Etisalat Group Enlists Duke University to Groom Future Leaders

Abu Dhabi: Specially selected employees from across the Etisalat Group are being put through their paces and developed for future senior management roles by the renowned US-based executive learning and development company, Duke University.

The first phase of this program tested Etisalat’s high potential staff in a mock courtroom simulation that was attended by its CEO, Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, Chief Human Resources Officer, Adbulaziz Al Sawaleh, Chief Government Relations and Communications Officer, Nasser bin Obood, Chief Digital Services Officer, Khalifa Al Shamsi and Senior Vice President Regulatory Affairs, Dr. Kamal Shehadi.

This courtroom simulation split the candidates into three teams who were tasked with investigating and placing arguments to a panel of judges and an experienced corporate lawyer who would evaluate their leadership performance and announce a verdict based on the strength of their evidence and ability to present their findings. The candidates had the opportunity to question senior executives from the Etisalat Group and present their findings in a high intensity simulation. This was followed by three days of classroom training at the Etisalat Academy.

Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, CEO at the Etisalat Group initiated the proceedings with an inspirational talk in which he congratulated Etisalat’s High Potential candidates and encouraged them to higher performance. “I wish to thank you all for your commitment to Etisalat and recognize the success of your participation in this program to date. The contributions you have already made have been extremely valuable, especially in your role working as consultants across our operations. We look forward to the results of your forthcoming work with our digital services unit, and I thank you in advance for this. Ultimately we believe that talent is a solution to many of the challenges that we face, and your mission is not only to find the optimum answer for these issues – but do so in a way that will leverage the synergies and create business impact.

I would also like to thank our partners Duke Corporate Education and I wish all involved the best of luck as we move into the next phase of your learning experience.” Duke Corporate Education is a global learning and development company that uses innovative and flexible learning methods, processes and educators to help organizations achieve their goals. The Etisalat training program is only for just under 100 high potential staff from across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The focus is on building capabilities by enabling employees to adopt new concepts, actions and behaviors that are required to address various business challenges.

The Etisalat Group’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Adbulaziz Al Sawaleh said: “The Etisalat High Potential Program is a fundamental part of our talent development strategy. This is the reason Etisalat is investing heavily in those who have shown the potential and determination to advance. As a growing multinational, we are determined to bring values and support to the people in the countries in which we operate, and it is a key part of our strategy to have representatives from all of our companies across the region. We have also enlisted the support of the world’s most renowned corporate education providers, especially Duke Corporate Education, which clearly shows the priority we place with regards to developing our future leaders.”

The Etisalat Group has selected employees from across its 16 countries to participate in this initiative – all nationals from those markets – and has invested in rich learning experiences to prepare them for future leadership roles. The partnership with Duke CE is the first of its kind in the Middle East and will provide Etisalat’s high potential cadre access to an exclusive library of resources and learning experiences.

Michael Andrew, Acting Vice President – Talent Management at Etisalat Group, said: “The candidates within our High Potential Program have all been carefully and scientifically selected using the latest systems and tools. They have been recruited from each of our operators and across various functions. This is a long-term investment in our staff, and therefore we expect this will result in more engagement with our employees and heightened performance in both results and leadership.” The project kicked off at the courtroom simulation event held at the DIFC Courts which was kindly hosted by its Senior Judge, Justice Omar Al Muhairi.