Impact Factory: Helping the GCC thrive in business

Jo Ellen Grzyb and Robin Chandler explain why humans will remain central to business development, and how Impact Factory helps foster positive change for organisations across the region



Why is human development so important for businesses?

Without people – their commitment, engagement and purpose – no organisation can work, operate, thrive. Despite technological advances substantially changing, even improving our lives and our jobs, it’s all for nothing without humans at the core.

Connecting with others is vital – internally or with customers and clients. People bring empathy, insight, communication and engagement with others that contribute to making work a better place to be. That’s why human development is essential: The more able people are in their interpersonal skills, the more business will thrive, with positive impact on productivity, retention, creativity, collaboration, culture and engagement. We strongly believe that the future of work is human.

A LinkedIn report shows that 57 per cent of senior leaders say ‘soft’ skills – capabilities that robots and AI don’t have but humans do – are more critical to their organisations than ‘hard’ technical skills.

How does Impact Factory create positive change for organisations and individuals, and why is this so relevant in the GCC?

Since being established in 1991, Impact Factory has helped thousands of people communicate and collaborate successfully through the development of their soft skills. We offer options, choices, changes in perspective and attitude, allowing people to develop quickly and radically. Our work is dynamic, engaging, energetic and fun; the best way for people to learn new skills.

Our experience is that business people from the GCC embrace professional personal development as a key element in expanding into new fields and cultivating new customers.

We helped a leading pharmaceutical retailer in Saudi Arabia embed a high-level performance culture across their organisation. Working in partnership with the client, we created a bespoke programme to provide their senior team with the ability to inspire, understand human drives and create an atmosphere of respect, collaboration and enjoyment in the workplace and with clients.

The acceleration of this positive change has helped them align with Vision 2030 and its ambitious goal to make the nation an investment powerhouse, the hub of three continents, and among the top 10 countries in the Global Social Capital index.

What do you believe are the main development areas that the region as a whole needs to focus on?

For decades, much of the focus of organisations to maintain a competitive advantage has been on operational and technological transformation.

It is now critical for organisations in the GCC to invest in their talent by providing their people with the right development tools and techniques for success.

This includes effective communication and influencing skills, motivational line management, exceptional customer service, change management, cross-cultural awareness and, above all, inspiring leadership to support companies to grow in the region and internationally.

How is new technology changing the training and development industry?

Although Impact Factory provides online material to reinforce e-learning and an extensive online library, our training has been fully experiential since the beginning. People learn new interpersonal skills by interacting with other people, not facing a computer or a smart phone. Our delegates from around the world learn by ‘doing’ on their feet, exchanging experiences in a relaxed environment.

This allows us to be completely relevant, flexible and agile. This is how the industry needs to evolve and adapt.

What are the main challenges facing the training and development world?

Challenges for all training providers is to ensure they don’t become stagnant; that they are attuned to the changes in the economy, the marketplace and society.

Our ethos and way of working is very dynamic, not just in the training room but also adapting and refining our programmes to respond to our delegates’ changing needs. Finding new, progressive and effective ways of developing talent and how humans work together to achieve a shared goal is essential. A holistic and more human-centred training embedded in the business strategy is coming to stay. And Impact Factory has been pioneering it for nearly three decades.

 

Jo Ellen Grzyb and Robin Chandler are directors and founding partners of Impact Factory. Visit impactfactory.com or call +44 (0)20 7226 1877 for more information.