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So now we’ve all had a couple of weeks to digest the BRM event, we wanted to thank everyone who attended and made it such a success. We’ve put together a brief summary of the day for you, and for those who didn’t make (to let them know what they missed :-D).

Gary’s opening session on what BRM really is (and really isn’t!!) received great feedback and provided some new ideas to help us articulate the true value of business partnering – especially in organisations where BRM/BP is seen as a role, not a capability, and where those roles are misunderstood or under-utilised (escalation path, single point of contact, extension of service provider). He also reminded us that Business Partnering is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s disruptive, and innovative, and will ultimately help organisations survive, and thrive.

Khayi Chaba gave an emotional and inspirational talk “Building a Responsible, Sustainable Business Culture in the Digital Era“. Khanyi is Head of responsible business and sustainability for Old Mutual.  Khanyi grew up in Soweto and was the 13th and last child.  In memory of her mum, she has fostered 13 poor children with a similar background and has helped them succeed.  On top of that Khanyi is a mountaineer and endurance runner. She has run the Comrades ultramarathon (95 Km) 10 times, as well as the Two Oceans marathon 10 times. She has completed all the top global six marathons.  She has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as the tallest mountain in Europe in Russia, and now wants to climb the top 6 global mountains! She used mountaineering as the theme for her presentation, emphasising the importance of goals, relationships, self-belief, confidence and teamwork.  Her talk really made an impact on everyone, which she cleverly connected to the BRM concept.

Khanyi helps runs a charity “Summit for Hope” for similar children formed by Dr. Thandi Ndlovo, who sadly died this year in a car crash.  We have donated R5,000 to this charity, and will be providing Khanyi with membership of the Institute for a year. Hence forth, we will also make a contribution every time we run a class.

The Exec Panel “What business expects in the 4th IR“, facilitated by Lucas Mogashoa with three C-suite execs. Issues discussed included the challenges of old financial asset thinking – moving from owning to renting and capex to opex in the digital era; a need for more transparency by CIOs; how to deal with legacy challenges;  and building trust and being able to advise business.

The penultimate session facilitated by our EQ expert Steph Vermeulen, with the President of the South Africa Institute for IT professionals, President of IIBA, and Director of Education for ISACA discussed “Skills needed in the 4th IR“.  Most of the discussion was about technology skills shortages here in SA, as well as broader business skills and personal behavioral skills.  Steph talked about empathy and communications, and referred to the World Economic Forum top 10 skills needed in 2020 – which interestingly had no mention of technology, and align quite nicely with the BRM philosophy:

1.   Complex Problem Solving
2.   Critical Thinking
3.   Creativity
4.   People Management
5.   Coordinating with Others
6.   Emotional Intelligence
7.   Judgement and Decision Making
8.   Service Orientation
9.   Negotiation
10.Cognitive Flexibility

Rounding off the day was one of our favourite sessions – delegate “story telling”. Here we heard about challenges and successes that demonstrated how versatile business partners need to be, but also how much value they can bring to an organisation.

We were delighted most delegates were able to stay for the cocktail evening (sponsored by APMG – big thanks!!), which gave us a chance to share more than we might usually (aided by the cocktails ;-)) and helped forge what we hope are some long lasting relationships in this growing community. We hope you all stay in touch, and help each other as you continue your BRM journey.

Thank you to everyone who came, huge thanks to our panelists and moderators, and a special thank you to Khanyi for sharing such an inspirational story. It’s exactly what we needed to hear and gave us all the perspective needed to conquer our own summits and find our purpose. Those who came are welcome to send feedback or comments, and share your experience with the wider community. We need to reach more BRMs, and this can only be done with your help.

We also announced the formation of the first ever BRM Institute Chapter, which will be in South Africa!! Our community leaders – Mpho Madolo and Thamsanqa Lubede, are helping to form the first Chapter Board of Directors. Please reach out to them if you would like to get involved.

If you’d like to attend a future event, please check out our Events page for details. These events will become chapter events, and the next is scheduled for “World BRM Week“, in the first week of February 2020.

If we don’t speak to you before, have a wonderful break and best wishes for the new year!


Partnering with Business for Digital Transformation

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to meet and join a community of like-minded people. We know you’ll be inspired, and you’ll want to share these game-changing concepts with your organisation

Be positioned to start 2020 with 2020 vision!

Know what you need to action to have a clearer personal purpose, be more successful and even better – help others succeed!

Kindly sponsored by APMG International


Arrival and Registration 8:00
Welcome, Programme Breakdown and Introductions 9:00
Why Business Partnering? Gary Hardy – BRMInstitute Regional Ambassador 9:30

Guest Speaker; Khanyi Chaba – Sustainability Practitioner, Architectural Technologist, Mountaineer, Endurance Runner…

“Building a Responsible, Sustainable Business Culture in the Digital Era”

Q&A 12:00

Executive Panel Discussion; Carolynn Chalmers, Dr. Noxolo Kubheka-Dlamini

Partnering with Business for Digital Transformation

Moderated by Lucas Mogashoa – former CIO & FirstRand Group Head: IT Risk & Governance

— LUNCH BREAK — 13:15

Professional Institute Panel Discussion

New skills required for the Digital Era

Incl. Presidents from IIBAIITPSA and ISACA.

Moderated by Steph Vermeulen – South Africa’s EQ &PI pioneer

Delegate Storytelling (Open Session) 15:45
Closing Remarks, Vote of Thanks & Week Review 17:00
Social drinks/refreshments, sponsored by ITWinners 17:30


The digital era is already demonstrating how game-changing developments can rapidly and positively impact businesses and public services. Organisations of all types have never been so keen to capture the opportunities that new technologies can provide.  

But are we ready to help business succeed?

For the first time, we are bringing together MEA’s professional community in a not-for-profit partnering event to initiate the actions we need to take, and skills we need to develop, to “Digitally Transform” and create value from technology opportunities.  We are encouraging a culture of collaboration together in a spirit of “Ubuntu”.  Working together and not competing, to help drive personal and organisational purpose and be successful.

For BRM professionals and everyone with an interest in advancing relationships with business, we’re also providing the latest business relationship skills development classes, including a business and IT simulation. Further events, classes and workshops will also be planned for 2020.


The Community Event and subsequent courses / workshops / simulations will be held at;

The Focus Rooms

The Core, 1st Floor, Cnr Leeuwkop Road & Kikuyu Road, Sunninghill, Johannesburg

(click the address for directions)

USD United States (US) dollar