GCRO completes a two-legged Strategic Review and Planning process

  • Date of publication: 24 February 2023

The GCRO held its Strategic Pause and Review together with its 2022/23 Planning process, from 30 November to 02 December 2022 at the Fairway Hotel, Randpark. In attendance were all staff, except for Dr. Richard Ballard who was a visiting scholar at Tübingen University in Germany for a three-months. We were welcomed to the workshop by a Peacock’s majestic display.

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The proud peacock of Fairway Hotel.

The four-day strategic breakaway session was facilitated by Seipati Mangadi and Sibusiso Xaba of Strategic Smart Solutions. Prof. Lyn Morris, Wits Deputy Vice-Chancellor and GCRO Board member, shared the GCRO Board’s perspectives on the organisation in her opening remarks on the 30th of November to kick-off the proceedings. Other board members and representatives of partner institutions, Jan Magoro (Gauteng Provincial Government), and Councillor Nonkoliso Tundzi-Hawu (South Africa Local Government Association and GCRO Board member) also shared perspectives of the GCRO, including their commitments to supporting the work of the organisation.

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GCRO staff at the strategic breakaway in 2022.

The GCRO used the breakaway period to take stock and reflect on a number of cross-cutting issues, from organisational development, staff health and wellness, to research directions. Various methods were used to discuss items, including workshopping in small groups, presentations and pooled discussions. There was total participation by all GCROers in a collegial environment. The three-day retreat was rounded off with artwork-based team building activity. As in all the sessions over the preceding two days, everyone excelled in this too.

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GCROers' paintings.

The second leg of the process was held on 14 February 2023, a day some consider to be of red roses and blue violets. It was purely by coincidence that our paintwork above features lots of red and blue.

Held at the Wits Club in the West Campus of Wits University, the one-day strategic breakaway session kicked off with a presentation by the GCRO Executive Director, Mr Rashid Seedat. In his opening presentation, Rashid provided a succinct, distilled overview of the three day strategic breakaway in late 2022. He contextualised his delivery within the national and global context of pandemics and polycrisis, setting the tone for understanding the strategic importance of the GCRO. The day also involved presentations by Senior Researchers for each of the nine GCRO research themes.

The presentations pertained to strategic focus areas for each theme, with emphasis on what is to be accomplished over the remaining two years of the GCRO’s five-year strategic plan (2020/21 - 2024/25). To round off the day’s programme, we broke into two groups for discussions and review of progress made against targets set in the strategic plan. The overall impression from these discussions was that the organisation is on course to meet its strategic goals for the five years.

It is full throttle ahead!


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