Reintroducing FranklinCovey South Africa: Leading the charge in organisational change


FranklinCovey South Africa, a name once synonymous with the “7 Habits” framework, is making a robust re-entry into the South African market. This reintroduction is marked by a significant transformation from a company known primarily for its motivational seminars to a dynamic leader in organisational change and development.

At the forefront of this evolution is Marlinie Ramsamy, the CEO of FranklinCovey South Africa, who shared insights into the company’s renewed vision, the pivotal role of mindset in leadership, and the innovative strides FranklinCovey is making in the realm of virtual learning.

From “7 Habits” to organisational transformation

FranklinCovey's journey began with the global success of Stephen R. Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," a book that became a cornerstone in personal and professional development. However, as Marlinie explains, the company has significantly broadened its scope over the years.

“We have moved beyond just being the ‘7 Habits’ people. Today, we are leaders in driving organisational change and developing agile, growth-oriented cultures," she says.

This shift reflects a deeper understanding of the complexities that modern organisations face. While the 7 Habits remain a foundational element, FranklinCovey South Africa has expanded its offerings to include comprehensive solutions that address a wide array of organisational challenges.

“Our goal is to unleash the potential within individuals and teams by fostering a growth mindset and creating environments where trust and credibility are paramount,’ Marlinie notes.

She recalls the pivotal questions she asked when taking the helm of the organisation many moons ago. “FranklinCovey has been in South Africa for nearly 19 years, maybe even more than 20 years. Under my leadership, it's been about 12 years coming up. It came in the early 2000s, and a lot of things happened in that time.”

When Marlinie took over, she was leading a company called Talwin Consulting, which offered learning and leadership solutions. “As I looked at all of the stuff I was offering, it seemed like I was reading a lot of stuff, cobbling it together. I was really curious about whether there was something better out in the marketplace," she explains. This curiosity led her to the Covey work.

“Many of us, if we've been in industry or enjoying personal development, have come across the 7 Habits. I was intrigued and thought, how do we offer it more than just from a personal effectiveness perspective? How do we make it bigger?”

Marlinie reached out to the US and found that there were already partners in South Africa, which led to her re-establishing the brand in the country.

The power of mindset in leadership development

Central to the organisation’s approach is the concept of mindset, particularly the distinction between fixed and growth mindsets. According to Marlinie, adopting a growth mindset is essential for effective leadership and organisational success. “Leadership development today is less about following a set of rules and more about nurturing the ability to adapt, innovate, and inspire,” she explains.

The organisation’s programmes are designed to help leaders at all levels embrace this mindset shift. This not only involves cultivating self-awareness, but also fostering an environment where continuous learning and development are encouraged. “We believe that when leaders adopt a growth mindset, they are better equipped to navigate challenges and drive their organisations forward,” Marlinie asserts.

Trust and credibility are at the heart of the organisation’s philosophy, she adds, emphasising that these elements are crucial for enabling greatness in people and organisations. “Without trust, there can be no meaningful collaboration or innovation. It is the foundation upon which successful organisations are built,” she says.

To build and maintain trust, the organisation focuses on developing leaders who are not only skilled, but also authentic and ethical. “Our programmes stress the importance of integrity and transparency. When leaders demonstrate these qualities, they inspire trust and confidence in their teams,” Marlinie explains.

Embracing virtual learning and customised solutions

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the shift towards virtual learning, and FranklinCovey South Africa has been at the forefront of this transition. Marlinie highlights how the company has adapted its offerings to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world. “We have developed a range of virtual learning solutions that are not only effective but also highly engaging. Our goal is to make learning accessible and impactful, regardless of geographical constraints.”

One of the key aspects of FranklinCovey South Africa’s virtual learning strategy is customisation. Recognising that each organisation has unique needs, the company offers tailored solutions that address specific challenges and objectives. “We work closely with our clients to understand their goals and design programs that deliver measurable results. This personalised approach is what sets us apart,” Marlinie notes.

As FranklinCovey South Africa re-establishes itself in the market, Marlinie acknowledges the importance of word of mouth and new conversations in driving business growth. “Our reputation is built on the success of our clients. When they see tangible improvements in their organisations, they become our best advocates,” she says.

Moreover, engaging in meaningful conversations with clients and stakeholders is a key component of the organisation’s strategy. “We are constantly seeking feedback and looking for ways to improve our offerings. By staying connected and responsive to our clients’ needs, we can continue to innovate and deliver exceptional value,” Marlinie explains.

Looking ahead: a vision for the future

As FranklinCovey South Africa embarks on this new chapter, Marlinie is optimistic about the future. She envisions the company playing a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of leaders and organisations in Africa. “Our mission is to create a ripple effect of positive change. By empowering individuals and teams, we can contribute to the growth and development of the entire continent,” she says.

The reintroduction of FranklinCovey South Africa marks a significant milestone in the company’s evolution. Under Marlinie’s leadership, the firm is poised to lead the charge in organisational change and development. By embracing a growth mindset, fostering trust and credibility, and leveraging innovative virtual learning solutions, FranklinCovey South Africa is well-positioned to make a lasting impact on the African market.

“What we know for sure is where we fit in the learning and development space,” says Marlinie. “FranklinCovey is a global leader in all things leadership development, instilling habits of effectiveness in every individual, creating high trust inclusive cultures and providing proven execution frameworks to help organisations achieve their highest priority goals.”

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