End-of-year reflection for 2017

The end of the year is approaching once again. Time seems to be “accelerating” recently.

I strongly believe in the value of debriefs at the end of a calendar year, and at the end of a difficult project which did not go as expected.

Formal reflection or debriefs also provide value to non-profit organizations and social enterprises. They help to accelerate learning. I’ve recently facilitated several end-of-year reviews for my clients, and the sessions have proven insightful. I encourage you to schedule time to reflect before this year ends.

Here are some extracts from my review before I took leave on 15 December 2017 for a much-needed break. It sheds some insights into my work with non-profit organizations and social enterprises in South Africa.

Descent into Xenophobic Violence

This passionate letter was published in the Cape Times in early 2008 about the xenophobic violence that has gripped the country.

It discusses how, as a proud South African, I am dismayed by how our Rainbow Nation has descended into a state of xenophobic violence. It has certainly put a black mark against our name. I also discuss how this sad turn of events is symptomatic of poor government performance in a number of areas, and the role of some of our leaders in promoting racial and cultural categorization.

Iraq war is not a long term solution: resources should be used for healing and development

Read my letter that was published in the Cape Times, Cape Argus and Business Day in April 2003 in response to the war in Iraq.

It discusses how many of the published letters I’ve read in recent weeks have been about the war in Iraq. Most of the writers have either tended to blame George Bush or Saddam Hussein for the war.

However, this war is clearly a manifestation of the way in which these two leaders and their countries have interacted over the last few decades. It is a results of the short-term solutions that have been employed on the problems in Iraq.

The leaders of both these countries have sought win-lose as opposed to win-win solutions. But in reality everyone loses. War destroys people and breeds hatred.

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