360 Degrees Forward

Allround growth that matters!

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1 – Visionary Leadership

 

Article by Dr. Riaan du Preez

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I once read that in troubled and ambiguous times, like we live in now, the rivers we must cross as business-persons are rough, and therefore our visions for the future must be the ropes with which we pull ourselves through.  A vision is your vivid and passionate dream or ideal of the future, to which firstly the challenge of “impossibility” has been put, but it is exactly this challenge that should be giving you the energy and encouragement to start planning and working creatively!  Most of us don’t like it when some-one tells us: “Are you crazy!?  That will never work!  You’ll never make it!  That’s too big for you to achieve!  You’ll never have enough capital to start that!”  Especially professionals love this… a challenge.  They’ve basically been in some kind of challenge since very early childhood… always competing.  In their book, The Trusted Advisor, Maister and his  colleagues mention that most professionals were competing for top place in class since grade one; competing for leadership places; competing in sports teams to be the best; competing for limited resources and bursaries etc.  It’s part of their make-up.  They just love a challenge and to prove others wrong. 

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2 – Look at me!

 

Article by Dr. Riaan du Preez

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I will focus a lot on YOU as the leader of your practice in these articles. The reason is exactly because you are the leader, the owner, the drive and the passion of your practice or business.  After all, you (and your team) are building your (and their) futures on the foundation of YOUR dreams!  You are the one who had hopes and dreams many (or a few) years ago about your career and the practice, enterprise or organisation you were going to build.  You are in a business where YOUR name appears on the bronze plate at the entrance, or if you decided to go into “big business” – on the bottom of the letterhead where law states the director’s names should appear. 

 

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THESIS - THE STATE OF PROFESSIONALISM WITHIN THE VETERINARY PROFESSION IN SOUTH AFRICA, IN THE CONTEXT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

 

Dr. Riaan du Preez

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Research conducted for the South African Veterinary Association, indicated that there are very poor perceptions of the level of professionalism within the veterinary profession in South Africa. This undermining and loss of professionalism is also evident in all professions all across the world. An extensive literature review revealed that various professional bodies, all over the world, are worried about this undermining of professionalism, and are seeking for the causes and remedies to turn the situation around. This was also the purpose of this study.

 

A literature review and phenomenological study was undertaken to establish the reasons for "unprofessionalism" in technically sound professionals. The literature review and subsequent research questionnaire confirmed the different causal effects of declining professionalism as a) economic free-market pressures, b) physical and psychological exhaustion (work-life imbalance) and c) undermined or underdeveloped individual value system or professional character.

 

Normative, rehabilitative or preventative measures are also suggested.  Please follow these links to read more: 

 

 

 

Professionalism Research Study - Cover pages

Professionalism Research Study - Intro pages

Professionalism Research Study - Master Doc - pp1-38

Professionalism Research Study - Master Doc - pp39-75

Professionalism Research Study - Addendum 1-4

Professionalism Research Study - Addendum 5

 

 

 

 

3 – Building your practice on YOUR PERSONAL BRAND

 

Article by Dr. Riaan du Preez

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One of the biggest problems professional service providers experience is the commoditization of their services.  This has lead to fierce price-cutting of professional fees as a means of competition.  In a South African study I have found for e.g. that 51,2% of veterinarians are charging well below the suggested guideline fees of the South African Veterinary Council(Du Preez, 2003).  Only 9% were charging up to 10% above the suggested fees while only 1,3% were charging more than 10% above the suggested fees. Most of the respondents in these last two groups indicated that they have differentiated the scope and standard of their services and therefore were charging a premium.  From the above it was clear that professionals were for some or other reason more inclined to follow a cost leadership strategy rather than a differentiation strategy.  This is most surprising, especially as 95% of the respondents who were charging below the suggested fees were unhappy with their incomes and lifestyle.  

 

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