A message from our MD, Tanya Hulse.
So here we are, well into December already. While there are still a good few days to go before I can take a breather and start relaxing with family and friends and enjoy the Christmas festivities, it is also a great time to reflect on what has been a true whirlwind of a year.
It is hard to believe that it is only ten months ago that my family and I finished packing up our belongings, leaving our previous life in Joburg behind, and heading beyond the misty Drakensberg to begin our next chapter here in Pietermaritzburg. And what a time of change it has been!
From the beginning, we were warmly welcomed by everyone we met, whether it was as a new member of the TLC team, or meeting the parents of our daughters’ new friends at school, or the neighbours down the road from us. I have enjoyed grappling with many new challenges – in my previous role at SABMiller, we used to talk about ‘drinking from a fire hydrant’ when describing how it feels to adapt to fast-changing environments; well that’s definitely been the case this year!
In amongst the daily operational challenges in any small business going through transition, we have had many highlights that have kept us encouraged and inspired. In April, we held a memorable Craft Beer and Food Pairing event for our clients and business partners, where we were able to expose them to a world of possibilities they might never have considered were possible with beer (similar to what we aim to do for our clients!).
In May, we welcomed the highly capable and experienced Maurice Kuhn into the TLC family (again), as TLC’s Regional Director for Gauteng, enabling us to manage a portfolio of clients in both Gauteng and KZN. Mau’s expertise as a Master Black Belt is extremely valuable for our team and clients.
In August, we were again privileged to work with the inimitable Mel Veness and her team at the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB), and other sponsors, to deliver another excellent KZN Lean Conference, with the highlight being the extended strategy working sessions with international Lean guru Pascal Dennis.
In November, we were completely at a loss for words (for a short while, at least), when we won the PCB Small Business of the Year Award. This is the most incredible recognition for our team and their efforts in continually finding ways to delight our clients while still staying ahead of new thinking in our changing world. The celebrations were even more special in that we could share the evening with Singakwenza, who won in their category for Social Enterprise of the Year for small NPO’s.
We had another first in December – Grant Davis led the TLC team who partnered with Lee du Preez of BEE Novation in delivering a strategy conference to the Communications Department of Parliament – read more about this in Grant’s blog article.
Additional highlights for us this year include rolling out new learnership programmes to assist clients in achieving their B-BBEE targets, adapting Lean programmes for first-line managers to fit within their busy daily schedules, piloting an entire Lean Six Sigma Black Belt course using real-time Virtual Webinar technology with participants from three different countries, customising one-day Continuous Improvement awareness workshops for several different clients, delivering financial fitness workshops in Zulu, achieving millions in savings from business improvement projects – yes, that’s all part of what we do! We look forward to more adventures in 2018!
In closing, let me take this opportunity to wish all our clients, partners, friends and team members a happy, healthy festive season. Thank you for your support over this year, and we will strive to exceed your expectations even further in 2018. Enjoy this time with your loved ones, and stay safe!