VNI Consultants, winner of the Management of Systems Award in the emerging enterprise category

The consulting firm was ahead of its time in anticipating business in a pandemic

In August 2019, about six months before the world changed irrevocably, Pieter du Toit, founder of VNI Consultants, gave a presentation to the tt100 panel of adjudicators. It was titled, “What would you do as an SMME when a pandemic hits?”

His thinking at the time was that if a pandemic struck, small businesses everywhere would probably need to move everything into the Cloud.

In anticipation of such an event, VNI Consultants had already become providers of a platform that would ease small businesses’ journey into the Cloud.

That platform, which has since been trademarked as BluAgile™, saw VNI Consultants walking away with the trophy in the Management of Systems category of the awards. It had been a finalist in this category for three consecutive years and this was its first win. But not it is last.

Pieter was back again on 28th October 2020 with a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) solution that was perfect for a pandemic – which by then, as we know, had actually happened.

This new cloud-based solution, named EduNomix™, offers business education on demand, asynchronously. In other words, there are no teachers or facilitators and the students engage with the learning material as and when they want to. Fourteen EduNomix offerings are already up and running, including Would prefer programmes such as Occurrence Investigation Management (OIM), Applied Creativity in Business Management, Continuous Change Management, New Venture Creation and Advertising to replace the ones mentioned here.

EduNomix was an idea whose time had come and which was ready just when it was needed. VNI Consultants duly walked away with their second trophy in the Management of Systems category.

There is a strong possibility that this business consulting company is ahead of its time. They certainly know a lot of things that aren’t commonly known. Such as the fact that it was none other than former South African Prime Minister Genl. Jan Christiaan Smuts originally coined the terms “personology” and “holism”.

These are terms that embody VNI Consultants’ view on systemic thinking, referring as they do to the importance of understanding people and organisations in terms of the whole person or entity. “The metaphor Smuts used was that the whole world is working on a tapestry,” says Pieter. “We don’t know what that picture is like unless we can engage with each other.”

Engagement with flesh-and-blood people in organisations is fundamental to the way the company works, as are its insights into the ways people think and therefore do business. VNI Consultants have identified four main constructs in the way people think, i.e.: structural, process, systemic and synthesising. “For instance, if I have a preference for analysing things, and possibly overanalysing things, I start to structure my business to be an analytical kind of business. That becomes the system,” he says. “But if you can create a balance among all four constructs of thinking, not just analysis, the organisation could be a whole lot more sustainable.”

Look out for more on VNL Consultants’ distinctive approach in the upcoming article on their Director-General’s Award.


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