Last week, we at IESE Business School celebrated our 2016 Global Alumni Reunion – GAR, as we call it. I had the honor to serve as Academic Director together with my colleague Professor Núria Mas. It was such a pleasure to welcome 2,500 or so of our 45,000 alumni from all over the world! The theme was “Be the change! Leadership for a positive new era”.
I chaired a session on Internationalization. Mr. Francis Okomo-Okello, immediate past Chairman of Barclays Kenya and currently a member of the Board of the Barclays Africa Group, was one of the panelists. These are some of the ideas that he shared with us:
- Africa should have a leadership position in the world stage and be a competent dialogue partner in the discussion of Africa’s role and our roles as global citizens. This requires a collaborative leadership style.
- Developing local talent is critical, as locals understand best the cultural aspects of business. Business leaders should think in terms of their global responsibilities, and at the same time undertake business growth taking into account local professionals.
He remarked that change starts with oneself. This is promoted at Barclays Kenya through two related programs that are anchored in participatory management styles: the iChange program that recognizes that change starts with personal transformation, and the iChange circles program that involves support groups for change.
This resonated with other messages that came across during the day:
- We change with the community, and need other people to change –a message from Dr. Valentín Fuster, Physician-in-Chief at Mount Sinai Medical Hospital in New York.
- It’s teams, and not isolated individuals, that change the world – a remark from Prof. Ian Goldin, Director of the Oxford Martin School, Oxford University.
Change starts with ourselves: something that we often say but that we practice less often. But if we want to live in a positive new era – which I bet we all do – we can’t wait for others to lead the way: we must be the change.
Any thoughts on how to be the change?