Complex Made Simple

biz-group and Wiseman Group join forces to bring Rookie Smarts leadership training to Middle East

biz-group, the Middle East’s leading training and corporate development company, has again joined forces with world-renowned leadership organisation The Wiseman Group to bring its latest leadership thinking to the Middle East.

Rookie Smarts challenges the notion of experience in the workplace, proposing that expertise can actually blind us to fresh thinking and stifles innovation. The pair will introduce the concept at the HR Summit and Expo, taking place in Dubai from 20-22 October.

According to PWC’s latest Global CEO Survey, 70% of Middle East based CEOs identified the availability of key skills as a potential business threat to their organisations. While most corporate training focuses on upskilling employees, Rookie Smarts offers a seemingly counterintuitive proposition, encouraging business leaders to harness the power of the ‘Rookie’ in all of us. It suggests employees are at their most effective when doing something for the first time.

Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the Game of Work is the latest research-led book by Liz Wiseman, CEO of the Wiseman Group. It follows the success of her Multipliers executive development programme in which business leaders are taught to look beyond their own capability and amplify the intelligence of the people they manage. Building on the toughest Multiplier trait, that of the Challenger, Rookie Smarts shows there is significant untapped potential at all levels of the organisation when we are encouraged to think about new problems. This includes thinking about issues and challenges that are outside our traditional comfort zone and business experience.

Multipliers was launched in the Middle East by biz-group in 2011 and has since seen more than 60 leading organisations undertake the programme. Hazel Jackson, founder and CEO of biz-group, says Rookie Smarts will allow these organisations, and others, to recognise the potential capability of their staff rather than rely on a checklist of competencies.

“The concept and clear logic behind Rookie Smarts perfectly aligns with the UAE’s vision to be a knowledge economy while addressing a key challenge of the region; how to retain, attract and develop world class talent for every industry sector and at all levels of the business community. Many businesses struggle with trying to address a skills gap within their organisations. Rookie Smarts will teach leaders how to harness the inexperience of their teams to promote new thinking and a culture of perpetual learning,” she said.

The term Rookie does not relate just to the handful of recent graduates or young professionals in organisations, but to all business executives who can potentially add more value by contributing to a new concept or corporate challenge.

Liz Wiseman added: “The fast growing economies of the Middle East necessitate new ways of working and a different type of intelligence. It’s an environment in which Rookie Smarts should flourish because the people here aren’t as constrained by old world views. I am very proud to be introducing this concept with our partners at biz-group at the same time as it is being launched to other leading economies around the world.”

biz-group will be conducting a series of keynotes and seminars about Rookie Smarts ahead of launching the training programme in early 2015.