International Motivational Speaker Simerjeet' Singh's Blog

Motivational and Leadership Corporate Training Workshops in Saudi Arabia

Background 

HOW SPARK evolved from an Aha! moment to an award winning and result focussed program –

Mr Abduallah bin Ali AlMajdouie, President of AlMajdouie Group, Saudi Arabia reminisces about a particular workshop that he once attended with his company executives:

“It was a strategy lecture, and the lecturer threw in words such as ‘creativity’ and ‘innovation’.

Of course, I had heard these notions before, but sometimes you need that moment of ‘click’ in your mind where concepts turn into something tangible and things start moving.

The lecturer was talking about innovation and ideas programs and  how the talent and the brains of your organisation can be explored by compiling the ideas of employees through giving them the right respect and environment to work in.

Otherwise you run the risk of your employees closing up and you will never be able to benefit from what they have to offer.

From then on we started to setup the program called SPARK.

The aim of this program is to find out what employees think could be improved in a specific workplace or the company as a whole.”

(Source – Tharawat magazine Interview with Mr. Abdullah Ali Almajdouie, President of the group)

This is how it all started in 2003 and the SPARK program at the AlMajdouie Group*  has never looked back.

 SPARK, their bold organizational initiative is a proven system meant to

  1. Encourage
  2. Capture
  3. Review
  4. Implement (The Best of)
  5. Reward

EMPLOYEE IDEATION AND INNOVATION.

(*The ALMAJDOUIE GROUP of companies – A Saudi group initially established as a transport company in 1965,  flowering subsequently in diverse sectors including food, logistics, manufacturing and real estate. It now operates all over the Kingdom as well as in GCC, North America, Europe,  Far East, Middle East and Africa.  The group employs over 5000 employees and is headquartered in Dammam. Apart from other accomplishments, their logistics arm recently entered the Guinness Book of World Records for ‘moving the heaviest item by road freight’) –

 

And one might wonder, why would an organization with such a strong and proven system of promoting innovation, need leadership motivational workshops on fostering creativity and innovation?

 And the answer, quite simply, is that SPARKS need fuel to blaze!

“I certainly agree that employees play a crucial role in the success of companies, and we must involve all employees to bring improvements at their work place, tapping their minds, exploring ideas & solutions”

Those were the words quoted as part of the speech given by Mr Abduallah bin Ali AlMajdouie, President of AlMajdouie Group, at the celebration of No.1 Innovative Company in the business sector of Saudi Arabia, Awarded recently for the Group by Saudi Innovation Index 2010 in association with “AlEqtisadiyah” Newspaper.

Motivational Speaker in Saudi

Bringing improvements at the workplace, tapping the minds of all employees and exploring ideas and solutions are not one off activities. This requires a constant moulding of the organizational culture to enable the best ideas to flourish.

It was with this intent in mind that Mr. Enayat Shaikh, Spark Corporate Committee Head and Mr.Niyaz Mohammed , Commercial Head, International Projects Development invited Motivational Speaker and Corporate Trainer Mr. Simerjeet Singh to facilitate workshops for their SPARK teams in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

Simerjeet at Saudi Arabia

Here are some of the REDISCOVERIES that these leadership workshops intended to bring about-

REDISCOVERIES : 

1)     People think outside-the-box when YOU do not ask them to live in boxes.

2)    Everyone can ideate. (not just some fortunate few born with some sort of creative gene

3)    Employees do NOT innovate usefully when leaders let complexity fill the air they breathe

4)    Ideas die in the dark. Leaders better “light up” THEIR environment if you want their ideas.

5)    Ideas are NATURAL TO people;  only if nature gets its NURTURE FROM YOU

 

The fertility of the follower’s mind is dependent on the culture established by the leader.

Let us venture a few steps deeper  !

 

1)     People think outside-the-box when YOU do not ask them to live in boxes.

This blogger is reminded of an anonymous quote:

“My darling girl, when are you going to understand that “normal” isn’t a virtue?

It rather denotes a lack of courage.”

YES, THEY (your normal people) can ideate brightly.

A work culture that facilitates a free flow of information and enables it’s cross functional teams to network and collaborate is a fertile ground for new ideas to emerge. However, when lack of trust, secrecy and silos exist, even the best innovation program is bound to fail.

Motivational Workshop in Saudi

2)    Everyone can ideate. (not just some fortunate few born with some sort of creative gene)

But the old suggestion box just doesn’t do it anymore and you can wait a long time to get more than a few scattered ideas from a web site. Leaders have to make it social, writes —Steven Farmer— W. Frank Barton Distinguished Chair in Business, Department of Management, Wichita State University.

Ideas come from the interplay and free exchange between employees.

Create opportunities for employees to get together and brainstorm.

New ideas come from playfulness and humor.

If fun is not a dirty word at your business, you’ll hear a lot more ideas every day.

Nothing shuts people up faster than knowing if they offer an idea the boss or company doesn’t like, they’ll pay for it.

Really good ideas almost never sound “normal.”

Imagine how the idea for Post-it notes must have sounded when it was first described—

“you stick these little pieces of paper everywhere, then…… . 

—Steven Farmer—

W. Frank Barton Distinguished Chair in Business, Department of Management,  Wichita State University

3)    Employees do NOT innovate usefully when leaders let complexity fill the air they breathe

Steve Jobs once said in an interview, “Know how many committees we have at Apple? Zero ! …………. …”

The act of creativity is one of self- expression. And complexity suffocates creativity. If an organization wants to draw upon the latent creative potential of its people, the leaders must commit to simplification of the routine stuff.

After all, if all your energy is being consumed by keeping up with the treadmill of organizational complexity, where is the room for new breakthrough ideas?

Josh Linkner, bestselling author of  Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity describes this dilemma vividly –

 “Imagine a typical manager hovering over Picasso, tapping his watch and demanding a full report ‘for the file” on why he chose a certain brushstroke technique.”

 

4)    Ideas die in the dark. Leaders better “light up” THEIR environment if you want their ideas.

 

Ever wondered how Disney remains such an exceptionally creative lot?

Perhaps the grand old man himself had left us a clue?

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”  Walt Disney

Today the culture within that organization is an amazing case study.

Eg: – There is a job-role there called an “IMAGINEER “

That does not mean other office bearers do not contribute ideas.

Disney breathes ideation.

So did Apple. (presumably still do)!

5)    Ideas are NATURAL TO people;  only if nature gets its NURTURE FROM YOU

Peter Drucker once said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”

So, how do you get — and keep — a Culture of Innovation?

The secret lies partly in creating a safety net for employees – allowing them to be different, make mistakes and relentlessly experiment with new ideas. And this cultural transformation should begin with those who set the tone for the organization.

Lisa Arie, The CEO Whisperer, puts it beautifully

“Make yourself and your company a haven – a safe crucible where you encourage  a willingness to be open — with yourself and each other, a place to tempt the fear, to listen to your instinct and feel secure enough to  allow new connections.

As a leader of a culture of innovation, you’ll need to ensure you do this on a consistent basis for yourself.

It’s futile to try to create a culture of openness and innovation unless we know what we are asking for feels like.

What leaders want to see on the outside starts with recalibrating the inside.”

Lisa Arie, The Huffington Post  (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-arie/)

Almajdouie top brass as well as the SPARK-Heads are not a run-of-the mill audience.

As mentioned earlier, they, in a way, knew all of the above !

More so after years of SPARK experience. Mastering the nuances of how to farm, nurture and harvest employee ideation and innovation has been the organization’s strength.

Now, the deeper your knowing is in the muscle, the more useful it is to you !

That’s where motivational speakers and corporate trainers like Simerjeet Singh contribute to help organizations rediscover, realign and rekindle the spark!

The fire in his belly, (or rather in his head and heart?);

Training in Saudi Arabia

PERSONAL lessons from his own life, activities and relevant case studies from everywhere, everything that could bring it down from ideation to execution- was successfully deployed in these fun filled and invigorating workshops.

Simer was REAL, not surreal.

And SPARK got loads of the right fuel to blaze brighter still and the feedback from the organizing team says it all –

“It was a fantastic experience to interact with Simerjeet. He is a true motivational speaker.

I enjoyed his sessions thoroughly. He gives so much energy to his audience and he realizes the true potential of individuals.”

Niyaz Mohammed, MBA
Head of Commercial Dept., Almajdouie Logistics World

(We hope this promotional article was able to give you a glimpse into our workshops. If you are curious to know more about us, visit us today at http://www.simerjeetsingh.com or write to us at info@simerjeetsingh.com to find out how we can contribute to your organization. )

2 comments

  1. “Imagine a typical manager hovering over Picasso, tapping his watch and demanding a full report ‘for the file” on why he chose a certain brushstroke technique.” – This analogy best sums up the way unnecessary detailing kills the whole essence of creativity. I felt it while I was associated with the Corporate, and identify with the thought that nurturing a non-authoritative atmosphere in office, to encourage ideas from the team goes a long way in collaborative problem solving.

  2. Pingback: Motivational Speaker Simerjeet Singh captivates Oman | International Motivational Speaker Simerjeet' Singh's Blog

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