Event Date: 29 September 2019

Event Venue: Jumeirah Creekside Hotel - Dubai


Building on the new system introduced in the second quarter 2019 on industry focused sessions, the chapter organized the event themed: Culture of Transformation at Jumeirah Creekside Hotel in Dubai on the 28th of September, 2019. This event which was well attended, gave insights to professional attendee present both in the break-out session and the main session. The industry break-out sessions were held after the registration that commenced at 10:00am which all concluded with questions and answers in their respective sessions. Main session on Culture of Transformation commenced after coffee break.

Ashraf Shafik the speaker for business ad management consultancy dealt with the topic Project Leadership, stating the origin of leadership, he defined leadership as an art of influencing people to work together in harmony to achieve common objectives in an effective way and also as a complex set of relationships, systems and process just like the inner workings of a computer, these are definitions by Kempster and Dave respectively. He explained the evolution of the project leadership concept. This concept description was aided using the description of a successful project manager. Successful project managers are those who practice strong management and effective leadership skills, the most essential leadership skills for project managers are motivation, inspiring team, negotiation listening, influencing, and communication. A successful project leader is one who utilizes the best practices in implementing project management technologies, innovative and creative methodologies to integrate technical project management skills and leadership skills to achieve his strategic organizational goals. He went on to analyse the differences between project manager and project leader and expatiated on today’s need for project leaders and not project managers, these needs include challenging environment, new technology, heterogenous teams and more diverse stakeholders, multiple change request during project execution by sponsors, complex project with very large scope, innovation requirements for novel projects. He concluded with the 10 key skills and competencies for project managers; these includes people skills, leadership, listening, integrity, trust, verbal communication, team building, conflict resolution, critical thinking and balancing priorities.

Srikat haradwaj a Project Control Professional lead the construction session titled; Construction A Brief History in Time. He started with the grand trunk road, one of Asia’s oldest and longest major roads constructed in 322 BC which linked the Indian subcontinent with central Asia and continued with the history of the irrigation system and concrete timeline from 1830 till 2016. He further explained in regard to construction industry, the importance of the nexus of finance, tourism, real estate, engineering, environment, service industry, manufacturing and trade. The tourism index based on image, brand and visibility from Italy’s Monza and Brianza Chamber of Commerce was used to highlight 5 indices created which include economic value of location, export value and no of jobs amongst others. He highlighted the economic footprint of several monuments with their associated effect on the economy and the critics present to forestall the existence of these. He emphasised the challenges the construction industry faces in terms of the external forces, industry dynamics and productivity impact. To solve these challenges, the actions necessary to bridge the gap can boost productivity sector in seven areas by 50-60% these include, reshape regulation, rewire contracts, rethink design, improve procurement and supply chain, improve onsite execution, infuse technology and innovation, reskill workers. He concluded with the roles of the company and the government in building this gap

Mohamed Abdallah continued with his session for IT and Telecom titled Journey into the 5G era. He started with the evolution of human communication, from inscribing to social networking, and from the 19th century fixes communication to the late 20th century wireless communication. He also presented the timeline of the wireless telecommunications from the introduction of 1G in 1979 to 2019 with the launch of 5G. The 5G network which has 20Gbps speed compared to 100Mbps of 4G, has ultra-fast connectivity and can download a 12GB video in 100secs compare to 1000 seconds via 4G network, and can reach up to 100x faster than 4G. it also has a high capacity network which can entertain one million connections within an area of 1 square km, ten times higher than 4G connections. The low latency of 5G is 1-4 milliseconds compared to 50ms for 4G. He pointed out that the mission critical machine communication use cases became possible with the super-fast, high capacity and low latency 5G network can provide. He pointed out that Technology evolution poses new challenges Project Managers need to accept, gear up with learning and read the future version of their profession.

Tauseefur Rehman Khan a seasoned lead auditor dealt with challenges in the Oil and Gas Industry, kicking off with the overview of the oil and gas industry, he stated in proportions, consumption pattern of oil per continents with US consuming 25% of the oil produced in 2007 and world consumption per year is 30b barrels. He stated that for the industry to be sustainable, there has to be social people, economic profit and safe environment. UAE oil and gas industry is the 7th largest proven reserves for oil and natural gas in the world, estimated at 97.8m barrels and 215 trillion cubic feet with more than 94% of oil and gas reserves in Abu Dhabi. He further enlightened that to expand the domestic consumption, the UAE is exclusively using the Enhanced Oil Recovery techniques which is designed to extend the lifespan of the existing oil fields, this has helped to nearly double the reserves in the past 10 years. He espoused that the key challenges in the Oil and Gas Industry include climate change; how to reduce emission of greenhouse gases with the increasing dependency on fossil fuels, other key challenges are striking the balance between demand and supply, cost of exploration, drilling and asset maintenance, compliance to national and international regulations, safety and emergency management, operational efficiency. In his speech, he described the way forward to solving these challenges include diversification of the oil economy into other alternative energy sources. However non-oil sectors demonstrate sensitivity to the oil price as they tend to be oriented to the domestic market and reliant on domestic liquidity.

The main session on Culture of Transformation and Team Diversity was championed by Nada Abandah, a transformation and strategy consultant and her focus area include decision making, dealing with risk, facing challenges and solving problems of culture, diversity and transformation. Using the transformation timeline of the mobile phone technology and other organization such as Uber, Amazon, Lemonade, she explained that transformation changes the way an organization does business. In her discuss she was able to differentiate between change and transformation in that Changes entails certain changes to processes, methods, technologies or behaviours, while transformation means changes to core business, way of doing business, organizational culture and business outcomes. She defined culture as the collective ideas, customs and social behaviours of a particular group of people. Her discuss was also centred on human respond to change differently and to expatiate on this, the Response – Concern Relationship Model was used. This relationship was simplified into four quadrants depending on Rational or Emotional Response vs Concern for the Past or Concern for the future. In the Rational Response vs Concern for the Past Quadrant, the human response to change tends to be towards Shock and Denial, while in the Emotional Response vs Concern for the Past Quadrant Response to change tends towards anger, blame, bargain and apathy. The response in the third Quadrant – Emotional Response vs Concern for the Future include apathy, acceptance, explore and understand, while in the Rational Response vs Concern for the Future Quadrant, the human response to change is integrate and sustain.

The response curve is seen to have unfavourable response in the lower hemisphere which are the second and third quadrant particularly in the emotional response domain with more inappropriate response characterising those with Concern for the Past thinking about potential losses. The curve improves to an appreciable response in the third quadrant for those who has Concern for the Future thinking about potential gains with a rational thought. Apathy is a transition response between concerns for past and future. With Carla Rieger transition style, she presented the human response style can either be explorer, initiator, adjuster or stabilizer. She stated that using the Marsmallow Test, the level of instant gratification can be measured and how it impacts the decisions of people, other test she quoted includes the Good Smarting Experiment to assess if helping people is based on who they are or based on who the helper is, the Broken Window Theory was also used to explain the criminology theory that states that visible signs of crime, anti-social behaviour and civil disorder create an urban environment that encourages further crime and disorder including serious crimes. She closed with additional books to read on culture of transformation while also welcoming questions and answers.

The meeting ended with photo shoots and a befitting lunch for all attendees which was a channel to network within and across the industry groups.