Posted on June 01, 2016

HEC Paris, one of the world’s top 3 providers of Executive Education programs, and KPMG, one of the ‘big four’ global consulting firms, organized a joint event on “Leading Change through Turbulent Times” on 31 May at HEC Paris’ premises in Tornado Tower. The event was led by Roger Hallowell, HEC Paris Affiliate Professor of Strategy and Business Policy.

Businesses and organizations in Qatar and across the Gulf are facing turbulent times due to economic pressure from the fall in oil and gas prices. Consequently, managers and leaders must adapt their way of working to manage change cautiously and wisely in times of instability. In his keynote address, Professor Hallowell outlined the best practices for driving permanent or short-term change. His two overarching themes were ‘What organizations can do to prepare for turbulence’ and ‘What not to do 99% of the time during turbulence’.

Other critical topics Professor Hallowell discussed included exploring the probability for turbulence, financial strategies for companies anticipating turbulence (both structural and conditional) and ways to safeguard operations before turbulence sets in.

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“It is known that the key to leading change successfully through turbulent times is to recognize and respond to the needs, fears and interests of people affected by this change. This calls for new management techniques along with redefining immediate and long-term goals. There is a long history of collaboration between business schools and consulting firms, at multiple levels. Consulting firms use more human resources than many other businesses and business schools supply a large percentage of their needs. Furthermore, both HEC Paris and KPMG are actively engaged in adding value to corporate clients through the services they offer. We are pleased to collaborate with KPMG in helping the country’s leaders consider the challenges and opportunities their organizations face,” said Prof. Laoucine Kerbache, Dean & CEO of HEC Paris in Qatar.

KPMG’s Head of Advisory, Rajesh Menon helped set the context for the session by outlining emerging trends and risks in the current economic landscape and explaining how organisations can continue to deliver value to shareholders by critically examining their business and operating models. Ahmed Abu-Sharkh, Country Senior Partner for KPMG in Qatar said: “At KPMG and HEC Paris in Qatar, we are privileged to be able to help Qatar’s business community navigate a new economic landscape. Turbulent times can be daunting for businesses, however it’s essential that leaders look for ways to turn challenge into opportunity and thrive during a crisis.”

Professor Roger Hallowell is the Academic Director of programs for managers and executives in the fields of strategy and business policy, as well as leadership. He teaches regularly on the HEC Paris Executive MBA. Until recently, Professor Hallowell was a managing partner at the Center for Executive development comprising a number of former Harvard professors. He is an authority on strategic initiatives with the goal of simultaneous cost reduction and quality improvement. As author of numerous papers his work has appeared in Academy of Management Executive, Human Resource Management amongst others.