Trans­form­ing Busi­ness and So­ci­ety in the Dig­i­tal Age

Middle East Business (English) - - NEWS - The first is­sue is nav­i­gat­ing com­plex­ity.

Idon't be­lieve this is true at present. Not in the Mid­dle East at least - a prime ex­am­ple of how the more things change, the more change they bring. Jean-Bap­tiste’s epi­gram of 1849 is noth­ing more than a cliché used by scep­tics to­day to down­play the enor­mity change es­pe­cially in re­cent years, in what is known as ‘The Dig­i­tal Age’. As the an­cient Greek philoso­pher Her­a­cli­tus once said: ‘change is the only con­stant’ - ta panta rhei (in Greek), ‘Life is Flux’. Things do not stay the same. Les choses ne restent pas les mêmes. The Mid­dle East has shown its au­da­cious face in this re­gard, as well as its re­silience, its re­solve and Dr. Frances Tsakonas CEO & Founder In­ter­na­tional So­ci­ety of Change Lead­ers In­ter­na­tional In­sti­tute for Ed­u­ca­tion Ad­vance­ment UK

its de­ter­mi­na­tion. More than five years af­ter the Arab up­ris­ings or what be­came known as the ‘Arab Spring’, the dy­nam­ics of change in the Mid­dle East are still at work. The role played by the in­ter­net and so­cial me­dia dur­ing these up­ris­ings has been cited by many, but what is of­ten over­looked is the role the in­ter­net and so­cial me­dia played in spread­ing in­for­ma­tion out­side the re­gion rather than in­side it, act­ing more like a mega­phone than a unit­ing force. The digi­ti­sa­tion of all lev­els of so­ci­ety and busi­ness has en­cap­su­lated the Mid­dle East and has trans­formed the re­gion. This trans­for­ma­tion pro­cesses needs to be con­tin­ued and con­sol­i­dated, while at the same time, a po­lit­i­cal cul­ture of ac­count­abil­ity, trans­parency and par­tic­i­pa­tion needs to be sup­ported and nur­tured. But to do so re­quires build­ing a firm foun­da­tion of hu­man ca­pa­bil­i­ties that is fo­cused on lead­ing change and that does not leave change to chance, to its ‘Her­a­cli­tan’ even­tu­al­ity of flux. So what are the three key is­sues in lead­ing change in the Mid­dle East - in trans­form­ing busi­ness and so­ci­ety in the dig­i­tal age? The Mid­dle East is prob­a­bly the most com­plex re­gion of the

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