Ethics and governance

Case studies: Group

Mark Cutifani

Mark Cutifani

Beauty Mazibuko - Chemical and Process Engineer

Beauty Mazibuko - Chemical and Process Engineer

Renewing our commitment to doing things the right way

On 10 October 2007, prompted by the one million fatality-free shifts achieved at Great Noligwa Mine in South Africa and in consultation with the local management team, Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani declared ‘Safety’ as the ‘first value’ of AngloGold Ashanti. AngloGold Ashanti then embarked on a consultative review of the company’s mission, vision and values, building on the commitment of 'Safety is our first value'.

The rationale for the review was to establish a sense of responsibility among employees: a commitment to doing things the right way, and establishing a clear value framework that underpins the building of a globally competitive business model.

Executive Vice President for Business Strategy Charles Carter explains that the team worked from the existing values approach in the business and focused on refining its relevance and clear articulation, while also developing a new vision and mission for the company. This went together with the adoption of five core strategies aimed at making AngloGold Ashanti more competitive in the long term. A pocket-sized pamphlet given to all employees provides a succinct summary of the values that bind employees.

The communication strategy for the values roll-out was designed to ensure that the message reached its target audience, namely AngloGold Ashanti employees at all levels, and that it was well understood.

The new values booklet, together with a promotional video, was launched by Mark Cutifani at the corporate office in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 31 July 2008. Each region arranged local launches tailored to their unique circumstances, with regional launches in Tanzania, the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Australia, DRC, China, Guinea, Ghana, Mali, South Africa and Namibia. The values were translated into seven different languages to accommodate the diversity of the organisation and to preserve the essence of the values.

By mid-September 2008, all AngloGold Ashanti employees across the world had been exposed to the new vision, mission and values, and the message had been communicated to AngloGold Ashanti’s business and social partners. The intention was that the process would start to stimulate a change in organisational behaviour.

“Our daily conversations and interactions need to be guided by our values; how we plan to reach our goals is as important as achieving them,” says Cutifani.

Talking about the new values, Cutifani has highlighted a concern about employees interpreting words such as ‘diversity’ and ‘respect’ differently. Therefore, there is a need for dialogue to ensure that there is a common understanding of what the values intend to achieve in the organisation.This will be addressed during 2009. The values booklet and approach will be reviewed each year, with the intention of updating the content, in discussion with employees across the business.

As Carter suggests, “We now have a clear marker in the ground – as an organisation we have to make it real and we have to keep rethinking our purpose and approach to doing business in a rapidly changing world, as we strive to be the leading mining company.”

Next > Development of an Integrated Global Incident Reporting System for AngloGold Ashanti

ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI Report to Society 2008