Written by Leonie Pentz, Managing Partner AIMS International South Africa and VP Sustainability and the AIMS International Marketing Team

23 April 2020

During a strategy meeting earlier this year, the AIMS International Executive Board approved the appointment of Leonie Pentz, Managing Partner South Africa and VP EMEA for the last 4 years, as VP Sustainability AIMS International. This appointment underlines the organisation’s intent to promote sustainability as a key driver for all strategic decisions and key actions in AIMS International.  

During the first months of Leonie establishing and leading the Sustainability project team, amongst other initiatives, they adopted the UN’s 17 SDG’s to slowly start transforming individual mindsets, the AIMS organisation, partnerships, their clients and the world around them. This is a long term goal, especially for a global organisation like AIMS International with essentially unique business Partners in 50 different countries, each with their own locally unique challenges.

Designing and implementing sustainability as a core competency for leaders under the guidance of Catherine Librandi, Talent Management Consultant AIMS Switzerland, was one of the first initiatives. “This competency will be developed and included in all leadership assessments with the vision of finding and growing sustainable leaders with every appointment and leadership development programme we are involved in globally”, says Pentz. This is no small task, however we realised that this is the one key contribution that AIMS International as a global network of HR advisors can make which will have the biggest impact over time.”

The team was fast to establish support initiatives for AIMS staff during COVID-19 lockdown with the AIMS Solidarity Forum. The forum is hosted on the global intranet platform with the purpose to share positive ideas about working from home, general practical business support during this crisis as well as daily quotes and even cute puppies and kittens for those who need a smile. You can watch the #workfromhome videos which staff started sharing on YouTube, to show how they are adapting to home offices during the lockdown.

The Happiness team, a team of internal coaches reaching out to any staff member who needs support from a qualified coach is another idea that was quickly turned into reality as the pandemic spread and people needed to pull together to keep a positive mindset.

The whole organisation has regular Online Café’s twice a week to accommodate the different global regions where everyone is welcome to chat and share on an informal basis. 

Pentz says: “Our Sustainability team comprises the most amazing mix of Senior Partners, support staff and consultants. It is literally a natural migration of volunteers who willingly give their time to make the (AIMS) world a better place. It is the most fun that I have had in years, working with such a special group of people proves that mindfulness for the greater good is important to human happiness.

This group, together with our regular Online Café’s where all AIMS staff are welcome, reminded me that we are, indeed, like a big diverse family who shares a love for animals, (our pets join the calls regularly), good food (some vegan) sharing recipes and jokes. Good people with a sincere interest in each other’s well-being and the world around them.” 

While humanity is in lockdown, mother earth is awakening and let’s be reminded that, once things go back to normal, it really should not go back to the same normal as before.  Be mindful of our home, planet earth, our fellow humans and those who live amongst us – on land and under the sea – who are not able to join the online conversation.

Written by Leonie Pentz, Managing Partner AIMS International South Africa and VP Sustainability and the AIMS International Marketing Team