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Written By: Farah Ahmed

The final days of the summit are here…With very sad yet frenzy feelings, we present to you the end of a fantastic journey and a beginning for a new one filled with knowledge, energy, and progress. Come on, let’s explore the last days of the summit! 

Under the title “Companies between Innovation & Development”, our Magazine’s founder was one of the guests of Day 26! 

Mahmoud Mansi: HR expert and CEO of HR Revolution Middle East. He perceives COVID 19 as an opportunity that will incite businesses to enter the digital and automation transformation. Regarding encouraging my staff to innovate and engage consists of a short term plan, which is sustaining and preparing employees, and a long term plan, which is possessing an automation project or Robot Bots. Meanwhile, to make them motivated, businesses should focus on employee branding strategy, financial and emotional recognition, and rewards system linking it with the over-time working hours. Consequently, as an HR, he/she should endorse the way to impact the existing culture inside a company. Initially, there is a difference between multinational, medium-sized companies, and startups. So, besides the known areas of culture, there is ‘employee engagement’. Mahmoud tackled it from another side, which is the feeling that his/her talents and ideas have an impact on the decision-making process. This means that the employee is a strategic partner, and this is for Mahmoud is what construct a strong culture.

Ahmed Elshiaty: Training and Development Supervisor in WE and ICF certified coach. Despite the challenges that the Customer Service CS is facing in the meantime, there are some customers’ needs must be acknowledged; care and connection while adding quick reachability and show of empathy and understanding, to adjust them to match the circumstances. He also cited the importance of the existence of an updated digital platform presenting accurate information and self-help tools. Subsequently, Emotional Intelligence was brought up as a tool to support the employees; it starts by reflection with myself to understand in which level of change I stand, to self-awareness, transparency, and comprehend the different working circumstances the employees have at their homes. 

Nabil El Hady: Learning and Organization Development Manager in La Poire. He tackled the scheme of business transformation to enhance the sales in 2 points: Ultimate Awareness (business/industry, political, economic, and social) and Reactive Plan composition throughout this uncertain complex time for business. He believes that now it’s not the time for transformation, as businesses are barely performing in this survival mode, yet transformation is exerted when you review your economy and manpower/workforce various capabilities. Accordingly, Nabil came up with a ‘CODE’ for Cultural Transformation; which is Conscious – Organized – Developed – Emotions/Energy. 

Day 26 full panel:

From there, Day 27 was revolving around the question of “Are you searching to raise up with your Startup Personal Development” with 3 amusing professionals. Ahmad Aly El Dabaa the managing director at Ajax Business Solutions and Maha Hamdy an English instructor. 

Maha, as being in the field for 3 years, the most common mistakes she witnesses are underestimating self-confidence and overestimating ego. Based on experience, she supposes that pronunciation always comes first before the accent, and self-study is the best method to develop your English. She gave some advice to enhance your English language:

1- Participate in a conversation club

2- Work on yourself and don’t depend completely on your instructor

3- Volunteer in the PR or the advertising sectors

Ahmad, as experienced storytelling in online videos, recommends to attract views you must utilize the 2 minutes storytelling efficiently in some steps:

1- Giving out a trailer

2- Ordinary world (characters introduction)

3- Inciting incident 

4- Plot twist

5- Resolution/Reflection

Later, Dina Rashad joined the panel. As an interpreter for the news sector on Nile TV, she explained the difference between translation (written) and interpretation (orally) concerning time and job description. Dina sums up 2 qualities that must exist in any interpreter; quick intuitive and smart behavior. Speaking of interpreter challenges, she mentioned some of them, such as; when you don’t understand a sentence the speaker is saying, when the speaker is talking very quickly, different accent, broadcast error, a problem in your settings, and last but not least when the speaker is talking in a topic that is in contradiction with your ethics. In this case, as you are the echo for the speaker, you must be objective and never modify or change the translation to something that matches your beliefs. 

Then the panel shifted to discussing the main question of the panel. Ahmad explained how new businesses or startups adopt the helicopter view; it involves looking at your business as a whole, not just the minute details, to survive during and after COVID 19. While the business carries on its feasibility study, it stumbles upon the ‘risk assessment’, unfortunately, a big percentage of startups ignore this point and therefore can’t guarantee their continuation in the market. Hence, a business owner should put various scenarios and measures regarding risk assessment, as well as building their strategy for the digital transformation. 

Day 27 full panel:

Moamen hosted 3 graduates from FIFA Diploma in Sports Management to add some fun for the 28th day of the panel “The Future of Football after COVID19”. Diaa Salah the Business Development Manager Middle East & North Africa at Sportradar. Abdallah Shehata is an international sports lawyer and member of the International Association of Football Lawyers (AIAF). Khaled Refaat a Specialist at Sports Marketing, Sports Events, and Sports Tourism.

Let us lake a quick look at some of the questions they got…

What are the huge developments during COVID 19 in the legal sector in football? 

Abdallah: For a starter, football has a legal and judicial system, and in recent years, we have witnessed the development and amendment of several regulations at the international level through FIFA. He then summarized the new FIFA guidelines, and the relation between the FIFA salary reduction criteria, the recommendation that the dispute resolution chamber looks at each dispute separately. 

What is the impact of COVID 19 on sports in general and football in particular? 

Diaa: All governments throughout the world preferred the safety of their players and their fans. So, speaking of football as an industry, they faced also challenges like the businesses; some leagues canceled, while others came back with totally different precautionary measures. Another challenge is the endurance of their revenues and their incomes, and thus a lot of negative consequences will occur from the commercial side, workers and players in the field, and broadcasting as well. The impact is extended to lowers tiers too.

What is the impact of clubs’ revenues through COVID 19? 

Khaled: For the first time, the revenues from gates, sponsorships, broadcasting stopped altogether. It’s a precedent that FIFA allows the contract negations between the player or the coach and his club clubs about cost reduction. The sponsorship agreements facing problems after being influenced by the current conditions: they abstain from paying as there are no matches played (facing losses). Hence, it depends on the agreements in the contracts, and in the meantime, there are a couple of problems in the contracts. Nevertheless, the administrators’ role is very crucial to find solutions. 

Later, the 3 experts discussed force majeure in football contracts development and improvement. Afterward, they tackled their expectations for Football and fans post-COVID 19. Diaa believes that still fans are a priority and essential for sports in general, and noticed their adaptation on E-sports/digital sports. While Khaled expects that the professional leagues will be the stronger to make good decisions and keep up from where they left. As for Abdallah, he anticipates the changes in the levels of regulations and drafting contracts.

Day 28 full panel:

For a moment when you hear the word ‘agile’, you just get confused and don’t understand what it has to do with business. Being close and close to the end, Moamen wanted to give you some insights on it under “Creating and Improving Agile Processes within a Team or a Company”. Fady Ismaeel aBusiness Consultant/ SAFe Program Consultant and Mahmoud Ghoz an Agile Coach and Trainer at VIDSCOLA dealt with several points throughout the panel:

  • Experience with an ‘Agile Team’: based on Mahmoud’s previous acquaintance, was that organizations face the problem of wanting to work without clear business objectives. He says that you can promise for efficient conduction of work and to reach the market quickly, but you can’t promise to increase the productivity of employees. While Fady talked about a more personal perspective, for him agile is a mindset rather than a framework, so it’s better to create a network team. 
  • Challenges in a working environment wanting a change: one of the challenges that Fady tackled is companies prefer saturation, start to resist change. As for Mahmoud, it is all about communication; which also generates resistance from the people. He also tackled the necessity of having core working hours and self-organizing teams.
  • Both tackled the importance of agility in teams from different perspectives and the change management process. Introducing something new is hard, so you need to take it slow and try to change the culture of the team itself towards a common value/goal of the company.
  • Fady laid down a strategy to overcome stress, pressure, depression, and panic attacks during this period. He advises the manager to work on building trust and to ease stress and pressure using Servant Leadership philosophy. Agile practices generate confidence and build commitment to the team.
  • Mahmoud specifies a set of things to convey for yourself an environment to be more productive. Inform when you are not available – communicate – get well dressed – invest to have a comfortable office – be clear about your working hours/don’t be accessible 24/7 – don’t take extra appointments for the sake of work-life balance – invest in communication tools and transfer physical tools into digital tools. 
  • A practical piece of advice for people working in the agility field: Fady’s is to invest in yourself to learn and be up-to-date. Mahmoud’s is continuous improvement in yourself, your team, your company, and the system you are working in. Also, get rid of the we-vs-them attitude. 

Day 29 full panel

A sigh…we reached Day 30 with heavy hearts. It was a very unique session concluding many aims for the summit. “Managers Responsibilities during COVID19” presented Mariam Farag the head of Corporate Sustainability & Social Impact at MBC Group, and an award-winning advocate. Together with Amr Fawzi Hamed a business transformation consultant and a certified change manager.

Primarily, both agreed on the importance of storytelling on serval layers for people, especially youth, to accept changes in businesses and other fields. Hence, we are in front of 2 storytelling experts. 

Mariam reflects her experience in managing stakeholders successfully, especially during COVID 19. She recounts creating an empower-hour to communicate virtually with the people and the audience. As that was on the external level, the internal challenge taking into account the presence of psychological and emotional management and communication for the team, upper management, and on a personal level. In the process of reaching my target audience and make my storytelling compelling and connected with them, having a young team is a must. Still having experts and consultants is indispensable. She states that youth are very smart, inceptive, and informed with the trends. Afterward, Mariam stresses on the fundamentality of youth development, demonstrating that all they need is a direction and a mentor. She advises organizations to give them a chance, like internships and jobs, and never keep a piece of useful information from them, in a nutshell, all they need is a real genuine sustainable support. On her part, the issue of Sustainable Development Goals came into the scope and the obligation for companies to build sustainable development programs and have venture capital for their own sake. 

Amr gave details on several tricks with the (s)! He discussed the Change Management with 5Ws, being in a state of uncertainty and anxiety. What he follows in change management is the process of 4Ds (define, design, deploy, detect). Accordingly, to manage change dynamically, use the strategy of the 4Ds but start with the 5Ws. Currently, we are living a cultural shock, there’s a paradox accompanied with the conditions, so cultural transformation post-COVID 19 is not a luxury anymore, it is a necessity. There are cultural components to consider while searching for a cultural change inside the organization; you should be able to communicate efficiently, look at the long-term goals (reshape the future), and prepare the reformation process. Whilst doing so, you have to keep in mind that not all the people have the same capabilities, so don’t stress on those who don’t know how to do all of the above. Amr used the (s) again to manifest the cultural tools using the 4Cs; collaboration, control, competitiveness, and creativity, to look into shaping the origination’s new culture. He adds that it’s a bonus for the team and the business to be very agile and can build networks. He ends with the 3Rs in the crisis management process; which are readiness, response, and recovery.

Day 30 full panel

Wrapping up this virtual summit was incredible and a very special thank for Moamen Said the founder and CEO of I-Gamify, and the one who hosted the 30 days summit! We hope you have enjoyed it as much as we did, also for more related topics you can visit the page itself here on


Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021 – where balance, resilience and authenticity break the Mental Health Stigma



Written by: Cinzia Nitti

Globally, 2020 has been a year like no other. Coronavirus pandemic caused a massive business disruption; transformation has been key in supporting employees and catalyzing workplace changes. There was a rush to adapt and reinvent Business Models. Organizations had to rethink and reconsider how they deliver services and strengthen their Organizations through a forward-thinking Digital strategy. To be more agile and responsive in such uncertain times, we need to respond to challenges and adapt quickly to new scenarios by moving from rigid hierarchies to leaner and more flexible structures.

But what about Mental Health at Work, and why is it essential?

What’s the Office of the Future?

Within the Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021, HR Leaders tried to normalize the conversation about Mental Health by putting the topic first, enabling self-care and professional support, raising awareness, and building knowledge around its related issues. Nowadays, personal and work life are more intertwined than ever, so it becomes vital to create balance: the more employees feel free to talk about Mental Health, the more they can prevent struggle and breakout at the Workplace. HR leaders play a crucial role in making an IMPACT by pushing new solutions, promoting work-life balance, redesign workloads, and supporting their Teams.

In this general frame, Irada Aghamaliyeva (MENA Diversity, Inclusiveness & Wellbeing Leader at EY) affirmed: “Workplaces that are inclusive foster enhanced employee wellbeing; employees with high levels of wellbeing are more inclusive”. How can Organizations increase employees’ resilience and embed sustainable Leadership behaviors in the post-covid reality?

Dr. Irada Aghamaliyeva introduced the Mindfulness practice in the Workplace and highlighted its benefits on a large scale: improved wellbeing and resilience on a physical level; positive emotions, self-regulation, empathy and awareness of social dynamics; learning and innovation thanks to the implementation of flexible thinking, intuition and problem-solving processes. So breaking the stigma is possible, starting from personal wellbeing to sustain positive energy and fuel resilience.

About the Power of Empathetic and Authentic Leadership, Dr. Rima Ghose Chowdhury (EVP & Chief Human Resources Officers at Datamatics Global Services) stresses the importance of Leadership roles today. The virtual environment employees are working in, makes them more vulnerable due to a lack of balance between emotional and authenticity traits. Authenticity is the primary factor in effective leadership, regardless of the leadership style. Putting employees first as a strategic priority and hearing their voices to guide strategy; embracing agility to work more effectively in tumultuous time; including a multigenerational work-force: these are the key concepts within Dr. Rima’s motto “Empowering is to enable”. Through motivation and filling emotional support needs, the Empowering Teams Process leads to employees’ safety, esteem, and self-actualization. 

The Wellbeing @ Work Summit delivers strategic direction, advice and inspiration from employers and experts from across the world to help you create a more compassionate corporate culture that delivers results. To know more about the FOW Future of Work Insights platform around the world, click here:

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The Wellbeing @ Work virtual Summit Middle East returns for its 5th annual event on 22-24 February 2021



The summit provides an innovative and experiential virtual learning opportunity for our audience of CEOs, benefit and reward business leaders and senior HR professionals. The information and knowledge gained from attending this event allow the opportunity to make strategic wellbeing and mental health decisions within an organization, supporting our mission to create more flourishing and thriving workplaces. Never before has the mental health and wellbeing of your employees been so important. The Wellbeing @ Work Summit includes keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and fireside chats alongside unrivaled networking with leaders across the Middle East using our AI-enabled matchmaking platform. This is far more than a webinar! An engaging 3-day event providing you invaluable insight and tools to create thriving workplaces.

Key Reasons to Attend:

  • An engaging AI-enabled matchmaking platform to make invaluable connections & host virtual meetings up to 2 weeks before the three-day festival
  • Learn how multinational organizations are creating workplaces where employees thrive in the new world
  • Campfire panel discussions informing workplace change & mental health solutions
  • Middle East-based employer case studies providing the secrets to employee wellbeing success
  • International experts bringing best-practice from across the globe
  • Invaluable networking with business leaders from across the Middle East

The Wellbeing @ Work Summit delivers strategic direction, advice and inspiration from employers and experts from across the world to help you create a more compassionate corporate culture that delivers results. The design and implementation of a holistic wellbeing and mental health programme that delivers healthy outcomes and a more productive organization is paramount right now. 

In addition, the results of the extensive Middle East region-wide survey on wellbeing and mental fitness in organizations across the region made in partnership with Cognomie will be presented during the event.

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Interview with Keith F Watson -Online Tutor ICS Learn



“We feature our student success stories in our monthly Student Newsletter, as we know this inspires learners to keep going with their studies, as well as showing them how other students overcame the challenges they faced” Keith F Watson – ICS Learn


The Interviewee: Keith F Watson, LL.M, Chartered FCIPD, FCMI, FLPI, FITOL

Job Title: Owner 360 HR Solutions and Online Tutor ICS Learn

Keith’s qualifications include LL.M (Employment Law and Practice) and CIPD. A tutor since 2007, Keith worked in the financial services sector from 2006 in a variety of senior HR roles before setting up his consultancy in 2016. He’s actively involved with the CIPD in various capacities, including being a past branch chair, member of Council and a voluntary membership assessor. He is currently a member of the Professional Standards Panel (Chair) and a member of the Qualifications Advisory Group, as well as a member of the Employment Tribunal. Keith is also an Equality Act Assessor in the Sheriff Courts.

1-HR Revolution Middle East: The CIPD has become one of the most important certifications in the HR and the L&D field. Would you please explain to our readers the scientific value of the CIPD Certification, as well as its impact on the professional career progression in those fields?

ICS Learn: HR is an art underpinned by science, and the CIPD qualification benefits individuals and organisations by going beyond the technical aspects of people management and development. 

Whilst the qualification requires a robust technical knowledge across a range of topics, the real strength lies in the requirement to adapt that knowledge to the business environment and become a critical thinker who can devise best-fit solutions.

There is no doubt that the increasing requirement by organisations for their HR teams to have CIPD qualifications is due to those already with these qualifications having demonstrated the effective application of their technical knowledge in the workplace, rather than taking answers from a book and trying to make them fit situations where they simply don’t work

2- HR Revolution Middle East: From your experience, what are the most recurring challenges do learners have in completing their CIPD studies? What recommendations would you give them to help facilitate their time management for study?

ICS Learn: One of the most reoccurring challenges is time management. New learners – especially those studying part-time – do sometimes underestimate the time commitment in undertaking a professional qualification. Whilst we generally recognise the time necessary for classroom attendance, be it in-person or virtually, we often forget about the additional time required for self-study, research, and assignments – all of which are critical to our success.

There are only 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and even in lockdown, there are very few people claiming to have a lot of free time. Therefore, we must decide (ideally in advance) what activities we are going to put aside for the duration of our studies.

We all have different approaches to learning, so it’s important to free up the time when we’re going to be most effective, be that early in the morning, lunchtime, evening or later at night. Some people study better in short bursts, whereas others prefer to set aside a specific day at the weekend. There is no right or wrong way to study, it’s simply a question of when works best for you.  

Another reoccurring challenge for students looking to complete their CIPD qualification is understanding the question set. Whilst it is never the intention of an examiner to confuse a student with a question, it does sometimes happen. For example, it’s often said that businesses working in English are divided by a common language and HR practice is no different. An SME, for instance, can be a “small medium enterprise” or a “subject matter expert”. To avoid confusion, the first step is to read the question not once, not twice but at least three times to understand what has been written. If there is the slightest doubt as to what is being asked, seek clarification from your tutor.

3- HR Revolution Middle East:  To what extent do you believe that the body of knowledge of the CIPD Certifications can be applied to practical work in different countries?

ICS Learn: Whilst the legal aspects of the CIPD qualification are based on UK law, most CIPD qualifications are very general so that they can be applied internationally. Being that culture varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the core elements of HR practice remain the same in that we help support organisations in achieving their objectives through good people management and development practices.

The breadth of learning is a distinct advantage in all jurisdictions, as is knowing about practice and regulations in other jurisdictions. Given that laws and regulations vary over time, being able to identify and apply relevant regulations in an assignment is a valuable skill to have regardless of whether the same regulations apply in the countries we support. I have often joked that if I was ever to become an employee again, I would wish my contract to be based on Indonesian law as in that jurisdiction employees must agree to their dismissal!  

4- HR Revolution Middle East: As an Instructor, how did your journey with ICS start? What makes you most passionate about this role?

ICS Learn: I started my journey with ICS Learn more than 20 years ago as a CIPD student at which time, in addition to assignments, each module was tested by exam. Around 14 years ago, I received an email from one of my former ICS Learn tutors asking if I would be interested in attending an Advanced Employment Law workshop she was running as she was looking to retire from these workshops and she had been asked to look for a potential successor. Having literally that weekend just finished my dissertation for my master’s degree in Employment Law, for the first time in years I had a “free” weekend.

As I always enjoyed such workshops I readily agreed to attend. However, on arrival, I received a message that the tutor was unfortunately unable to attend and I was instead asked to run the workshop! Perhaps it was being thrown in at the deep end with no time to worry about anything, but the workshop was a great success with all the attendees passing their Employment Law exam a few months later and my having fully acquired the tutoring bug.

Over the years much has changed, and I have had the pleasure of running training sessions and workshops on a variety of CIPD and non-CIPD topics both virtually and in numerous countries including Singapore, India, Sudan, Nigeria, and of course in the Middle East both in UAE and KSA.

Whilst HR and the world has evolved, facilitating learning in others whilst learning from students and their personal workplace experiences is as inspiring and exciting today as it was 14 years ago.

5- HR Revolution Middle East: As a learner how did the CIPD qualification change your life?

ICS Learn: Without a doubt, gaining a CIPD qualification has been life-changing and has allowed me to have not only a successful career in HR within financial services but to successfully run my consultancy for the last 5 years. I must admit that being able to work internationally in so many different regions has been a distinct bonus and certainly embeds the learning that no matter what we do in HR there is always more than one way of doing it.

6- HR Revolution Middle East: What special tips would you share with professionals unable to choose the appropriate CIPD Certification Level for them? How does ICS Learn help learners in taking this step?

ICS Learn: Our advice would always be to chat to our CIPD Course Advisors, whether that be through our website, email, or on the phone. Their job is to talk through your experience, ambitions, and previous education to make sure that you choose the right CIPD course for you.

7- HR Revolution Middle East: What are the most common challenges CIPD students face? What pieces of advice do you have for them?

ICS Learn: As detailed in question 2, the most common challenge is time. We must be willing to accept that in taking on a new challenge we must set aside some of our current activities. Short term pain for long term gain!

8- HR Revolution Middle East: What should be the “competencies” of a CIPD student in order to excel and accomplish the degree?

ICS Learn: Self-discipline, commitment, curiosity, an open mindset, and of course an ability to understand and write in business English 

9- HR Revolution Middle East: ICS Learn cares to publish students’ success stories with different certifications and how they got opportunities to progress substantially in their careers. How often do you refer to those stories to encourage reluctant learners to finish their studies?

ICS Learn: We feature our student success stories in our monthly Student Newsletter, as we know this inspires learners to keep going with their studies, as well as showing them how other students overcame the challenges they faced. It’s a great way for students to learn from each other!


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