Spotlight October 2019 Colin Johansen Executive Coach Dubai

  1. CJ you wrote for us some years ago re your experience in the UAE and described then your work in Saudi.Tell us about your experience and time in working in Saudi Arabia all those years?

Having worked in the UAE as an Executive Coach since 2006, I was approached in 2011 by a large financial organisation in Saudi Arabia to coach their senior executives, since then I have worked with over 200 executives in that institution as well as a number of other organisations in both the private and public sector.

In 2011 I described Saudi Arabia as the sleeping giant of the Gulf, in the time since then the “Sleeping Giant’ has certainly awoken.

2. How would you describe the changes you have witnessed?

The changes I have observed over the last five years have been nothing but dramati

Obviously, the well-publicized changes such as the changes affecting women in the kingdom, such as the ability to drive, relaxation of the Guardian laws and encouragement for women to enter the workforce and to become entrepreneurs have had a huge effect on the population. It should also be noted that there is a more fundamental change happening in The Kingdom, a realization that they exist in the Global environment and need to open up the country to the rest of the world and to play its part in the global economy.

  1. What are the biggest challenges in the next 5 years?

Saudi Arabia have established their Vision 2030, which encompasses major changes under three major pillars, a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation. Under these pillars are a raft of initiatives focused on all areas of the country. Vision 2030 is an ambitious plan that has the support of the people. The challenge is to see the implementation of the Vision 2030 it is an ambitious plan but the signs are already there that it is coming to fruition.

  1. What are the skills and competencies that are needed to meet the region’s talent requirements?

Many organisation are still structured in a traditional top down management style, a major change to a more inclusive, diversified and participative culture will bring about the changes required for each employee to play a role in the organisation and encourage the engagement and innovation that will reflect the Vision 2030 and take the organisation to a more global perspective.

The Kingdom has a immense wealth of talent, the development of this talent is key to the future success of the country.

5) What is your Philosophy?

Love what you do and you can notice the effectiveness of the results.

HR along with Learning and Development must aim to be a consulting partner with a proactive approach to developing the talent of the organization. Creating programs that would drive innovation and support the sustainability of the business.


October spotlight:Roisin Wadding MD Quantum Human Resource Consultancy







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

I have been in the ME for more than 20 years, with my first employment with Emirates Airline.  I worked across several functions, growing and learning and getting many opportunities to expand my depth and breath of knowledge and skills as the airline grew. My last role at Emirates saw me managing a portfolio of training departments including HR training, Performance Management Training,among others, managing and overseeing 51 staff at various levels of the organisation.  After leaving Emirates, I started Quantum Human Resource Consultancy, a boutique Human Resource Consultancy that provides HR services and Training to both SME and large corporations.  I recently returned to Quantum following an 18 mths period to support Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), a new financial centre in the capital to set up it HR department from scratch. My experience has taken me to many places across the full human capital cycle, and across various industries.  I hold a Masters in Training and Development among other professional qualification and currently undertaking the learning route to Membership with CIPD – UK

2. How would you describe the business culture of the Middle East.

Having had many years in the UAE, I believe that the business culture is constantly evolving. We meet many highly qualified and dynamic professionals, both local and international  who are adding to this vibrant business culture.  The growth of Dubai and other parts of the Middle East has created an environment for innovation, creativity and diversity. The rich diversity has also enabled our employees learn from others and share ideas.  We are also lucky to have visionary leaders in the UAE who support this culture.


We are a small company so we work very closely as a team.  As an organisation we have a reputation for quality and have therefore built up a good network with organisations across the UAE.

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

The challenges we are likely to face in the next 5 years is ensuring that we maintain our reputation as a quality service provider. The growth in the region and the demand for quality, high calibre employees is becoming more challenging.

  1. What is your philosophy?

Create your own tomorrow! Every individual has the power to create a future that enables them to shine.  Planning and learning are key.  Organisations can no longer guarantee employment for a lifetime, and most people don’t want to have a ‘ job for life’ – an old philosophy.  Its about growing and learning to ensure that the future remains bright.  If your environment changes, you can change your environment through a new opportunity in your organisation or outside.

Roisin Wadding
Managing Director – Quantum Human Resource Consultancy
United Arab EmiratesHuman Resources