Can!do turns 30: How far we’ve come

April 6, 2023by Editor

Can!do is excited to celebrate 30 years of existence in 2023. Over the last three decades, the company has transformed from a small start-up business to a significant roleplayer in the market. 

With a highly dynamic and agile team of change management and user adoption experts, Can!do designs and delivers bespoke solutions that enable their clients to increase the return on investment (ROI) and impact of technology investments from large-scale enterprise resource management (ERP) implementations to any digital transformation initiatives. The Can!do team has overcome multiple challenges over the years, but the company has shown incredible resilience and courage.

South African business woman and entrepreneur

Founder and CEO, Ivanna Granelli, has led the Can!do team from its inception and humble beginnings in 1993 to the successful organisation that it is today. After being retrenched in the early 90s, Ivanna started contracting as a trainer in the IT market. Enjoying more work than she could handle by herself, she recruited the help of her sister, Nicola. This marked the birth of Can!do. 

Ivanna attributes their initial success to finding themselves at the right time in the market with their niche service offering. Reflecting back over the last 30 years, she explains that the company has always ensured it delivers on promises, putting the client at the very centre of their value proposition. Building strong relationships with clients involves developing a deep understanding of their needs and unique pain points.

Along the way, Ivanna has encouraged her team to engage with clients in their own environments, striving to pre-emptively anticipate user issues that arise through change management and user adoption interventions. “We have always been able to stay one step ahead of the curve by noticing what our clients need and then staying abreast of solutions that could address these needs proactively,” she explains.

Can!do culture primed for success 

Ivanna is supported by a core team of highly skilled experts and a network of specialist consultants. There is a strong emphasis on collaboration, communication and synergy among staff. As the name suggests, a “can-do” mentality is imbibed into the very fabric of the company culture. 

Project and business operations manager, Sphume Dlamini, explains that Can!do is an entrepreneurial business and the culture speaks to that. “We do what we have to do to deliver to our clients without getting caught up in unnecessary processes and bureaucracy. Everyone contributes to this culture by having a can-do spirit and attitude. We all care about the end result for the client and that is always our focus,” she says.

High performance at Can!do at 30

A high performance culture is one that encourages and enables employees to excel beyond their potential. Can!do has taken massive strides towards creating such an environment for their employees to thrive. A high performance culture is linked to organisational success because it results in increased productivity, creativity and innovation. 

For Can!do, this has become a positive feedback loop that enables the company to attract top talent. Managing Director Lyndsey Martin, who has been instrumental in helping to build the business and drive it forward for the past 20 years, explains, Being able to attract superior talent into our business means we can deliver solutions that are simply better than others – we are very proud of the extraordinary talent in both our core team, and our extended network of incredibly experienced, passionate and talented people.”

Can!do Team

This high performance culture is underpinned by a sense of psychological safety and authenticity, allowing teams to flourish in what they refer to in-house as a “REAL” environment. Core beliefs are condensed into this acronym and there is a sense among staff that there are no hidden agendas – what you see is what you get. 

As Can!do celebrates 30th year of business, they continue to embody the ethos of being REAL people, adding REAL value by creating REAL solutions, taking your people on a transformation journey that prepares them to tackle system change with confidence and a Can!do attitude.

When asked what she loves about her job, head of Business Development and Strategy Michelle Phipson explains “Can!do provides such fertile ground for the deepening and expansion of skills. Who one works with impacts on one’s quality of life in such a profound way – we all have an openness to engage.”

By fostering an environment of open communication, self-leadership and autonomy, the Can!do culture can be seen as a blueprint for high performance teams. “We have a more inclusive or wholistic (yes, spelled that way on purpose) view of success and achievement,” says Michelle.

“The emphasis on collaboration, communication and synergy is a very Gestalt approach to teamwork where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We know we have each other’s backs and it’s conducive to building a trustful culture. At Can!do it’s not something that we talk about, it is the way we work,” she explains.

Future-proofing the next 30 years 

With three decades of success in South Africa, Can!do is now looking to expand further afield. Boosted by a highly-skilled team and competitive rates means that the organisation is in a prime position to grow their international client base. Exploring new markets is part of a future-proofing strategy which also includes succession planning.

Can!do is acutely aware of the importance of bridging skills gaps, especially as new technology solutions emerge all the time. By focusing on succession planning, Can!do is taking a proactive approach to securing its future. As with other businesses that operate in the tech space, one of their current challenges is to ensure generational diversity in the business, to ensure that they consistently have the right skills to service their customers. 

Liezl Schulte, Head of Change and Communications solutions at Can!do, is excited to see the business growing and evolving. “New products and services are developed as a result of listening and engaging with our customers to understand their needs while at the same time exploring new trends and innovation in the market. This is a powerful combination,” she explains. 

This customer-centricity has afforded Can!do with immense success over the years and continues to be the backbone of the company’s value proposition. “Everyone at Can!do is focused on delivering on our commitments to our customers and will do whatever it takes,” adds Liezl.

The future of the company looks bright, with expansion plans starting to take shape. “The future is focused on building structures and an environment within our business to enable us to further scale the delivery of our products and services to customers across the globe. Key will be our ability to attract, excite and skill new young talent to join us on this journey of on-going consistent delivery,” concludes Liezl.

Lessons from 30 years at Can!do

CEO Ivanna Granelli encourages other businesses to have the courage to adapt quickly in order to remain relevant. Given the fast-pace of change currently faced by the business world, those that are able to pivot quickly are the ones that can keep delivering on their promises, catering for the changing needs of their clients.

What does the future look like for Can!do? Ivanna describes her vision for the company in the next three decades: “I would love to see this company being driven and run by the next generation of entrepreneurs in our team. I would love to see a team who are as passionate about what they do as Lyndsey and I have been. I would love to see it still being relevant in growing skills required in organisations then – no matter what those are – and supporting people in feeling they can!do it and adapt to the world of work as it looks like then.”

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Can!do works with large enterprises in South Africa to maximise the value of their employees, technology and business processes. To do this, we offer three fundamental services; change management, capability development and performance optimisation

We have 30 years of experience in these fields and have worked with leading companies in South Africa. We are a certified Level 2 B-BBEE company and a leading provider of new business systems and processes that drive user adoption. For industry insights and news, please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Where to find us

Johannesburg
Ground Floor, Building 26
The Woodlands Office Park
20 Woodlands Drive
Woodmead
2191
Cape Town
12 Dalmore Ave
Dennendal