ADvTECH and Their Leadership

Leadership and Innovation in todays society go hand in hand. There are multiple structures and styles of Leadership that can be found today as well as ways for leaders to feed into a culture of innovation. ADvTECH has been successful up until now and have left a mark on the industry and this is a look at hoe leadership has had an effect on that.

Description of a basic leadership structure

A business leadership structure is direct relation to the goals and the strategies of the company. There are a number of members and they are the overseas all the activities that are carried out. “There is no right or wrong way in terms of leadership structure it is all dependent on the needs of a specific company.” (Duff, NA) There is a standard leadership structure it is a hierarchical structure that starts with the chairman as well as the board of directors these stakeholders set the gals and direction of the company, the chief executive officer is to report directly to the board of directors, the CEO is responsible for running the company in such a way that it is in line with the goals and direction that has been set by the board of directors. Then we have the COO chief operating officer this member in the structure reports to the CEO and is responsible for managing operations for the company the overseeing production, the legal and administrative departments and the marketing. CFO chief financial officer also report to the CEO they are in charge of handling the finances and managing the accounting and the treasury. Then below this level of C’s there are numerous department managers that are responsible for reporting to the appropriate C level executives. (Duff, NA)

There are two types of leadership structure they are hierarchical leadership structures and non-hierarchical leadership structures, an organisations leadership structure regulates how workflow, authority and accountability work together. A hierarchical leadership implements a top down pyramid a narrow point of power decimates down the widening pyramid into lower levels of management. (Uhlig, 2013) It is where the power belongs to a position as a pose to an individual this structure entails management to assign duties based upon the workers domains this is a very ridged structure and well suited for highly regulated businesses .Non-hierarchical leadership structurers actually flatten the pyramid to arrange a leadership structure that has a decentralised authority and less levels, here the authority of making decisions is thus spread across a flattened organisation this grant employees a higher level responsibility and accountability. It encourages diversity within roles and creativity as the individuals are not confined to a specific department. (Uhlig, 2013)


ADvTECH Leadership Structure

ADvTECH consists of eight board of directors and they are as follows:

  1. Christopher Boulle he is the chairman he was welcomed to the board in September 2011.
  2. Roy Douglas- Executive director Chief Executive Director he joined ADvTECH in December 2012.
  3. Brenda Gourley she is an independent non-executive director chair of risk committee.
  4. Jonathan Jansen chair of the transformation an independent non-executive director.
  5. Stafford Masie he is an independent non-executive director also.
  6. Didier Oesch Executive director group financial director.
  7. Keith Warburton an independent non-executive director Chair of Audit Committee.
  8. Shirley Zinn also an independent non-executive director she is chair of Remuneration Committee. (Anon., 2014)

ADvTECH also have an Executive Committee made up of ten individual’s they are as follows:

  1. Roy Douglas- Chief Executive Officer
  2. Didier Oesch- Group Financial Director
  3. Alex Isaakidis- Chief executive officer, Schools division.
  4. Lenn Honey- Chief Executive Officer, Resourcing division.
  5. Fay Amaral- Chief Executive Officer Tertiary Division.
  6. Felicity Coughlan- Group Academic Director.
  7. Eric Shipalana- Human Resources Executive.
  8. Gideon van Niekerk- Properties Executive.
  9. Jaco Lotz- African Business Development Executive.
  10. Steven Van Zyl- Chief Information Officer. (Anon., 2014)

So as we know ADvTECH is a very large brand with multiple sub brands we see through the information about their leadership structure that they employ a flatter than you standard hierarchical structure as they have a CEO that will dictate and decimate power into the various other directors we see CEO’s for three separate division this is done in order to manage the abundance of sub brands that are under ADvTECH.


Leadership Styles

There are many ways of leading and each method has positives and negative as well as being appropriate in different situations. These are 11 key leadership styles that can be found in the market today:

• Autocratic – can be seen as a leader that would be inclined to dictate. A strong sense of purpose and power. Controlling and good for less creative straight forward environments,(Grobler, 2016) .

• Bureaucratic – this is a leadership that is “by the book” legality and correct processes would be a must. For things such as contracting this style would be beneficial however it is also quite a controlling method and inflexible,(Grobler, 2016) .

Democratic – their members of a team can “contribute” towards the process. Jobs where “team work is essentially” will benefit from this leadership style and this allows Employees and team members (to) feel in control of their own destiny, and therefore are “motivated to work hard by more than just a financial reward”,(Grobler, 2016).

• Laissez-Faire / Permissive – when translated this “French phrase means “leave it be””, (Grobler, 2016). The leader would would someone who play a monitorial role, however the leader may not be performing their role effectively.

• Charismatic – a high level an enthusiasm for tasks which can filter into the encouragement of a team to succeed. These leaders can often be self concerned, and can be admired greatly from those below them, (Grobler, 2016).

• Task Oriented – “focuses only on getting the job done, and can be quite autocratic”, (Grobler, 2016). Team members told will be defined and there will be visible structure and monitoring that tasks are managed and completely effectively. Staff may find it difficult to be retained and motivated.

People or Relationship Oriented – this is an opposing style in comparison to Task Oriented where the leader is “totally focused on organizing, supporting and developing the people in the leader’s team”, (Grobler, 2016). This has the potential of failure of foals being reached as only focusing of people not their jobs could be detrimental.

• Transformational – this speaks int a leader “(inspiring) his or her team with a shared vision of the future”, (Grobler, 2016). Communication is a key element of this style, and the ability to delegate the right responsibilities to the right people. These leaders add value and inspiration.

• Transactional – this can also be known as”managerial leadership”, (Grobler, 2016). There is a key focus on supervising, organizing, and managing of performance. There is reward and punishment, and not a focus on progression but rather sustainability of the current situation. This style speaks to the specifics of a task or business.

Servant – when a leader of a team “leads simply by virtue of meeting the needs of his or her team, he or she is described as a “servant leader””, (Grobler, 2016).this type of leader play a supportive role, and have strong values, however this may be seen as a negative in a competitive field.

• Situational / Understanding the situation – “In situational leadership, three factors affect the leader’s decisions: the situation, the capability of the followers and the capability of the leader”, (Grobler, 2016). The role and function of the leader is not specifically defined but rather dependent and the contributing factor of the situation. The ability to be adaptive is key in this style.


ADvTECH’s Leadership Styles

Within the company there are soma y elements within the group that contribute towards its success. Good leadership is a key contributing factor. There are many leaders within ADvTECH Group that have specific roles and therefore the leadership styles vary dependent on their roles and responsibilities. It can be said that as they make use of multiple leadership styles, which address different needs within the company this is a key contributor to the company’s success. The following are the leadership styles that ADvTECH have utilized in their current success and the reasons for them being implemented.

Transformational Leadership is one of the main drivers within ADvTECH. They want a shared vision of their future to be visible throughout the company and this is visible with all contact points that a person may have with the brand. There is a specific vision for the future that they have and are continuously working towards and reminding their team of. There is communication through all levels of ADvTECH and this is one of the tools of this style of leadership, (, 2014). This leadership styple is implemented to ensure “sustainable development”,   (, 2014).

In conjunction with the above Transactional Leadership is also applied. Each element of the group has objectives and these goals are maintained and managed by leaders. The business is segmented into the different sectors of the market they compete within. Return on investment of all stakeholders is key to their success as this can be seen as a reward for what is put in. All facets of the company are managed to ensure they reach objectives, (Thomas, 2015).


Leadership’s Role Within a Culture of Innovation

Both Innovation and Leadership are key elements that contribute to a company or firms success in the society we live in. For these elements to work together leadership plays the most role in encouraging the innovation from within. There are three contributions that are important for leader to make regarding innovation.

  1. “Define the kind of innovation that drives growth and helps meet strategic objectives”, (Barsh, Capozzi and Davidson, 2008): This provides direction for a company/firm. This allows the ideas that are put forward to be unique dependant on the company.
  2. “Add innovation to the formal agenda at regular leadership meetings”, (Barsh, Capozzi and Davidson, 2008): This allows employees to recognise the value of innovation on all levels, and how management contributes towards it.
  3. “Set performance metrics and targets for innovation”, (Barsh, Capozzi and Davidson, 2008): Metrics related to what effect people at work, specifically financial and behavioural indicators should be considered when leaders look at employees. Innovation in order to be implemented effectively needs to be integrated into the function of a business, and part of a company’s goals to be achieved.

Strategic planning is a key function of business for leaders, and innovation should be seen as something that is extremely important to be planned for. Innovation does not happen over night and with the driving force of good leadership it is able to take a deserve place in  business meetings, the boardroom, or the general market place. With leaders the right ideas meet the right ears and can be implemented in the right way. The culture of innovation within a company is created through the encouragement of innovation from top of the company down. When leaders lead through innovation a culture will form and become part of processes and


… Within ADvTECH

ADvTECH is a company that wants to stay ahead of the curb in the private education sector and their leadership is not only a driver of their business but also their culture of innovation. Our previous blog post discusses the fact that ADvTECH unfortunately does not have a definitive or structured approach to creating innovation within their company, and this was seen as a huge negative as can been seen is the role that leaders should be playing in the above thee points.

“While ADvTECH’s strong leadership team has delivered on (their) successes, this would have not been possible without strategic direction from the Board”, (Thomas, 2015), as the company runs of a hierarchical structure there business practices throughout the entire group come from the top down. There is a key involvement of board members in the daily functioning and success of ADvTECH’s practices.

Rather than having a specific method used to bring innovation into  the company, as stated in a previous post,  ADvTECH groups’ innovation “is treated as a three tier stream: students and learners innovating, alignment and association with innovative partners and educators innovating”,  (ADvTECH Group Annual Report 2012, n.d.). So leaders encourage innovation in all aspects of business but lack a formulated approach. Innovation can be seen as something that occurs organically due to guidance of leaders however this should be shifting towards a planned initiative for the future.


Leadership is something that has always had relevance in the market and as society has shifted into a new age the way business is approached should shift as well. Innovation is the new normal in the work place and is imperative to companies that want to sustain their place in the market and improve. Innovation needs to become a strategy and a key tool that leaders not only encourage but implement consciously.


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