Complex Made Simple

Are crises, change and agility things humans have power over in their DNA?

The private sector has a culture of innovation and agility: it is inherent in its entrepreneurial DNA and in its sense of opportunity and survival.

TRENDS talks to Louise Beveridge, Business communicator, Educator and Speaker, on how the private sector can bring in the culture of adaptation and how it can show the way in which economy can modernize .

The GCC region is home of many ongoing mega-projects. Which fundamental changes should be made to ensure a successful execution of these mega-projects?

Beyond the financial and management challenges – which are considerable – there is also the human challenge. How do you attract and retain the best local and international talent that these projects require? How do you engage with the multiple stakeholders impacted by the projects over a long period of time? How do you give a purpose and meaning to these projects beyond the operational excellence … what will they bring to the region? What role do they play on an international scale? Are the execution standards of the projects an example that create new references for the region, such as environmental impact, use of technology, management of human resource, impact on local populations. A mega project is also an example of management, governance and standards that speak for the region.

Related: Arab Women Forum attracts best minds, promises stimulating sessions

Businesses are evolving at a rapid pace in the region and it is making many traditional jobs and corporations redundant. How you look at this ongoing transition?

The complexity, interdependence and speed of our new economies are creating the same challenges for businesses around the world. The businesses in the GCC are not alone with this.  The strategic planning horizon and the curve of obsolescence are shorter, money and technology are not enough; the importance of great governance, talent as well as dynamic company and management culture are becoming key. Good strategic planning combined with the capacity to execute and adapt is required.

There are transformations aiming to liberalize economies in the GCC through privatization and opening up of economy. Amidst all this, how can the private sector create a positive force of change in the society?

The private sector has a culture of innovation and agility: it is inherent in its entrepreneurial DNA and its sense of opportunity and survival. The private sector brings this culture of adaptation and can show the way in how the economy can modernize – when it is well managed and well-regulated the private sector sets new standards and creates new opportunity for all.

Read: Arab Women Forum’ kicks off in Saudi Arabia

What role Fourth Industrial Revolution and concepts like blockchain, augmented reality and other new technologies could play in the transformation of public services sector?

These innovations and technologies will fundamentally alter society, the economy and businesses in both public and private sector. They present challenges but also superb opportunities. We need to ascertain that how can the public services in the GCC seek openly to understand and embrace these technologies to set new standards and examples not just for the region but internationally?

How you look at the ongoing women empowerment drive in the region?

It is significant importance to the region: for its endemic growth, its international attraction and as a sign of the modernization of the region and its capacity to play a full and constructive role in the 21st century.

In the war for talent can we afford to exclude the talent that women represent? How can we attract the best regional and international female talent to business and government? If the Gulf does not do it other countries and cultures will! The inclusion of women in business is also smarter business – how can you innovate, decide and intermediate with a society made up of men and women if your teams do not include the reference points of 50% of the public you seek to service? Including women in business is also a sign of good governance, enlightened management and source of trust – if they have talent and drive they deserve & need to be included. The list is long long long of the reasons that this topic needs to be genuinely addressed from all angles – education, politics, business, media etc

Read: Which GCC country puts an end to unfair treatment of women at the workplace?

Are GCC’s public and private enterprises prepared enough to defend them against any probable cyber attack or will they be the weak link that falls first?

We are all vulnerable to cyber-attack and the headlines tell us every day that it is not just the dark web that is a parallel universe but the use and abuse of our personal data. Fake news is a significant business opportunity for some and a threat to our democracies. Cyber warfare be it at the level of state or business is already a daily reality for businesses and public services around the world. The GCC is as vulnerable as others. The potential disruption and destruction of value that cyber crime and attack represent are preoccupations for Boards, Executive Committees, Governments and security services. New regulation will come but in the meanwhile we are living in a few Far West with the good, the bad and the ugly.

This articles first appeared in AMEinfo’s sister publication TRENDS