IoDZ offers 21 courses on corporate governance. All the courses can be done in the first six months of the year and those who miss the first six months will finish in the second half of the year.
During 2011 most participants did an average of six to eight courses within the first six months.By yesr end most had done 10-12 courses.
All courses are done at least twice a year but some can be done three times a year because of high demand.
These include Board Role, Directors’ Duties and Liabilities, Effective Chairing of Boards and The Governance of Strategy to maintion a few.
Most participants said they had difficulty in completing all the 21 courses because of pressure from the workplace. Some participants also said it would benefit them more if the courses were attended close together because the Corporate Governance courses relate to each other.
IoDZ training and development executive Patrick Masvikeni revealed that the 2011 participants came up with the idea of a block release programme during their training session.
The participants, he said, pointed out that it was difficult for them to attend all 21 courses due to work pressure. They demanded a block release.
Masvikeni said: “The advantage of block release is that individuals will complete the 21 courses on offer from IoDZ in 12 days, divided into three lots of four days over four months, instead of 21 days over six to 12 months. In addition to time saving, participants will also realise a cost saving of over 30%, thus the block release is in fact more attractive in terms of both cost and time when compared to open individual courses”.
Courses carried out by IoDZ during the block release programme are:
Block Release 1.1 & 2.1
1. Corporate Governance.
2. The Business Case for Corporate Governance.
3 Shareowners and Stakeholders.
4. Disclosure and Transparency.
5. Board Role, Directors’ Duties & Liabilities.
6. The Effective Board Composition & Structure.
Block Release 1.2 & 2.2
7. Board Practices.
8. Board Procedures.
9. Effective Chairing of Boards.
10. Governance of Strategy.
11. Evaluating Strategy Delivery and Performance.
12. Board Strategic thinking.
13. Board Management Supervision.
. Corporate Responsibility.
Block Release 1.3 & 2.3
15. The Governance of Risk.
16. Alternative Dispute Resolution.
17. Leading, Planning and Improvement.
18-21. Finance for Non-Finance Board Members and Executive Managers
The inaugural block release was in March this year. The second was conducted in May and the last of the first six months was done in June. The next block release is scheduled for October, November and December.
IoDZ block release highly recommended
Johannes Mudzengerere: “This was an accelerated director development programme, popular with a number of directors. This program has been rated highly by directors who have attended the block releases.
It is run over a six month period. The program was specifically tailored to accommodate the busy schedules of directors. Within six months, a director would have acquired the basic skills and knowledge to effectively discharge his/her responsibilities.
“The programme covered pertinent areas that respond to the questions each director faced, that is director duties, roles and responsibilities, effective board composition, how to fill in board positions, how to measure performance of the board and individual directors. The interaction of the board and management is a critical element of the role of directors, and the programme gave an insight into how directors effectively supervise management without stifling the space required by management to discharge its own responsibilities.
“The area of strategy is a board responsibility; the programme gave guidelines on how boards can think strategically and take full ownership and control of the strategy formulation process of entities they have assumed stewardship. The programme also taught effective chairing of boards and this equally applies to chairing of board committees and sub-committees.”
Brian Chirema: “The training enables each participant to share ideas and learn from other participants and facilitators, not only on corporate governance but on many aspects of leadership and management. The participants in my class were of varying ages, experiences, skill and from various sectors of the economy.”
“The training was practical because the facilitators made use of case studies in our country, the region and other global examples. The most recent developments in the country were used as examples, and the span of examples from business, religion, social and other areas of life made the training rich in content.”
“What I liked about the block release programme is that it was cheaper than taking each course individually; it also saved time. The entire course programme could be completed in 12 days over three to four months, split into three sessions of four days each, compared to 21 days it takes to do each course individually.”
“Each course had a number of exercises that participants had to do, which exercised their minds on corporate governance and enabled each participant to realise the gap between what they were doing at an individual level and in their organisation, to the ideal way of upholding corporate governance practices.”
“One thing made apparent in the training from the various discussions, exercises, analysis of current developments, course material and case studies is that most of the corporate failures and stagnation of businesses are due to lack of good corporate governance.
“The course material also provided templates and documents that assist an organisation put in place corporate governance controls, and I think this can go a long way in developing our small to medium scale enterprise sector and parastatals.”
IoDZ block release participants speak out
Paul Nyausaru enjoyed most board procedures, board composition, strategic planning programme, and financial aspects of managing any size of business during the Institute of Directors Zimbabwe (Iodz) block release course. He said it was hugely beneficial.
Nyausaru now has a wider view of what corporate governance is all about.
He is now in a better position to advise the board on key corporate governance issues and come up with instruments that enable the board to function effectively.
He has been equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills on how organisations should be effectively governed. This has assisted him in providing advice where it is needed, and in the provision of secretarial services to the board. For example he went on to say: “It has made my job much easier as I have been able to come up with a better and easier format for writing and capturing board minutes” .
His wish is to see corporate governance embraced by companies and organisations in Zimbabwe and the adoption of the country’s own Corporate Governance Code.
Reuben Mupudzi’s motivation for attending the IoDZ company directors’ training was to learn about company directorship and corporate governance for purposes of developing and improving that aspect within his own business, and provision of basic advisory services to his business clients.
Important lessons learnt
a) The role of company directors: To provide entrepreneurial leadership within a framework of prudent control to protect the business and shareholders by ensuring that there is within the business:
Efficiency and effectiveness;
Confidence and assurance;
Responsibility and ethics;
Transparency and accountability;
High levels of trust.
This would then enable sustainable business competitiveness, growth and high return on investment.
b) All things being equal, the level of performance of a particular company or even national economy is directly proportional to the level of its corporate governance practice.
c) Company directorship is not exactly the same as business management. A different or additional body of knowledge and skills is needed for effective company directorship. Most business executives make the wrong assumption that their executive training and experience is all they need to become effective company directors. This, generally, explains the hesitation of new or untrained company directors to participate in company directorship training — a factor with significant negative implications on their performance as company directors.
Advantages of attending the block training over the single module training.
The block training method:
Is less disruptive to busy work schedules;
Enables the covering of related modules in one block thus aiding continuity, understanding and appreciation of the linkages between the various components of corporate governance;
Costs less in terms of money and time;
Enables completion of all the training modules in a shorter time — within five months and at most within a year.
Enock Emmanuel Masuku says of the block release: “IoDZ training is the missing link in today’s Zimbabwean business environment. Many cases of failure of corporate governance and fraud in some cases are driven by knowledge deficiencies amongst the many entrepreneurs who would have toiled to realise their dreams but then lose out due to lack of such insight as provided by the IoDZ training workshops on corporate governance.
“Whilst human development is natural, the development from being an employee to an owner-manager and then to a shareholder in an entity does not happen naturally. Such interventions as offered by IoDZ are needed if the fruits of the toil are to be enjoyed by the deserving, otherwise hawks and sharks will have a field day over the hard working entrepreneur.”