The points mean something

Original publish date – Tue, 16 Nov 2010 13:32:00 +0000, Keith

Imagine watching your team play rugby and at the end of the match, a panel of experts gather to decide which is the better team. They then award the World Cup trophy to the team they think is best. It would be ridiculous. Rugby is a game with rules. The rules are enforced by the referee. Each team, and coach works out strategies beforehand to find weaknesses in the other team to find a way to score points. Depending on the team, conditions and players your team will win the game by scoring the most points – be it via tries, conversions, penalties or drop goals. A game has a specific duration, rules, players and methods of scoring. To score points takes 5 or 10 minutes, or more and is earned by following the required strategies.

Let’s look at B-BBEE: B-BBEE has many more ways of scoring points, 7 elements and over 30 indicators, all of which contribute towards earning points.  Some commentators have been saying that points are not a good measure of transformation. They see companies chasing points instead of transformation. The point (pun intended) they miss is that points are an excellent indication of transformation. The only way to earn points is to follow transformational guidelines. Anyone who says that the points don’t matter has no real understanding on the intricacies

You don’t earn points by “giving your business” to someone else. You don’t earn many points by doing “non-transformational” activities. The only way to earn lots of points is by following transformational principles. To earn points shows commitment to many aspects of society and the economy – that is why it is called “broad-based”. It shows commitment to charitable institutions, to helping grow businesses, to training your staff, to improving employment equity, to finding ways of helping suitable business people get involved in ownership. While it may sound complicated, the rules for points even include involving women and disabled. To say that this is not true transformation is not true.

In a way B-BBEE is therefore similar but more complex than a simple game of rugby. It has to be – it has to try to improve the lives of all South Africans. Anything less than using a scorecard would not be able to measure the impact of various activities.

Many management experts have used the phrase: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”, and in the case of B-BBEE, this is very applicable. One company that achieves a level 3 can be fairly regarded as having a better B-BBEE score, and better credentials than a level 4.

The points do matter. Points are an excellent way to monitor and manage transformation.


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