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Take Action, Inspire Change. TED Talks That Will Change Your View of Corporate Activism

While every day brings new waves of hope, inspiration and motivation, tomorrow shines as a particularly special opportunity to change your life – it’s Mandela Day!

Nelson Mandela inspired the world with his ideas, soul and, most importantly, his actions. Every year, 18 July is set aside to remember the incredible work of Madiba and honour him by spending just a small portion of our day making the world a kinder place.

Mandela Day asks us to, firstly, take action and, secondly, inspire change. The world is full of many injustices and it can be so disheartening to think of how much work there is to do – the work of ordinary citizens is crucial, but for deep, long-lasting change, we need more. We need leaders – innovative, empathetic, bold, inspired – and we need resources. For both, we need businesses dedicated to doing the work.

The theme for Mandela Day 2020 is #ActionAgainstPoverty – an issue that we are all too familiar with in South Africa. The past few years have seen a boom in innovation and creativity as we rethink the old systems of facilitating socio-economic change. While there are thousands of organisations devoted to developing and sharing ideas that can change the world, TED is arguably the most well known.

TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a non-profit organisation that organises conferences in which a wide range of researchers, innovators and experts share their ideas, journeys and visions through TED Talks.

One of the most prevalent topics discussed in TED Talks is the ways in which individuals and businesses can use their power to enact change; we’ve put together a list of just a few of these incredible presentations so that you can be reminded of the incredible power held by you and your business:

  1. The Case for Letting Businesses Solve Social Problems by Michael Porter
  2. What Nonprofits Can Learn From Coca-Cola by Melinda Gates
  3. Invest in Social Change by Toby Eccles

For more inspiring content you can check out the following TED playlists that speak to social change, activism and the role of businesses and corporate activity in addressing socio-economic challenges:

  1. Social Good, Inc.
  2. The Quest to End Poverty
  3. Talks to Help You Understand Social Justice

TED’s mission is driven by a passionate belief that ideas and education can change the world. We share their mission.

At MasterStart, we vehemently believe in the power of education, specifically business education, to transform the world. We believe in equipping passionate people with the knowledge and skills that they need to enact the change they believe in.

We have online courses ready and waiting to take you from dreaming to doing. Take action today, inspire change tomorrow.


Digital Transformation: A Practical Strategy

Digital transformation is one of the key defining factors of the modern age, and the speed thereof continues to increase while businesses struggle to keep up.

Our expert-led programme on DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: A PRACTICAL STRATEGY explores the challenges facing organisations around the world, as well as the ways in which business leaders can not only overcome digital disruption, but also incorporate technological advances into corporate strategy so as to elevate business operations, relevance and competitiveness.


Course Duration: 7 weeks

Weekly Commitment: 6 hours



Technological development has accelerated rapidly over the past century, and it is imperative that businesses align themselves with this digital transformation in order to remain competitive and relevant. The majority of consumers, particularly those categorised as millennials and gen-z, have been able to adapt to the digital world, and thus they expect businesses to do the same so that communications and interactions can be as efficient as possible.

This course provides an essential toolkit of knowledge and skills for any mid- to senior-level managers and business leaders, particularly those who are responsible for the planning, facilitation and implementation of:

  • Innovation initiative
  • Digital and/or data strategies
  • Digital transformation
  • IT transformation

Furthermore, the programme prepares business leaders for transformation challenges by facilitating workplace application experience such as:

  • The assessment of existing IT practices, IT structures, and data strategies
  • Assessing workplace readiness
  • Growing an awareness of a business’ agility and adaptability
  • Developing and understanding of design thinking principles
  • The assessment of existing and emerging technologies
  • An understanding of fundamental digital marketing and sales principles




Our online digital programmes run for seven weeks, with the first week being dedicated to orientation and onboarding. We will introduce you to the GIBS Online learning platform, go through the details of the programme, and facilitate your engagement with the GIBS faculty and your fellow participants.

MODULE ONE | Digital Transformation

We look at the ways in which business operations have shifted from traditional to digital models as technology has progressed. Furthermore, we explore the ways in which we can help organisations through this transition.

MODULE TWO | A Data Strategy

We look at the importance of developing a bulletproof data strategy in order to streamline the shift from traditional to digital business operations.

MODULE THREE | Design Thinking

Explore the key principles of design thinking and the ways in which these can be used to create a customer-centric digital transformation strategy.


We look at the ways in which a business can maximise agility and efficiency through the implementation of a customer-centric digital transformation strategy.

MODULE FIVE | People and Digital Culture

We explore the relationship between people, data and technology in order to examine the challenges facing business leaders as they carry their organisations from the traditional past to the digital future.

MODULE SIX | Digital Ethics

Our final module examines a wide range of theories and debates concerning the ethics of a digital world.



Over the duration of the programme you will be required to complete multiple-choice quizzes, written assignments and case-study applications. You will also need to participate in reflective polls and discussions with your peers and course experts. The final course assignment involves the development of a business case for digital transformation for an organisation of your choosing.

This assessment model allows you to test your knowledge and understanding as the course progresses, and encourages engagement with GIBS faculty and your peers.



Nishan Pillay

Nishan Pillay is the Executive Director of Open Programmes at GIBS. His millennial status and familiarity with technological and digital developments affords him the ability to accurately and authentically engage with the challenges brought about by digital transformation.

He holds an Honours in Industrial Psychology, as well as a Masters in Digital Transformation and Innovation Leadership, and has thus been able to thoroughly explore both the human and technological aspects of the digital revolution.

FinTech: An Opportunity to Disrupt

The development and evolution of FinTech (Financial Technology) has sent waves of disruption through the entire financial sector, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon.

FINTECH: AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISRUPT, explores FinTech developments, strategies, functions and solutions in order to provide you with the knowledge and skills that you need to use financial technology to advance your career and company.


Course Duration: 7 weeks

Weekly Commitment: 6 hours

Download the course brochure for more information regarding payment options


FinTech is technology that is developed in order to improve, automate and streamline the use of financial services. FinTech originally referred to the back-end systems used by financial institutions such as banks. However, as financial services have shifted to be more consumer-oriented, so has FinTech begun to cater more to the consumer experience so that consumers, businesses and business owners are able to more efficiently and effectively manage their finances.


The continued development of FinTech affects more than just the financial and technological sectors – it impacts every single business and industry that could be helped or, indeed, harmed by technological solutions. We are living in a technological world, and it is essential to keep up to date with the latest developments in business technology in order to:

  • Predict market changes and prepare accordingly
  • Re-evaluate and update corporate strategies
  • Maintain a competitive advantage



Our online digital programmes run for seven weeks, with the first week being dedicated to orientation and onboarding. We will introduce you to the GIBS Online learning platform, go through the details of the programme, and facilitate your engagement with the GIBS faculty and your fellow participants.

MODULE ONE | FinTech Trends and Drivers

We look at FinTech numbers and megatrends to explore how technological disruption in the financial service sector affects competitiveness, efficiency and customer welfare. We will also be discussing the developments in information, coding and tools (such as AI and machine learning) that have been brought about by the digital revolution.

MODULE TWO | Strategies Used by FinTech Players: Competition or Cooperation?

We will be unpacking the pros and cons of accommodating FinTech players into particular industries so that you can determine if FinTech would help or hinder your industry and/or business.

MODULE THREE | Strategies Used by BigTech Players

Explore the strategies of the biggest IT companies in the industry and how they approach the provision of data and technology for financial service providers and users. Using this insight, we will explore a range of strategies that you and your company can make use of to increase your competitiveness and stay ahead of the game.

MODULE FOUR | New and Potential Solutions Offered by FinTech

We look at the emerging forms of financial intermediation and examine the wide-reaching implications of changing payment mechanisms, digital mechanisms and other cashless payment solutions.

MODULE FIVE | Regulation as the Mediator in the FinTech Revolution

Examine the regulatory issues surrounding both FinTech and BigTech, including how they should be regulated and by whom. This module aims to explore the impact of regulations on innovation, the role of RegTech, the pros and cons of being a licensed financial service player, and the effects of a country’s industry structure and regulations on the FinTech revolution.

MODULE SIX | New Sources of Corporate Strategy

We look at the evolution of corporate strategies due to new technologies, as well as how theories of strategy and innovation can be implemented to capitalise on the opportunities presented by FinTech in order to maximise competitiveness and profit.


Over the duration of the programme you will be required to complete multiple-choice quizzes, written assignments and case-study applications. You will also need to participate in reflective polls and discussions with your peers and course experts. Our assessment model allows you to test your knowledge and understanding as the course progresses, and encourages engagement with GIBS faculty and your peers.

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Dr Morris Mthombeni, Interim Dean of the Gordon Institute of Business School.

Dr Morris Mthombeni has enjoyed immense success in both his corporate career and academic pursuits.

He has 28 years of experience in the financial services industry, and has held a number of leadership positions at Liberty Life and Momentum, including a four-year tenure as CEO at Momentum Investments, and as an Executive Director of MMI Holdings Limited. Dr Mthombeni has recently been appointed as a non-executive Director at Investec Bank Limited.

Dr Mthombeni has a host of academic qualifications including:

  • PhD in Corporate Governance from the University of Pretoria
  • MBA in Finance from Manchester Business School
  • LLB, B. Proc, B. Juris from the University of South Africa (UNISA)

In the world of academia, Dr Mthombeni’s primary focus has been in PhD and DBA programmes, as well as Master’s programmes in which he lectures Corporate Strategy, Corporate Governance, Environment of Business, and Innovation. He is a lecturer in GIBS’ flagship Global Executive Development Programme, Board Leadership Programme, and the Harvard Senior Executive Leadership Programme.

AI in Business: What You Need to Know

AI (Artificial Intelligence) has gone from being the stuff of sci-fi to a widely implemented technology in many businesses and industries. The move towards automation and digitalisation has only been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic – many organisations and workers have had to rely on technology to conduct business operations, and a spotlight has been shone on technological solutions in business. Furthermore, society seems to have become more trusting of technology like AI, and it has become much more accessible for the general public.

But incorporating AI tech into your business is no easy feat, and there are a multitude of factors to consider. We’ve broken down a few of the key issues of AI implementation…


AI is a broad branch of computer science, the purpose of which is to create technological systems that can function intelligently and independently. One of the defining features of these systems is that they are able to simulate, to an extent, human characteristics such as holding conversations, picking up patterns, learning from past experiences or data, and draw conclusions.


There are two primary uses for AI in business: classification and prediction.

Classification involves feeding data into an AI system which then groups this data into predetermined categories. Once data has been organised, further technological systems can be used to work with this data to achieve a particular goal.

Prediction involves the analysis of collected data by an AI system, so that patterns and trends can be recognised and extrapolations can be drawn. This is very useful for getting a clear idea of what may happen in the future, which allows businesses to prepare for what may come.

The key to successfully implementing AI into business processes is strategy. You need to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation, and determine how automation can be used to further elevate successes, and address chinks in the armour. You will also need to analyse and assess business processes – if a process is inherently flawed, AI will not be of much help.


You may think that technological issues would be the main obstacle in the business application of AI, but often the biggest difficulty is the acclimation of employees when AI systems are introduced.

It takes time and training for workers to become comfortable with AI solutions, and employees may be resistant to the implementation thereof due to fears of being replaced by robots or technological systems. The problem of job loss due to technological developments has been of great concern since the Industrial Revolution, and as society has continued to progress, this fear has only grown. Of course, many jobs have been automated, especially in industrial production, and there is reason for a certain level of concern. However, an increased dependence on technology for business operations also creates a demand for more IT professionals.

Furthermore, computer science is a relatively accessible career, requiring little more than a computer, an internet connection, and education and training. One must also remember that humans can perform a wide array of functions that AI will not be able to achieve for a long time. Artificial intelligence truly is breathtaking, but there will always be a need for human creativity, innovation and passion in business.

While there will always be concerns around AI and the rise of technology in society, these are certainly times of advancement, excitement and great hope for the future.

Want to learn more about AI in business?

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How Can We Help You?

Browse our list of common questions to get the answers you’re looking for. If your query is not addressed, kindly contact our support team at [email protected] or on +27 (0) 11 771 4120 and we will assist you.


How do I log in to my account?

  1.  Visit the Login page.
  2. Enter your email address in the Email Address field.
  3. Enter your password in the Password field.
  4. Click Log Into My GIBS Profile.

If you can’t remember your password, you can reset it online by clicking the Forgot/Reset Password link at the bottom of the login form, after which you will be emailed instructions for resetting your password.

How do I edit my personal and/or contact details?

Once logged in, you can view and edit your profile by clicking on the Profile tab at the top of the page. You will then be able to make any necessary edits, after which you need to click Update to apply these changes.

Please note:

The details captured on your GIBS profile will appear on your academic record with the university.  Please ensure that your details are accurate prior to your enrolment.

How do I change my password?

You can change your password by going to the Profile tab on the GIBS website and clicking Change Password and following the prompts.

To change your password this way, you will need to be logged in, and you will be asked to enter your existing password. If you are logged out or have forgotten your password, you will need to click the Forgot/Reset Password link on the Login page.

How do I reset my password?

If you need help resetting your password, you can use our Forgot/Reset Password link on the Login page.

  1. Visit the Login page
  2. Enter your email address
  3. Click the Forgot/Reset Password link below the login form
  4. Check your email inbox for a password reset email from [email protected]
  5. Click the password reset link in the email and follow the instructions provided

If you don’t receive a password reset email from us:

  • Check your spam or junk folder
  • Make sure that the email address [email protected] is not blocked
  • Add the email address [email protected] to your contact / safe sender list.
  • Contact your email service provider for assistance.
  • Confirm that the email address you entered on the forgotten password service is the same as the one used when originally registering on GIBS
  • Contact us at [email protected] or on +27 (0) 11 771 4120


How do I pay for my course?

Once you’ve completed the online registration process, you’ll be taken directly to our payment page, where you’ll be able to choose from our available payment options.

If you’ve previously completed the registration process and would like to return to the payment page, you can do so on the Profile tab by selecting the My Enrolments option.

What payment options are available?

We offer the following payment options:

  • Credit Card
  • Cheque (Debit) Card
  • EFT (electronic transfer) or direct bank deposit
  • Instant EFT
  • Mobicred
  • Debit Order (only available for South African citizens)

Do you provide student finance?

Unfortunately, GIBS does not offer financial assistance at this stage.

However, we do offer the following payment options which may work better for you and your finances:

  • Debit Order
  • The debit order payment option gives you the flexibility of paying off your course over 3 to 6 months. The terms available to you are dependent on your course start date and length.
  • Please note that this payment option is only available to South African citizens.
  • Two-Part Payment
  • You can pay a 50% deposit via credit card or EFT to secure your seat on the course.  The balance is due within 30 days from the start date.
  • Mobicred
  • Mobicred is a simple and convenient online credit facility with repayments over 12 months.  The application process is done online and is subject to an approval process from Mobicred, a registered credit provider.

Please note that this payment option is only available to South African citizens.

Do you offer bursaries?

Unfortunately, GIBS does not offer bursaries or student loans at this stage. However, with the University of Pretoria’s prestigious reputation, it is very possible for you to source and secure external bursaries or funding in order to secure your course seat.

Can I pay with an international bank account?


You’ll have the option of choosing to pay via EFT during the payment process.

  1. On the payment page, select the EFT payment option.
  2. Click on the Submit Registration button.
  3. We will assign you a unique payment reference number and provide the GIBS bank account details.
  4. Your payment reference number must be used when making the transfer so that we can accurately link the payment to your account.
  5. We will email you a copy of these details.

Your bank may ask for our SWIFT code when making the payment. A SWIFT code is an international bank code that identifies particular banks worldwide.  The GIBS bank account SWIFT code is XXX

Can I pay with an American Express or Diners Club credit card?


Unfortunately, we don’t accept payment from American Express or Diners Club credit cards. We do accept all Visa and Mastercard credit/cheque cards.

Please note that the debit order payment option is only available to South African citizens.

Can I pay with a cheque/debit card?


As long as your card has a Visa or Mastercard logo, a card number, an expiry date and a CVV number on the back, you can use your card for the Credit Card payment option during checkout.

Note: Cheque cards are known as debit cards outside of South Africa.

How do I pay with a credit card?

  1. Select the Credit Card payment option on the payment page.
  2. Enter your cardholder name exactly as it appears on your card.
  3. Enter your card number (numbers only, no spaces or dashes)
  4. Enter your card expiry date
  5. Enter your CVV number (the last 3 digits on the back of the card.)
  6. Click on the Pay Now button.
  7. You may be redirected to your bank’s 3D Secure system to authenticate the transaction.
  8. Once authenticated, you will be redirected to the GIBS site to complete the transaction.

Please note:

50% of the course fee is due prior to the course start date and the balance within 30 days of this same date.

Visa and Mastercard are the only supported card types.

Why is my credit card payment not going through?

There are a few common card transaction errors that may be responsible for the failure of your payment:

  1. Check that you entered the correct CVV / CVC number (the last 3 digits on the back of the card).
  2. Make sure that the card number you entered contains only numbers – no spaces or dashes.
  3. The OTP (one-time pin) you received from your bank may have been entered incorrectly.
  4. Confirm via your online banking that you don’t have a limit set on your credit or cheque card.

If you continue to experience issues, please get in touch with our support team at [email protected] or on +27 (0) 11 771 4120.

How can I pay via EFT (electronic transfer) or direct bank deposit?

  1. Select the EFT payment option on the payment page.
  2. Click the Submit Registration button.
  3. We’ll assign you your unique payment reference number and display the GIBS bank account details.
  4. Your payment reference number must be used when making the transfer so that we can accurately link the payment to your account.
  5. Thereafter, a copy of these details will be emailed to you.

Please note:

50% of the course fee is due prior to the course start date, and the balance is due within 30 days of this same date.

Your enrolment may be subject to a delay should the incorrect payment reference be used.

Payments received after hours, on weekends or public holidays will be processed the following business day.

Is GIBS secure?

GIBS is 100% safe and secure.

  • Your account login, personal details and payment information is encrypted between your web browser and our server using 256 bit SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).
  • Your credit card details are never stored on our server.
  • We make use of 3D Secure to further enhance the security of our online credit card transactions.
  • All sensitive information stored by us to facilitate certain transactions is fully encrypted in our database.

What is 3D Secure (Verified by Visa / Mastercard SecureCode)?

3D Secure is an authentication system developed by major credit card companies to enhance the security of online credit card transactions and protect against potential fraud.

The Visa implementation of 3D Secure is referred to as Verified by Visa and the Mastercard implementation is Mastercard SecureCode.

How does it work?

When transacting with your credit card on the GIBS website, you may be redirected to your bank’s 3D Secure system to authenticate the transaction.

Your bank will have their own authentication system such as the use of an OTP (one-time pin) sent via SMS to your phone, verification via mobile app, or the use of a secret passphrase.

After your transaction is authenticated, you’ll be redirected to the GIBS site to complete the transaction.

Where can I see the balance I still owe on my course?

You can manage your courses and check all outstanding balances from the Profile tab at the top of the GIBS page. Click My Enrolments to see a summary of any amounts paid and due on your course.

How can I make a follow-up payment for my course?

If you’ve already been through the registration and payment process and would like to make a follow-up payment for your course, you can do so by going to the Profile tab.

  1. Select Enrolments on the navigation menu.
  2. Click on the Pay Balance link underneath your course.
  3. You’ll be taken back to the payment page where the balance due can be paid via any of our available payment options.


Is my company able to enrol multiple employees on a programme?


GIBS has its own online self-service vendor portal which offers you and your organisation the ability to generate quotes, create purchase orders, manage employee/member enrolments, and bulk purchase courses at discounted rates.

You’ll have access to a dedicated account manager who will be able to assist your organisation with any of your training and learning requirements.

You can sign up for free at link

If you require any further information, please get in touch with our corporate training department on +27 (0) 11 771 4120

What are your support hours?

Enrolment Managers

Our enrolment managers are available Monday to Friday 08:00 to 17:00 GMT+2 (South Africa), and are able to assist with queries related to the course content, registration process, payment and enrolment.

Course Coordinators

Our course coordinators are available Monday to Friday 08:00 to 19:00 GMT+2 (South Africa), and are able to assist with all queries related to your experience on the course and learning platform.

How will I receive my certificate?

Your certificate will be couriered to you directly from the University of Pretoria. This can take up to 3 months as your final assignment will need to be submitted for moderation and your certificate will need to be processed by the university.

What do I receive upon the successful completion of the course?

Upon successful completion of all required course-related activities, and satisfactory grades on the final assignment, you will be awarded an official certificate from the University of Pretoria. This certificate states that you have successfully completed a competency-based course. We will also send through a Statement of Results that you can include in your CV or list on your LinkedIn profile.

Will I be able to interact with other participants?


Participation is required in the weekly forum discussion on the online learning platform. 

Will I have an opportunity to interact with the course faculty?

Each course has one dedicated faculty member who will interact with participants on forums, and answer any queries forwarded to them by the GIBS coordinators. Faculty also grade and provide feedback on assignments. GIBS’ skilled team of course coordinators are available to assist you throughout your learning journey.

Do I need to be online at specific times during the programme?


As the course is presented online, all of your course material will be uploaded onto your student profile which is accessible to you at any time. You will be required to complete assessments and participate in forums on the online learning platform. The platform is available 24/7 with specific deadlines for certain events, assignments and assessments.

Are your courses accredited?

GIBS offers online short courses that are accredited under the auspices of the University of Pretoria. Upon successful completion of a competency-based short course, participants receive a certificate from the University of Pretoria.

In accordance with the regulatory requirements of the Council of Higher Education (CHE), short courses are not credit bearing and do not align to an NQF level qualification. While the NQF framework intends for the articulation from one qualification to another. USB-ED online short courses are intended as workplace-relevant skills support programmes, which provide participants with practical skills that can be implemented almost immediately within the workplace.

These short courses are designed and approved by GIBS faculty and by the University of Pretoria as industry-relevant skills interventions which will assist you in your day to day work and accelerate your career progression.

What is the relationship between GIBS and the University of Pretoria?

The Gordon Institute of Business Science is one of the top business schools in South Africa and a faculty of the University of Pretoria. GIBS is an online learning partner of the University of Pretoria, and offers a range of digital programmes.

GIBS was established in 2000 with investments from the University of Pretoria and Sir Donald Gordon; the school is named after Sir Gordon in recognition of the generosity of both in his contributions to the school and the South African business world.

What is the pass mark requirement?

The minimum pass requirement for each course is 50%. Please note that to pass the course you will need to meet the minimum criteria for submissions.

Will there be any exams?

There is no formal examination – your assessments and assignments will determine your final course grade.


Can I continue to access the course content once the course has finished?


The course content will become unavailable once the course has been completed and closed, meaning that you will no longer be able to access it. However, you will be able to download the course notes in PDF format as you go through the course.

Can I download and save videos to watch offline?


Unfortunately, our video content is not downloadable. However, transcripts are included in the course notes which are available in a PDF format.

Do I need to have an internet connection to access the course content?


Our learning platform makes use of various multimedia elements, including video content, interactive learning content and imagery, all of which require a stable internet connection. However, the course notes are available for download in a PDF format and can be accessed offline with a PDF viewer.

What are the technical requirements for the online learning platform?

All of our courses can be accessed via a web browser on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. However, you will need a desktop or laptop computer to complete and submit your written assignments.

The following web browsers are supported:

  • Google Chrome
  • Safari
  • Mozilla Firefox

Our learning platform makes use of various multimedia elements, including video content, interactive learning content and imagery, all of which require a stable internet connection.


Why has my course date changed and how does that affect me?

GIBS, in consultation with the University of Pretoria, reserves the right to cancel or defer a course if there is insufficient demand. Should your course be cancelled, you will receive a full refund. Please note that no interest will accrue on any amounts refunded to you, and any applicable bank charges will be offset against the refunded amount.

What is your refund or cancellation policy?

You have 7 (seven) calendar days from the date of your first payment to request a refund of any amounts paid by you towards the course in question. Your refund will be paid to you within 30 (thirty) days once we have received and accepted your request for cancellation.


How much is the registration fee?

GIBS students are not required to pay a registration fee. The only amount you will need to pay is the course fee.

Kindly get in touch if you have any further questions for us.

8 Ways to Work Smart, Not Hard

Hard work is the foundation of a long, rewarding and successful career. However, you will find that the smarter you work, the easier your work will become. When you cut the small, unimportant tasks out of your day, you can save a huge amount of time and energy that you are then able to spend on the things that actually matter. We’ve put together a few tips and tricks that you can use to make your work work for you.

1. Take Care of Yourself First

In Steven Covey’s brilliant book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he uses the analogy of a woodcutter who is motoring through his work, while his saw becomes more and more blunt with each stroke. He may think he needs to keep going to get his work finished more quickly, when he could actually save on time and energy if he would just stop to sharpen his saw.

If you are sacrificing your own wellbeing in order to power through your work, you will end up hurting your health and productivity in the long run. When you are feeling fatigued, drained, unfocused, or otherwise hindered in your ability to work with efficiency and focus, force yourself to step away, sharpen your saw (however works best for you – take a power nap, go for a walk, cook a healthy meal, etc.), and return when you are working as your best self.

2. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

If you are drowning in work and you have the option of passing on some of your tasks to someone else, it makes sense to lighten your load. However, this is often easier said than done. It takes courage and trust to let go of a project, especially if you tend towards perfectionism. However, it will end up saving you heaps of stress, energy and time, plus you will have the opportunity to create stronger bonds of trust with your peers as you learn that you can lean on each other when you are feeling overwhelmed.

3. Automate Where Possible

Save your time and energy for the things that matter – the more decisions you have to make, the more drained you will become. Mark Zuckerberg made the decision to wear the same outfit everyday so that he doesn’t have to put any effort into choosing his clothes – instead he uses that time and energy to work on more important things. While this is a pretty intense commitment to productivity, you can apply the principle in other areas. Cook a one-pot meal for the whole week, use banking/accounting software to set up recurring invoices and payments, and create email filters so that your inbox is automatically organised. Reduce the amount of admin that you have to do, and you will find that your day will open up.

4. Keep Your Work at Work

This is one of the best things that you can do for your health and productivity. Compartmentalising your space is essential – don’t make work a place for recreation, and keep your relaxation zones free of stress so that you can maximise your experience in each. It’s vital to be able to step away from your work and re-energise when you need to in order to avoid burnout and keep your standards up to scratch.

5. Remember the Bigger Picture

It can be all too easy to get wrapped up in the small details, especially if you are a perfectionist or your work has a creative aspect. If you find yourself spending an excessive amount of time on a task, take a step back and evaluate if you are wasting your time refining details that are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. If you are drafting a big report, it’s likely that no one will notice that you managed to choose the perfect word in the third paragraph of page 28.

6. Ask for Help

This is always harder than it seems. Especially if you consider yourself to be a great worker – asking for help can feel like cheating or showing weakness. However, you will find that not only will you end up saving time, but it will also be easier to reach out the next time you need some support or advice. One of the best ways to apply this advice is when you find yourself needing to research simple tasks or go through databases of information to find what you’re looking for. Rather than wasting time consulting the internet or searching for the answers you need, simply make a phone call or ask a co-worker what they had to do when they were in the same situation.

7. Give Yourself More (Good) Breaks

It can be all too easy to get caught up in work and forget to take your lunch break. And even if you are taking regular breaks, are you using them efficiently? Just as important as stepping away from your work when you are feeling fatigued is using your break time to properly re-energise. So many of us use our breaks to check social media and catch up on messages, which doesn’t allow for proper relaxation and refreshment – especially if you spend your work day staring at a screen. Try to spend your break time doing something relaxing and reinvigorating – do some reading, have a chat with a friend, meditate, do a quick yoga session or take a walk.

8. Invest Now to Save in the Future

One of the best things that you can do with your time, money and energy is invest them in yourself – after all, you are your own biggest resource and asset. You will never regret spending your money on anything that furthers your education, expands your skillset, and/or makes it easier for you to work more efficiently.

MasterStart offers top-class online courses in business, finance, marketing and management so that you can set yourself up for success – in whatever you do.

Work Smart with MasterStart

The Fantastic Five: Meet Our New Digital Programmes

If there is one thing that 2020 has taught us, it is that the adaptable will survive.

The world of business is unpredictable and ever-changing, and those who cannot rise to meet new challenges will be left in the dust.

With this in mind, we have developed five brand new programmes with a focus on business technology and strategic operations – everything you need to keep ahead of the competition.

All courses are now open for registration, and will commence on 7 July 2020.


AI in Business

Led by: Dr Manoj Chiba

This topical course unpacks the business potential of AI by examining the what, why and how of artificial intelligence. You will learn exactly what AI is, the importance of the relationship between AI, data and analytics, and how you can utilise AI technology to add value to your business and gain a competitive edge. Content is taught through a combination of theory, case studies, peer discussions and practical assignments. The highlight of the course is the Chatbot Application Assignment, in which students will need to conceptualise an AI project and design, and develop and deploy an AI-powered chatbot. No matter what technological experience you may have or where you fall in an organisation, this course will allow you to expand your skill-set and develop an understanding of one of the most important technologies of the present and future.

Duration: 7 weeks

Weekly Commitment: 6 hours

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Led by: Professor Caren Scheepers

Today’s volatile and fast-paced business world demands leaders who are decisive, innovative and bold. This programme aims to equip you with the skills, techniques and information that you need to become a leader of both today and tomorrow. Through a comprehensive and multifaceted curriculum, we will look at the importance of interdependence and interconnectedness in effective leadership; the challenges of internationalism; and key theories, tools, models and methods of leadership. The aim of the programme is to build you into a self-empowered, confident leader who can create intersectional and interdepartmental networks within your organisation in order to analyse business issues, implement solutions, and capitalise on strategic opportunities to advance your business and your own career path.

Duration: 7 weeks

Weekly Commitment: 6 hours

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Led by: Lisa Botes

The ability to negotiate effectively and confidently is essential for satisfaction and success in both our private and professional lives – however, negotiation is often intimidating, and many of us end up walking away from the deal without the outcome we were hoping for. This programme seeks to build your confidence, self-awareness and interpersonal skills through the teaching of tried-and-tested negotiation approaches, tools and processes. Much of the course content is focused on refining your own emotional intelligence, personal strengths, empathy, non-verbal communication, and understanding of the psychology of negotiation. By the end of the programme you will be able to develop a comprehensive negotiation plan for mutual benefit. This will allow you to maximise your chance of achieving your desired outcome, while still promoting and preserving good business relations.

Duration: 7 weeks

Weekly Commitment: 6 hours

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Led by: Dr Morris Mthombeni

The development of disruptive FinTech has changed the world of business forever, and it has become apparent that its capacity to help or hinder organisations is largely determined by the approach and decisions of individual business leaders. We will be unpacking the multifaceted impact of technological disruption on the financial service industry by looking at the history of FinTech; the role of AI and machine learning; the strategies used by BigTech players; the issues surrounding the regulation of FinTech; and much more. By the end of the course you will be able to evaluate new and existing technologies to determine their impact on your industry and organisation, and thus decide how best to incorporate them into your corporate strategy.

Duration: 7 weeks

Weekly Commitment: 6 hours

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Digital Transformation: A Practical Strategy

Led by: Nishan Pillay

Technological development is advancing at an astronomical rate, and it’s getting harder and harder to stay ahead of the game. Businesses and industries all over the world are vulnerable to disruption due to technological, economic, social and political volatility, and it is essential to prepare yourself and your organisation for the changes that will inevitably come. This programme focuses on equipping you with the skills and knowledge that you need to formulate and implement a customer-centric digital strategy that will lead your organisation through periods of disruption, while simultaneously sharpening your competitive edge. We will also explore the vital relationship between people, data and technology, and the debates surrounding digital ethics. It’s the perfect programme for leaders and managers of all levels who are responsible for implementing innovative and transformative business strategies.

Duration: 7 weeks

Weekly Commitment: 6 hours

Register Now