1.Tell us about you, your experience and time in the Middle East.
I have been working in KM (Knowledge Management) for about 20 years with organisations in Australia, Europe, USA and Asia. I have been lucky enough to work in a variety of industries (Oil & Gas, Utilities, Consulting, Government, Transport, Not for Profit and Finance) and for large and small companies. I have been in Dubai since 2011 working in both the private and public sectors and it has been an exciting time! The UAE made a commitment to the development of an advanced knowledge economy and supported this with a number of initiatives, new to the region; The Knowledge Summit (an international KM conference) was started in 2014, The Arab Reading Index was first released in 2016 by the Arab Knowledge Project, in partnership with the MBRF and UNDP, the Federal Reading Law was implemented in 2016 and the first National Reading Month was held in October 2017. Along with initiatives related to SMART Cities, the launch of the National Space Programme in 2019 and one government entity being the first in the world to receive ISO Certification in Innovation and the first in the region for Knowledge Management. It is a vibrant environment in which to work and unique to the extent that it involves the whole of society.
- What does KM have to do with L&D & HR?
It is all about people and the myriad of ways we learn, communicate, innovate and create. While all three disciplines have their own focus, processes and outcomes there is a growing overlap that is becoming difficult to deny and that offers opportunities for all practitioners to extend their skillsets and services to ensure that employees are performing in a way that helps the organization achieve its goals and objectives. In the future, I see innovation and quality becoming part of this interconnected group.
- What are your biggest challenges in the next 5 years?
To keep up. Life moves quickly and the part of life related to learning, knowledge transfer and sharing is undergoing radical transformation, including the continued integration of AI (Artificial Intelligence) into every aspect of our existence; robots in education, robots at home, robots as co-workers...threat or promise? While most of us may not be experiencing this on a daily basis in 5 years, we will need to think about it, plan for it and be ready to assist those we serve through a time of great change that will challenge our assumptions on what makes us human.
- What is your philosophy?
Collaboration. It is no longer possible for a single discipline to have all of the knowledge and experience required to solve a problem, to innovate, to create or to deliver results. We need to work together and to move beyond co-operating to true collaboration, working towards a single goal using all of the experience, insight, knowledge and creative energy of each participant. Of course, the measurement and monitoring of collaborative success is not straightforward … another challenge anyone?