SAP is a great company, no doubt about it. I have been chosen to participate in a Social Sabbatical which takes place right now in Ghana. It is an “Executive Pilot” and together with 11 SAP colleagues from different countries and LOBs I am part of it. I am still amazed that SAP provides such opportunities. All paid for, all organized, wow! Without thinking too much about it my choice was clear. And honestly: It is more about my learning opportunity. If in addition we are able to help someone that will be great.
The idea is that the 12 of us split into 4 groups of 3, and will consult social start-up companies to solve issues they face, be it to scale to the next stage, be it to come to more professional structures, whatever.
Everything was prepared just perfectly. A month in advance we started with preparation calls to get to know the details. I learned that I will work in a team together with Franz Hero from Development and Angelique de Vries from Presales. At one call we had a colleague from security giving us tips about how to behave to be safe in Ghana. All made completely sense. When after the call I looked into Outlook I discovered a welcome e-mail from the organization Angelique, Franz and I will work with. Honestly, it touched my heart. Here are some sentences out of it:
“I guess this calls for popping of a Champagne bottles to celebrate this milestone. Thanks for the efforts and the confidence reposed in the initiatives of the foundation to assign to us the SAP Executive sabbatical team. We are already excited at the thought of spending 2weeks with us at the foundation and will certainly engaged them as much as we can to get the best out of the team.
To you, Wolfgang, Angelique and Franz, we say welcome in advance to Ghana. We know you will enjoy every moment with us at the foundation as we work together to the help us strategically streamline the foundation and the various projects we are working on.
It will be a privilege to work with you for the next few days as you spend your time in the most peaceful and friendly country on earth.”
We spent 30 minutes on safety instructions and here it says “most peaceful and friendly country on earth”. So this is my first learning before even starting the Social Sabbatical: It is all about different perspectives. Ghana is surrounded by countries which see civil war and other difficult situations, Ghana itself is very stable. So for them it is peaceful, for us it is a high-risk country – interesting.
With that I come to the end of my introductory blog on this Social Sabbatical, more to come, stay tuned, Wolfgang