Tag Archives: Mindset

What’s more important for success than the right business background?

Executive Coach Axel Rittershaus writing for Entrepreneur MagazineYou need experience, connections, talent and lots of funding money.

That’s what many people believe as prerequisite for success.

But there are countless business which had all of that.

And they failed.

Maybe because the founder missed the one key ingredient: Passion for what they are doing.

Read more about this topic in our expert column on Entrepreneur:

3 reasons why passion might be more important than a business background – by Axel Rittershaus


Impression from my recent talk at Seartec & Officebox in Cape Town

SeartecRecently I was invited to speak in front of a group of fantastic people working at Seartec (the representatives of SHARP) and Officebox.

We spoke about comfort zones, our own mindsets and the mindsets of customers, and how to improve collaboration with a new way of communication.

officebox logoThank you all for inviting me and the follow up discussions we had right after my talk.


We started by taking a Selfie which became important during the talk

Dont tell me you cant FearOfFailure Selfie

How to make IT governance work – Our Article on ComputerWeekly

How to make IT governance work - by Axel Rittershaus for ComputerWeeklyGovernance is undoubtedly an important subject for any organisation, but what does it really involve? If you were to ask 10 experts you would end up with 11 explanations. It is therefore important to distil the topic down to its key elements.

Read more about IT governance and why a set of rules & systems are not sufficient to make it work.




Is this true? “IT Departments Are a Dying Breed” on csoonline.com

I came across this article on www.csoonline.com titled “IT Departments Are a Dying Breed”. (http://www.csoonline.com/article/2142067/it-audit/it-departments-are-a-dying-breed.html)

Author Steve Ragan writes about the comments from one of his readers regarding the future of IT departments.

His reader’s rant is quite offensive. For me it shows, that IT has a long way to go in terms of how they position themselves. And the value they generate.

I believe, that the future of any company is directly related to the strength of its IT department.

But the IT department of the future will and has to be completely different to today’s IT departments.

IT has to become the technological enabler of business initiatives and at the same time  take care that all systems are available and as safe as needed.

Therefore IT needs to reinvent themselves from “we build, run and maintain” everything – which is currently the main purpose and will be their grave if they don’t change – to “we are THE partner of the business when it comes to the use of technology”.

No matter if IT is developing and hosting themselves or if they are managing suppliers.

Vendors tell business functions whatever they want to hear to sell their solutions. It requires a lot of technological expertise to separate the good from the bad ones. Being the advisor for the business, that’s what IT needs to position themselves in.

Business and IT have to stand on the same side – and not be fighting against each other.

Because those fights make it very easy for vendors to get in! The vendor will be on the side of the business and help them. Help them to buy their solution against the advise of IT.

Few CIOs and their teams are already moving into the right direction – and they become a strong partner of the business.

Those CIOs and IT leaders who blame the business functions that these don’t understand IT and need to adjust to the IT rules, those will be the ones which will be outsourced sooner or later.

Therefore my resume would be “The Current Breed of IT Departments Are a Dying Breed and The Time of the NEW IT acting as a Business Partner is about to start”.

Strong IT departments are the competitive advantage of a company.

The human factor in Governance, Risk and Compliance – Meet me at ITWeb GRC conference in March 2014, Johannesburg

itweb_logo_smlIf governance, risk and compliance (GRC) initiatives are perceived as ‘policing’, people will always find a way to get around rules and regulations.

“This makes for an often daunting stand-off between the GRC ‘troops’ and ‘the rest’ within your business,” says Axel Rittershaus, executive and leadership coach at The Executive Coach.

“If the mindset of people, from the lowest level up to the C-suite, truly supports GRC, it won’t be a big deal. But GRC will never work if it’s an additional project. It has to start with the way people are encouraged by their managers to speak up, and end with the goals the business defines for its employees.”GRC2014-top-image

Employee resistance when it comes to actively engaging in GRC initiatives is a significant issue in South African companies, says Rittershaus. “One of the key issues is a catch-22 situation: since almost everyone needs to work hard to gain market share and win clients, how do you treat the company’s super-star who brings in major deals – but always works on the edge of compliance. This ‘role model’ is seen everywhere by everyone, and the thinking is, ‘well, if he doesn’t care, why should I?’”

Rittershaus, who has worked with numerous companies locally and abroad, says the three critical success factors in any coaching intervention aimed at getting staff to buy into and support GRC within the business are full transparency, total personal responsibility and zero tolerance on all levels.

Employee resistance when it comes to actively engaging in GRC initiatives is a significant issue in South African companies, says The Executive Coach’s Axel Rittershaus.

He will present at the upcoming ITWeb GRC Summit 2014, to be held in Johannesburg in March 2014. He will focus on the practical steps required to create the right mindset among staff towards GRC.


Are your employees your ambassadors – or do they just collect their money?

Do you know, how your employees think about your company?

How they speak about it, when they are together with their friends?

It’s key, that your own employees are your “brand ambassadors” – no matter if you are selling Porsche sports cars or soft drinks. Because if they spread the word about their employer in a positive way, people will pick that up – and become new customers. Or they attract new talent.

But how do you find out, what they say?

Firstly – listen to them, when they communicate about what’s going on in the company. If they complain a lot in front of you, they will do as well when they left the office.

Secondly – run monthly or at least quarterly short surveys. Anonymous of course!

Ask specific questions about how they see the company – and if the survey comes up with a “bad” result, you have to take action. Until it turns and becomes good.

Who moved my cheese?

When we are successful, sooner or later we tend to expect the success to come to us, because we are successful.

This might even work for a while. So we become lazy.

And then things change…

…but we lost some of our capabilities.

…or let’s say it differently: we did not use our capabilities and therefore we don’t trust them any more. Instead of using them, we rather expect the success to come back.

Watch this amazing video and you will change the way you see success:



Inspiration: “If today were the last day of my life”

Do you sometimes postpone actions because you think, you can do it later?

Do you sometimes foucs on the most urgent topics, while your most important topics like taking care of your health, your family, the future of the business are not screaming loud enough?

Are you wondering, if you are really doing the right job?

Steve Jobs might help you in asking the most important questions in your life…