Seeking Accreditation or Training material


Cut-throat competition

This topic contains 28 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by  Timothy Fasheun 1 year, 10 months ago.

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  • #6952

    Hannes Nel
    Participant

    This morning I received an email from somebody who probably regards themselves as our competition. They sell training materials and start their brochure like this: “In a market characterised by cut-throat competition, creating a competitive edge becomes the driving formula to market dominance.”

    MY WORD, what a negative way in which to approach what is supposed to be a service to the South African community. We most certainly don’t regard what we do as cut-throat competition; in fact we welcome other people who have the ability and capacity to design and develop good quality training materials. They are not our competitors, they are our allies, and together we can do so much more to improve the level of education and, through education, employment in South Africa. The South African unemployment rate is one of the highest in the world. Depending on how you define unemployment, it can be anything between 25% and 42%.[1] One of the objectives of the National Development Plan is to decrease unemployment by 19% by 2030.[2] The government needs all the help they can get to achieve this.

    The National Development Plan, furthermore, have objectives for the improvement of early childhood development, schooling, further education and training, skills development and higher education. Of the estimated South African population of 50,59 million approximately 46 million are younger than 60,[3] which means that they will either work in the future or are already employed, so that they need training and education. How can one or even a substantial number of research organisations design and develop all the training materials needed to train all these people? It is simply not possible, so why “cut-throat competition?” We do not have enough designers and developers to do all the work. In fact, I have serious reservations about the motives of someone who designs and develops just to make money.

    If you wish to enjoy the wonderful life that South Africa offers, then you should also accept your responsibility to the South African community. As it is we have way too much crime, corruption, nepotism and … greed. All of this can only be brought under control if we educate the people of South Africa, and so it is in our own interests to focus on providing a service to the community rather than to cut throats and make money. One wonders what the quality of the materials designed and developed is if the objective is just to make money rather than to serve the community. Everybody in South Africa needs to work together towards the improvement of the quality of life we don’t need those who are here to feather their own nest.

    Dr Hannes Nel, MD Mentornet



    [2] National Development Plan, Vision for 2030. 11 November 2011.

    [3] http://www.statssa.gov.za. Accessed on 2012/05/04.

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  • #6975

    Tass Schwab
    Participant

    Hannes, this would have thrown me too. I have experienced nothing but good with the people that I work with in this industry. I have never experienced cut throat behavior, less than perfect and inability to write yes… but not cut throat! You are what you attract in your life too… we are a COMMUNITY of Learning and Development Practitioners…

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  • #6974

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Well said Hannes and Tass.  The challenge of what needs to be done: from caring for orphans, implementing ECD, improving basic education – libraries – ICT, capacitating FET colleges, building new tertiary institutions in provinces with none, reducing the enormous drop-out rate at universities – is surely more than any state can do alone.  The openings for private providers to make a valuable – and lasting – contribution are so great.   Let’s continue to lead by example.  

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  • #6973

    Ian Webster
    Participant

    Well said all.

    That puts it into perspective, Sylvia. Imagine if we were talking about caring for orphans. I think we would all be horrified by any suggestion of “cut-throat competition” in that type of “industry”!

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  • #6972

    Rose Mageza
    Participant

    Wow Dr Hannes, well said. We certainly need more people like you in our country.

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  • #6971

    Amazing – they should fire their marketing people. In a world of global competitiveness, one should rely on innovation. Also, especially in a well-traded sector like training, we should work on the abundance principle.

    An you are right, the best way to create competitive advantage and to build a sustainable business, is through providing a service to the community – which you just happen to make money from – but not in a cut-throat way.

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  • #6970

    It’s a very good thing to expose people who are in the skills development business to fill their pockets…such people have squandered millions in the past 12 years, taking instead of giving – and in the process helping to keep South Africans unskilled and jobless.  South Africa simply cannot afford more shysters.  Thank you, Dr Nel – expose them all!  In fact, you should also name them so we know who we are dealing with.

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  • #6969

    Agree. If your philosophy is that we live in an abundant world, where there is space for all, then you recognise the extent to which we can benefit from and share with those in the same field as ourselves.

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  • #6968

    Wilma Guest-Mouton
    Participant

    Hi Hannes I am literally begging some setas for years to develop proper user-friendly learning material.  I am both a curriculum developer/materials writer and a training provider.  But to develop learning material the way it should be done, is very expensive and time consuming.  We have often bought material in, but we have found that some people think they are writers or developers then they are just cut-and-paste experts.  I really vote for experts and curriculum developers to develop proper material and to make it available in the marjet place to credible providers.

     

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  • #6967

    Marie Smith
    Participant

    Hannes – your words are so true! These people are cutting their own throats by polluting their market because of the doubt they are creating in the minds of organisations who are serious about developing the skills of their people. It is a long-standing principle of marketing that one can only compete on the P’s – product (quality of an outstanding or unique nature), position (where you are located), and price. And all marketing gurus will advise that price-cutting is the least successful. The more you cut the price, the more you are expected to cut it. In the end you are left with nothing because the other price-competitors keep on forcing your prices down  – they all want to cut the others’ throats. What is our intention really with the programmes we design – to make it worthwhile for learners to really achieve skills or for the designer to make a “quick buck”?

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  • #6966

    Whole-hearted agreement. There is nothing so powerful as collaboration.

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  • #6965

    I totally agree with you Hannes, there is more than enough to do – and not enough time or resources. Our business model is based on collaboration and we have done this very successfully – with many projects over the years.  If you want to be in this ambit for the money only – I think there are much easier ways to make money – and as any good designer of learning knows – you are never able to equate the hours that goes into a really good design to ensure transfer of knowledge and skills with the amount you ask for your services – and it should never be.  There is a bigger picture here – that is so easily lost if you are in it for the wrong reasons.

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  • #6964

    Hannes Nel
    Participant

    Hello Wilma, Through the years I have come to realise that the ability to design and develop learning programmes is not only dependent on your knowledge but also your personality. The same actually applies to facilitation and probably other functions in ETD as well. Some of our researchers are brilliant at doing research and developing most interesting learning materials, but they refuse to facilitate learning. They love to sit behind their computers or in the library where they can do research all by themselves. I guess they are introverts. Others are extremely good facilitators but they can’t design and develop anything. They love to interact with people, so I guess they are extroverts. You also get some who are good at both, but they are the exceptions. Regards, Dr Hannes Nel, MD Mentornet

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  • #6963

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    I couldn’t agree more with you Hannes.  Is it perhaps that we come from a generation that thinks that success only comes to us by protecting our intellect, product and so forth for fear of losing control, ownership and of course someone else making more money and being more successful than us.  In all honesty we were there a couple of years ago.  When ‘competitors’ knocked on our doors we would steer clear, whereas now as a company we have so many super brilliant relationships with other companies in the same industry, we help each other, share clients and information all for the benefit of our trainees and the bigger picture.  I guess until the penny drops for some people, it doesn’t drop. 🙂  Ornella VETTA Communication

     

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  • #19534

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    I couldn’t agree more with you Hannes.  Is it perhaps that we come from a generation that thinks that success only comes to us by protecting our intellect, product and so forth for fear of losing control, ownership and of course someone else making more money and being more successful than us.  In all honesty we were there a couple of years ago.  When ‘competitors’ knocked on our doors we would steer clear, whereas now as a company we have so many super brilliant relationships with other companies in the same industry, we help each other, share clients and information all for the benefit of our trainees and the bigger picture.  I guess until the penny drops for some people, it doesn’t drop. 🙂  Ornella VETTA Communication

     

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  • #37741

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    I couldn’t agree more with you Hannes.  Is it perhaps that we come from a generation that thinks that success only comes to us by protecting our intellect, product and so forth for fear of losing control, ownership and of course someone else making more money and being more successful than us.  In all honesty we were there a couple of years ago.  When ‘competitors’ knocked on our doors we would steer clear, whereas now as a company we have so many super brilliant relationships with other companies in the same industry, we help each other, share clients and information all for the benefit of our trainees and the bigger picture.  I guess until the penny drops for some people, it doesn’t drop. 🙂  Ornella VETTA Communication

     

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  • #43228

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    I couldn’t agree more with you Hannes.  Is it perhaps that we come from a generation that thinks that success only comes to us by protecting our intellect, product and so forth for fear of losing control, ownership and of course someone else making more money and being more successful than us.  In all honesty we were there a couple of years ago.  When ‘competitors’ knocked on our doors we would steer clear, whereas now as a company we have so many super brilliant relationships with other companies in the same industry, we help each other, share clients and information all for the benefit of our trainees and the bigger picture.  I guess until the penny drops for some people, it doesn’t drop. 🙂  Ornella VETTA Communication

     

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  • #44268

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    I couldn’t agree more with you Hannes.  Is it perhaps that we come from a generation that thinks that success only comes to us by protecting our intellect, product and so forth for fear of losing control, ownership and of course someone else making more money and being more successful than us.  In all honesty we were there a couple of years ago.  When ‘competitors’ knocked on our doors we would steer clear, whereas now as a company we have so many super brilliant relationships with other companies in the same industry, we help each other, share clients and information all for the benefit of our trainees and the bigger picture.  I guess until the penny drops for some people, it doesn’t drop. 🙂  Ornella VETTA Communication

     

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  • #6962

    Andrea Mammes
    Participant

    Hi Hannes, it always comes down to the fact that some think the cake is too small, while others know there is enough for all of us!

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  • #6961

    Hannes – I too would like to express my disrespect for Training Institutions who offer learners ‘special Easter Deals’ followed this month by an advertisement – extending the ‘Special Offer’ —  this is for Accredited Training Courses, which are no longer optional, but mandatory for all Real Estate Agents & Principals, since July 2008. The Real Estate Industry had finally been regulated and the standard of Education, for all Existing Estate Agents and Principals as well as New Comers to the Industry, now requiring that Agents & Principals attain the FETC Real Estate NQF4 qualification for Agents and/or NC Real Estate NQF5 – Real Estate [or equivalent qualification] for Principals, to be able to continue trading after 1 January 2013. This date was originally December 2011, but the Estate Agency Affairs Board found it necessary to extend the date, as so many existing Estate Agents and Principals, had not completed or complied with the regulations. My concern is, where is the Training Institution going to compromise?   Facilitators, Assessors and Moderators, have to be paid, so who is going to suffer in the long run? While I agree ‘competition is good for business’…. definately not where Education is concerned!

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  • #6960

    Very nicely put Ornella !! Can you just imagine if all Providers and ETD practitioners can be where you are now with that kind of philosophy and attitude??? Mind blowing to think of the difference we could make as providers and practitioners in our country regarding education and the future of our youth if we could all change our attitude towards business ethics and social responsibility.

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  • #6959

    There would have been a time in everyone’s life where we did something for someone just to get money because we had bills to pay. I don’t think it’s evil. I think people who are not after money possibly have an abundance of it and that is the reason for their disconcern for those who do not.

    The advert was obviously aimed at people concerned about competition, but in South Africa we are still not as agressive towards competion as overseas. That’s good in a way.

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  • #6958

    Hannes Nel
    Participant

    Hello Miro, We most certainly need to be paid for our services and there is nothing wrong with that. However, when a service provider is in the business just to make as much money as quickly as possible with no intention of making a constructive difference, then it is wrong. We have way too many providers who sell absolutely worthless training materials to unsuspecting training providers. The result is that they as well as their victims offer worthless training, so that students don’t gain knowledge or skills that can make any positive difference to the organisations where they are employed. And if they are unemployed they will not be able to demonstrate any special knowledge or skills so that they will remain unemployed. We help a number of emerging training providers to improve their capacity until such time as they are able to fly solo. One such provider did their utmost to “steal”our clients from us. They even went as far as coaxing two of our facilitators away from us. This kind of attitude we do not need, and I have a serious problem with providers who think in terms of just money rather than to support the community. This kind of short-sightedness damages everybody in the end, also those who are greedy. If you really do your best to offer quality, to give your client value for their money and to make a difference to the lives of other people money will come your way automatically. This has always been our attitude and it works. Then again, how will you know if I am not just being hypocritical by pretending that we are such do-goodies when in actual fact we are not? The acid test if you have the right attitude is to ask why you are in the business. If your motive is to cheat other people out of their money then you can just as well start a pyramid scheme or something. If your motive is to add value to other people, then you are on the right track. Opportunists will lable me naive and it is fine – at least I can sleep well at night and I like the guy who looks at me from my mirror when I get up in the morning. Regards, Dr Hannes Nel, MD Mentornet

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  • #6957

    You have expressed my sentiments exactly,Wilma, I have personally, written and  developed content and material for both my areas of expertise and despite great success ,and fabulous feedback from delegates, I cannot get my work accredited by the setas,  who are so obsessed with “red tape” that I can no longer  afford to waste invaluable time beating my head against the proverbial ” brick wall ” which results in a huge headache!!!

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  • #6956

    My sentiments exactly, thank you; and it’s good to know there are people in this industry with a functioning moral compass!

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  • #6955

    Anonymous

    Hi Hannes,

    Surely they are saying that the market in which their customers are operating is cut-throat and therefore excellent training is required to stay ahead?

    Not well written I agree, but I don’t think they are alluding to the competition form other training companies being cut-throat (although some are!)

    Tim

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  • #6954

    Hannes Nel
    Participant

    Hello Tim, Yes you might well have a point and  they probably refered to how hard it is to make ends meet in our business. I just feel we should have a different (more positive) attitude towards what we are doing. Hannes Nel

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  • #6953

    Anonymous

    Hi Hannes,

    Yes, a positive attitude goes a long way – hopefully their negative approach will backfire on them. No-one wants to work with doomsayers!

    Tim

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  • #62715

    Timothy Fasheun
    Participant

    Although this article was written in 2012, nothing has changed. We are still short of good quality and user-friendly learning materials. Can someone advise me on how to get into this business of developing learning materials. Am an LG-SETA accredited assesor in environmental management practice for NQF 1-5. Am a retured director at a provincial department ogf environmental affairsand a professr in environmental physics. I run my own company now. My e-mail is tim@timfasheunenviro.com

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