Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Sessional lecturer – Every Leader a Storyteller MBA elective, Organisation Development and Design, and Organisation Theory.

Peter Christie, a.k.a. big Chief Talking Bull, has consulted to more than 80 well-known businesses in South Africa and beyond.   

An MA (Industrial Psychology) graduate from Wits University, Peter worked for five years in the corporate sector before taking on his Big Chief Talking Bull persona. For the past 26 years he has been an independent strategic storyteller, for creative corporate communications, change and transformation, and leadership development purposes.

Peter edited, with Ronnie Lessem and Lovemore Mbigi, the best-selling African Management: Philosophies, Concepts and Applications (1993), and is the author of Stories from an Afman! (1996), Animal Firm (2000) with Craig Gordon, Every Leader a Storyteller – Breathing Brightness into Business (2009), and The Treasure Punt (2013). His sixth book, Inclusive People, is due for imminent publication. He currently publishes Charlatans Inc, a new series of short stories on unethical business practices, in The Star. Peter has lead facilitated seven International Storytelling in Organisations workshops, in England and South Africa, and the Personal Leadership and Storytelling module for MBA students at City University, London. In 2003 Peter was contracted as a Professor of Management and Director of the Leadership Development Centre at DCDM Business School, Quartre Bornes, Mauritius.

As a part-time lecturer at Wits Business School for the past 26 years, in 1998 Peter developed and still facilitates the Every Leader a Storyteller MBA elective, after having co-ordinated the South African Management Project at WBS in the early 1990s, a project investigating indigenous approaches to leadership and management in Africa. He has taught Organisation Development and Design courses extensively at MBA and PDM levels at WBS.

Peter is currently working on a new initiative, Afri-CAN-DOERS, a Maboneng Precinct experience developing positivity and a spirit of enterprise amongst corporate clients.

Peter Christie
+2711-440-8560
office +2711-44-8563
fax 073-236-0305 mobile
bigchief@nottheboredroom.co.za
www.bigchieftalkingbull.co.za

Dr Tienie Ehlers has 22 years’ experience in academia, research and the corporate sector. He trains at business schools and consults on strategic management, leadership and human capital management.

Ehlers worked in the academic and consulting environment for 11 years until he was appointed at the University of South Africa (UNISA) as a professor in strategy and international management. Here he co-authored the first South African textbook on strategic management called Strategic Management – Southern African Concepts and Cases.

Ehlers then moved into the corporate environment, working for SABMiller for 11 years where he was involved in strategy at the human capital level. He fulfilled a position as human resources manager for their manufacturing and sales and distribution divisions, and finally as HRD manager heading up training, learning and development. He oversaw all training and development across the organisation, including performance management and leadership development.

Dr Heil has expertise in strategy, leadership, organisational development and the philosophy of management

He is the chairman of ReputationHouse in South Africa and MD of Works Access Ltd, a tech start-up based in Oxford. He holds a PhD (University of the Witwatersrand) and a Diplom Kaufmann (German equivalent to an MBA) (Ludwig-Maximilian Universität, Munich/Germany).

Dominik is a sessional lecturer in strategy, leadership, and philosophy of management at Wits Business School in Johannesburg and a PhD research supervisor. He is also a tutor and programme director at Cranfield School of Management in the UK.

Dominik has extensive consulting experience and has worked with many of South Africa’s largest corporations and a number of multinationals at board and exco level. He is currently pioneering a methodology to display the organisational world or culture fundamental to people’s work performance.

He is a well published academic and has recently written a book titled “Ontological Fundamentals for Ethical Management”. Dominik is passionate about exploring the fundamental assumptions of current management practice in his teaching and academic research in a way that makes a tangible difference to organisations’ performance.

Dr Dominik Heil
dominikus.heil@wits.ac.za

Dr Grant Sieff is a part-time Senior Lecturer in Strategy & International Business, and a management consultant who is the CEO of IC Growth Group, and Infochoice Growth (Pty) Ltd

He has a background in strategy, leadership development and general management, and global experience in financial services, management consulting and corporate education, with extensive experience in Europe, Australia and South Africa.

Grant specialises in strategy development and delivery, change management and in leadership performance and growth. He has a particular interest in strategic behaviour and organisational dynamics.

He has worked in Australia as a vice president for Citibank, and as a partner for the Centre for Corporate Strategy, and in South Africa as a partner at Accenture. In 1999, he established Netchoice, an ecommerce infomediary service, followed by Infochoice, a research, education and consulting organisation, and then IC Growth Group, a consultancy with a primary focus on strategic insights and leadership development.

He has served as a faculty member of Citibank's Asia-Pacific Banking Education Institute, and Duke Corporate Education’s Global Learning Resource Network, as academic director for Tias Business School in the Netherlands, and has held visiting professorships.

He holds a BA (with majors in Economics, Computer Science, and Psychology) and a BSc Honours degree (Computer Science) from the University of Cape Town, as well as an MA (Psychology) and an MBA from Sydney University.  He holds a PhD from the University of Johannesburg, on the topic of strategic leadership.

Grant consults in South Africa and internationally with leaders of listed companies and public sector organisations.

Antony is determined to find better ways of making computers do work for people, rather than the other way around.

Antony has been a lecturer with Wits Business School since 1999 after completing his MBA with us. He has worked in a range of industries and environments, always within an IT focus. His IT exposure has been diverse, spanning both technical and managerial functions, and over the last few years he has gravitated towards IT strategy as well as broad business strategy.

Antony is mildly obsessed with facilitating business change and value creation through IT (probably because he has so often witnessed the exact opposite). He is also determined to find better ways of making computers do work for people, rather than the other way around. In addition to his lecturing and consulting work, he is deeply involved in a select few entrepreneurial ventures (and adventures) which continue to inform his lecturing.

Antony Soicher
Lecturer
Wits Business School
+27 (0)11 717 3608
antony.soicher@wits.ac.za

 

Dr Diran Soumonni is a Senior Lecturer in Innovation Management and Policy at the Wits Business School. He obtained his PhD in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, US, where he focused on both innovation studies and energy policy.

Diran Soumonni’s teaching interests include subject matter on creativity and innovation, techno-preneurship, the strategic management of innovation, and philosophical paradigms in scientific research. His primary research interest lies in the area of innovation for sustainability from both an ecosystemic and a firm-level perspective. Some of his previous publications span subject matter on electricity policy, biofuels policy, nanotechnology policy, and innovation policy and management.

Prior to embarking on his doctoral studies, he worked as a materials engineer in the area of research commercialisation of display and energy-efficient lighting technologies. In that capacity, he was part of a team that expanded the business opportunities of a new technology-based firm (NTBF), which was dependent on an enabling ecosystem for its survival and growth, while simultaneously working closely with large LED and display corporations such as Samsung (South Korea), Sumitomo (Japan), Nichia (Japan), among others, to help solve specific technological challenges along the innovation value chain.

Diran holds a Masters degree in materials science and engineering (Georgia Institute of Technology, US) and undergraduate degrees in physics and mathematics (Tuskegee University, US). He is an active member of the Global Network for the Economics of Learning, Innovation and Competence Building Systems (GLOBELICS), and of the International Network on Appropriate Technology (INAT).

 

WBS Professor & Chair in Entrepreneurship
Programme Director: MM in Entrepreneurship & New Venture Creation

Our Master of Management in the field of Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation reflects the global trend towards universities being instrumental in creating relevant knowledge and developing skills in entrepreneurship. The one year degree is focused on creating higher-level entrepreneurial knowledge which translates into research capacity building

Prof Boris Urban has more than 30 years of academic and professional experience in business, where he has practiced, taught and researched, organisational behaviour, strategy and entrepreneurship. His academic appointments include Prof. at the Graduate School of Business (WBS), University of Witwatersrand, Assoc. Prof. at University of Johannesburg, and guest lecturing at various Business Schools globally. Boris was the inaugural Chair in Entrepreneurship at Wits and is a rated researcher.

Boris’s academic studies are positioned in Management Sciences where he holds a Ph.D (University of Pretoria). Based on more than 85 publications in academic journals his work is recognised and cited in the field (h index-20; i10-index-38). He has published in journals such as the: Journal of Technology Transfer, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, International Journal of Emerging Markets, International Journal of HRM, and Managerial and Decision Economics.

The rigour and significance of his work is evident in the many honours he has been awarded, which include both the Juta and Sasol prize for academic achievement, the MANEX award for Best Researcher at WBS, Dean’s award for Best Researcher at Wits CLM Faculty (2013 and 2015), and the Research and Knowledge Exchange (RAKE 2014) award from the UK based Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. He is the recipient of research grant funding from the Economic and Social Research Council/NRF/Newton Fund.

Boris is the editor and co-author of a series of books on entrepreneurship published by Oxford University Press and Springer, which are used as prescribed texts at several universities. He has presented papers at international conferences, including the Academy of Management and the British Academy of Management and won best paper awards. He has published numerous award winning case studies used in classrooms globally. Boris serves on several editorial boards, including the Journal of Social Entrepreneurship (Oxford), Social Business (Strathclyde), Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies (Essex).

His academic citizenship credentials have been earned in various capacities, such as Acting WBS Director (2009), Research Director (2013), and NRF Specialist Committee member (2014-2018). As Programme Director, Boris introduced the niche academic degree programme: Master of Management in Entrepreneurship (Ranked in Top 100 Best Masters.com). He has developed and lectured various modules for MBA and Executive Education programmes, and supervised numerous Ph.D and Masters’ students. His research theme leads the Centre for Entrepreneurship (Cfe) at the Wits, serves as a platform for research fellows, and provides him with access to international networks. To advance the national agenda for entrepreneurship he has engaged with the development of township entrepreneurs and enterprise hubs (Start-up Nations SA).

The impact and reach of Prof’s work is noticeable through several collaborative projects focusing on research and entrepreneurial capacity development around the world. Currently his research collaborations include the International Entrepreneurship Multi-Cultural Study with leading BRIC, UK and US universities, as well as the Partnering Network for Inclusive Growth through Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which has benefited several Ph.D students. As subject expert, he has contributed to several initiatives such as the World Economic Forum, EY G20 Entrepreneurship Monitor Report, Sunday Times Directors Event, SME Summit, and MIT Global Start-ups panels. He also sits on the Executive Board of the Africa Business and Entrepreneurship Research Society and has had the opportunity to present his research findings at conventions and colloquiums held at various organisations globally.

Apart from his academic background, Boris has wide-ranging business experience. He first gained entrepreneurial familiarity by working part-time in his family business. Boris has created new ventures, operated both as a franchisor and as franchisee, and worked for MNCs, with broad exposure to strategic and general management functions. Through training and consulting, he has delivered solutions to local and international corporate clients in the private and NGO sectors (e.g. Liberty Life, Vodacom, and Namibian Tourism). Boris is regularly invited as a keynote speaker and as a subject expert on TV and radio shows.

Boris conducts internationally relevant, high-quality independent research. His strategy of developing junior African scholars advances scholarship to move beyond high-impact factor journals through mainstream publishing. His primary research agenda is to expand knowledge within a unified explanatory structure to understand entrepreneurial behaviour at the individual, organisational and societal levels.

Prof. Boris Urban
Chair in Entrepreneurship
Wits Business School
+27 (0)11 717 3762
boris.urban@wits.ac.za
 


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