The Institute of Directors, IoD, is organising it’s 26th World Congress on Leadership for Business Excellence and Innovation from 19th to 21st April, 2016 at The Meydan Hotel, Dubai The convention puts the spotlight on various aspects of business excellence and innovation, including some concrete examples of corporate leadership. The Golden Peacock Awards for Quality, Business Excellence, Training and Innovative Product/Service and IoD Distinguished Fellowships will be presented before the close convention.
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development was welcomed as the Chief Guest, and during an address to the event on its opening day, he said, "The Institute of Directors is setting an admirable global standard. I take great pleasure in welcoming all of you to Dubai and the United Arab Emirates as you assemble again to reflect on Leadership for Business Excellence and Innovation. We in the UAE have long observed and applauded the success of Indian leaders both in India and abroad, and I am delighted that our Indian friends who live and work here are joined today by their colleagues from India and elsewhere around the world.
"Indian leaders in the UAE have been instrumental in forging strong links between the Republic of India and the United Arab Emirates. Bilateral trade between the two countries continues to increase, entrepreneurs from the two countries cross paths as they invest in each other’s economy, and it is quite obvious that Indian culture has influenced the global culture of our country. Our vibrant Indian population has helped us understand the wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi who wrote that "no culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive."
Our country has always welcomed Indian business and professional leaders, and they have devoted their knowledge, creativity, persistence, skill, and industry in the pursuit of their own progress. Their own progress has as well fundamentally promoted the progress of the UAE. The award winners will tell their stories today and tomorrow and those who listen closely will learn a great deal about leadership. The convention programme offers the winners as worthy examples and reminds me that men and women develop as effective leaders because they observe and appreciate the performance of effective leaders, past and present."
Sheikh Nahyan continued, "We Emiratis have been unusually fortunate in that regard. The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan, the man who founded our country and strengthened our links with India, gave us a model of leadership that is directly applicable to concerns of this Global Convention. When we examine the record of Sheikh Zayed’s actions, we can infer that certain principles guided him during the thirty-three years of his extraordinary presidency.
"Sheikh Zayed, while looking always to the future, carefully assessed the present and drew appropriate lessons from the past. He knew that our nation would be competing in a global context. He reasoned correctly that success in a global context would require us to innovate, open our minds, extend our horizons, and embrace education and technology.
"Sheikh Zayed was devoted to the traditions of his people. He particularly valued the traditions of generosity and hospitality. Today, people from all over the world live and work here peacefully under the commodious Arab tent that he first erected. His distinctive values influenced the guests who enjoyed his hospitality, and he learned from them as well. He welcomed knowledge because he knew that a closeted tradition would not ensure success in a global knowledge economy.
"Most of Sheikh Zayed’s actions constituted change. If the UAE were to succeed in a rapidly changing world, it had to change. But those changes had to be the right changes, and they had to come at the right time. Sheikh Zayed understood that leaders had to foresee the consequences of change and prepare the nation to capitalise on change.
"Sheikh Zayed, like most great leaders, was deeply rooted in his native environment. He was devoted to the desert and understood it like the falcons that flew from his arm. The trees that he had planted, more than 150 million of them, remind us constantly of our obligation to our environment. His example has inspired the achievements of His Highness the President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan with regard to conservation, reduction of our carbon footprint, and environmental awareness.
"Sheikh Zayed brought our various emirates together because he understood that we could accomplish far more together than we could separately. His insistence on cooperation led to one of the most successful instances of regional unity and productive collaboration in the Arab world. His policies and actions affecting the diverse elements of the country’s population emerged from respectful consultation with those various elements.
"Within a week of its creation, the UAE became a member of the United Nations. Sheikh Zayed was the driving force in the establishment of the Gulf Cooperation Council which first met in Abu Dhabi at his calling in 1981. He engaged the rest of the world in accord with his view that, and I quote, 'We have a duty as heads of states responsible for their people to deal with one another in [a spirit of] tolerance, compassion, and dialogue rather than with the language of confrontations, wars, and destruction'.
"Sheikh Zayed understood that the wealth enjoyed by our country is a gift from the Creator and brings with it major responsibilities. He used the country’s resources wisely. He led one of the most remarkable efforts for national development in history guided by the principle of preserving and sharing our wealth. He shared that wealth not only in the UAE but also in scores of other countries to the benefit of millions of people around the world.
"Sheikh Zayed was totally committed to education. He referred to it as the ‘lantern that lights our way in the dark.’ He supported the development of a modern education system that is free to all citizens from primary school through university. He elevated other aspects of human development as well. Healthcare, social welfare, continuing education and training, safety, and security preoccupied him and flourished because of his leadership.
"Sheikh Zayed understood the value of employing each individual’s talent for a useful purpose. He was an absolute believer in the importance of both men and women having equal educational opportunities. He was resolute in establishing the right of all citizens to develop their natural talents to the fullest.
"By in effect creating a pluralistic society, Sheikh Zayed nullified ancient animosities and contemporary hostilities. He energetically engaged diversity, actively sought to understand others across lines of difference, encouraged civil encounters of commitments and conditions, and stimulated dialogue. He developed a country that not only accepts but also embraces diversity in the interests of peace.
With these ten principles, the late Sheikh Zayed led the board of seven emirates. He propelled the UAE to astounding financial and social bottom lines. But more important, and absolutely essential, were his wisdom, his practical competence, and his steadfast integrity, all devoted to his goal of improving and enriching the lives of his countrymen. He kept his eyes and ears open; he saw and he heard. He did not let matters go wrong. He was always determined to discover what was morally right and always had the courage to do what was morally right. That is the bottom line that matters most. Those are the actions that will enable us to pass the test of leadership as chairpersons and members of boards.
"The leadership principles and actions of Sheikh Zayed may be enough to fill our imaginations this morning. They could well ignite discussions among you at this Global Convention and surely provide food for thought. I hope that they inspire you to think about the leader that you are and aspire to be. I hope that they move you even closer to the business excellence that you desire. I hope that they promote the values of innovation, transparency, honesty, responsibility, respect, rule of law, knowledge, accountability, justice, integrity, and fairness in the work of boards. I hope that they support a productive Global Convention and underscore the strong links between India and the United Arab Emirates."
A large number of business leaders and experts are participating in the event, with over 150 top organisations and around 250 business leaders taking part in the event.
During the congress, the Golden Peacock Global Award for Leadership in Public Service will also be conferred upon Lt. General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Head of General Security for the Emirate of Dubai.
Shri T. P. Seetharam, IFS, Ambassador of India to United Arab Emirates delivered the inaugural address, while Shri Kulwant Singh, President of the Indian Business and Professional Council, IBPC, Dubai, delivered the opening address.