Now Reading: Torrens University pioneers establish the first ever Association for Strategic Planning (ASP) in Australia

Torrens University pioneers establish the first ever Association for Strategic Planning (ASP) in Australia

“I want to see the students have a positive experience in their study, and to see them end up in jobs that they can thrive in, and that they love. Involving our students in the Association of Strategic Planning will equip them with skills that many people won’t attain until years, or even decades into their career.”

 – Dr Nick Hadjinicolaou (Program Director of Global Project Management, Business and Hospitality, at Torrens University Australia)

Bold and innovative strategic planning is key to the success of any venture. It’s essential for every business student to learn the theory and practice of this dynamic field.

Luckily for students at Torrens University, Dr Nick Hadjinicolaou, (Program Director of Global Project Management, Business and Hospitality, Torrens University) and Mustafa Kadir (Industry Consultant, Torrens University) are not just passionate about strategic planning – but also ensuring our students are adept at this critical aspect of business success.

What’s more, Dr Hadjinicolaou and Mr Kadir are the driving forces behind the setting up of the very first Australian chapter of the global professional organisation, the  Association for Strategic Planning (ASP) which focuses on cutting edge ideas and innovative practices in strategic planning.

“After spending five years doing a PhD in strategic project management a research gap was identified, in that the ASP did not have a chapter in Australia. I engaged with ASP Global to commence the journey of starting a chapter and board for Australia.

If I am able to help explain this or help individuals or organisation, it will make the world a better place. I am also passionate about advancing the body of knowledge, and providing tools to industry and other stakeholders. Strategic planning is fundamental to both project and organisational success.” – Dr Hadjinicolaou

Completed last year, Dr Hadjinicolaou’s PhD research breaks new ground in its examination of how success can be achieved, when multiple key projects are being juggled across a portfolio. Watch this video to find out more about his inspiring story and his thesis.

Dr Hadjinicolaou is now Founder and President, and Mustafa Kadir is now Vice-President, of ASP Australia.

What is ASP, and why is it important?

“Our mission is to engage professionals in strategic thinking, planning and action, to improve business, organisational and individual success – by delivering high quality strategy-based events and content.

Strategy is important to organisations because it provides the overall direction essential to achieving success.” – Dr Hadjinicolaou

Founded in 1999, the Association for Strategic Planning is the world’s leading, non-profit professional society dedicated to advancing thought and practice in strategy development. It has 15 global chapters and thousands of members around the world who work in business, government, academia, and the not-for-profit sector.

Its mission is to help people and organisations succeed through improved strategic thinking, planning and action.

The ASP develops research papers, publishes content (such as a magazine), host’s webinars and conferences, and provides opportunities to members to explore cutting-edge strategic planning principles and practices. Members can share knowledge and advice to each other across the global network, for the advancement of all.

Dr Hadjinicolaou and Mr Kadir could not have timed the establishment of the Australian chapter of the ASP any better.

With recent events such as the coronavirus pandemic impacting the global economy, improved strategic planning is an important tool that businesses can use to recover. Plus, the big disruptions of our time such as climate change and the digital revolution also demand creative new long-term strategies, across government and business.

This is a great opportunity for Australian professionals to join the rest of the world in developing the kind of innovative strategic planning we will need in the decades to come.

As President, Dr Hadjinicolaou is responsible for managing the direction and operation of the chapter, leading the Australian board, and participating in ASP Global meetings and working groups.

What kinds of opportunities does the ASP offer Torrens University students?

“Currently, Torrens University students are involved as volunteers and board members. Content from the ASP Body of Knowledge and other ASP industry best practice research has also been used within subjects in the Masters of Global Project Management.”

– Dr Hadjinicolaou

Torrens University students can now access the resources, networks and experience opportunities that membership to this global association has to offer. Students who wish to advance their skills in strategic planning have multiple channels through which they can be involved.

Students can start by signing up as members and volunteering. There are already Torrens University student representatives on the board, and there will soon be new pathways for students join committees, and to participate in strategic projects to support small businesses.

“Some of the projects students can expect to be involved in will involve research and further development of tools for small, medium and large organisations, that will be sector specific.

Students will also be assisting with events, marketing and promotion of ASP Australia. They will be researching industry insights and learning more about the ASP Body of Knowledge, special interest groups and other initiatives.

They will gain knowledge about the ASP Body of Knowledge (ASPBOK), grow their networks, and learn about strategic planning.” – Dr Hadjinicolaou

Dr Hadjinicolaou and Mr Kadir are also taking advantage of their access to cutting-edge research that the ASP offers, and are now introducing it into the curriculum of selected courses. So, some Torrens University students are directly benefiting from this new partnership within their education.

Keep an eye out for further updates regarding opportunities on the Torrens University blog. Dr Hadjinicolaou says work on a number of insightful initiatives and projects are already underway. We look forward to sharing information about these in the coming months.

How do I sign up?

Students interested in volunteering or getting involved with ASP can simply sign up as members on the ASP website, and then explore the current opportunities available.

You can also follow ASP Australia on LinkedIn to keep track of news and events, such as the launch event that’s coming up soon.

See here for more information about the courses in Business on offer at Torrens University.

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