March Spotlight: Nigel Fann Sunlearning Systems UAE

Nigel Fann





1. Tell us about your experience in the Middle East

I have lived in the UAE for 14 years and have thoroughly enjoyed the time here. Especially all the travelling I have done in the whole region from Yemen in the South to Egypt in the North. It is also very centrally situated so it is relatively easy to get to my family in the US,  Australia  and South Africa.

Doing business here is probably not that much different to anywhere else in the world. Wherever you are you have difficulties to cope with and sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don’t. Mostly you make your own luck wherever you are.

 2. How would you describe the culture within your business?

Being such a small company each of us tends to bring something different to the mix. I think we tend to be very easy going and laid back, which seems to suit management and staff , without losing sight of the goals. I think people appreciate this to a certain extent. One of our key advantages,  is that when we mess up we fix it no matter what it takes. So we beleive in the saying, ” it’s not that there is a problem, it’s how you deal with it that matters.”

3. How easy is it for you to get direct access to the decision makers in your company?

Its not really an issue for us, but can be an issue for us to get to the decision makers from our client companies.

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

Definitely innovation. We have got a lot to do to stay where we are. There is alot of competition in our market and in order to compete we need to think innovatively to meet our clients needs.We will have to create at least two major revolutions in the next five years. In fact five years is probably too far ahead – and think three years. This region is moving at such a pace.

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

I think to do our best to get rid of blame culture that prevails in corporate life, and create an environment in which people are not afraid to fail. It is critical for managers and Leaders to build trust amongst their staff. Finally, I would say that I’d like to see more of people taking more ownership of their jobs, expectations and outcomes.  By taking ownership of the job,  I mean meeting the key performance indicators required,  while being fully engaged and loving it.   There is a lot of work to be done around this area, but I can see that there is a will to make changes, and bring more purpose into the workplace.

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