Kenya is set to host the first of its kind summit in Africa targeting CEOs, Managing Directors and heads of public institutions in East Africa with a view to addressing the intercultural question in the workplace at a time when globalization is posing new challenges to the 21st-century leaders.
Dubbed the Intercultural Agility Summit, the forum, slated for March 24th and 25th at the Mara Serena Safari Lodge Kenya, is timely, coming at a time when movement of human capital across East Africa, coupled with the entry of multinationals in the region and transfer of human resource has introduced diversity dynamics in the workplaces dictating new leadership approaches.
According to the 2016 Africa Regional Integration Index Report by UN Economic Commission for Africa, UNECA, the East African Community is the top performer in integration in Africa, with factors such as increased free movement of labour in the region contributing to the success of the integration. But this transfer has also meant cultural shock for the majority of workers operating away from home and an even tougher call for heads of businesses to manage this diverse workforce.
“In an increasingly globalized world where boundaries no longer hold, leading across cultures can still be quite challenging for even the most seasoned leader,” says Lex Lindeman, the co-organizer of the summit and Managing partner at HRBoosters, a training and management consultancy company in Africa.
Facilitated by seasoned cross-cultural expert and founder of Clever Culture Communication, Sheriff Aligbeh, the summit’s approach will provide a balance of structured input and discussion of case studies, critical incidents and scenarios relevant to participants’ own particular contexts. The summit is a follow-up of similar successful ones that have been held in Europe and Asia.
“This summit is about story telling. There will be no lectures or presentations. It will be about getting success factors as far as intercultural relations in the offices and handling them by executives is concerned while also sharing the hiccups that the leaders face,” Lex added.