Founded in 2000, the University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) is an internationally accredited business school, based in Johannesburg, South Africa's economic hub.
As the business school for business, we focus on general management in dynamic markets to significantly improve responsible individual and organisational performance, primarily in the South African environment and increasingly in our broader African environment, through the provision of high quality business and management education. In May 2015 the annual UK Financial Times Executive Education rankings, a global benchmark for providers of executive education, once again ranked GIBS as the top South African and African business school. This is the 12th year running that GIBS has been ranked among the top business schools worldwide. In October 2014 the GIBS MBA was ranked among the top 100 business schools globally in the prestigious Financial Times Executive MBA Rankings. GIBS is the only business school in Africa to appear in this ranking.
Sir Donald Gordon
The Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) is named after Sir Donald Gordon, in recognition of the contribution to South African business and a significant endowment to GIBS by Sir Donald Gordon, the founder and former chairman of Liberty Life.
Donald Gordon made a major financial contribution at the point of his formal retirement from Liberty Life. Gordon said the reason for the donation was to highlight his appreciation of the quality of the South African business environment, which had enabled him to become a success in the financial services industry, at home and abroad. Gordon's choice of education, as the sector in which he would put part of his financial success, reflects the importance of quality management in the business place. According to Professor Nick Binedell, founder and former dean of GIBS, South African businesses must continue to prepare themselves proactively for the challenges that lie ahead. There is consensus that one of the greatest challenges facing South Africa remains the skills required to be competitive. The Gordon Institute of Business Science prepares future executives, and helps current managers upgrade their skills to confront the emerging challenges through academic and executive programmes. Sir Donald's contribution is consistent with Liberty's view of education as a critical component in business. Indeed, one of the tenets of Liberty "passed on by Gordon" is that the company should put back into the community in return for the support it enjoys.
"Over the years, there has been a fundamental shift from simply looking at a project worthy of support, to projects that promise to be economically self-sustaining and those that center on education," says Hylton Appelbaum, who heads the Liberty Foundation.
Excerpts from the Opening of the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) Address by Sir Donald Gordon, 14 March 2000.
Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know; passion in business is everything.
In business and in family relationships, remember that the most important thing is trust.
Remember that overnight success usually takes about 15 years.
Never accept that existing practices can't be improved upon – there will always be a better or alternative way of doing things. If you identify them, see it through to the end with meticulous care.
Strive for excellence, not perfection.
Demand excellence from yourself and your colleagues and be willing to pay for it.
Take care of your reputation, it's your most valuable asset.
Learn to listen, opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.
Watch for big problems, they disguise big opportunities.
Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.
When starting out, don't worry about having enough money; limited funds are a blessing not a curse. Nothing encourages creative thinking in quite the same way.
Be tough-minded but tender-hearted.
Don't waste time responding to your critics.
Never give up on what you really want to do.
The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts.
Be bold and courageous.