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Strategy and leadership lesson from the military

​​A​dditional Forum Information 

Registration: 17h45 - 18h00

Forum Start Time: 18h00

Length: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cocktails will be served after the event


How does one lead in a world defined by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity? All South African leaders face the same challenging question.  Can business learn about leadership and strategy from the military? Commanding officers lead their teams into battle under exceptionally difficult circumstances. To accomplish their mission they must provide a clear purpose, motivation and a winning strategy. Professor Nick Binedell regularly refers to military analogies in his lectures on grand strategy. Join Prof Binedell and General George Casey, former US Army Chief of Staff ('CEO' of the largest public sector 'company' in the world) for a fascinating discussion on the lessons in leadership that are immediately applicable on the competitive battlefield that we all face daily.


George W. Casey, Jr. is a globally recognized leader and authority on strategic visioning and leading in a VUCA world.  He led the U.S. Army (the world's largest public institution with 1.4 million employees) from 2007-2011 and is widely credited with restoring balance to a war-weary Army and leading the transformation to keep it relevant in the 21st Century.

Over his 41 year career he has been a stalwart advocate for military families, wounded Soldiers, and survivors of the fallen, and took on the tough issues of suicide and reducing the stigma attached to combat stress.  Prior to this, he commanded the Multi-National Force – Iraq for three years, a coalition of more than 30 countries, where he guided the Iraq mission through its toughest days and oversaw the country's first democratic election.

He held numerous senior leadership positions in Europe, the Middle East and in the United States in his 15 years as a general officer. 

Mr. Casey is currently a Distinguished Senior Lecturer of Leadership at the Samuel Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.  He also is a senior lecturer on International Relations at the University of Denver.  He is a frequent speaker on leadership at more than a dozen other global business schools and is regularly sought to give advice the leaders of U.S. and multinational corporations.  . 

He is Chairman of the USO Board of Governors and serves on several corporate boards and boards of other organizations that support U.S. servicemen and women, veterans and their families.

He has published a book, Strategic Reflections, Operation Iraqi Freedom, July 2004-2007 (October 2012), about his experiences in Iraq, and two articles on leadership:  "Leading in a VUCA World", Fortune Magazine (March 20, 2014), and "Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous:  Leadership Lessons from Iraq", Chapter 1, Changing Mindsets to Transform Security, (December 2013).

He holds a Masters Degree in International Relations from Denver University, and served as a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States, a foreign policy think-tank. 

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  • Prof Nick Binedell is the Founding Director and Sasol Chair of Strategic Management of the Gordon Institute of Business Science, established in January 2000, by the University of Pretoria. After an initial career in the industry in the Mining and Manufacturing sectors in sales and general management in the Barlow Rand Group, Prof Binedell has focused his career for the past 20 years in business education.

    In 1998 Prof Binedell was invited to establish a new business school focused on meeting the individual and corporate needs of business in South Africa. The school has rapidly established itself as a leading business school in South Africa with a strong focus on partnering with leading South African corporates and providing a high level of local and international business education. It was previously ranked as one of the top 40 global executive education providers by the London Financial Times.

    Prof Binedell is a determined traveller and explorer. His earlier roots included extensive travel and by the time he was ten he had lived in Zimbabwe, Germany, Yemen, Kenya, South Africa, and Britain. He has spent five years in the United States and in the past three years has travelled to Sydney, Shanghai, Dubai, Prague, Budapest, Lagos as well as European and American cities. 

    Prof Binedell’s area of expertise is in the field of business strategy formulation and his academic and consulting work, although dominantly in South Africa, includes work in the United States, Europe, and Australia. 


    • PhD (UW)
    • MBA (UCT)
    • BCom (RU)
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