By Dacre Haddon

I was privileged to be invited by the Friederich Nauman Foundation (FNF) to attend a seminar in Strategic Planning in Gummersbach Germany from 24 July to 7 August.

Before going on the last phase of the course in Germany, one had to pre-qualify by doing a months’ online seminar with the Foundation. As only 25 participants could be selected from the original 96, I was humbled to join people from Macedonia, Serbia, Thailand, China, Honduras, Brazil, Ghana, Tanzania, Turkey, Egypt and Argentina.

It was a cultural feast to meet and interact with these people, many being prominent in their fields — Associate Professors, several PhD’s and famous NGO’s.

The course focused in detail on the mechanics of Strategic Planning: how one forms an empirical point of view, needs analyses, an Environmental Scan, the well known SWAT analysis, an Operational Plan and implementation plan.

The hardest part of the course was being drilled by our instructors on how to compose a concise Mission-, Vision- and
Goal Statement and the difference between them.

Practical group assignments were done, one being a day trip to Cologne where we had to do an “Environmental Scan” on whether Cologne was keeping up service standards for tourism.

The other was a four-day trip to Hamburg, where we were given a lecture and shown around the new Waterfront precinct which
is a hugely successful public private partnership initiative between the Hamburg government and the business community.

As Strategic Planning encompasses all facets of life, I look forward to being able to share the new found knowledge and documentation with the party. My grateful thanks to the FNF for the opportunity.