Written by
Changeboard Team

Published
30 Aug 2017

Why effective management is so important in a world of change

30 Aug 2017 • by Changeboard Team

For many countries in the Middle East, the pace of growth is well above average global levels. In order to make the most of the benefits that come with this fast-paced environment, there are some aspects of their organisation that businesses need to address. One essential element is finding enough workers with the requisite management expertise and leadership qualities to take advantage of the ongoing transformation. 

Leadership talent for every workplace

While every organisation must ensure that their leadership talent pipeline is working effectively, when it comes to parts of the Middle East where nationalisation is high on the agenda, it is often businesses in the private sector that find themselves with gaps in their leadership talent. 

Part of the reason for this is that the prospect of private sector employment is not as attractive as that of the public sector, where national talent feels better rewarded. Historically, this has led to organisations recruiting talent from outside the Middle East to help establish and manage their enterprises. In the UAE and Qatar in particular the urgent need to fill leadership roles has meant that these positions were often filled by expats who had the existing skills to lead at this level, rather than developing homegrown national talent to this managerial standard.  

There is now a concerted effort from governments, educators and training providers to address these underpinning issues within the regional talent pipeline, and to engage and upskill nationals with the leadership skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the private sector workplace. If this is to succeed, businesses must try and address the disconnection between their needs and the skillset and expectations of workers in the region, and make private sector positions more attractive. While the economic question is one element of this, there are other ways organisations can appeal to workers, for example in offering training and a clear career path for progression. Providing employees with opportunities to upskill is key; if individuals recognise that a joining a business will help them develop as an individual, they will be more receptive to taking on a leadership and management role within the organisation. 

Getting and keeping the talent

With economic and organisational growth across the Middle East significantly faster than the Global average, for businesses to keep up it is important they have leaders with forward thinking ideas, who will be able to sustain the diverse varied workforce by building strong company values and a bnusiness plan that will inspire all of their employees.

There is often an expectation for people to enter the workforce with a ready-made wealth of professional skills, but the reality is that these capabilities take time and effort to develop. Without the right leadership training, however good their technical know-how, it is difficult for people to develop their multicultural organisation -  and indeed themselves.

It is therefore becoming clear that there is a need for education and training in the region to be tailored to meet the needs of employers; with outsourcing and recruiting being very costly, companies need to have access to tools that will train and upskill their current employees to support the rapid growth in the region.

The gap is by and large in soft skills, rather than technical ones, and it needs to be addressed from both the bottom and the top of the organisation. To address this, many businesses are starting to implement qualifications such as those from ILM in order to develop staff on the job, where they can see a direct impact in the business.

Addressing the management gap together

Many countries in the Middle East have two overarching aims on their agenda: to diversify, and to build a national workforce. There is a unifying issue; the shortage of essential skills. But also a unifying solution: targeted training and development. 

The huge mix of talent creates an exceptionally buoyant and exciting working environment. To make the most of this opportunity, organisations should foster communication and collaboration as much as possible. 

Programmes like those from ILM will help develop the leadership skills that can achieve this, or facilitate training that will encourage people across an organization to speak the same ‘management language’. Whilst a strong company strategy can help, by consistently developing staff to a defined leadership standard, people will learn a common management language, which will help them surpass barriers to success, and ultimately capitalise on their unique position in the world.  

For many countries in the Middle East, the pace of growth is well above average global levels. In order to make the most of the benefits that come with this fast-paced environment, there are some aspects of their organisation that businesses need to address. One essential element is finding enough workers with the requisite management expertise and leadership qualities to take advantage of the ongoing transformation.