Amanda is a Social Scientist and a business woman with a passion for leadership development. Amanda believes that leadership is not confined to the highest level in the organogram- but leadership fostered from bottom up is good for sustainability.

When an Enterprise Development Organisation that she was working for, as the National Training Manager, undertook to retrench all staff in 2012, she was affected. Curious about change development and what makes an organization more effective, she ventured into business and registered LOCD. Leverage Organisation and Change Development (Pty) LTD is a 100% Black Female owned Consulting and Skills Development Firm. 

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Tell us about LOCD.

Leverage Organisation and Change Development (Pty) LTD is a 100% black female owned Consulting and Skills Development firm.

LOCD offers Organization Effectiveness and Skills Development solutions including: Business Transformation Planning and Execution; Change Management; Enterprise/Supplier Development as well as pure skills training facilitation to both the public and private sector, (across the African continent).

LOCD also offers Leadership, Self Mastery Coaching and Mentoring services, Instructional Design according to SAQA standards, Conference Speaking/Panel discussions and MC service’s.

What inspired you to create this business?

Skills development means developing competencies and skill sets to add value in your organization and for your own career development. Fostering an attitude of entrepreneurship and leadership for lifelong learning is the key to workplace success. As such, I am an accredited facilitator/moderator and assessor.  LOCD collaborates with SETA accredited partners on a need-to basis.

 

Why does skills development make good business and personal sense?

History and research tell us that we have high levels of illiteracy. This not only refers to basic reading and writing but, also competencies to build and sustain governments/ministries and businesses. A skilled workforce is a motivated workforce and a motivated workforce produces quality end products/services.

Good talented people naturally want to advance, and appreciate meaningful support in the process.  Ambitious young employees want training, mentoring and coaching.   They want to gain skills, relevant skills, fast.  They want to become more versatile and valuable to an organization so they can quickly advance their careers

Increased employment opportunities: Without a doubt training provides increased employment opportunities. Today, even entry level roles in many industries require base level qualifications. By completing a training course, your employment opportunities become wider. Another reason for adding to your skill set is to be able to win new types of work, which may be more interesting or lucrative.

Increased career development opportunities: Developing a career in a chosen field is something many of us aspire to. Experience alone, in many cases, does not suffice when employers are seeking to promote their staff. By undertaking further training, the opportunity to develop your career is enhanced.

Personal growth. Training not only provides you with the skills in a particular area. By undertaking further training you build your networking, time management, communication and negotiation skills.

Increased knowledge and understanding of your local industry: Interskills trainers are experts in their fields – they are closely connected within their industry. This provides you with local industry knowledge to supplement your growing skills.

You’re the driver! It’s worth remembering you are your own mentor, HR department and boss.  Nobody else is going to be looking after your career development except you. Therefore, you need to be the instigator of change. Ensure that you are moving forward to ensure you don’t get stuck in a rut.

Play catch-up and stay knowledgeable: Many professions require you to keep on top of new developments, which may be moving rapidly.  For instance if there is a new software release, or a dynamic new design trend, you may need to have that knowledge under your belt, so that you’re better equipped to compete on your next job interview.

Stand out from the crowd by combining skills: Over the next few years the world of contract work is undoubtedly going to get more competitive. You many need something extra to really stand out. Sometimes unusual combinations of skills can result in you having a unique selling point. Merge your talent and your passions to find creative combinations that make you more marketable.

Reap the personal rewards: The most important part of learning a new skill or undergoing training is the sense of achievement you will feel when you move forward.  Moreover, the whole process of learning is rewarding and interesting, and you can gain insights into your own capabilities and character.

Who are any 3 African women or mentors that inspire you and why?

  • Belinda Knight: Director at Duke Corporate Education and my previous manager. I used to hate it when she would say- when I was an office administrator- I must chair meetings where I was the only ‘junior support staff member’. But, I learnt over the years that she was developing a well rounded leader and forced me to step up.Not only that, she kept on involving me in her role. I owe who I am today, to her.

 

  • Daisy Malele: Founder and Director of Dees Training. She is resilient and humble. I admire her from a distance.  Through her training company she gave me tools to launch my career – Facilitator/Assessor and Moderator training, as well as my first registration with the SETA. I owe my knowledge of the SETAs and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to her.

 

  • My mother of course: she instilled a sense of responsibility, humility and putting others first. I used to observe her generosity. Leadership is about having a cause that is beyond you and your immediate family. Through LOCD I believe I am living my purpose.

Some people are looking to start up their own businesses, not necessarily in the skills and development sector, but other industries as well. What advice would you give them?

  • BE HUMBLE… learn from those who walked the path before you- ask for help.
  • Partner- up when required to do so- sharing is caring.
  • The whole is better recognized than its parts.

How has skills development helped you progress in your career and/or business?

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