Every year, the TOP CEO Awards celebrate the region’s best-performing CEOs from companies that are listed on the stock exchanges of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman.
This year marks the 5th anniversary of the event, and as such, AMEinfo has decided to explore key trends in the global CEO landscape.
1. Inclusion and Diversity
One of the many panels to be held at this year’s event is titled “Promoting Diversity in the Middle East and North Africa.” Inclusion and diversity are key trends in the world right now, beyond just the business world, and CEOs are noticing.
In Saudi Arabia, for example, women are taking charge of their future. From being permitted to attend soccer matches, to being allowed to finally drive, women are transforming the Kingdom. The business world is seeing a similar renaissance.
“In my opinion, what sets female leaders apart in our region is how important their roles are in the long run,” Seham al Husaini, Deliveroo Kuwait GM, told AMEinfo. “By merely participating and being active in their roles, these women are ensuring that future generations of women continue to choose a path that allows them to contribute to making our markets and communities better.”
According to Inc.com, “A report from the Peterson Institute for International Economics found a direct correlation between female leadership and profitability. According to the report, ‘A profitable firm at which 30% of leaders are women could expect to add more than 1 percentage point to its net margin compared with an otherwise similar firm with no female leaders.”
2. A more horizontal hierarchy
Flat organizations are all the rage now, and for good reason. The tradition of having managers and executives operating the company as a top-down dictatorship is mostly disappearing, at least at the most forward-oriented of companies.
Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla, illustrated this model perfectly: “Anyone at Tesla can and should email/talk to anyone else according to what they think is the fastest way to solve a problem for the benefit of the whole company.” He said this in the communication policy to his staff within Tesla.
A leader with a keen listening ear has always been a prerequisite of any position of leadership, but it has become doubly more important in the modern age, where technology has put employees and managers much more in touch than ever before.
As Musk says in his email, “Managers should work hard to ensure that they are not creating silos within the company that create an us vs. them mentality or impede communication in any way.” To ensure managers don’t do this, CEOs need to set the example first.
3. Utilizing technology to bolster their leadership
In the aforementioned example, Musk called for a tighter nit company with intercommunication more frequent between all planes of the hierarchy. Yet, how can a low-ranking engineer get in touch with a CEO at a moment’s notice?
Obviously, through email. While we take email for granted nowadays, it was a revolutionary technology at one point, allowing for instantaneous communication between employees, managers, departments and even international branches.
Successful CEOs today know how to anticipate the next “email system,” using any new technology that they find useful to improve their leadership.
Sadek Al-Assaad, HR/Business Expert and CEO of human resource consultancy Zeder Group, told AMEinfo about such an innovative technology: the Open Source Managementv (OSM) tool. This tool utilizes AI, chat bots and more to keep tabs on employees in an non-intrusive manner, to constantly assess their morale and motivation levels.
The clever CEO can utilize such tools to gauge the happiness levels of individual employees to entire departments and branches, and redirect the ship accordingly.
About TOP CEO 2019
The 5th edition of the Top CEO Awards, organised by TRENDS magazine (under publisher Mediaquest) and leading international business school INSEAD, will be hosted in Al Areen Palace & SPA in Bahrain on April 11th, 2019 uniting some of the region’s most successful and trendsetting CEOs.
This year’s theme, “Growth in a Volatile Future,” will shed light on the Middle East’s dynamic but volatile region. Oil price fluctuations, tech disruptions, as well as armed and political schisms affect businesses posing new challenges, risks, and opportunities. The Top CEO 2019 Thought Leadership Conference aims to find growth solutions amid these numerous challenges.