When working with NGOs a consultant from outside identifies a lot of areas which can be improved. The first challenge is to find those ones which make a difference now and help to sustain the organization. The second challenge is the implementation. Resources at NGOs are scarce. We now needed to find volunteers who can work for the next months, maybe even years with the NGO. Looks like today we have found a mentor who is running a successful business and who is willing to bring his expertise into the NGO. As network is everything in the NGO work we are also optimistic that further doors can be opened. Doors which even might have people with funding inside.
But we still look for volunteers at Universities, companies, even parents who are willing to work on the areas the SAP team has identified. The range is from Social Media experts, to marketing experts and even financial experts. It’s not about further concepts; it’s about the doing now! Leveraging the positive momentum for SA teenEntrepreneur and other NGOs the SAP team is involved.
Whatever happens the next weeks is paving the road to the future. We will stay engaged!
Author: Claus Gruenewald
We are starting our last week in our Social Sabbatical assignment, most of our activities here with our customer are being finalized. We are all confident we have already given something from us, we have already impacted somehow these organizations, we are yet expectants on what will be our final outcome at this first stage and in my particular case I know I am going to continue supporting this organization and Lydia, for a while ahead.
During the last three weeks we took this organization, we split it in small pieces, we put it upside down and now we are reconstructing it. We have changed Lydia’s point of view, but as well we’ve change the way she is now reflecting about the world surrounding us. We have identified the values of Lydia’s ideas, and we have been trying to understand the best way to transform that vision into a reality
What we have been doing so far…. We have being working very hard with SA Teen Entrepreneur in a deep analysis of the current situation we have held a daily meetings and we have had many discussions with Lydia and the team. We supported SA Teen during the first week of our assignment on the preparation for the launch of the High School Entrepreneur Society - SAP Team Protea
As well we are working in the development of a Marketing Development Strategy and a Financial and Fundraising Sustainable Plan. Everything has been documented and during this week we are going to finalize the last details. This Thursday we are going to present it and handover to Lydia.
During these weeks we’ve learned a lot, this program Social Sabbatical is covering two different aspects of our company strategy, first is covering our CSR Global strategy by providing support to different social organization around the world. We are as well helping the world run better as well here but from a different point of view.
On the other hand this program cover our HR Talent Management and Development Global strategy by providing to our company talents the chance to develop on new areas and tasks quite different than our daily businesses, getting us out of our comfort zone and learning, looking, and researching information about a completely different world we are used to be and in a very short period of time of 4 weeks. We are also helping us, our SAP employees to run better together.
In order to deliver what is expected from us we need to change our suits and we need to wear and put ourselves in the shoes of different types of stakeholders, we need to think out of the box, we are supporting entrepreneurial activities, therefore we need to think how to reach that audience of the young South African community in order to give them the tools to be aware, that out there, there are a lot of chances for new enterprises.
We share, we work as a team, we take advantage of our network, we ask for help and support, we converse and share our experiences, we ask for advice from colleagues that we have just meet a few days ago and they are facing the same reality than us.
We have been working very hard, sometimes not having the best resources we are used to. We have being working sometime long ours but we are very happy of what are we doing here. As well this is not only work, this is also a time for reflection, a time for team work, a time for discovering, ourselves, our world, and as well this beautiful country we are.
Don’t forget to follow my Jam Blog, on Twitter and our Social Sabbatical webpage.
M a n i T h A n k s !
Since weeks S.A. Teen Entrepreneur was working towards this date on October 28th 2014, and so did parts of the SAP Protea Team. Yesterday’s launch opened another chapter for the NGO, as it was a highly visible event at Bishops High School in Rondebosch, Cape Town. Several Western Cape media representatives such as CTV, UCT Radio, Bush Radio, Die Burger press and others have been present. Amongst the 250 persons attending the launch, we have seen high school headmasters, teachers, enterprise representatives, parents and many teenagers. Lydia Zingoni, the founder of S.A. Teen Entrepreneur opened the agenda and in her keynote she addressed the challenge and the need for entrepreneurship in South Africa. Teenagers have been shocked when learning that 56% of teenagers graduating from high school don’t find a job in South Africa. And it is not much better after graduating from university. However, this reality check put everybody in the room very attentive. All keynote speakers addressed this particular challenge and encouraged teens to realize their ideas into businesses, even though some ideas and innovations might look crazy in the beginning. South Africa has one of the highest education budgets in Africa, but on a worldwide ranking is only #140 (out of 144 countries) when compared on quality. The countries education system currently doesn’t provide a curriculum to form and train entrepreneurs. The keynote speaker and Minister of Education for the Western Cape, Ms Debbie Schaefer outlined the instability of the South African Education system in recent years, and the governments priority to not change it once more. She urged private initiatives, such as S.A. Teen Entrepreneur to influence High Schools to enrich the learners experience outside the standard curriculum. The Entrepreneurial Society is therefore seen as a very important enhancement for teachers to prepare the teenagers and graduates for real life challenges before leaving school. Besides the countries challenges in the education system and job creation programs, the participants heard Mr.Vijay Valla, Director of Youth Enterprises elaborating on the cultural differences when it comes to entrepreneurship. South African’s seem to be careful and often hesitant before taking the risk of founding a business. The clear message that evening to teens was “start early, don’t be afraid of failure, you might fail at first, just try again”.
But even the best idea needs support and so Mr. Jonathan Jacobs from Skylar asked to donate money, skills, experience and mentorship to the young generation. The example of SAP Corporate Social Responsibility Program was used to outline how SAP believes in NGOs and their mission.
Several SAP colleagues of the SAP Protea Team did attend the launch event to represent SAP’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program. Interviews with TV, Radio and Press have been conducted. The media, as well as participants have been very interested in the Social Sabbatical program and wanted to learn why and how SAP donates resources into the NGO community in South Africa and other countries.
Authors: Asha, Claus, Sebastian
With about two more weeks to go in the 4 SAP Social Sabbatical projects in Cape Town, we all reflect if we have had an impact already, or if we look out to the big break-through. I think it's fair to say that all 4 projects have their challanges. Be it a CEO who is on its own mission, or NGO resources which are not available when you need them for an interview, or a too small NGO which is struggling to execute the concept the SAP team comes up with. Despite this we see the change on little topics making big thinks work. I guess what SAP employees are very good in, is to look and identify the value of a service or product which is in place. A value a NGO takes as granted and doesn't position in the right way. For example one NGO provides commercial brands a nice place on their media and web, allowing them to leverage the NGO's network without donating or contributing much. The same is true for government departments, which are keen for visibility and peoples votes. Such values are clearly used by third party, but not effectively by the NGO. I know we do change it, but must enable the NGO to do so in the future too. We will have to measure in 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 2 months.
We have just concluded our first week working on our assignments of our SAP Social Sabbatical in Cape Town / South Africa.
We are in front of this incredible, amazing and very challenging experience together with other eleven SAP colleagues from all over the world, from very diverse backgrounds, areas and whereabouts. We are working in four groups , sub-teams of three of us; each group is working with different non-profit / non-government organizations that are trying to make the difference for their society, looking for innovative, creative and simple ways to progress and increase life quality in their communities.
SAP and Pyxera have made together an wonderful job in preparing our Team for this journey. During 8 weeks prior to our departure we have had weekly meetings to learn, to get to know each other, our destination and the organizations we would be working with.
Finally we arrived on Saturday 11th and the next day after our arrival we had a full day of Team Building Work-shop, and in addition informal chats and closing the day dining together.
Particularly in our case, our sub-team in consist of Asha Paruchuri (form SDC / SAP India in Bangalore) & Claus Gruenewald (from GPO / SAP SE in Waldorf). We are working with SA Teen Entrepreneur and our scope of work is made up of developing a new Marketing General Strategy including a Sustainable Financial and Fundraising Plan for the future.
SA Teen Entrepreneur is a Non-Profit Organization (NPO) that was created to instill a culture of entrepreneurship in young people with rising unemployment in South Africa, initiatives like these are addressing the preparedness of young people to embrace a culture of entrepreneurship and value to the companies who may employ them. Through its various workshops, SA Teen Entrepreneur Foundation has raised awareness of the importance of an entrepreneurial mind-set. At the backdrop of high unemployment, SA Teen Entrepreneur is giving youth a viable alternative to maximise on their skills and even degrees. We are supporting this organization with all our experience and backgrounds, taking advantage of our long years of constant learning about the most efficient and simple tools and methodologies within SAP.
We are now trying to understand the needs, not just of these project but as well the rest of the projects our colleagues our working on, and the impact all these activities will have over our society, our world. For sure we are learning a lot going through this process.
On last Saturday, October the 18th, our full SAP Cape Town Protea Team, visited the Epilepsy Western Cape facilities, where we served working on Community activities by painting their Cafeteria.
The National Office of Epilepsy South Africa provides strategic leadership to the organizations to create a society in which people with epilepsy and other disabilities have equal opportunities to function optimally to achieve their fullest potential in all spheres of life.
As well we are having the opportunity to know a new culture, a new way of doing things, a different point of view about our world, our societies and our future as human beings. We also get the chance of knowing a new beautiful city like Cape Town, we had the chance all together to do some motivating activities like visiting Table Mountain, one of the 7 World Wonders of Nature.
During these days we have being working very hard, for long hours, in activities quite different from our daily work, we have had great moments and other very challenging ones, these week was tiring, challenging and very motivating for all of us. We are very excited starting our second week here with the confidence we will have lot of good news and learnings to share in the weeks ahead.
Don’t forget to follow my Jam Blog, on Twitter and our Social Sabbatical webpage.
Thank you very much.
The SAP Social Sabbatical has given us a wonderful week. The group has fully merged with the customers and with an amazing city.
In these first seven days, the customers just made us part of their organizations and had given us their confidence to build 4 amazing projects. In particular, our customer TSiBA has adopted the team in the school community and has taught us a different way to become a professional in Business Administration and of course an Entrepreneur. The week was plagued with a sense of leadership and creativity that I’m sure will inspire us to a great outcome in the next days.
On the other side, Cape Town has left a great mouth taste with all the things this place could offer. From wonderful people, great food and amazing places to visit, the city is more of what you can expect from South Africa. So far, a nice and warm sunset just left somewhere in the sea and Table Mountain revealed us why it is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
I feel very proud and lucky of being a member of this incredible experience.
But such aspiration might collide with the day to day working style of NGOs pretty quick. They wouldn’t need our help if structure, organization, marketing plan, IT, etc. is in place already. Therefor you find passion, new ideas and new opportunities every 10 min, and people with endless endurance. They never lose hope that someday the big breakthrough will come, as it all is just a matter of time and luck. But it’s not luck alone! It actually is a solid business plan, marketing plan, value description, structure and focus, focus, focus! Do a thing, but do it right and deliver. And tomorrow again! This is what differentiates successful NGOs, successful start-ups from the rest. And if you see the idea, your mission doesn’t fly – stop it. Don’t waste time and money. It’s not the right time, not the right circumstances, it maybe the founders fault. It’s hard!
But here is the challenge with the NGOs: They have a social mission, which you cannot write down in numbers and make a fact based decision. The rising question for a volunteer consultant doing social work is, whether we are allowed to make them understand they should either focus & deliver or die? And how to do this without being to confronting? In my opinion we have to tell, we are change agents. If we don’t, there might not be much left after we leave. The chance that a few operational issues have been solved during the assignment, but afterwards the NGO falls back into old habits is too high.
This is a chance to lead by example. We must face the risk that the NGO people are disappointed for a day because we seem not to fulfil their day to day wishes. But we have the opportunity to make a longer term impact with a solid strategy and concept. This is how we are going to start the next day.
This is going to be my first blog on my new web-site. I have written many articles for magazines, books, etc. But it needed a SAP Social Sabbatical to create my own website and blog. Here were are!
In about a week a team of 12 leaves their home towns and travels to Cape Town / South Africa to do a Social Sabbatical. Always a team of 3 SAP colleagues has been assigned to a client and we are going to help 4 NPOs to scale their business, to rise funding, to implement a new sw and to create a strong market presence in southern Africa. Asha, Sebastian and myself work with a NPO called TeenEntrepreneur which happens to have a challenge with scaling their mission into the country. Funding plays a major role. So we believe we will work on a good marketing strategy to attract more funds and increase the visibility of the organization. The CEO, Lydia Zingoni seems to be a very open and experienced person. And she is passionate to help young people to form their lives to the better.
I’m excited to be back in the “mother city” after such a long time. As a student I was fortunate to be in CT for more than 9 months. As this was in 1994, the year of the first democratic elections in SA, it has a special place in my memories. However, since then 20 years have gone by and I’m sure the city and country has changed big time!
Stay tuned and I’ll explain…