MBRSG: UAE organisations must adapt in new age

Dr. Ali bin Sebaa Al Marri CEO of MBRSG

The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) has released the Open Source Leadership 2017 report of the United Arab Emirates in collaboration with the ICLIF Leadership and Governance Centre (ICLIF).

ICLIF is an Asia-based international centre dedicated to executive education, research, coaching and consulting services in the areas of leadership development, organisational effectiveness and corporate governance.

According to the study, knowledge is now free and almost every boundary to communication has been lifted – for the first time in human history – permanently altering the business landscape. This, in turn, has paved the way for new possibilities to confront, debunk and reinvent “classic” management and leadership principles to help leaders face the complex challenges of today.

The MBRSG report is divided into two sections, the first of which looks at motivation for performance, asking whether the primary motivation to excel at work depends on the individual or their boss, examining whether they were more intrinsically or extrinsically motivated, and striving to pinpoint the sources of that personal motivation.

Nearly 7 in 10 UAE respondents (69%) indicated they most depend on themselves for their primary motivation to excel at work – the same percentage as that of the global sample. A higher proportion of UAE respondents (19%) were more boss-motivated than the global respondents (14%). The remaining participants considered both the boss and oneself as equally relevant.

In addition, 68% of UAE participants claimed to be intrinsically motivated, while 15% stated they were extrinsically motivated. In comparison, the UAE sample proved to be more intrinsically motivated than their global counterparts, only 46% of whom said their motivation comes from within themselves.

Among UAE respondents who are self-motivated and depend largely on intrinsic sources to excel at work, the three most commonly cited sources for that motivation were: when they are working on something they are passionate about, when they are regularly challenging themselves to raise the bar of their own performance, and when their actions make a positive difference for others.

The research collaboration extends ICLIF’s global Open Source Leadership study to the territory of the UAE.

Rooted in data collected from 16,000 respondents across 28 countries (including the UAE), the MBRSG report explores new ways to reinvent management in light of the rapid technological advancements disrupting virtually all sectors of the economy and public life – from taxi rides, hotel stays and driving, to communication and payment.

MBRSG’s executive president, Dr Ali Sebaa Al Marri, said, “We are living in an era of rapid and exponential developments, where advanced technologies are emerging every day and transforming the way we go about every aspect of our lives. Organisations and governments must learn to adapt in order to remain up-to-speed with these transformations. Leaders, in particular, now have the responsibility to re-imagine their entire approach to management and leadership, moving away from the classic practices that are quickly becoming obsolete.

“These new approaches must be rooted in accurate and objective data, and to that end, the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government joined hands with ICLIF to mine for statistics in the UAE market – in tandem with the Centre’s global operations – in order to support decision makers in government and private institutions across the country as we all transition towards the knowledge economy.”

The second section of the MBRSG report determined the required leadership for breakthrough success, questioning what all great leaders have in common, and identifying what business leaders need in order to drive unprecedented success in today’s fast-paced environment.

Overall, UAE respondents more commonly selected top-down and autocratic behaviour statements as traits that they felt well-known leaders most possessed, as opposed to more democratic traits. On this question, opinions among UAE correspondents resonated with those within the global sample.

When asked to indicate their level agreement, nearly three-quarters (73%) of UAE correspondents agreed and strongly agreed that a significant amount of top-down leadership is required in order to drive unprecedented success in today’s breakneck speed economy.

From among the most important factors selected, they believed that business leader must “envision audacious ideas that don’t yet exist and remain firm in their course of action despite feedback and resistance”.

Other traits UAE correspondents felt that well-known leaders most possessed were long-lasting energy to see their plans through without giving up amidst challenges faced, being risk-takers that pursued unpopular or unconventional ideas to break new ground, daring to be different and challenged general opinion, and envisioning bold ideas that didn’t yet exist.

The findings of the global study are based on the book Open Source Leadership by Rajeev Peshawaria, CEO of ICLIF. He said, “We must consider the uber-connected environment of today as well as the increasing number of sophisticated young talent that do not think, act, perceive, strategise or make decisions like their parents did; where business-as-usual is a thing of the past.”




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