Putting the Saïd in Saudi - IEDP
  • Leadership

Putting the Saïd in Saudi

Developing public and private sector leaders to enhance Saudi Arabia’s competitiveness


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Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford in a joint initiative with the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), Rakisa Education and the North Development Program (NDP) saw 45 participants from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia start the Saudi Oxford Advanced Management and Leadership Program (SOAMLP) today. The SOAMLP is aimed at developing public and private sector leaders to enhance Saudi Arabia’s competitiveness for the overall benefit of Saudi society.

The Oxford Advanced Management and Leadership Program (OAMLP) is a flagship executive program of the Business School. Since its inception in 1983, it has attracted more than 1100 senior executives from over 80 countries worldwide. In 2009 the School launched the program in Saudi Arabia, successfully delivering a program customised by the faculty to focus on issues and challenges faced by Saudi leaders and their organisations.

The SOAMLP is one of six national initiatives of strategic importance implemented by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Agency in Saudi Arabia to promote learning, entrepreneurship and innovation, and bring Saudi Arabia’s economy to the forefront of competitiveness.

Dr Lalit Johri, Program Director for the SOAMLP, said: ‘We are delighted to partner with SAGIA and NDP in this strategic initiative.   We believe that educating talented senior Saudi executives on the SOAMLP will not only improve the performance of their organisations but will also have a positive impact on the economy and make a big difference to the lives of Saudis.’

The SOAMLP will comprise four modules delivered over four weeks; three in Oxford, UK and one in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  The modules will address ‘Global and Saudi Challenges and Insights’, ‘Organisational Challenges and Choices’ and ‘Your leadership journey – past, present and future’. The fourth module examines the participants’ ‘Contribution to the Competitiveness of the Saudi Economy’ and reflects on the role each participant will play in managing the socio-economic challenges in the Saudi economy. The program will be led and facilitated by experienced international faculty from the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, CEOs and Ministers from the UK and Saudi Arabia. The program follows the University’s well-known tutorial tradition, in which individuals receive personal coaching from tutors and experts.

During the eight-week period between Modules 3 and 4, teams of participants will conduct fieldwork and design innovative strategies for developing the competitiveness of strategically important areas in the Saudi economy, such as education, employment, non-oil based industries, the environment, talent development, local regional development, and health. The teams will then present their recommendations to the key policy makers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The SOAMLP provides a compelling forum to share views on how external and internal pressures affect executives and their organisations.  In an intellectually stimulating environment, participants will discuss key global and Saudi trends and how these are shaping the competitive landscape, examine the strategic tools required by organisations to enhance competitiveness, and take time to reflect on their executive experiences and skills, helping them to make a difference to their organisation and the Kingdom.

HE Amr Abdullah Al-Dabbagh, Governor of SAGIA, said: ‘SAGIA supports this program which reflects the Kingdom’s strategic vision to support the competitiveness of its human resources and the development of private and public sector leaders, especially with investment in human development acting as a cornerstone in our nation’s development and prosperity.’ He continued: ‘We at the National Competitive Center share the same vision with the Northern Development Program of long term cooperation to improve Saudi Arabia’s competitiveness.’ He pointed out that the programme will instill business values, methodologies and application strategies that managers and businessmen can use to help them move the Saudi economy and society to a higher level.
Whilst in Oxford, the participants will have opportunities to interact with thinkers and experts from the broader University of Oxford, including the James Martin 21st Century School and the Middle East Centre, and with the top management teams from organisations in the region.

The Saïd Business School is Europe’s fastest growing business school. An integral part of the University of Oxford, it embodies the academic rigour and forward thinking that has made Oxford a world leader in education.

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