Our Thoughts

Why is crafting a good Mission Statement so important?

Posted by David Manyanza on Jan 30 2017

Management textbooks mention that a mission statement should be inspiring and motivating from the ordinary employee through Management to the Board. Although there are good mission statements out there, there is an awful lot of poor ones. Inspiring is not exactly the impression one gets when reading many mission statements from strategic plans. One usually sees a rephrasing of what organizations do and how they do it. They tend to reflect functions organizations carry out summarized in some way. Such mission statements are not exactly inspiring. So what is wrong?

To inspire, a mission statement must convey a sense of purpose, which gives a sense of why an organization exists. It is this sense of purpose that gives meaning to what organizations do and what they stand for. Without discovering the purpose an organization is without life; it is empty. Continue reading...

Insights on Monitoring & Evaluation

Posted by David Manyanza, Patrick Manyanza on Jul 26 2016

Welcome to another episode of the DSC podcast. In this episode David and Patrick dive into M&E, why it is important and how to do it right.

Why activity based budgeting

Posted by David Manyanza, Patrick Manyanza on May 5 2016

Welcome to another episode of the DSC podcast. In this episode David and Patrick talk about how Activity Based Budgeting creates more value in an organization.

How to select a management consultant

Posted by David Manyanza, Patrick Manyanza on Apr 15 2016

Welcome to the second episode of the DSC podcast. In this episode David and Patrick talk about how to select a management consultant.

Importance of strategic planning

Posted by David Manyanza, Patrick Manyanza on Apr 1 2016

Welcome to the inaugural episode of the DSC podcast. In this episode David and Patrick talk about the importance of Strategic Planning for organizations.

What they said about our M&E training

Posted by David Manyanza on Jan 13 2016

I conducted a two day Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) training to Directors and Managers of the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) on the 14th and 15th December 2015. The training was aimed at enabling participants understand M&E in order to be able to implement it and operationalize a recently established M&E Unit in the organization. The following is the participants' anonymous evaluation of the training.

  1. Did the training make you understand M&E? Continue reading...

Making it better in organizations

Posted by Patrick Manyanza on Nov 16 2015

Truett Cathy, the founder of the Chick-Fil-A restaurant chain in the United States, during a time when the company was facing a lot of competition and uncertainty said, "If we get better, our customers will demand that we get bigger". This simple but profound statement centers on the mindset of many great leaders. Great leaders focus their thinking on how to make it better because they have the foresight to know that if they make it better, then their customers will demand that they grow bigger as a company.

To make anything better, one must first engage in clarification and evaluation. In an organizational setting, clarification and evaluation is all about identifying and defining the win or the intended customer experience that an organization desires to bring forth. If the win is not clearly defined, it becomes very difficult to practice "making it better", because there is no clarity on what "it" is. In fact this win is what Peter Drucker describes as the value the customer places on a product or service. The customer does not simply buy a product or service; they buy value. Continue reading...

Creating a culture of trust in an organization

Posted by Patrick Manyanza on Oct 15 2015

Trust is an intangible value that may or may not exist in an organization. It is really hard to measure it on a chart but when an organization has it, things are great and when it doesn't exist things often seem difficult to move. When trust is lost in an organization, it is almost impossible to get it back. Essentially trust is important because in any organization there will always be a gap between what's expected of a person and what actually gets done, or a gap between what's promised and what gets fulfilled. The key thing is that, what leaders put in that gap sets the premise for the kind of culture their organizations exhibit. There really isn't any way to avoid the gaps but leaders have to know that a great deal of the organizational culture, hinges on what they place in that gap. Therefore, if they are willing to be proactive and intentional about placing trust in that gap, then over time an organizational culture of trust will emerge.

An example of a gap is when for instance a person promises that he will show up at a scheduled meeting at 9am but then he shows up 15 minutes late. The leader can place trust by believing that the person had a legitimate reason for being late or he can place suspicion that the person isn't as attentive or doesn't value the leader. What the leader places in the gap will affect how the leader interacts and relates to that individual. Continue reading...

Leading in uncertain times

Posted by Patrick Manyanza on Mar 18 2015

The one thing certain about times ahead is uncertainty. Uncertainty in business is always inevitable and it is in uncertain times that leadership is required the most. In other words, uncertainty really surfaces the need for Leadership. Generally, when things are predictable, all you need for an organization is good management but you don't really need people who look beyond what is in order to think about what could or even should be. In a sense uncertainty is really what gives leaders their job security as they make organizations continue to perform amidst strenuous rigors of uncertainty. The fact is that, when troubles loom, leaders who have the capability to make organizations withstand sudden blows, avail themselves to steer the organization in a new direction. Problems are really the result of uncertainty within the organization and more so within the circumstances that impact the organization. This means that the fundamentals must be carefully and well managed.

In particular, leaders in uncertain times must be able to exalt:

What kind of education does Tanzania really need?

Posted by David Manyanza on Jan 28 2015

Image source in2eastafrica.net

In recent years we have seen numerous commentaries in newspapers and on television about the declining quality of education in Tanzania. We have heard or read about concerns, particularly from foreign investors and various other private sector players with regards to some graduates of tertiary and higher institutions of learning not being adequately equipped with skills required by industry. Universities have argued that the said decline in the standard of university education is due, in part, to deterioration in the educational system starting with basic education at primary and secondary school levels. Consequently, universities have had to lower their entry requirements but at the risk of sabotaging their own integrity as prestigious academic institutions. While this discussion and contemplation is going on, the problem is having telling impact on people and the economy. Sadly, there is considerable time lag before the impact of a poor education system becomes evident while reversing the trend also requires a number of years before positive changes can be seen.

When people complain about poor education quality, it means that they feel and see that education or training they get does not meet their expectations. Like beauty, quality is in the eyes of the beholder. These complaints are inextricably linked to the core basis of education itself. Education is never provided in a vacuum. Continue reading...