How Peter Kimingi is balancing leadership as the new finance boss at Afrika Tikkun

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Since being appointed as Afrika Tikkun’s group head of finance in February, Peter Kimingi has had to juggle getting to know the business strategy and executing it at the same time, while also making sure he brings his teams along.

Non-profit organisation Afrika Tikkun is busy transitioning into a new group structure, and recently appointed Peter Kimingi as its new group head of finance to help launch its new strategy.

His passion for the industry made joining the non-profit an easy choice, he says. “As a well-established social enterprise, Afrika Tikkun has a 30-year track record of creating impact and providing education, skills, economic opportunities, health and social services through child and youth development programmes to disadvantaged communities within South Africa.”

Read more: CFO Peter Kimingi is leaving a sustainable legacy

Peter says that joining the group has been both exciting and challenging since starting in February, as he is expected to play a critical execution role while still getting to know the company.

His technique? Asking many questions. “I am a curious person and take time to understand the rationale behind the current set-up of the organisation before proposing changes and improvements,” Peter explains, adding that (most importantly) he remains open to “learning, unlearning, and relearning”.

Peter explains that, fortunately, Afrika Tikkun had a strong and operational finance team already when he joined. “This gives me time and space to onboard at a comfortable pace.”

He has spent his first couple of weeks in the role meeting many stakeholders of the business to assess what the business has achieved, where it is now, where it wants to go, and how he can help it get there.

“With the knowledge I will gather from these interactions, I believe that I will be in a good position to identify quick wins, medium-term interventions, and (ultimately) align long-term financial strategy with the overall group strategy.”

Bringing everyone with you

As Afrika Tikkun embarks on this transition, Peter emphasises the importance of bringing everyone with you on the journey. “It is not only scary to those impacted by the change, but can also be difficult to navigate if there isn’t enough support and buy-in from those expected to implement it.”

He enjoys leading by example, and will often take on tasks and projects that are complex and new to the rest of the team members. “I encourage them to engage and explore new ways of implementing familiar projects to increase efficiency and effectiveness.”

When managing change, Peter uses a transformational leadership approach to make sure everyone is included. “I do not subscribe to any one leadership style, though. It’s very situation-specific, depending on the task at hand,” he explains.

Slowly settling into the role, Peter says: “I am encouraged by the immense support that I am receiving from the team, which has made onboarding and adjusting to the role so much easier.”

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