LeadersWalk: Johannesburg – 17 September 2019

The Leaders’ Walk has been created to nurture the development of aspiring leaders and to help them unlock their future potential. This is done during an interactive networking breakfast that will encourage meaningful engagement and dialogue.

Each table is hosted by a leader in their field who imparts knowledge, experience and words of wisdom to the table, while directing the conversation.

Ian Russel

Ian Russel

17 September 2019 , 07h30 – 10h30

Guest Speaker
Ian Russell
Author of The Other End of the Telescope
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Development Bank of Southern Africa,
1258 Lever Rd, Headway Hill, Midrand

Cost: R495 plus VAT per person.

Register here

Colleen Larsen
Phone: 0843539865

RSVP by 31 August 2019.


Sponsored by DBSA

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Speaker profile

Ian Russell, the author of The Other End of the Telescope, kicked off his career with Ford Motor Company as a graduate trainee back in the early 1990s when Ford was one of the largest companies in the world. Working mainly in procurement and supply chain, Ian was lucky enough to become an expert in gaskets, plastic and was ultimately accountable for buying and managing Ford’s performance engines around the world.

Barclays Bank Plc was Ian’s next port of call, where he worked in various roles in the UK, Africa and the Middle East, spanning supply chain, technology and operations roles, ultimately arriving in South Africa in the mid-2000s, leading part of the Mergers & Acquisitions team that ultimately acquired Absa, then South Africa’s largest retail bank.

After a host of leadership roles at Absa, including operations, supply chain and strategy, Ian joined SABMiller to lead a number of their globalisation initiatives, working across Africa and Europe.

Joining the troubled, virtually bankrupt South African telecommunications company Telkom in 2014, Ian was a key part of its inspirational turnaround, leading change in all areas of its operations and overseeing radical overhauls to its business, people and culture.

Ian’s last corporate role was as Chief Executive Officer of BCX, a subsidiary of Telkom and Africa’s largest technology company, with a $2 billion turnover.

Ian now divides his time between speaking, writing, and advising large corporates on change and strategic responses to marketplace disruption.

Ian remains firmly focused on sustainable and responsible development of the economy, and sits on a number of not-for-profit boards and advisory groups, focused on leveraging technology and education for the benefit of the youth of South Africa.

Ian lives in South Africa with his wife, two boys and their menagerie, and has finally discovered his analogue moat in the Western Cape.

The Other End of the Telescope by Ian Russell

Are you ready to rise to the challenge of increasing the metabolic rate and success of your business?

The Other End of the Telescope is a high speed gallop through the absurdities and challenges of getting things done in large companies, and the inherent contradictions in leadership and organisational behaviours that prevent businesses from realising their potential and achieving greater success.

In this collection of thought provoking essays, Ian Russell draws on more than 25 years’ experience of leading and working in large organisations around the world to distil the key themes and challenges confronting big business today.

The book tackles key topics such as organisational cholesterol, the loneliness of leadership, human capital strategy failures, performance destroying ‘head offices’ and the ‘myths’ of talent scarcity and the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, among others. Each essay pairs a deep understanding of the real world and lessons learned the hard way, with powerful and pragmatic insights on how big business can change the way in which it does things.

Contributions from other notable thought leaders Valter Adão, Richard Mulholland, Happy Ntshingila and Rapelang Rabana add unique voices and insights to Ian’s vibrant and straightforward views. Together they are exactly what is needed to jolt businesses and their leaders into doing things more successfully and thoughtfully.

The lightness of Ian’s style makes this a highly readable book, but it does not dilute the impact of his incisive observations and insights. Passionate, irreverent and challenging, The Other End of the Telescope will make you think deeply about your business and your career – and your role in both.

You’ll never think the same way again.

‘Ian brutally calls out the reality that corporates need to learn that the pace inside their business needs to be faster than the pace outside if they want to survive.’ – MICHAEL JORDAAN, Venture Capitalist and former FNB CEO.