I first came to the Middle East in 1the 80s to work for the British Council. Coming from Wales all my friends thought I was going not to Abu Dhabi but to Aberdovey! It was a great time to arrive in this region as oil was just driving progress, you could meet Sheikh Zayed walking on a beach, or catch him driving himself around town, but heaven help you if he was on his way to an official meeting with International VIP’s, as the town would often go on lockdown and you could be stuck for hours waiting for him to pass your traffic light and you could be allowed to drive off late for your appointment.
In those days we Council people were attached to the British Embassy, a privilege one might think, however, you were often kept longer at immigration, or treated with suspicion when we flashed our green card! It was a fun experience, which brought me close to the UAE National culture and over those Abu Dhabi days must have trained thousands of young Emiratis. I was instrumental in finding sponsorship to re-unite Wilfred Thesiger with Sheikh Zayed when Peter Clark my boss at the time had a brilliant idea to invite him here. Having tea with Wilfred and seeing him re-unite with his travelling companions in the Empty Quarter , Bin Qubais and Bin Kabina, was just so magical. Putting up his photographic exhibition in all the Emirates, was an unforgettable experience, it was great to be introduced to all the sheikhs at the time and see the Bedouin come along and ask for “Mubarak bin London. “ A camp was held in the desert and all the tribes converged to meet him.
Over the years I worked for ADNOC and other Dubai entities and now run my own business The Hum- Resonating Balance a company dedicated to change and balance. I am about to launch a product called Buzzwords for Busy Bees a set of cards to be used by coaches, trainers , teachers and parents to help bring about change in attitude on a daily basis, to be used in meetings training sessions, on-boarding, and company values discussions.
There have been many such occasions to remember in my time in the Emirates and now one of the things that I am pleased to do is to post blogs on learning on our website.
How did CLO –me.com come to be?
CLO-ME came about one evening when a group of learning professionals were discussing the fact that there were no L&D specialists or Chief Learning officers reporting at Board level here in the region at the time. We decided that there was a platform and niche there to have a website that would try to promote Learning and thinking in the region with articles written by professionals based here or those that have ties to here and write with the region in mind. By three in the morning we had secured a web domain and We quickly became a leading media site advertising events, blogs interviews for thousands of learning and HR members throughout the year. It’s always surprising how many events there are to post monthly !
How easy is it for you to get direct access to the decision makers in your company?
Paul Michael Gledhill the other remaining co-founder is often our man at large, attending events around the region and talking to Industry leaders. He invites people to write their stories and be interviewed for our monthly spotlight feature. He encourages people to offer articles and research papers based on their thoughts regarding Learning and Development in the Middle East. It is great to give back to this community. We are now in our 5th year of publishing!
What is your philosophy?
Our philosophy is simple. Providing a free, not for profit platform for our industry to speak and converse on various topics within HR and Learning and Talent. It is a wonderful way to get people to share ideas and perhaps sometimes say Yes! I agree with this or take issue with that, but above all to be a connection for our members.
If you would like to contribute to CLO-ME or get involved in anyway please feel free to contact me