Sherril’s African Adventure

 In Edumacation

Partner, Sherril Matthes, is about to embark on a journey to Tanzania, Africa where she will volunteer with the Canadian Executive Service Organization. Read about her trip preparations!


Tomorrow, I’m leaving for Africa. Tanzania.

I expect it will be a deeply enriching experience, but I haven’t a clue what to expect.

I have the tremendous privilege to work with a member association there, whose mandate is to support their members and advocate to grow their market sector.

I am going as a Volunteer with CESO, the Canadian Executive Service Organization. And while there is a CESO representative available in Tanzania, I will essentially be there on my own.

The location is Dar es Salaam, a port City of over four million people. Word is, it’s hot. Not urban, active nightlife hot, but 30o, 100% humidity hot.

It’s a strange preparation, conducting surveys, preparing workshop materials and powerpoint presentations, doing activities that are so familiar to my everyday work. Partnered with vaccinations, anti-malaria medications, registering with the embassy and trying to pick up a few phrases in Swahili.

But it’s time for me to put my money where my mouth is. Using the power of business to improve life on this planet has been a life theme of mine. My father, an entrepreneur, spoke with pride about the ability to hire a small group of people and provide those families with steady paycheques, especially when he struggled to make payroll.

Most of our clients have wrestled with our questions about why they do what they do, what value they bring, and what their unique contribution is.

For us, this is not just a marketing approach (although it’s a damn good one). We do this because we see all the incredible things that our clients do in their communities, or in their industry sectors. But sometimes (actually, most of the time) they forget. They get so caught up in the day to day, that they don’t stand back and see it. And they overlook all the business advantages that clear meaning and purpose can bring.

We’re lucky because we get to help our clients see that value and articulate it. And we can help them get organized around the priorities that matter most. That’s how it becomes a strategic business approach.

So I prepare to head out, in the hope that I can offer more than target market analysis and media recommendations. My hope is that they are open and I am able to introduce a new way to see and to represent what they do, that strengthens their efforts to grow their industry, so their members can provide steady paycheques to more families.

I’m looking forward to every aspect of the next few weeks and will keep you posted!


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