Advisory Board Member
Negotiation & Strategy
Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cape Town
Grant van Rensburg is widely read and travelled. He is naturally curious, has good people skills and enjoys imparting knowledge and understanding. His experiences cover many different roles across a diverse range of industries allowing him the opportunity to gain considerable commercial, financial and technical insights and knowledge of these industries; how the companies and people in them operate and organise themselves to interact, transact and undertake the work they do. One of the things that struck him when working for and with Japanese companies was how well organised and thorough they were in negotiating, due diligence and business and market research.
With negotiating whilst they knew the importance of and worked hard at getting the basics right, they also understood the importance of and the roles the human dynamic and the human psyche play in the process. To this end they got to know the “other side” and selected the right fit of people appropriate for interacting with their counterparts and amongst themselves as well as for their specialisations and the role they were to play in the negotiations. They also almost always included an observer.
They were structured, patient and polite effectively managing the relationships and the discussions; focusing on the problems, disentangling people issues, keeping the negotiations “centred”. Mostly they succeeded in achieving what they had set out to achieve; mostly the other side also benefitted although at times it may not have been apparent to them.
The knowledge gained from these experiences has stayed with him and become part of his business and personal make up. Time and events have expanded this knowledge and understanding. Complexity and ambiguity abound in the modern world and it takes patience and effort for understanding and insights to crystallise. From a negotiation perspective, a structured collaborative problem solving approach is the best way to achieve a Wise outcome. In counterpoint to working for or with very large organisations such as Mitsubishi, Alcan, Downer EDI, Transfield, Woodside, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto etc., Grant has a number of other strings to his bow. High on the list is Sustainable Landscaping and Urban Farming. His passion is motivated by his love of nature and beauty and the impact urban sprawl and infill has had on the local flora, fauna and environment.