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Heidrick & Struggles and GCC business leaders explore the success formula for driving value in turbulent times

The Dubai office of Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSII), a premier professional services firm serving the leadership needs of top organizations around the globe, recently held a CEO event with the theme ‘Delivering outstanding value in a dynamic world’. Close to 90 elite industry leaders from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region gathered to exchange ideas on how to achieve outstanding value in a constantly changing business environment.

One highlight of the evening included a presentation by Steve Mullinjer, Regional Leader, APAC at Heidrick & Struggles, who explored the idea of leading and delivering value in turbulent times, a concept which originated in The Success Formula, a joint leadership publication co-authored by Professor Andrew Kakabadse from Henley Business School and Heidrick & Struggles.

The key concepts and arguments were then debated and discussed by a panel of influential business leaders from the GCC region, including Dr Patrick Allman-Ward, Director & CEO of Dana Gas; Mohammed El-Kuwaiz, CEO of Derayah Financial; Rosamund Marshall, CEO of Taaleem Education Group; Faisal Abdalla, CEO of ALJ; and Gareth McIlroy, Heidrick & Struggles’ Regional Managing Partner of Leadership Consulting for APAC.

“In today’s VUCA world – an acronym for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity – organizations must create value to legitimize their existence for different stakeholders,” said Steve Mullinjer. “Our research shows that smart leaders embrace a culture of diversity of thinking that welcomes wide-ranging experience, contexts and interests. They sustain success over a long period, and drive business strategy using an ‘evidence-led’ approach instead of a ‘strategy-led’ one.”

In value delivery-led organizations, leaders formulate a strategy based on understanding all levels of stakeholders and where the value lies, as well as by assessing the organization’s ability to deliver this value. Effective implementation of a strategy, on the other hand, requires top-down engagement and alignment, as well as bottom-up feedback within the organization to test and modify the strategy.

The panelists agreed with this new evidence-based leadership concept, which challenges previous views. As one of the panelists, who owns an entrepreneurial business, confirmed, “I am constantly changing and redefining my strategies as the scenarios change …” Other panelists and invited guests recognized the importance of empowering managers to give significant input for strategy development.

Michael Morcos, Managing Partner of Heidrick & Struggles’ Middle East & North Africa Practice, commented, “In light of the increasingly challenging business environment, diversity of thinking will become a critical element in the success of business leadership teams. It will allow them to differentiate themselves and drive sustainable value in their organizations, as a holistic approach would affect the way they look at every issue and how they make decisions, helping them pursue the company’s mission in a more balanced way.”

The event provided an exclusive opportunity for senior leaders in the region to network and engage in meaningful conversations, as well as reflected on the changing leadership style in large corporates.

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