The business landscape in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (Menasa) region is experiencing a seismic shift, marked by the emergence of new technologies, market trends, and relaxed regulations. Take, for instance, the United Arab Emirates - according to the International Monetary Fund, the projected GDP growth rate for 2021 is 3.1 per cent, with a positive projection of 4.0 per cent for this year.
Much in line with the positive outlook, earlier this year, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) to transform Dubai into the world's top cities with economic targets totalling Dh32 trillion in the next 10 years.
These promising statistics, along with the government's determined efforts to fortify the economy and create a desirable environment for residents, clearly signal the winds of change. These impending developments also present ample opportunities for companies in the region to chart a new course by adapting and evolving. However, this is easier said than done, as one key challenge is the gap in skills and expertise, especially among senior leadership.
Gone are the days when experience and seniority alone were sufficient.
Today, the inability of executives at the highest levels of leadership to break free from traditional methods can lead to a loss of competitive advantage, missed opportunities, and, ultimately, a decline in a company's performance.
To stay ahead in this rapidly evolving business landscape, it is crucial for leaders to understand that success and upskilling go hand in hand. It's a simple strategy – one that puts the company's growth at the forefront – but can be more challenging to implement. It requires not only commitment and action from the top but also avenues that can provide enriching experiences to equip leaders to tackle challenges head-on and keep the company's growth at the heart of it all.
This is where executive education, such as an Executive MBA and tailored leadership programmes, can play a vital role in boosting careers. For a start, they provide C-suite executives the much-needed push to gain practical knowledge and insights that can be immediately applied to the workplace, covering a wide range of relevant topics.
On the other hand, executive education serves as a valuable tool for participants to stay relevant and adaptable in the dynamic business environment. Not only does it enable them to bolster their personal brand, enhance their reputation, and expand their professional network, but it also empowers them to consistently engage in learning and broaden their horizons. This proactive approach allows executives to effectively anticipate and respond to emerging trends and disruptions, thus ensuring their companies maintain a leading position in the ever-evolving market landscape.
In recognition of the tremendous opportunities for the region to be at the forefront of global business innovation, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, rooted in Georgetown's Jesuit tradition, recently expanded its offerings into the Middle East, offering its renowned Executive MBA programme to the market.
The programme takes experiential learning to new heights and serves as a platform for senior decision-makers and executives to advance their international and regional business capabilities while instilling values-based education. This approach prepares graduates to make a positive impact on themselves, their families, their organisation, and the region, all in line with Georgetown's commitment to creating globally minded, principled leaders ready to serve the common good.
Spanning 20 months, the extensive course covers a range of essential topics for senior administrators, including business and global affairs, public-private partnerships, business analytics, sustainability, the future of work, and fintech. With this programme, executives can gain a deeper understanding of how to lead public or private organisations in the Menasa region, and beyond.
Now more than ever, leaders must closely examine their next move through a lens of determination and sincerity. Companies harbour vast potential to drive significant change, unlock new possibilities, and achieve great success. However, the realisation of this potential hinges on the presence of adept and proficient leaders who are not only poised to grapple with multifaceted challenges but also committed to the relentless pursuit of excellence for the betterment of their teams and organisations.