He joined Barclays Bank in the UK in 1999 as National Introducer Manager for Barclays Mortgages and worked his way up to Head of Sales in December 1999.

In December 2000 Andy took up a position as Head of Retail Banking for Africa based in South Africa. This was a huge challenge and promotion which Andy gladly accepted. He was responsible for the achievement of £200 million income and £150 million cost budget, embedding a balanced risk mentality, transformation of sales and service culture and leadership of 3000 people spanning nine countries.

In 2005 Andy was promoted to Managing Director of Zambia before taking up his position on the Barclays/Absa Implementation Programme.

Andy has a passion for "leadership" and prides himself on talent creation.


  • Place it No. 1 on the executive agenda
  • Seek talent diversity 
  • Look for talent everywhere
  • Become people fanatics
  • Ensure congruety between personal and company beliefs
  • Hire with fire i.e. attitude will determine altitude
  • Find it, Fix it, Pay for it

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