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2 October 2015

What drives the success of the Bytes Technology Group in the current transitional IT market environment?  The Bytes Leadership team’s values are consistent drivers of how operations deal with the causes and effects of disruptive technologies and commoditised products and services in their respective market verticals.  The Bytes Leadership DNA series shares insights into these values – the DNA of the Bytes Technology Group leadership team.

The first blog in this series is by Deidre Le Hanie, Managing Director of Bytes Managed Solutions:

Corporate integrity has come under the spotlight in rather inglorious fashion over the past two weeks, with scandals involving high profile international players in the motor manufacturing and power industries casting aspersions on business strategies and corporate ethics.

While these recent cases have certainly grabbed the headlines, they are most definitely not the only instances of corporate shenanigans – either currently or in the past. In some sectors, it seems as if suspect practices could be the norm, rather than the exception.

At Bytes Managed Solutions (Bytes MS), as indeed throughout the Bytes Technology and Altron Groups, we play by different rules. Integrity is entrenched in our business conduct.

And yes, I know this is what all businesses and all business leaders say, but at Bytes it’s a talk we walk. We value our reputation far too much to ever gamble with it. My business, Bytes MS, is services-led, and has to perform all its activities with the highest levels of integrity to build and maintain the kind of long-standing trust relationships that we enjoy with all our stakeholders.

It makes me proud that I can say that we have disengaged from business relationships – internally and externally – that were not aligned to our values. It takes courage to take such decisions, especially when it has a bottom line impact, but none of us who have had to do it ever wavered. We know that it is very difficult - if not impossible - to rebuild a broken trust relationship, and we have a “no compromise” approach. It is far more important to ensure full transparency in one’s conduct than to compromise a relationship, our reputation, and the trust our customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders have in us.

The importance of trust cannot be overstated and I am honoured to be a member of an organisation where both the leadership team and the employees have a zero-tolerance approach towards anything that puts our trust relationships at risk.

And it does all come down to leadership, and walking the talk doesn’t it? As much as healthy and effective teams ensure business success, without the critically important fundamentals and a culture based on values such as integrity, a company becomes like a thoroughbred racehorse that is kept in a paddock, unable to perform to its potential.

To me, these two recent examples of corporate integrity failure were a reminder that as leaders we are entrusted with a significant responsibility that I often refer to as a valuable jewel, and we need to protect it. We need to be even more vigilant and dedicated to the straight and narrow path than before. I would never want to do anything to compromise or allow a situation to compromise the trust that would leave our customers, employees, investors and stakeholders disillusioned. That is not an option, and should not be something that needs consideration but should be a natural, intrinsic way of life.

Deidre le Hanie

Deidre is the Managing Director of Bytes Managed Solutions, a division of Bytes Technology Group and has been with the organisation since June 1998. Prior to her appointment as MD, she fulfilled various roles within Finance including that of the Financial Director. Her appointment in Jan 2005 coincided with the acquisition of CS Holdings. Her first task was to integrate the CS Managed Services into Bytes Managed Services which doubled the size of the organisation overnight. In March 2010, Deidre was given the additional responsibility for Bytes Specialised Solutions the Sole Distributor of NCR Solutions with one of its division Retail ATM an ISO distributor of approximately 1000 ATM’s country wide.

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