CHARLES HENZI is a seasoned human resources practitioner having worked in several senior roles, within diverse sectors, and including high profile global enterprises. He is motivated by the need to create, "A world of work which provides purpose and inspiration for all, namely, highly engaged people taking self-inspired action ... for Results!"
Upon finishing school, Henzi entered the then University of Natal to study for a degree in geology, based on his interest in the natural sciences. He commented, "Two vacation jobs comprising working in the field as a prospecting assistant and underground in a gold mine convinced me that a fulltime career in this field was not for me. But, as I had gained some exposure to the human resource section on the mine, I decided that this was the field for me. On graduation, I was privileged to be appointed as graduate trainee with Unilever which, I believe set me up for a career in human resources." Henzi says that his career has been driven by his self-belief and his own energy to succeed.
"I believe that I am innovative and not deterred from experimentation with new or unconventional ideas." He added that his success has also been driven, by the good fortune to have inspirational role models as leaders in most cases." However, Henzi's self-belief and energy paid off and early on in his career he was afforded the opportunity to set up and lead the human resource function within a top organisation. Although he felt that he not remotely ready for this responsibility, it was for him one of the highlights of his working career.
This responsibility was also accompanied by new challenges. Although he assumed this, and later other management roles, when at relatively young age, he had to convince older peers to follow best practice. Henzi said that his strengths in this regard were really wanting to understand the details of business processes and his role in contributing to successful outcomes. Henzi says that from a human capital best practice perspective it is essential to regard employees as assets, not commodities.
As such, over the years, he has worked within a broad diversity of enterprises; facilitating the implementation of employee performance and reward interventions. The latter part of his career has taken him into providing human resource services with an emphasis on employee performance and reward.
He then became a member of the DRG Outsourcing team as Service Line Leader: Employee Investment. DRG Outsourcing is a leading human capital advisory service provider where he has had the opportunity to develop new approaches. Operating in a global capacity, this responsibility has a focus in the field of enterprise leadership. This activity has also provided him with a broad selection of case studies from which to draw on in facilitating practical, effective leadership interventions.
In reflecting on his own leadership style, Henzi says that he prefers to collaborate with others. "I enjoy creating a working environment that enables people to grow their skills set, confidence and capacity to take on greater responsibilities." However, Henzi noted that he finds it challenging to work with people who place their personal agendas above their leadership responsibilities to stakeholders. Speaking of the future, Henzi says, "I am 70 years old and hope to continue adding value to enterprises through facilitating the implementation of human capital best-practice, especially in the area of leadership. There is a possibility of relocating to the United Kingdom or Europe and, through networks there, to make myself useful in those environments."
Henzi has made a significant contribution to the education of children from disadvantaged communities, in an involvement with a Durban NGO spanning some 40 years.
In his free time, Henzi prefers to be close to nature outside of the corporate environment and has over the years, spent time on safari or hiking, often in rather wild and remote areas.