Entrepreneurship: a rather long and difficult word to pronounce, and it seems an even scarier concept to many South African women. Laisha Moodley reminds us of the importance of entrepreneurship, both as a tool for women’s empowerment, and to the lifeblood of our nation – the economy.

After reading (and thoroughly enjoying) an article by Stephen Timm in the August edition of Entrepreneur magazine, “Women Entrepreneurs still lag behind”, I had to face the glaring fact that South African women do indeed “lag behind as entrepreneurs”.

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This week we feature two related excerpts from Robin Wheeler’s “Insights” series of books, on the nature of our concepts of jobs and moving into doing what comes naturally, as opposed to simply working to survive.

Jobs are going out of fashion. If you have left them behind, you have probably seen for yourself what I am about to say. If you are re-inventing yours, either through personal awakening or market pressures, you are on track. If you are stuck in one, stay open to possibility.

Unintelligent jobs are in the interests of others.

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What do you do when you catch an employee stealing? Most reasonable people would see this as grounds for immediate dismissal; however, this is not necessarily the case in the eyes of the law. Nikki Viljoen takes us through the basics of the procedure used in these instances.

When you catch an employee stealing, your initial knee-jerk reaction is one of “get them out of my sight and out of my company (preferably before I do them grievous bodily harm)”. Step away from the employee – no, seriously – step away from the situation. It is full of emotion, and that emotion will induce you to do something that you will regret.

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One of the challenges of talent spotting in business is knowing whether a seemingly talented individual will thrive if promoted to a new task or area. Once earmarked and moved into a talent pool, these individuals must also be managed properly, in terms of their own expectations and those of the employer.

One of the main challenges in spotting talent is being able to evaluate future performance in a new role, when we only have exposure to current and past performance against a different role. It is even more of a challenge to get accurate insight into a candidate who resides outside of the business.

It is not valid to consider current performance in a current role as an accurate predictor of future performance in a new role.

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Identifying potential future challenges helps to guide the sourcing of the talent to deal with them; but how much of that talent is already sitting in your own company, waiting to be identified and used? In this installment, Sarah Babb suggests a few ways of unearthing this talent.

Because one cannot always anticipate what the next business challenge will be, it is difficult to plan for talent management.

It is recommended that Human Resource professionals plan around scenarios, just as business leaders build strategy out of scenarios and environmental analyses.

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Everyone is ‘twittering’ about Twitter! From what I have heard, it is often asked “what is Twitter”, or “How does it work?”, and my personal favorite: “What are you doing?”

For those of us who use social networking as a marketing tool, this last question is often seen on sites like Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn. The fact of the matter is that people are interested in learning more about you – be it in your personal capacity or in your business capacity. That’s just human nature – we are a curious species.

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Social networking is a boon for small businesses and entrepreneurs, but it is not without its pitfalls, as Nikki Vlijoen discovered when she first experienced the information-rich streams of Twitter.

For the last couple of years now, I have been listening to all the hype about “Twitter” and “Tweeting” and “Tweets” and so on. Actually, now that I think about it, my technophobia aside – I really do love technology. I love the world that it opens up to me. The fact that I am not sure how the technical side of things works doesn’t really phase me at all. I do know that “Twitter” is another form of international communication and what I really love about it is that it allows me to put a one-liner up which will drive a considerable number of people to my website.

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In order for talent to be managed, it first needs to be spotted. In the first of a 3-part series, Sarah Babb looks at how businesses can begin to identify the talent they need.

Albert Einstein once said “I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive”. Despite claiming to have no talent, he went on to win the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921, and developed numerous groundbreaking theories of relativity.

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