Posts Tagged ‘JD Internet Consulting’

JD Consulting comes third in the SIM Mini Challenge at JHB ZOO

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Sanlam Investment Management host a corporate challenge every year for 3 days. This years’ support charity is Cotlands.

JD Internet Consulting took part in the mini challenge event on Wednesday 5 May 2010 at the Johannesburg Zoo. This mini event was intended to replicate the Sanlam Investment Management South African Challenge.

The team members taking part and thus representing JD Consulting were Paul von Zeuner (Team Captain), Jonathan Houston, Nick Duncan and Megan Trow (the only girl on the team).

The challenge
The challenge was designed to introduce potential entrants to the main event, to the concept of Intelligent Sport.

The mini event itself was run free of charge while the main event has an entry fee of R 36 000 for the entire team which includes all the accommodation and meals during the event.

The schedule of the afternoon was as follows:
Teams needed to arrive and register between 14h30 and 15h30
Team Captain’s briefing 15h30 – 16h00
Event 16h00 – 17h30
Presentation and Cocktail party 17h30 – 20h00

When we arrived we registered and received our free t-shirts with our team number printed on the sleeve. JD Internet Consulting was team number 9. We were then also requested to be in a team photograph – one serious and one funny. We are looking forward to seeing how these photos come out :)

An introduction was then done by the event organisers and roll call was taken. The captains were then taken away for a team briefing. Once they returned we were given a chance to read the rules and get an idea of what was required of us. In terms of strategy, we tried to make a decision as to how we would become once we were given the maps.

How it worked
Each team had four members – no more and no less. The rules were simple. No crossing any grass areas – time penalties if you did. There were 10 questions we needed to answer – rated easy, moderate and difficult. Each question also had a corresponding clue. We had to attempt to answer as many correct questions as possible within the shortest amount of time. We were given two maps with the location of each question and its corresponding clue indicated on the map.. If you managed to get in before an hour then bonus applied. The cut off time for penalties was 1 hr 15 minutes.

No cell phones or GPS equipment was allowed on the course and the only pre-requisite on our side was to be dressed accordingly- in a running kit – shorts, t-shirts and running shoes. All the specialist equipment required during the course of the event was provided. One water point was also available, and water was also provided before the event.

Over a period of 2 hours the 17 teams that participated were challenged;

  1. PHYSICALLY as they navigate around the course
  2. INTELLECTUALLY as they solve mensa type puzzles
  3. STRATEGICALLY as they decide on the most effective plan of action

All this with the added pressure of competing against the clock and the rest of the field, testing communication under pressure, collaboration and time management – all important skills that are utilised in the SIM SA Challenge and every day in the workplace.

The course was pretty grueling with lots of hills and there was definitely a fitness requirement. We did however learn a lot a from the experience and had fun at the same time and would definitely played the game a little differently if we were given the opportunity to do it again.

Prize Giving and Results
At the prize giving we were treated to drinks and platters while we awaited the announcement of the results.

The results were calculated and read from last place to third. The only team that received a penalty for crossing the grass was the Cotlands team (10 mins).

JD Internet Consulting came third with 6 correct questions and a time of 55:54 – a mere 47 seconds off the second place teams time. The winners were the team from Liberty with a time of 1:04:40 and 9 correct questions.

First Prize was a free entry to the 3 day event to be held in September in the Magliesburg mountains valued at R36 000 per team of four.

Next Event and More Info
The next free mini event is to be held at the Groot Constantia Estate in Cape Town on the 12th May 2010.

Contact Coll P Macdonald – Invent Hospitality/Challenger World for more information.

Tel: 0861 001053
Fax: 021 761 6418
Mobile: 082 895 0171

Also visit the site at

The Learning Organisation

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

In June 2009, we were challenged with the idea of putting our team through a program that would change our working dynamics forever. To be honest, when the idea was first presented to me, I was not convinced; in fact I believed it would be a total waste of our time. Little did I realise the impact that following this program would have on our business.

And so our journey down the road of self-discovery began…

openroadThe initial program started off with a 2-hour session in which we did the DOPE test. I still remember having flashbacks to my colourful past of experimentation, but fortunately that wasn’t the type of ‘dope’ being referred to here. The concept rather revolves around the concept that we all belong to one of 4 primary bird groups, namely Dove, Owl, Peacock or Eagle. At first, this seemed rather silly to me, but once we had all completed the various questionnaires, plotted the graphs, and finally reviewed the characteristics of the respective groups we belonged to, I found myself immensely intrigued, and all of a sudden I wanted to know more.

Before I knew it, we had signed up for the full workshop and were on our way down the path to self-discovery.

The program consisted of five full day sessions, each focusing on the five main aspects of The Learning Organisation, namely:

Personal Mastery covered the aspects of being and developing oneself as a leader.  A critical aspect of this is the understanding that as long as one is in the proverbial comfort zone, there is very little chance for growth. It is only when one moves into the zone of discomfort that the opportunity for growth really presents itself.  This discomfort is brought about by being introduced to what one is missing from one’s life as a leader.

We then explored the aspect of values, each of us being given a list containing up to 30 different values. We had to identify with and highlight our top ten values. To test our true commitment to these values, we were run through a series of tests to see how true and committed we were to these. Through this process, we filtered down to our true values. What I found exceptionally interesting was how quickly one’s values change based upon the situation one finds oneself in.

Next we explored the Drivers for Change, mapped against the Sigmoid curve – the principle being that if you’re not growing you are dying. These drivers are either desperation, aspiration or anticipation. If you’re not moving up the curve, then you are rapidly moving down the curve.

Mental Models demonstrated how a team of 15 people, given exactly the same information, deduced totally different findings and how, based upon our upbringing, experiences and beliefs, built ideas that shaped the way we look at things and made decisions long before we’ve explored all the evidence.

We then moved on to Team Learning, which explores the Credibility Gap – the difference between what you say and what you do – and how this difference impacts on the picture people have of you.  We were taught how to be aware of it and make adjustments to it so that this gap could be closed, bringing about a “whole” view of oneself in the eyes of other people.

We also explored the Johari Window. Through honest responses to a structured questionnaire, we were shown where, depending on the situation we find ourselves in, we may be saying too little or not asking anything versus saying or asking too much. The Johari Window breaks us into either the Oyster, Interviewer, Lecturer or Fully Engaged, the latter being the one to strive for. Once this was been explored, we launched into the next phase where, through a series of breakaway sessions, we tested and understood the true tools of engagement: high quality advocacy and inquiry.

Systems Thinking clarified that in order to handle any situation, one needs to look beneath the surface. Just as only 10% of an iceberg is seen from above the water line, it is only by being aware of what is going on underneath that one can start addressing a situation effectively.

In the final session, Shared Vision – in my opinion, the overall purpose of the program – we learned the importance of shared, or sharing vision. Any organisation looking to create a vision for itself can either do so from the top down – where the company tells its employees what the company’s vision is, or for better results, through understanding of what each person in the organisation wants to achieve for themselves and that through sharing, the people that make up a company can work together to combine their individual visions into a combined company vision.

Although Friday the 12th of March was our last session, it was really only the beginning for our company. Through the initiatives that we have started as part of this program- such as weekly R&D sessions where our entire team takes time out to research the latest trends and develop new, innovative solutions – we have already seen many amazing developments unfold within our company.mountaintop

We now find ourselves at an interesting point in our careers, where the opportunities of the marketplace and the passion of our team unite to take us to a level not yet defined.

The sky right now is, quite literally, the limit, and it is on this note that I would like to say thank you to my incredible team and, as Zig Ziglar once said, “See you at the top!”

Ceri James, Sales and Marketing Director, JD Internet Consulting

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