Utilities Middle East
The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the critical need for great leadership during uncertain times. Leadership is important in any situation and industry, but particularly critical to this industry which provides life-saving services to communities.
But broadly speaking, we need to acknowledge that the utilities industry continues to go through significant change. It seems now though, that the rate of change and the dimensions of change are far greater than they have been in the recent past. They also appear to be accelerating at a rate that we have not seen in this generation. The changes are both technological and policy or regulatory and are driven at least in part by desire on the part of our customers.
Without strong and effective leadership helping to lead the organisations through the continual changes, the utilities as companies and as an industry will likely fail, or, in the best case, be relegated to a shell of their former selves.
Utilities do not accept change easily, and that is understandable. For most of their history, utilities have been focused on the long game, with investments based on meeting the needs over 30 to 50 years. Change brings uncertainty and uncertainty becomes problematic in a regulated environment that is dependent on certainty for investor support that in turn fuels the capital that enables the investments.
What we need to recognize is that customers, technology developers, our work forces and now even the regulators are moving at a much faster rate, and the long view is no longer valued or safe. In many jurisdictions, the fundamentals of the industry and our structure are being rewritten.
So, in essence, the biggest requirement for leaders in the industry is to become outstanding leaders of change. It is critical that leaders fully accept and embrace that ‘change’ is necessary … to not change may mean we don’t survive.
It is, therefore, important to recognise the efforts and success of individuals that have led their organisations with a vision by putting in place effective systems that can withstand any sudden shifts in the business environment. In no particular order, we celebrate in this issue the top 50 such leaders of the utilities industry in the GCC.