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Clive  Govender

  • Programme: Senior Executive Programme
  • Nationality: South African
  • Job Post-programme: Head of Supply Chain (Chief Procurement Officer), Anglo American Platinum

Education and career

Clive has a strong background in manufacturing with expertise in supply chain and operations. He has extensive experience in the plastics, power generation, mining and metals industries. A member of London Business School’s International Alumni Council, Clive holds a B.Sc. in Operations from the University of Hertfordshire, a B.Com in Business/Management from the University of South Africa, and an MBA from Henley Business College. Clive completed the Senior Executive Programme in 2010.

Solving real business problems

For me, executive study is about global networking and engagement. I already have an MBA degree, so it was important that any new experience didn't just repeat what I had already learned. Instead, I was seeking an understanding of new leadership behaviours through the sharing of best practice across a multitude of nationalities. After considering a number of top institutions I eventually chose London Business School. The Senior Executive Programme gave me exactly what I was looking for – a programme where people from wide-ranging cultural and professional sectors come together to solve their business problems, but then continue to interact and learn from each other on a lasting, life-long basis.

Small changes that have big impact

When I joined the Senior Executive Programme I was about to implement a large supply chain restructuring process that required me to do a great deal of influencing, so communicating effectively and achieving buy-in was my single biggest learning need.The programme delivered on this absolutely. I found the media component particularly useful; developing an elevator pitch to ensure I got my point across succinctly when the camera was on me has made me much more effective at presenting key messages with impact. I also found Rob Goffee’s class on motivation quite inspirational – understanding that small changes can have a big impact, and learning how different criteria resonate with different individuals in order to build really strong, high performance teams.

The changes I've implemented back at Anglo American Platinum are definitely producing results.During my 360-degree assessment one thing that emerged very clearly was that my team wanted more one-on-one time with me. I've acted on that – I now have individual sessions with each person every week and they are proving extremely successful. It’s an opportunity for my staff to share any current business issues, but it has also helped me better understand what motivates and drives them. I interact and engage with people on a more emotional level and we have become a much more cohesive team.

Authentic leadership

One of the real benefits to the Senior Executive Programme is the research element. Since the programme finished I’ve remained up to date with the latest leadership thinking and I know that access to these links will help provide answers to any future challenges. Recognising that things are changing at a rapid pace and thinking about what the business environment will look like in the future has also opened up my mind to how we should structure Anglo American Platinum going forward. We need to understand how young people use things like social media, for example, and we need to attract and retain the right talent by looking at the recruitment and incentive processes we have in place.

The Senior Executive Programme has been genuinely life changing, so sharing my experience to make a difference is important to me. I’m as authentic in my leadership as I can possibly be; one way I’m using my influence is through Anglo American Platinum's Enterprise Programme, sharing knowledge with local businesses and helping them develop their supply chains. I’m also bringing second year MBAs to South Africa for projects, getting them more closely linked to local grass roots issues. The business environment will continue to pose challenges as it changes, but I now have a global network of senior executives – friends – to call on from all over the world.