What's in a name?
KZN: an abbreviation of the Sino-Japanese word kaizen, which simply means change for better. However, in modern business parlance and Lean Six Sigma circles, kaizen has come to mean the practice of continuous improvement and is recognised worldwide as an important pillar of a forward thinking organisation’s long-term competitive strategy.
Some of underlying principles of kaizen are: to nurture the company’s people; to humanise the workplace; to eliminate waste; to take a scientific approach; to standardise and automate; and ultimately work smarter not harder. These same principles are harmoniously aligned with our values and operating principles (see below).
Our mission is to simplify the lives of our customers and business partners through our wholehearted commitment to the delivery of outstanding service and trustworthy insights.
We aim to do this by nurturing our talent in a working environment which is fulfilling, and fostering a culture that passionately lives and breathes our company values and operating principles.
Values and Operating Principles
Our values and operating principles are everything to us. They define who we are and how we behave. They set us apart from the rest. Although inspired in part by others, they’re ours; they’re personal; they’re meaningful; and they’re not just marketing spin or words on the wall. We live and breathe them. They’re not up for debate and not for sale at any price.
In no particular order, they are:
We start with the aim of simplifying the lives of our customer, and work backwards. Without our customers, we are nothing. We wholeheartedly promise to work hard to earn and keep customer trust.
Value in everything we do
If we can’t articulate the value, it doesn’t get done. Period. No bureaucracy. No “ticking the box”.
Stop, collaborate and listen
Two ears, one mouth - use them in that ratio. Forget “no, but”, think “yes, and”. By working closely with and listening to colleagues, business partners, and especially our customers we are guaranteed to improve the outcome.
Keep it simple
We live in a complex world, surrounded by complex problems. But often the most efficient, effective and sustainable solutions are the simplest ones. And if you can’t explain something simply, you probably don’t understand it well enough in the first place.
Lead without title
Show courage in your conviction; more individual leadership and accountability. Never say “that’s not my job”; own it at least until finding someone whose job it is!
Be real; be true to yourself. Respectfully challenge when you disagree and never sacrifice a good outcome for social cohesion. Once a decision is made, commit wholly. It leads to better outcomes, deeper connections and more productive lasting relationships.
Stand on the shoulders of giants
Innovate but avoid reinventing the wheel. Find someone else’s design and improve it.
Work hard and play hard; take action and find time for reflection; shoot for the moon but when it comes to quality, cost and speed of delivery, pick two at the cost of the third.
Failure is not the opposite of success; it’s a vital part of it. Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking. Experiment, fail quick, fail cheap – but make sure you learn the lessons. Don’t let ego or pride get in the way of changing your mind if things aren’t working.
Efficiently and effectively deliver
With a bias for action, identify minimum quality requirements; accept that good enough is good enough; effectively deliver. Anything above that is inefficient. Anything below that is unacceptable.
It’s in our name! Never be satisfied with the status quo. Plan, do, check, act. Take a scientific approach; make incremental changes; automate; integrate; and eliminate waste.
Frugality and fairness
Frugality breeds resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and invention. We expect a fair reward for our performance. We set our pricing at a level that allows us to invest in ensuring a great experience for our customers. We avoid spending money on things that don’t return positive results for our customers.
We want to help make the world a better place. We will do this through our KZN 4 GD program where staff can dedicate 1 day per month of company time to a good cause of their choosing. That’s nearly 100 hours per year, per staff member – just think what we could achieve if all organisations did that!
Life is a journey and if you’re not at least occasionally operating outside your comfort zone, you’re not growing and learning. We promise to invest in the growth of our staff and ask that they do too.
Who Are We?
KZN Group aim to be different. Our unique company culture allows us to attract, engage, motivate and nurture talent, so that we can deliver the maximum value to the businesses we partner with.
Our approach involves becoming a true partner of your business, and not simply another vendor that you see at contract renewal time, or a costly consultant that hands you a thick report and wishes you luck. We are here to ensure you achieve the outcomes, realise the benefits, and maximise the value of your investment.
We aim to embed ourselves in your business to understand your processes, your challenges, your strengths and your weaknesses as well as your company culture before making recommendations for improvements and specific solutions.
We aim to partner with your partners too, and recognise that it is no longer possible or an appropriate strategy to seek one-stop-shop solutions and vendors. One-size definitely does not fit-all, and we believe that the shopping cart approach to investment in IT is the future.
On a tight budget? Aren’t we all! We aim to work with what you have got, and blend that with the best-of-breed cloud solutions available on the market today. We believe the key to efficiency and maximising value is to integrate your processes and solutions, and that everything must be underpinned with security in mind. No longer is security an afterthought, or something you should consider doing; it is now a vital component of modern IT. Nobody wants to be the next headline in the papers for a security related incident.
We take a holistic approach to improving your business, and adopt and adapt as many methodologies and best practices as we can to ensure you get the best value. We help align your IT strategy with your business strategy, and not only help develop your roadmap for success, but to be with you every step of the journey to ensure you get there.
With over 100 years’ of collective experience in IT management, strategy, planning and execution, as well as the full gambit of infrastructure and applications knowledge, we believe KZN Group are your ideal business partner.