After many years of impressive triumphs in the field of human development, Clive Price exudes a knowing eccentricity.
The naughty chuckle in his eyes is perhaps typical of an entrepreneurial thinker, for whom every encounter is imbued with a thousand possible meanings.
Managing Director of The Peer Group, a skills development company, Clive aims to push the boundaries of learning innovation and set new market standards.
But being one of hundreds of training companies in the greater Johannesburg area, and with no legislative watchdog to regulate the industry, achieving market distinction is a challenge in itself. However, The Peer Group remains unperturbed. “Many companies unfortunately want quick fixes without understanding that developing a culture in an organization is back breaking work,” says Clive.
Keen to clarify what gives The Peer Group competitive advantage, Clive and his associate, Richard Kikonyogo emphasize a prerequisite of successfully working in this field. “You have to really enjoy people, which can’t be faked. And you must be passionate about helping them realize their potential,” says Richard, whose legal background, and easy, incisive manner, make him a natural and effective communicator.
The Peer Group’s training is conducted by experienced facilitators within a flexible but structured developmental model. With clients ranging from the food and clothing industry, through to the IT and motor industries, and in as far flung places as Kenya (IBM), Tanzania (Mercedes) and Uganda (BP), it is clear why they stress the need for flexibility. “Each of our clients has individual and specific needs, which necessitates a partnering with the client rather than imposing predetermined solutions,” says Clive.
Utilising detailed climate audits, The Peer Group is able to accurately and statistically ascertain trouble areas that affect profitability. Implementing interventions and training programs, The Peer Group helps its clients to transform underperforming or stagnating departments within their organisations. And, by design, to help organisations achieve measurable and lasting results.
“South Africa is experiencing exciting yet challenging changes in its multifaceted cultures. Success depends on a willingness to accept the challenges, and adapting to the changes with sincerity,” says Richard. The Peer Group’s philosophy is predicated on a sustainable learning system, Peer Learning, which ultimately makes the client staff responsible for skills transfer within. It is well accepted, that the best way to learn is to teach. A financially cost effective solution in both the medium and long term, Peer Learning, inducts employees into the teaching process, ensuring that learning and improvement become part of an organisation’s culture.
Ever quirky and undaunted by the magnitude of a vision to revolutionise accessibility to learning in the work place, The Peer Group’s business culture is personified by Clive’s simple question to all clients. “How do things really work around here – without any excuse?” Businesses that frankly answer this question are rewarded with a rich and informed process that has fifteen years of success and expertise backing it. From training programs aimed at improving sales to team effectiveness, The Peer Group also specialises in developing tailor-made solutions for their clients’ unique circumstances.
Coaching, using its rotating session facilitators is a crucial component of The Peer Group’s service. “Coaching is a way to create continuity in the learning process, providing a motivational safety net that ensures success,” says Clive. Working with people from all levels within various organisations, Clive says “people who are involved in setting the strategic direction of their company and defining their role in achieving these goals, are more likely to excel.
”Empowerment, according to The Peer Group, is to equip people with the momentum of new skills and opportunities in dynamic cultures.
So, what separates The Peer Group from the rest?
It provides a fun but disciplined experience and their track record speaks for itself.