The World at Work – Uzair Hassan 3h Solutions Dubai

The organization of the future is in the throes of being born. Not slowly and over time. Right now. Right in front of our eyes. Organizations are already getting to grips with the fact that going back is not an option they are willing to consider. The pandemic has brought the change to our doorsteps. Now, its not a matter of IF, it is a matter of WHEN. Organizations need to become agile and transform with the times.  

“The future is upon us” has been the call to action for a long time now, and even though we have all heard this, most of us were not prepared to take it on when it actually arrived.   

The world of work was impacted almost irreversibly, and is still evolving, at breakneck speed. It is having a knock-on effect on multiple facets of life. Home schooling, remote work, and even Netflix subscriptions (Netflix added 15 million subscribers in the first quarter of the year as people stayed home and looked to be entertained). Myriad factors that are pushing this shift into our lives include the pandemic and its related quarantines and social distancing norms, but also include corporate realization of office space cost savings, digital support structures that provide efficiency, flexibility and finally, output focus.

Many organizations are trying out new approaches:

  • Some organizations have asked their employees to work from home.
  • Others have decided to let 50% of the workforce come for 2 weeks to the office and work from home for the remaining 2 weeks, while the other 50% comes back for 2 weeks and works from home the other 2 weeks.  So, at any one point in time there are only 50% of the total employees in office. This makes the requirement of a 100 people office space irrelevant and unnecessary.
  • Cost savings aside, people seem to be taking the “WFH” (work from home) concept well and productivity has not suffered, as expected earlier.
  • Some organizations have decided to make it a 4-day work week, which provides perspective, freedom, choices, lifestyle options and an enriched state for employees.
  • Some have either laid off staff / sent them on unpaid leave / halved their paychecks
  • Others have shifted focus (E.G. From a sit-down restaurant into a food delivery model)
  • A local bank was looking at an 18-month digital transformation plan. When the pandemic hit, the transformation took a few weeks to go live.

Finally, work is moving out of the physical realm and into the realm of traction. Where the rubber meets the road. Implementation, applicability, sustainability, focus and relevance.

Output not input.

Productivity not presence.

Employees used to work 9-5. Today, they work anytime. Staff used to come to the office to work. Now they work from anywhere. People used company gear, now they use any gear. This is also helping in retirement planning. People worked a majority of the time and never got the chance to develop their hobbies, interests etc. The percentage of life spent in retirement is expected to see a substantial increase from 15% in 1962 to 25% in 2050. Planning, not just financially, but on time utilization and interest development, becomes key. A focus shift towards post-work-life.     

The job market itself is seeing incredible shifts. Jobs and businesses that did not exist just 10 years ago are fast becoming the norm. Urban agriculturist, Augmented reality architects, 3D printing engineers and Avatar designers. Interestingly, 50% of jobs that exist today will not exist in 2030, and, 85% Of Jobs That Will Exist In 2030 Haven’t Been Invented Yet (Dell). Stark realities. Realities we need to embrace and start planning for. Amplified & accelerated efforts are required.

The shift is palpable. It is here. And, more importantly, it looks like its here to stay.

We are already getting used to the New normal. Are we better prepared for the Next normal?

3 Tips to Unleash Motivation – Even When Remote Joshua Freedman 6seconds.org

The Motivation Iceberg is a simple, clear model that shows how different motivators drive different kinds of performance. It helps managers, leaders, parents, educators – anyone concerned with motivating others – consider how to use their emotional intelligence to fuel lasting motivation… and it’s especially important when people are working remotely or in times of change and challenge.

Keep reading to learn more about the ins and outs of motivation and get a FREE worksheet on choosing the right motivators to get the results you want.

What Drives Star Performance?

One of the central challenges of managing and leading is to inspire and engage — to motivate — people to optimal performance.

People are paid to do their work, and eventually should lose their jobs if they don’t meet expectations.  But in most roles, in most organizations, star performance requires a higher level of engagement — a commitment that goes beyond the paycheck. This is especially visible in remote-work situations when not one is “standing over your shoulder,” why work? That extra commitment is called “discretionary effort” because it’s at the employee’s discretion.  They give that extra because they want to — because they feel like it. True leaders are able to inspire that feeling.  As FedEx founder Fred Smith said, “Leadership is getting people to work for you when they are not obligated.”

As we consider “motivating employees,” we can divide the work we want to achieve in two basic categories of outcomes:

1: Basic, task-oriented, behavioral work 

Showing up on time.  Filing required reports.  Making the required number of calls.  These tend to be prescribed, tactical, and easily measurable.

2: Knowledge & creative work

This category is more about the quality of the employee’s work.  We want them to care for customers.  To innovate new solution.  To give their all.  To trust and be trustworthy. To show up and do their best in the middle of a pandemic… to do their best even when no one is watching.

Basic work can be done without any particular human spark (and is easily automated); people do it because they need a paycheck. But when we want to influence knowledge/creative work, it’s not just a “behavior” we need, but a quality… heart… passion… something unique… the typical, transactional carrots and sticks actually undermine this kind of motivation.

Managers that rely on the old-school, transactional methods will fail to get full value from people – and in difficult situations, such as remote work, performance will plummet.

Different people, and different situations, require more nuanced and intentional understandings of motivation. Fortunately, these are MEASURABLE, and so even in a context like remote work during a pandemic, managers can learn to engage their own and their people’s deeper drivers.How can you inspire a level of engagement that goes beyond the paycheck? It starts with understanding how you’re trying to motivate, because different motivators drive different levels of engagement.Click to tweet See How Your Org Measures Up With This Free Worksheet

A BREATH FROM DEATH: A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE THROUGH SUFFERING – Rohit Bassi ROI Talks

Many speak about the bigger picture, but most forget without the minuscule, minute and microscopic elements the bigger picture is useless. It means nothing at all. Unfortunately, most leaders are just in title and misuse their authority thus are unable to fathom the importance of the minuscule, minute and microscopic elements. History has shown leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr, Nelson Mandela, and Maya Angelou as great examples of leaders who knew the importance of these elements. 

May I request together we deep dive into this through a simple exercise in breathing? If need be, feel free to close your eyes. Focus on your breath. Take your time. Please breathe in and breathe out, breathe in and now breathe out, breathe in and breathe out. 

Feel free to open your eyes. Today, I truly appreciate this minuscule, minute and microscopic act of breathing. This breathing in, breathing out is the only moment we have. This breathing is the now, it is truly being.

The reality, the evidence, the science is very precise that this thing we call breath is exceptionally small but without this, the bigger picture of our existence will never be there.

On 10 Jan 2021, I was taken on an unexpected journey where I experienced for several days that “death is only a breath away”. Rushed into emergency at approximately 10:00 AM and even with no beds available some phenomenon happened that around 01:00 AM of 11 Jan I was moved into the ICU COVID ward. It was on 31 Dec 2020 that the whole of my family (11 of us) was struck by COVID. We all were recovering very well as we had slight to mild symptoms.

Yet, on 10 Jan 2021, that day I became part of the millions who got engulfed by the seriously nasty symptoms of COVID: difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, chest pain, jaw throat was clenched and constricted, the speech was slurry and the voice was barely audible. Dangerously low oxygen levels and severe pneumonia were visiting me. They decided to make my body their guest house for numerous days. Yes, these unwanted guests were residing in me and they took over. It reminds me of Rumi’s poem The Guest House:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

The energy from my body was completely sucked out. Psychically, mentally and emotionally I was in a total state of vulnerability. Trust is powerful, very powerful. In such a vulnerable disposition I had to give my trust in the hands of the medical fraternity. I salute these front liners, the selfless unsung heroes. They are the true superheroes. 

What does one do in such a helpless and defenceless scenario? From memory, I recall getting messages from well-wishers that you have to fight this, you have to win over this, you have to conquer this. You have to beat it. You have to dominate this. You have to crush this.

But I never did that. Instead, the path I was given was to embrace it. Yes, embracing the truth that I could either die or live. That required me to have jigra, which means to be brave of heart and know whatever will be, will be.

Yes, you heard it right I never fought as some source of energy made me embrace my situation with joy, love and compassion. I did nothing as the four noble truths took over. For centuries the four noble truths have been practised and lived by many on a daily basis across the East in countries such as India, Tibet, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka. And nowadays there are people in the West who follow and live by its wisdom. 

For the first time in my life, I got a nanoscopic glimpse of the immense practicality and abundance of the four noble truths. What does it mean taking refuge in the four noble truths?

“I made the joyous discovery that humour, smile and laughter brings compassion to remove suffering.” – Rohit Bassi

1. There Is Suffering  (Symptom) –  Cognitive-behaviour therapy such as Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) is used for psychological treatments which takes inspiration from this truth. 

You may say, think and feel “there is suffering” is morbid and pessimistic. Thus, let me dig deeper and say this means there is dissatisfaction, disillusion, problem, pain, challenges in life. This could happen with your health, wealth, relationships or any aspect of your existence. 

In my world, I translate this suffering into “Courage”. Ask yourself the question are you willing to tap into courage to be aware and realise life is not suffering (although there is suffering in life) but life is full of abundance? 


2. Cause of Suffering (Diagnosis) –  Our intensity of suffering/ dissatisfaction is caused by our perception, experience, beliefs and the way we have been conditioned from our childhood. This happens especially when we are facing conflicts, misunderstanding, doubts or going through adverse times. 

In fact, Dr Garbour Mate research shows, we carry our ancestors’ expressions in our DNA that we can experience as our own suffering/ dissatisfaction. We reincarnate certain behaviours, thought patterns, emotions, actions on a regular basis and many of these we do it on daily basis thus label as life sucks.

In my world, I translate this cause of suffering into “Clarity”. Ask yourself the question are you willing to gain clarity to clean the suffering whenever you encounter it?


3. Cessation of Suffering (Prognosis) – We play a major part in our difficulties; thus we are also the solution to our dissatisfaction. 

We may not be able to change the things that happen to us or what others do upon us but we can transform our responses. That means one can end suffering and that does not mean that you stop getting suffering in life. The father of evolution, Charles Darwin, summaries what hinders us from the cessation of suffering as: “It is our arrogance, our admiration of ourselves”. 

In my world I translate this cessation of suffering into “Conviction”, getting into a state of being free from doubt, the deep knowing there is a solution to suffering. Ask yourself the question are you willing to strengthen your conviction that suffering can end whenever you encounter it?


4. Walk The Path (Prescription)  – There is a solution to all suffering and the only way to discover it is by passing through it. Not conquer it, not fight, not crush but embrace it. That means to be in a state of compassion. 

A non-struggling, peaceful mind-is a possibility when we bring compassion into our existence. Think about it why would Stanford University’s setup Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, there must be something extraordinarily amazing about compassion. Compassion is the key as it encompasses intelligence, conscious communication and emotional wisdom. 

In the teachings of the four noble truth and my world “walk the path “translates into “Compassion”, not apathy or sympathy or empathy. Compassion is the solution. Ask yourself the question are you willing to take the hand of compassion for yourself and others whenever you encounter suffering?

As I laid in the ICU COVID ward experiencing “death is only a breath away” there was gratitude for each breath in, each breath out. By taking refuge in the four noble truths gave me the knowing and faith to rise and let go.

As a leader for yourself and others remember the bigger picture is pointless, powerless and purposeless without the minuscule, minute and microscopic elements.

Que sera, sera whatever will be, will be. Thank you. Peace be with you. Amor Fati. 

Rohit Bassi
HELPING YOU MASTER YOUR COMMUNICATION TO CULTIVATE JOY
Experience of 25+ Years | Delivery in 21+ Countries | Best-Selling Author®
Applied Conscious Communication Speaker | Trainer | Executive Coach
THE ART & SCIENCE OF EMBRACING CONFLICTS, ENRICHING RELATIONSHIPS & EMOTIONAL WISDOM

Phone: +971-(0)55-553-2275
Email: roi@roitalks.com
Speaker Website:  https://www.rohitbassi.com/
Training & Coaching Website: https://www.roitalks.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rohitbassi/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/iaminlearning1

March Spotlight: Mina Wasfi -Talent Development Professional: Talabat UAE

  1. Why have you decided to be our monthly Spotlight?

My objective of this spotlight is to share how talent management, learning, and development is evolving in one of the leading tech companies in MENA, talabat.I have read many spotlights and noticed that many spotlighters have covered the fundamentals in a thorough and an insightful way (and I want to thank them for doing so!). So, if you started reading this spotlight with  expectations to see words like, “competencies”, “needs analysis assessment”, “profiling”, “data”, “active learning”, “C-level”, “talent pool” etc, then I am happy to let you know that you are about to see things from a different perspective. 

2. What is the journey leading up to where you are today?

I’ve been in Dubai for the past two years, having lived the previous 31 years in my hometown, Cairo, Egypt.  Does this give you an impression that I haven’t really seen the world? Well, I actually have!

I started off gaining 4 years experience as a Sales & Business Development professional; participating inthe successful launch of 3 different e-commerce start-ups in Egypt. Later on and at the age of 27, after a successful year as the Sales & Marketing Section Head in a human development company, I decided to follow  my passion of giving back to the people in need. So, I switched my career to join an American NGO operating    in the Middle East, when ISIS was in the might of its power. My main role was building partnerships with other regional and global NGOs, and helping the unfortunate people in areas affected by the war, win their lives back. I spent a little over two years supporting the displaced families in Upper Egypt, Sinai, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Nigeria. 

Then, when the war was almost over, I decided to switch my career again to follow my new passion: Learning & Development. I had a vision -that still drives me until now- of transforming professionals and supporting         them to reach their full potential. I joined talabat in November 2017 as a Trainer, and am currently the Regional Talent Development Manager. For the past 3 years, I’ve had the opportunity to research, design,   develop, and evaluate the impact of leadership development and different soft and technical skills training modules. I’ve had the pleasure of doing so, in addition to delivering more than 700 hours of training, in 8  different countries in MENA; including UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, KSA, Bahrain, Jordan, and Egypt.

I did not allow my professional adventures to keep me from exploring other aspects of life. So, throughout this journey, I’ve become a Certified Training Director from Langevin/Toronto, an MBA graduate from   Victoria University/Switzerland, a Certified NLP Master Practitioner from Achology/Scotland, a Certified Performance & Development Coach from ICF, among other studies. 

Meanwhile, driven by a passion to explore the world, I’ve spent a full week living in a hut with The Ewe tribe in  Ghana; learning how to play their famous drum music in exchange for teaching them how to use an electric     oven to bake bread. I’ve beaten Kilimanjaro in 7 days, and flown to Nepal to support the people rebuild their home after the earthquake in 2015. I’ve also met my beautiful girlfriend, Marta, and I hardly need to mention that -along the way- I’ve met some incredibly inspiring people!


3. What are the main challenges facing Learning & Development in the coming 5 years?

I remember an interview with Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, when he said, “2,000 years ago, the world   was full of challenges and opportunities. Now, the world is full of challenges and opportunities. 2,000 years .  In the future, the world will still be full of challenges and opportunities. Overcoming a challenge lies mainly in our ability to see the opportunities.” 

Allow me to apply Jack Ma’s learning and approach the answer to the question by sharing what I believe are  the main opportunities in the coming 5 years.

  1. Doing more with less: 

If you perceive the new-normal and the remote working evolution as a challenge, you will probably start worrying about “remote learning limitations” or “dynamic and demanding professional environment”, or “the    learners are not willing to give us the time to hold 2-full-day virtual training programs”. However, I believe the real question is: “How can we use all the spare time that technology is allowing us to have?”. 

Technology is awesome, and it empowers us to work in smarter and more efficient ways! Realizing the change happening in the professional world, and adapting our L&D practices to cope with it, is the opportunity we need to capture. If we succeed in doing so, we will start adapting more agile ways of working; which, consequently, enables us to widen the scope and impact of our internal teams. 

At talabat, we have capitalized on the opportunity of remote working to revolutionize the way we approach our learning tools. We are big believers in Bloom’s Taxonomy; which states that learning is composed of 6 main phases. So, instead of holding full-day training programs and trying to walk our learners through all of them, we depend on e-learning technologies and self-learning tools to support employees to complete the first 4 learning phases. Thus, we can use the time we have with them to focus on the last two -and most effective- phases only.

Given that we still enjoy the same amount of financial and human resources, we are now able to provide more to our stakeholders with on-the-job training programs,  coaching & mentoring, and provide a tailored learning kit for every possible soft and technical skill.

b.  Innovation: 

Building on the previous, it’s astonishing how we can always come up with new ideas to engage the learners, without the need for more time or resources. I have met many L&D professionals who would still “go-by-the-book”, struggling to abide by the classic frameworks and business-as-usual norms. Since the world is changing its business practices, we are being elevated to widen our perspectives, and challenge the status quo. For example, instead of passive virtual learning sessions (for which one hour of virtual learning requires 45 hours of preparation – as per the study conducted by ATD in January, 2021), we’ve decided to reduce this time to only 3 hours. How? By replacing the ‘one hour virtual session’ with a live discussion on a topic with an SME (being a top-management member, an individual contributor, or an external guest). This new concept helped decrease the time needed for planning, designing, and developing the required learning material to the minimum (contact me if you want to know more on how we do it; it’s been going very well with us since May 2020!)

We are still working on figuring out how to drive and maintain our culture and engagement levels for 9 different offices, given the remote-working situation, and we’re determined to find not only one solution for it, but many!

  1. Maximizing the impact: 

I find it safe to assume that you’ve come to realize the same fact that I have; formal learning activities help you to only achieve 10% of the required growth impact (based on the 70/20/10 model for development). With the rising technology literacy, addressing the 20 and  the 70 is now more feasible than ever before! As mentioned previously, taking advantage of the new strategies and tools empowered us to avail more time to design and manage coaching, mentoring, and on the job training. Our people can now easily communicate with other sister companies across the globe to share best practices, participate in cross-functional projects, and partner-up with SMEs outside of the organization.

  1. New Normal: 

With many Middle Eastern countries like UAE, KSA and Kuwait adjusting their domestic laws to encourage more professionals from around the globe to relocate to the Middle East, and with the world transitioning towards permanent virtual practices, exchanging knowledge and experiences has never been more convenient. We are now more familiar with tools that get us all together to share knowledge and experiences; allowing more platforms for professionals to address and provide solutions for topics like equality, diversity, and inclusion.

4. What would you recommend Talent, Learning, and Development professionals START, STOP, and CONTINUE doing?

  1. Start getting creative:

Being creative with colors and shapes is important. However, I mean to address the wider definition of creativity. I believe L&D professionals need to start being bold and address the roots of the issues, even if (better say especially if!) the business doesn’t really “like” it. Defining the real problem needs data, and solving it needs determination and hard work. I highly encourage all my fellow L&D professionals to approach their strategies and practices in this manner. In other words, standing on scientific frameworks is a base, and adjusting the tactics will get you to the top of the pyramid.

  1. Stop taking ownership of people’s growth: 

I believe we’ve moved on from the age of “mandatory training”! I see clearly that our role is more of empowering the people to work on their growth; by providing them with a diversity of development tools and growth opportunities, rather than pushing them to change the way they do things. It is more obvious now than ever that not growing = falling behind. Our stakeholders are already aware of this fact. I believe our main role in the present and near future is mainly to set people up for learning, and empower them to lead their own growth. Whether they commit to learning journeys or not should be up to them.

3. Stay objective:

A rule of thumb: feedback is key to growth, and the same rule applies to our teams’ growth. We need to keep listening intently to the stakeholders needs, understand the business acumen, and manage our processes in an agile and adaptive manner. This way, we ensure the best experience for our business partners, learners, and internal operations. 

At talabat, we’ve learned to “shorten the feedback loop”; asking for feedback on each phase before moving on to the next. This way, we avoid spending too much time revamping after receiving the pilot or soft launch’s feedback.On the other hand, and on the talent management side, valuing superficial knowledge -as William Poundstone chooses to call it in his book ‘Head in the Cloud’- is becoming a game changer for career growth in different fields. Being certified and finishing post graduate studies is no match for real experience and innovative, profitable, pragmatic solutions. In other words, being ‘educated’ does not necessarily mean ‘experienced’.

5. What message would you want to share with our L&D community?

Well, thank you for staying till now! 

 I landed my spotlight on ‘feedback’. Nothing I will appreciate more than you coming to me with feedback! I am grateful to be part of a rich community, and looking forward to inspiring and getting inspired! 

Mina Wasfi

Talent Development Professional

Email: mina.wasfi@gmail.com

Whatsapp: +971 553 387 065

Wellbeing @ Work ME: Q&A with Dr Nick Taylor, CEO & Co-Founder of Unmind

1. We are thrilled that you will be speaking at our Wellbeing @ Work Middle summit in February.

Our first and most important question is, how are you doing today>

It’s great to be here! And I’m doing well, thank you for asking.

2. As an expert in wellbeing and mental health in the workplace, what are the main challenges that organizations are facing at the moment?

Organizations around the world are facing challenges the likes of which we haven’t seen in a generation. The most pressing perhaps is supporting the wellbeing of our workforces through this period. Most people fortunate enough to still be in employment won’t have avoided having their work/life balances drastically disrupted. Our personal and professional lives have blurred and we’re now having to wear many hats – whether that’s as carers, teachers, or within our roles.

Another challenge is maintaining steady operation – let alone innovation – in the face of so much uncertainty. Our abilities to plan for the next normal are compromised by this ambiguity, which is why we need to focus on individual and organizational resilience.

3. What strategies have you seen developing globally over the past 6-12 monthsduring the pandemic to address mental health in the workplace?

Covid caused a tipping point in the mental health agenda, highlighting the very real and urgent need for employers to support the wellbeing of their people. Three increasingly prominent strategies include:

  1. Businesses realising the importance of proactive and preventative mental health support, rather than just reactive measures. Employees need the right care at the right time.
  2. As our personal and professional lives have become increasingly blurred, businesses need to think about how they take a whole-person approach to employee mental health. This means not only supporting psychological health, but also social and physical wellbeing.
  3. The third emerging strategy is the dominance of digital mental health support. With the prevalence of remote and geographically dispersed ways of working, organisations are looking to digital to offer their entire workforces the right care at the right time – wherever they are.

4. Why is employee wellbeing so important to you personally?

While working as a clinical psychologist in Britain’s National Health Service, never once did I see a patient at the right stage of their mental wellbeing journey. Never once did I see someone who was already experiencing poor mental health and think that I couldn’t have supported them better had I not seen them sooner. Enabling employers to offer their employees proactive support helps them not just to prevent problems, but to realise the wonderful things that come with good mental health. Prevention truly is better than cure.

5. What are you most looking forward to about our virtual event in February?

I am so excited to hear about how HR, wellbeing, benefit and business leaders from across the Middle East are supporting the mental wellbeing of their people. I find it so inspiring to be part of a global workplace wellbeing movement and can’t wait to learn from others leading the charge in this region.

6. Tell us, what is your vision for the workplace of the future, in terms ofemployee engagement, mental health and wellbeing?

At Unmind, our unwavering vision is a world where mental health is universally understood, nurtured and celebrated. We believe that, with the right tools and resources, it’s possible for every organisation to empower every employee with expert support to improve their own mental health.

7. Covid-19 has undoubtedly influenced all areas of employees personal and professional lives. What are the key learnings from this period and what are your tips for supporting each other through uncertainty?

On the one hand, we’ve experienced the fragility of us as societies, on the other we’ve witnessed our remarkable ability to adapt as humans. As friends, loved ones, co-workers, and leaders. We’ve harnessed the capabilities of technology to sustain social connections, tend to our health, maintain productivity, and support our wellbeing. To get through the coming months we should:

  • Keep connecting with each other with whatever tools at our disposal.
  • Remain flexible and empathetic with one another.
  • Remember to carve out time for ourselves to connect with what we find meaningful – whether that’s family, nature, exercise or hobbies.
  • Prioritise both our mental and physical health with daily exercise for each.

8. How has your organization been leading the way over the last 12 months?

We’ve been fortunate enough to experience growth in the last 12 months, which has meant onboarding many incredible new people to our organization. We’ve worked with field experts to ensure our platform content, support and resources have remained at the forefront of our users’ needs. And we’ve used our reach and various communications channels to provide as much relevant and useful information around supporting our mental health as possible.

Dr Nick Taylor will be interviewing Ellen Dubois du Bellay, Chief Human Resources Officer at Jumeriah Group on the day the Wellbeing @ Work Middle East Summit that takes place on 22-24 February 2021. For further details on the Summit, please go to

https://fowinsights.com/event/wellbeing-work-summit-middle-east-2021

What Does Wisdom Mean to You? Ian Berry -Heart Leadership

This is the first edition of my relaunched monthly newsletter. It officially comes out next Monday 15th February. I wanted to give you blog subscribers first read. To subscribe for future editions scroll down and subscribe here.

Listen to the podcast version of this postFor over twenty years now I have kept Viktor Frankl’s wise words close to my heart:“Between stimulus and response there is a space. 
In that space is our power to choose our response.In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Whenever I stumble or simply stay on my path in bringing the best version of me to the moment, these words have great meaning.

Since 2014 I have endeavoured to live the life of a nowist, inspired initially by the work of Joi Ito and building on Eckhart Tolle’s great contribution ‘The Power of Now’. I reread this recently for the third time since my initial discovery of his book in the year 2000.

Living in the now gives perspective to our past and our future as well as enriching the gifts of hindsight, foresight and insight.

I meet lots of people living in the past and wondering why the present isn’t what they want.

I meet lots of people waiting for the future, predicting it will be better, yet doing little in the now that will create their desired future.

The most joyful people I know are nowists.

In my Heart-Leadership book I was thrilled to be able to include stories from my colleagues in the Heart-Leadership Online Village. Brad Smith’s ‘now over normal’ story is highly relevant here. The mantra Brad and his people developed is one of my favourites, ‘accept the now/appreciate the now’. I’ve adopted the mantra myself.

I don’t want to be normal. Of course by definition each of us is a one-of-a-kind human being and so normal is actually an oxymoron.

Brene Brown sums it all up beautifully: “There will be no new normal. There will only be a series of not normal.”

I’m inspired my many people throughout history who were nowists. I’m a student in particular of the Renaissance and the Reformation periods of the 14th through 17th centuries and the likely birth therein of humanism. 

700 years ago knowledge was power. And it was power wielded by a few over the many.

Today I believe that wisdom is power and such power is about how the wise inspire others to be and to become wise.

Wisdom can be illusive. Ask ten people what does wisdom mean to them, and likely you will get ten different answers.

What does wisdom mean to you?

Before the printing press invention in 1439 knowledge was definitely power. Printing enabled a shift from the few having access to knowledge to many people having access. This didn’t necessarily lead to wisdom though.

For centuries the English Church was governed from Rome. Most people couldn’t read the bible because they could not read Latin. Church leaders therefore acted as self-appointed mediators between God and the people, with Priests primarily interpreting the bible for their congregations.

William Tyndale first printed an English translation of the bible in the 1534. It caused furore to say the least. It was strictly forbidden then to translate the bible into English. Tyndale believed everyone should be able to read and interpret for themselves. He was executed because of his belief. I feel he would have died proud that he acted in the now for what he believed was in everyone’s best interests.

We are a little more civilised in most places today. Sometimes on social media and in the language of angry, misinformed protesters, and those that incite them, it seems we have learned very little.

The internet of course has been the great enabler of giving access to information to most people. 

In an era of fake news, post-truth and conspiracy theories though it is difficult to sort out disinformation and just plain lies from reality right?

Hence I offer the following definition of wisdom as a conversation starter: wisdom is being true to yourself in the now regardless of the situation.

My favourite insight about this is from William Shakespeare. In his play Hamlet, that was first performed in 1609, is the famous line that you of course know, “this above all, to thine own self be true.”

As I have discovered Aristotle had a similar perspective. He said “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

What does wisdom mean to you?

Your answer I believe is a key to the thriving of your leadership.

Image courtesy of Nick Helliwel

lan Berry Author of Heart-Leadership Became the wise leader you want to be https://www.ianberry.biz/

An Introduction to the Fear Cognition Scale (FCS) for the Digital Workplace Murad Mirza

Workplaces are undergoing profound transformations to accommodate the varying expectations of a multigenerational workforce and the increasing influx of AI-enabled entities.  The inevitable need to maintain robust talent pipelines for assuring a healthy supply of capable leaders has galvanized progressive organizations to place greater emphasis on effective talent development and employee engagement activities.  However, the sobering reality of shrinking positions that can productively and profitably use ‘human’ talent is increasing fears of workplace insecurity and incentivizing ‘career cannibalization’ of peers by ambitious professionals.  Consequently, the adage of ‘survival of the fittest’ has permeated into the Digital world with a renewed ferocity.  Therefore, it is becoming imperative for the ‘mindful’ professionals to gain the true faculty of their fears to devise effective strategies for charting their careers on a more robust and fruitful course.  The following analytical tool is being presented for facilitating the respective self-assessment:

  1. Do you fear of being wrong in your views/perspectives/approaches/insights?
  2. Do you fear of being marginalized/ignored/neglected by the majority of your peers, even though, you are right in your views/perspectives/approaches/insights?
  3. Do you fear that being correct most of the time might open the door for a big failure in the future and tarnish your stellar reputation cemented on past accomplishments?
  4. Do you fear the inability to formulate a convincing argument when encountering stiff resistance from skeptical quarters?
  5. Do you fear that your current professional skill set does not have a high probability of a promising career?
  6. Do you fear working for a different employer?
  7. Do you fear switching career paths to meet the evolving demands of the Digital world?
  8. Do you fear layoffs/early retirement due to the evolving demands of the Digital world?
  9. Do you fear being forced to become entrepreneurial to achieve/sustain a respectable living in the Digital world?
  10. Do you fear the skill set of your peers might propel them ahead of you in terms of climbing the corporate ladder?
  11. Do you fear taking challenging assignments that can jeopardize your promising career prospects in case of failure?
  12. Do you fear relinquishing a ‘stable’ career in the short term to pursue a riskier option for remaining relevant in the long term?
  13. Do you fear the increasing encroachment of AI-enabled technology in the workplace?
  14. Do you fear of being under-utilized at your workplace?
  15. Do you fear of being over-utilized at your workplace?
  16. Do you fear ‘loosing face’, especially, in front of those who look up to you?
  17. Do you fear that sharing information/knowledge will enable others to surge ahead of you in terms of climbing the corporate ladder, especially, if they don’t reciprocate accordingly?
  18. Do you fear the power/influence of your supervisor(s) on your career prospects?
  19. Do you fear the detrimental aspects of organizational politics?
  20. Do you fear having a multitude of fears concerning your professional life is significantly affecting your capability to work to the best of your abilities?

The aforementioned questions should be answered in a simple ‘Yes/No’ manner and then the tally of ‘Yes’ answers should be matched on the following FCS scale:

The four categories highlighted in the FCS scale depicted above can be better understood as follows:

Mildly Fearful

This pertains to the normal level of fear that a professional experiences at work and should not constitute as a cause for alarm.  Psychologists often point out that some fear is actually a good thing and one needs to embrace it in a meaningful way to take advantage from its benefits, e.g., having higher level of situational awareness, discovering personal strengths and weaknesses, facilitating personal development, etc.  It is part of human nature due to presence of uncertain outcomes in the workplace and the inherent personality characteristics of an individual.  Senior professionals with a high EQ (Emotional Quotient) are often found in this category.

Significantly Fearful

This reflects an elevated level of fear that is palpable in a person’s behavior/actions as he/she performs assigned responsibilities.  It is generally triggered by the inability to adjust to unfamiliar/pressurized work environment while trying to gain traction within the corporate hierarchy for a promising career path.  It is usually noticeable to close colleagues/peers who often act as the ‘unofficial counselors’ to remedy an exacerbating condition that could derail a promising career.  Corporate cultures thriving on strong shared values and an effective mentoring approach are best suited to overcoming/alleviating such recurring challenges.  New talent/junior professionals are often found in this category.

Highly Fearful

This pertains to professionals working under profoundly stressful conditions that can be due to a multitude of factors, e.g., domineering supervisor(s), impending layoffs, team discord, leadership change, disciplinary proceedings, toxic workplace politics, etc.  It can significantly dilute a person’s cognizance of self-worth and cause extensive damage to his/her sense of well-being that can manifest in poor job performance.  HR/talent function is generally required to do effective interventions in such situations for curative remedies, preferably proactively, before simmering discontent casts a dark shadow over the entire corporate culture landscape.  Middle management is often found in this category.

Critically Fearful

This reflects a debilitating level of fear that can lead to lingering mental and physical illness if not treated by professionals with relevant expertise, e.g. Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Therapists, etc.  It is normally the exacerbation of afflictions resulting from trying to survive in a toxic workplace due to lack of options for switching employers or earning a meaningful living in another way.  Generally, the respective employee tends to ignore/suppress/hide his/her worsening condition by masking it with outward jovial displays of conformist behavior.  However, such attempts are often detectable by astute observers/coworkers who can discern the deviation from ‘normal’ behavior through various combinations of physical alerts, e.g., nervous laughter, refraining from proactive peer socialization/professional networking, unexplained sweating, body tremors, frequent stammering, desperate attempts to fit-in, excessive overtime working, significant number of sick leaves, inability to voice personal opinion, profound sycophancy indulgence, etc.  Unfortunately, a professional who has reached such a stage of fearfulness is often deemed unsuitable/stigmatized for career progression and, more likely, liable for layoff/facilitated exit/termination.  However, mismanaging the departure for such an individual can have disastrous consequences as evidenced by recurrence of unfortunate incidences of workplace violence perpetrated by indignant/resentful former employees.

Parting Thoughts

The aforementioned FCS scale also serves as an early warning system for talented professionals who might be neglecting their well-being while feverishly trying to stay relevant in the Digital world.  Quite often, such people tend to marginalize health concerns, hobbies, family and friends, old contacts and acquaintances, etc., as they focus on career aspirations by

Workplaces are undergoing profound transformations to accommodate the varying expectations of a multigenerational workforce and the increasing influx of AI-enabled entities.  The inevitable need to maintain robust talent pipelines for assuring a healthy supply of capable leaders has galvanized progressive organizations to place greater emphasis on effective talent development and employee engagement activities.  However, the sobering reality of shrinking positions that can productively and profitably use ‘human’ talent is increasing fears of workplace insecurity and incentivizing ‘career cannibalization’ of peers by ambitious professionals.  Consequently, the adage of ‘survival of the fittest’ has permeated into the Digital world with a renewed ferocity.  Therefore, it is becoming imperative for the ‘mindful’ professionals to gain the true faculty of their fears to devise effective strategies for charting their careers on a more robust and fruitful course.  The following analytical tool is being presented for facilitating the respective self-assessment:

  1. Do you fear of being wrong in your views/perspectives/approaches/insights?
  2. Do you fear of being marginalized/ignored/neglected by the majority of your peers, even though, you are right in your views/perspectives/approaches/insights?
  3. Do you fear that being correct most of the time might open the door for a big failure in the future and tarnish your stellar reputation cemented on past accomplishments?
  4. Do you fear the inability to formulate a convincing argument when encountering stiff resistance from skeptical quarters?
  5. Do you fear that your current professional skill set does not have a high probability of a promising career?
  6. Do you fear working for a different employer?
  7. Do you fear switching career paths to meet the evolving demands of the Digital world?
  8. Do you fear layoffs/early retirement due to the evolving demands of the Digital world?
  9. Do you fear being forced to become entrepreneurial to achieve/sustain a respectable living in the Digital world?
  10. Do you fear the skill set of your peers might propel them ahead of you in terms of climbing the corporate ladder?
  11. Do you fear taking challenging assignments that can jeopardize your promising career prospects in case of failure?
  12. Do you fear relinquishing a ‘stable’ career in the short term to pursue a riskier option for remaining relevant in the long term?
  13. Do you fear the increasing encroachment of AI-enabled technology in the workplace?
  14. Do you fear of being under-utilized at your workplace?
  15. Do you fear of being over-utilized at your workplace?
  16. Do you fear ‘loosing face’, especially, in front of those who look up to you?
  17. Do you fear that sharing information/knowledge will enable others to surge ahead of you in terms of climbing the corporate ladder, especially, if they don’t reciprocate accordingly?
  18. Do you fear the power/influence of your supervisor(s) on your career prospects?
  19. Do you fear the detrimental aspects of organizational politics?
  20. Do you fear having a multitude of fears concerning your professional life is significantly affecting your capability to work to the best of your abilities?

The aforementioned questions should be answered in a simple ‘Yes/No’ manner and then the tally of ‘Yes’ answers should be matched on the following FCS scale:

The four categories highlighted in the FCS scale depicted above can be better understood as follows:

Mildly Fearful

This pertains to the normal level of fear that a professional experiences at work and should not constitute as a cause for alarm.  Psychologists often point out that some fear is actually a good thing and one needs to embrace it in a meaningful way to take advantage from its benefits, e.g., having higher level of situational awareness, discovering personal strengths and weaknesses, facilitating personal development, etc.  It is part of human nature due to presence of uncertain outcomes in the workplace and the inherent personality characteristics of an individual.  Senior professionals with a high EQ (Emotional Quotient) are often found in this category.

Significantly Fearful

This reflects an elevated level of fear that is palpable in a person’s behavior/actions as he/she performs assigned responsibilities.  It is generally triggered by the inability to adjust to unfamiliar/pressurized work environment while trying to gain traction within the corporate hierarchy for a promising career path.  It is usually noticeable to close colleagues/peers who often act as the ‘unofficial counselors’ to remedy an exacerbating condition that could derail a promising career.  Corporate cultures thriving on strong shared values and an effective mentoring approach are best suited to overcoming/alleviating such recurring challenges.  New talent/junior professionals are often found in this category.

Highly Fearful

This pertains to professionals working under profoundly stressful conditions that can be due to a multitude of factors, e.g., domineering supervisor(s), impending layoffs, team discord, leadership change, disciplinary proceedings, toxic workplace politics, etc.  It can significantly dilute a person’s cognizance of self-worth and cause extensive damage to his/her sense of well-being that can manifest in poor job performance.  HR/talent function is generally required to do effective interventions in such situations for curative remedies, preferably proactively, before simmering discontent casts a dark shadow over the entire corporate culture landscape.  Middle management is often found in this category.

Critically Fearful

This reflects a debilitating level of fear that can lead to lingering mental and physical illness if not treated by professionals with relevant expertise, e.g. Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Therapists, etc.  It is normally the exacerbation of afflictions resulting from trying to survive in a toxic workplace due to lack of options for switching employers or earning a meaningful living in another way.  Generally, the respective employee tends to ignore/suppress/hide his/her worsening condition by masking it with outward jovial displays of conformist behavior.  However, such attempts are often detectable by astute observers/coworkers who can discern the deviation from ‘normal’ behavior through various combinations of physical alerts, e.g., nervous laughter, refraining from proactive peer socialization/professional networking, unexplained sweating, body tremors, frequent stammering, desperate attempts to fit-in, excessive overtime working, significant number of sick leaves, inability to voice personal opinion, profound sycophancy indulgence, etc.  Unfortunately, a professional who has reached such a stage of fearfulness is often deemed unsuitable/stigmatized for career progression and, more likely, liable for layoff/facilitated exit/termination.  However, mismanaging the departure for such an individual can have disastrous consequences as evidenced by recurrence of unfortunate incidences of workplace violence perpetrated by indignant/resentful former employees.

Parting Thoughts

The aforementioned FCS scale also serves as an early warning system for talented professionals who might be neglecting their well-being while feverishly trying to stay relevant in the Digital world.  Quite often, such people tend to marginalize health concerns, hobbies, family and friends, old contacts and acquaintances, etc., as they focus on career aspirations by embracing stressful/unreasonable/detrimental working conditions and trying to impress influential sources of power with their professional abilities.  However, such ‘transient’ bonds cannot substitute the time-tested relationships that are generally needed in precarious situations to provide strong and reliable support for a balanced approach to life and profound self-reflection to recalibrate priorities in accordance with the ‘true’ passions.  Are you listening…?

Dichotomies Of Our Times Uzair Hassan 3h Solutions

DICHOTOMY

See synonyms for: dichotomy / dichotomies / dichotomic on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural di·chot·o·mies.

  1. division into two parts, kinds, etc.; subdivision into halves or pairs.division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups: a dichotomy between thought and action.

2. Botany. a mode of branching by constant forking, as in some stems, in veins of leaves, etc.

We have all heard these maxim’s:

  1. A)  Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.
  2. B)  Misery loves company. So, we cry alone or are we making sure we have company when we do?
  1. A)  Too many cooks spoil the broth.
  2. B)  Many hands make light work. So, teamwork is best, or not?
  1. A)  Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
  2. B)  Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. Work hard and plan for the future? Or………..?
  1. A)  Opposites attract.
  2. B)  Birds of a feather flock together. Find commonality, or, look for diversity?
  1. A)  Clothes make the man.
  2. B)  You cannot judge a book by its cover. So pajama’s rule, or dress well?
  1. A)  You’re never too old to learn.
  2. B)  You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Choose cats? Uzair Hassan / Aug 2020 / Uzair.hassan@3hsolutions.biz / 0097150-6228126

A) Great minds think alike B) Fools seldom differ

Intellectually compatible or just plain stupid?

We mirror life’s uncertainties and the sheer unpredictability of our future. We want to bet on the positive while ensuring we are hedging our bets as well. You can pick one, according to your leanings. And, everyone’s leanings are supported.

In fact, one’s selection of such adages provides an insight into how they operate and view the world around them. Their experiences, their environment, their prejudices or the lack of etc. Their values, their approaches to life, their leanings, their perspectives, their stance on issues, their mindset. In short, their entire being.

Our choices may haunt us or we may remain blissfully unaware of our chosen direction, but as far as the world at large is concerned, one is either on the right side of history, or they are not. Our chosen viewpoints shine the light through the prism of our own thoughts and provide contextual clarity to our life choices. Bringing this all back to “people” in the HR context, if one wants to understand their leanings, simply provide relevant dichotomies and sit back and watch the person unfold as they select from the choices provided.

The current COVID-19 climate provides ample opportunities to see this unfurl in front of us. To some, this predicament provides an opportunity to grow, hone their skills, develop deeper relationships, balance life & work, learn new skills, start something they always wanted to but never had the time etc. To others, it’s depressing, stressful, tough and, is unraveling the social fabric of our society. We all have our own perspective on everything in life. Why not this. We are not talking about being right or wrong. Its simply providing context and perspective on how people take on challenges.

If we were to read everything that has ever been written, one would find contradictions in virtually every aspect. It is upto us to choose what fits our approach to life. Staying positive is a choice one makes. Stay the course.

February 2021 Spotlight: Sajini Ayer Learning & Development Manager for Al Bukhatir Group

  1. Tell us about you, your experience and time in the Middle East.

The words that best describe me are passionate, creative and adventurous. I am from India and have been living in the UAE for about six years now. My expertise lies in learning and  development, organization development and employee engagement. I am passionate about people and have immense faith in the spirit of mankind and our innate ability to learn, develop, grow and evolve. I consider myself blessed to be able to work and contribute in this space.

I came to Dubai, six years ago, with two bags, zero contacts or job and one big dream – to build myself a beautiful life here. I spent the first four years as a freelance consultant in the L&D space before moving in to employment. I had to start from scratch and that journey was never going to be easy, but it was rewarding, to say the least and I would do it all over again at the blink of an eye. That tells you a lot about me! Anything that comes easy and is in my comfort zone, does not catch my fancy. I always need a higher purpose, a bigger vision, a grander cause that would motivate me to get out of bed and jump into action every single morning.

Dubai is a land of opportunities and the one who dares to dream and then backs it up with sensible and sensitive action, gets rewarded. Having said that, it’s also a place that could be tough to survive in. Persistence, agility and sound networking skills will see one through.

2. How would you describe the learning & development industry in the UAE?

Well, I think it is a bit of a mixed bag. There are organizations and businesses that understand that L&D must not be classified as an expense but an investment. These are organizations that take proactive measures to empower and develop their employees. On the other hand, there are businesses that still see L&D as a luxury– something that’s good to have but not necessarily a “need to have” item. When the going gets tough, L&D is one of those departments that first gets impacted. Thankfully, I have seen a lot of change in this paradigm and organizations are waking up to the idea of looking at employee focused initiatives as a key driver to business success. What is important though, is to not stop with doing a few isolated training programs and workshops but to really build a culture of learning within the organization, such that it becomes an integral design of the organization fabric.

3.What are your biggest challenges in the next 5 years?

Considering how dynamic the world that we live in is, five years is too far ahead for me to comment on. A one to three year timeline is what I would consider more realistic. I would not really call these a challenge but rather areas that every business leader should focus on and that is to build more agile teams and departments. The last few months have taught the entire human race some important lessons and from a business perspective there have been some tough realizations. Long term plans and strategies won’t pass muster unless they are embedded in a bedrock of agility and creative thinking. In the words of Peter Drucker, “ Culture eats strategy for breakfast”, and hence that is what I would focus on – building a culture of agility, creativity and innovation. Strategies ride on business culture..

4.What are the skills and competencies that you would need to train in order to meet the regions talent requirements.

Jim Yong Kim, former Group President of World Bank said that the greatest challenge we face today is to equip the younger generation with the skills they will need no matter what future jobs look like. These skills include problem-solving, critical thinking, as well as interpersonal skills like empathy and collaboration.

UAE is a melting pot of talent and innovation and it amazes me with the ambitious milestones that it sets for itself. I believe a core component of this massively successful nation is its focus on developing a globally competitive workforce that has innovation and problem-solving abilities exercised in a collaborative and empathetic environment. These are excellent skills and competencies that every organization, every leader, every educator and every parent should focus on developing in the younger generation. But one can’t ignore the technology “revolution” that is going on around the world. The impact is pervasive and is here to stay. AI and automation have re.placed traditional, manual approaches to problem solving. Embracing this “revolution” and developing skills in this area will stand one in good stead in the years to come.

5.What are some actions one could take to be successful in the UAE?

That is a broad question and each one of us will have our own recommendations based on our experiences and stories. Also, “success” will have a different definition for each one of us. For some of us it could be more money while for others it may be richer relationships. Some of us may have spiritual goals, while others may have health goals.

I was part of a workshop a few days back and I will share some inspiring thoughts that I picked up from there. These are thoughts that will work in any environment, in any country and basing your actions on these ideas will put you on “your” path to success. Whatever your definition of success and personal experiences may be, these principles I share, will always apply:

1)    “You Can Have Everything In Life You Want, If You Will Just Help Enough Other People Get What They Want.” – Zig Ziggler

This is a powerful mantra and the UAE is a beautiful example of how this works. We place a lot of importance on relationships and networking here and a lot of business success flows from it. So add value, give, contribute, take part, share, help, pitch in – be a part of people’s success stories and do it with pleasure and selflessness. You will soon find people wanting to contribute to and be a part of your success story too.

  1. Above all: to thine own self be true – William Shakespeare (Hamlet)

In our fast paced lives we are always running a race – to make more money, to achieve more targets, to win more customers. Take a pause and breathe. Do not forget that your first responsibility is towards your own self. Take good care of yourself. Eat sensibly and get enough sleep. Take care of your mental and physical health. Invest in yourself. In the book “ Think and Grow Rich”, Napoleon Hill speaks about the fast-track method, where you ask yourself “what new knowledge and new skills will I have two years from now?”. Write this down on a sheet of paper and make your list. Follow this up with the question, “which one of these things can I do or acquire right now/ today?”. It does not matter even if you pick just one thing. It is something that you were planning to do two years from now.

Think about what could happen if you did it today?

With this method, you put yourself on a constant journey towards self-growth and development. You do not need a manager or a company to invest in you. There are free resources available everywhere today. Just put them to good use.

The beauty and charm of these principles is that they work well in any environment, culture, geography or situation. Try them out!

Sajini Iyer

Manager – Learning & Development | Group HR Department

Bukhatir Group

Welcome to 2021

What a year we all have had in 2020. The beginning of last year saw the Middle East in comfortable growth mode, tourism flourishing, the plans for Expo 2020 on track and economies stable. Then with no warning, in March we were all suddenly faced with what we thought was a short enforced lock down of two weeks and a new virus strain would be contained. How wrong we all were. Nine months of controlled public movement and masking, with sanitising our hands throughout the days, were all behaviours embraced by communities around the world. The ensuing shut down brought many business to their knees, people in fear , and many people returning to their homeland due to their workroles disappearing.

This has inevitably caused much stress, and indeed distress in the workplace and communities, with a huge world wide change in working from home, families juggling homeschooling, learning and development being halted and or transferred to an online platform.

These changes while implemented with speed and relative success, are causing stresses and strains to all. It is these challenges that our world of HR and Learning and Development will be working to address in 2021, with more need for workplace stress management, more listening and observing of teams to identify any indication of distress in our colleagues and employees, with a robust process and policy in place to support when needed.

Here at CLO-me.com we ourselves have had challenges to deal with, with work for some of us halting , while conversely those of us in the on-line business, stress coming from being inundated with requests for online solutions and manageing clients expectations. we’ve had experiences of covid, and repatriation, losses of dear friends to Covid too. More about how we’ve all coped in our next issue.

Here’s hoping that 2021 will bring less fear, more positivity, more work, leass tress, health and peace around the world. We look forward to introducing you to more contributors and articles from our regulars too.

Let’s create a platform of sharing our experiences and encourage each other to find the resilience to pull through this year with hope and more joy.

Happy New Year from the CLO-me.com Team

Ph.D. by Prior Publication: Khuram Amin

Ph.D. by Prior Publication is also known by other titles such as Ph.D. by Portfolio, Published Works, Published Papers, and sometimes even Ph.D. under Special Regulations. This type of degree is awarded to a candidate who has already published substantial work which could be recognized by the University equivalent to a traditional Ph.D. The prior research should be comparable to an accepted dissertation of a 3 years doctoral program. It should be novel at the time when it was printed and has to be an original contribution to the knowledge available in the public domain. This route was introduced and adopted in the UK, however, it is now being encouraged in other countries also.

It usually takes one year to complete the process but may be extended a year more if the committee of examiners believe that more time is required by the candidate to present a coherent image of his/her work. Before registration, the candidate is vetted for suitability, quality, and availability of the Supervisor. The criteria to register for this program are when a candidate can demonstrate a prior record of publications in peer-reviewed journals in terms of quality and although there is no minimum number of publications; at least four publications are the starting point in terms of quantity.

However, the quantity can vary considerably where the degree has been awarded on a single submission to sometimes more than a dozen articles. The eligibility may also require a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with a gap of a few years. Please take note that this is not for candidates who have just graduated. The applicant should be an established researcher, practitioner, or professional with experience to show on the CV. All the work should be original, unique, well researched, coherent, and provide solution/s to problem/s.

Before applying for registration in the program, the candidate should make sure that he/she has enough work to submit by contacting the concerned person at the University. The candidate should also write a word wrap of 10000 words explaining how the prior research has benefitted the real world i.e. ‘what significant and specific impact has the published work had on professional practice?’

The process of assessing the portfolio is as same as a traditional doctoral degree where usually two examiners are assigned approving or disapproving after reviewing the portfolio minutely and viva voce. If the examiners are satisfied by the submissions and oral vetting of the candidate, then the degree is awarded. The process could be more exhaustive than then traditional route as aspirants may have names of several authors on their papers and might find it difficult to segregate their work and may be subject to more evidence and verbal explanations. The student is expected to be the first author in the work submitted. If the candidate is not the first author the contribution should be identifiable in the publication.

A supervisor is usually assigned to candidates pursuing this route, who guides through by choosing the papers from the bouquet of work presented so that a coherent body of documents and other material is submitted. The work is scaled on the freshness, the number of papers published, the quality of journals who accepted the work, the field, and how exhaustive is the peer-review. It can be said it is your most detailed CV of the applicant to date.

The portfolio may include academic papers, chapters, monographs, books, scholarly edition of the text, technical reports, documentaries, films, creative work in relevant fields, and other artifacts. The collection may be as diverse as feedback from the project sponsor, conference papers, patents, surveys, multimedia packages.

The Portfolio Ph.D. can be theoretically carried out in any field however Medical and Law candidates have been its prime source of admissions. Over the period now people have initiated to pursue this route in the field of social sciences. The business and management postgraduates are also now becoming interested in the Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) by Publication which is being offered by reputable Universities and Business Schools.

The qualification is sometimes restricted by universities to staff or alumni. During this doctorate process, the candidate might lack access to labs or research facilities and even might encounter bias from traditional Ph.D. holders as all fields are not suitable for this category of doctorate. Thus it is very significant for candidates before deciding to join the qualification to consult the university management and talk to seniors about the access to the required facilities and support from peers pursuing a conventional doctorate. However the route is bound to grow more popular by time as people become aware and more institutions offer it.

Mr. Khuram Amin

Spotlight: Where Are You Now? Joanna Dawson

You’ve moved on from the UAE and we’d love to hear of your journey. Tell us about your experience, what prompted your move?

The key driver for moving back from the UK was to spend time with my father who was in the    latter stages of battling Parkinson’s disease. I knew there was not much time left.  At the same time I wanted to return to continue my International career based from the UK and re-engage   with the rich network that I have here, as well as my close friends and family.

What were the high points and low points of your time here and what reflections can you share?

The high points were between 2005 – 2008 when I was working for a UK Plc Whitbread and the Costa Coffee brand – supporting Franchise partners across the MENA region to grow their people and businesses.  I loved the travel, cultural exchange and the challenge of navigating operations and the day to day problems.  At the same time I was working for a ‘start- up’ really; we were ‘green eyed’ and pretty much learnt along the way – and made a lot of mistakes!  The leadership lessons I take from these years are priceless

Another significant high point was setting up Kompass Consultancy in Dubai with 2 business partners during late 2013.  Our Mission; ‘To inspire people and organisations to find performance and career success’ led to an intellectual and creative dynamic that continued to evolve over time. The sense of ownership for the first time of your own products and service was liberating, particularly after the hard graft of the first 2 years spending hours building the essential foundations.  Great to see that Kompass still flourishes and continues to support the region.

The lowest points had to be leaving Whitbread Plc and handing over – unknown to me – in the week of the peak of financial crash in 2008.  I had made my decision 6 months previously, so the timing was significant and ironic.  I was then out of work for the first time in my life in a   world that was totally fractured and de-stabilised.

What were the biggest challenges you faced ?

Looking for a job during a global financial crisis

Dealing with landlords and real estate agents!

Cycling across Cambodia and Vietnam with the Gulf for Good team to raise money to build a school: 500 kms in 5 days

Making the decision to finally leave – whilst knowing it was the right one!!

We’d love to hear about where you are now and your thoughts on what you will be doing in 5 years time. 

I am currently in the UK and have most recently moved into a new apartment that I proudly own  and can call home.  I think 5 years is a lengthy vision – certainly the next 2 years is about settlin into my own home, spending time with friends and family (which the pandemic has prevented) and working internationally and in the UK as a freelance coach and consultant.  I also want to join a great choir, get really fit again, travel to the places on my list of ‘must do soon!’ and  support a wider global community through my working practices. 

If you had your time again would you have done anything different?

Go more with my instinct; what FEELS right!