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Striking HR Philosophies in EMEA HR Summit London 2016



Coverage: Mahmoud Mansi

Photography: Alia Faramawi & Mahmoud Mansi

Gathering HR Professionals from Europe, Middle East and Africa in the EMEA HR Summit to unite them together discussing and working towards creating a better world for and through our employees.


The summit took place in The Bentley London bringing 10 professional speakers offering out of the box solutions regarding contemporary HR issues.

Event Director Kat Eletskih stated that, “Organisations around the world have different expectations of Human Resources. The EMEA HR Summit is an event designed to unravel the mysteries of the International HR Transformation; focusing on best case studies and discussions around potential of HR and its journey to the better future. In order to put the transformation into perspective and make the most of the opportunity, organisations and HR leaders need to be very good at looking at the future. Missing this opportunity can leave HR leadership teams and their organisations badly exposed when the unexpected happens.”


Tom Griffin – a behavioral strategist and storyteller / Founder of Extra Ordinary People – chaired the conference. His outstanding ability to connect with people was clear due to his theatre background and neuroscience expertise. He spoke about the importance of storytelling and how it influences others as it is an excellent connection between human beings. Moreover linking storytelling to human resources Tom elaborated the importance of providing storytelling as a course for managers in an organisation as it will encourage teamwork and leadership.


Gyan Nagpal – A Best Selling Author, CEO and Co-Founder of PLGA Consulting in Singapore – spoke about the impact of technology on existing jobs, and the replacement of many jobs by software programs. How will people find employment and how HR will coexist with such evolutionary changes was the main theme of Gyan. His conclusion was that humans created technology and not the other way around.


Mohamed Mesbah – International HR Expert & Speaker – spoke about the power of Millennials into developing the new world. Mesbah also spoke about the power of Millennials in politics and as an example he spoke about the revolution in Egypt and another example was “Who initiated all the wars, was it generation X?”. Mesbah also highlighted a very important tip saying that organisations now are like this person fishing in the desert! As they only use LinkedIn to find talent while most Millennials use other social media channels like Facebook for example.


Derya Tekin Yusuf – HR President at Celebi Aviation Holding Inc – highlighted that most organisations are now concerned regarding dealing with Millennials but they forget to focus on building a bridge between different generations instead of only empowering one.


Yetunde Hofmann – Non Executive Director CIPD, Visiting Fellow Henley Business School & a TEDx Speaker – spoke about the impact of digital fluency on diversity and inclusion on talent management. In her speech she also initiated a very important angle which is “love”. She spoke about love that exists between employees and managers, and she explained that it’s not the “romantic” kind of love but to allow people to believe in you. Yetunde also spoke about encouraging employees to get involved in civil work activities? Especially in treasury because this will help them understand the value of money.


Richard Grills – Head of Global HR B2M Solutions – started his speech by providing several examples occurring due to global economic changes, one of these examples was the dramatic currency exchange rates between developed and developing countries. From this point he focused his speech on the adaptability and flexibility of the corporate and employment world. The ability to find and retain people of high potential through “building the talent pipeline” in your organisation. Richard highlighted a vital issue that many HR people fall into, is that HR should not rely on motivating their employees through financial rewards, because the “Employee Y” is more attracted by “personal engagement, recognition, freedom and flexibility.”


Tim Highet – GE Crotonville Regional Director (Europe, Russia CIS, MENA) Customer Leadership Education – his speech was about driving evolution integrated talent management and leadership development. Tim also worked on sharing some case studies from GE, and one of the most interesting ones was that since they found out that the performance appraisal system causes dissatisfaction when someone gets a lower grade than the other, and that all line managers get the highest grade, so they decided to cancel it! Or in other words to replace it by a verbal one to one meeting which will allot the employee and manager to discuss further development on regular basis.


Mahmoud MansiAuthor, 4 Times TEDx Speaker, Founder of HR Revolution Magazine & Senior HR Specialist at The Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport – spoke about his new model “Shared Development” and how it resolves most of the contemporary HR problems. He started his idea by asking the audience which is more fun, being a student or being an employee? Mahmoud then proceeded that students are happy because they have several teachers/mentors, they get weekly feedback, they have the right to play and they are raised with the idea that they can be anything they want, while as they grow up to employees they become like chess pieces each has o my one role and is allowed to develop only in one direction with a certain percentage. That’s why employees are not happy.


Dr. Robert DaviesAuthor, Director DRD Advisory & Senior Visiting Fellow, Cass Business School – spoke about very interesting themes. He started his speech by taking permission from the audience to take off his jacket, referring to his very first job where he had to take permission from his boss to do so. This brilliant metaphor reflected the huge transformation of the work environment. This was an excellent way to begin his idea; most of the classic management business models we have been studying are not applicable in the contemporary real world. Robert explains that when these models were created the business environment wasn’t as dynamic as now, so implementing it was much easier but now it wouldn’t make sense.


Alan Whitford – Managing Partner Abtech Partnership & HR Consultant – conducted a recruitment workshop on “Achieving Business Success”. He started by brainstorming with the delegates on analysing the contemporary recruitment issues, and each wrote their own insights as notes, then they shared their questions. Alan was able to spot the common problems the delegates were talking about, and from this he started his dynamic workshop by showing that the focus should always be on “people” since this is the only “constant” variable in this unstable changing world.


Those who are used to attend HR conferences around the globe know that there is always a percentage of speakers who come to merely talk about their organisational achievements, however in this conference each and every speaker has a sincere message to deliver that left an impact on the delegates. It is best to always stay connected with different minds from the same field year by year, month by month, and sometimes day by day, for Human Resources is all about observing people, the market and about connecting both to serve humanity.

Please Also Read: BOC EMEA HR Summit 2016 – Chairman’s Review and Executive Summary

For More Pictures:


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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DECODING FUTURE HR: Global 24 hour virtual event | 19 and 20 January 2021



DECODING FUTURE HR: Today’s challenges are tomorrow’s trends and opportunities

Global 24 hour virtual event | 19 and 20 January 2021

The world in 2020 has changed to a ‘new normality’ but what’s that ‘new normality’ everybody talks about? Is it here to stay? How is it affecting us in our daily lives in the different versions of ourselves? As a customer, an entrepreneur, a parent, a friend…a worker…

Our job is a key part of our lives and we are indeed living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work. Automation and ‘thinking machines’ are replacing human tasks and jobs, and changing the skills that organisations are looking for in their people. These momentous changes raise huge organisational, talent and other HR challenges. It has become clear that few organisations are likely to revert to pre-pandemic practices even after a vaccine is found.

Decoding Future HR 2021 is bringing you the ideology of how today’s challenges are becoming tomorrow’s trends and opportunities resulting in HR excellence.

Why you should attend:

  • Learn about the trends and best practices shaping future HR
  • Get valuable insights from expert speakers
  • Share ideas and research to help your organisation reach its goals
  • Understand what do employees want in ‘New Normal’
  • Develop new vision for HRBP and Centre of Expertise
  • Identify, integrate and understand stakeholders to create an intentional employee experience
  • Approaches and elements to leadership development.

Some of our confirmed speakers:

  • Tshepo Yvonne Mosadi , Human Resources Director, The HEINEKEN Company
  • Sarah Tabet, Global HR Director/ D&I Leader | Author for “Inclusion Starts with U”, Schneider Electric
  • Wadah Al Turki, Country Talent Manager KSA and Bahrain, IKEA
  • Lesha Chakraborti, Head of HR – EMEA, Travelex
  • Shaban Butt, Director HR & Administration, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Sajjad Parmar, Head of Rewards – APAC, eBay
  • Katey Howard, VP, Talent Management AMESA, Pepsico
  • Chen Fong Tuan, HR & General Affairs Director, Samsung Electronics
  • Prerna Ajmera, Senior Director, HR Experiences and Solutions, Microsoft
  • Václav Koranda, Vice President Human Resources / Member of the Board of Directors, T-System
  • Amy MacGregor, VP Employee Experience, Global HR, Manulife
  • Adwait Kashalkar, People Analytics and Programme Management Leader, APAC, Mastercard

Click here to view all speakers:

At Wisdom we remain positive that ‘normality’ will soon return and that we will be able to physically meet together once again as speakers, delegates and sponsors at our beautiful venues around the world. But meanwhile, life continues and we need to keep in touch and learn from each other. This 24-hour virtual event will be of great benefit and value to your businesses and its continued development during these challenging times. While this virtual event comes at a lesser cost, it provides for now a wider reach into an international audience, with flexibility of access to content as well as allowing you to have the same opportunity as at a face-to-face session for one-to-one business meetings. We look forward to welcoming you in January.

Date and time: 19-20 January 2021Where: Virtual engaging platform
  Further information and bookings:        Contact:   #WSDM_BI
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