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Panel on Building trust, at the Humanitarian Congress Berlin 2020.

I was invited to be a panellist at the Humanitarian Congress Berlin 2020: Exposing Power & Privilege in Times of Crisis.
The Humanitarian congress welcomed the following panellists:
Babita Alick, Operations Manager, Caritas India
Florine Clomegah, Director of Operations, AIRD
Leela Ramdhani, Associate Director of Confederation Development, Oxfam
Chair: Hugo Slim, Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford

The conversation was centred around the theme and questions below.

To ‘commit to as local as possible and as international as necessary’ and to ‘put people at the center’ is nowadays considered part and parcel of good humanitarian action. But have ‘local ownership’ and ‘localization’ become nothing more than buzzwords in the sector? Local, national and regional actors have been at the forefront of any humanitarian response for decades. However, the ‘formalized humanitarian system’ seems to be failing to connect meaningfully with national and local institutions. In the current status quo, incentives for such engagement do not exist: the sector’s power dynamics, culture and financing, accountability and control measures create compelling reasons to remain closed and centralised. Organisational mandates and missions, public perceptions, donor interests and internal targets often drive institutional structures and operational decision-making, at times limiting innovation, inclusion and efficiency. The emphasis on institutional and organisational priorities all too often occurs at the expense of local actors and affected populations. However, the imperative for increased local, national and regional leadership of aid, and the necessity for strengthened international response capacity, are not mutually exclusive. Questions: In the light of imbalanced power structures in the sector, how do we go about better partnerships and a more trustful, more mutual way of working? How can actors engage with one another across their comparative advantages (local, national, regional and international) and complement one another around mandates, technical expertise and/or funds? And what’s the role of major donors in facilitating and driving this agenda (looking at reporting etc.)? Within a centralised humanitarian structure, is localization unlikely to result in the empowerment of local actors?

Homage to all the humanitarians.

Imagine (UNICEF: World Version)

You may say I am a dreamer; I will say that I am a different drum.

You may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one. There are thousands around the world ready to respond to the Covid-19 crisis. When I was thinking of writing this homage to all the humanitarians, who stayed and delivered, these words of Martin Luther King came to my mind. MLK speech from the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church was about the Drum Major instincts, ‘a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade. This could lead to problems if wrongly used, but it could also lead to greatness. The greatness comes from humility in serving. As King put it, the priorities are reordered, and people can ‘keep feeling the need for being first but I want you to be first in love.’

I feel humanitarians are front liners, real life heroes. They are the first in emergency responses worldwide with health-workers. Where there is war, conflict, flooding, bombing, massive explosion, the UN agencies, and international and national NGOs are ready to bring food, water, shelters, peace-keeping missions, etc. Humanitarians put the Love of other humans at the centre of their work.

The heightened crisis of Covid-19 has brought new challenges for humanitarian workers, while they deliver emergencies services to the people of concerns. The Humanitarians are working hard in low-income or middle-income countries serving the populations during the Covid-19 pandemic. At times, they are risking their lives; their work is invaluable. Without their emergency services, many will go without food, proper health care, water, housing, medicines, livelihood, cash grants, educations, etc.

It is essential to be grateful to the humanitarians working hard to deliver good quality services in hard to reach areas. Among the millions who contracted Covid-19, some were humanitarians. Some colleagues, in the call of service and duties, are ill, were ill or have given their lives while saving the lives of others; for all those who provide humanitarian aids in this time of the pandemic, I wish to empathise and express my most profound solidarity and recognise the brotherhood of all nations, men and women in the fight against this pandemic.

King asked to be remembered as one who “tried to give his life serving others. King concluded “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice,” King intoned. “Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter”. Many humanitarians are pursuing the dreams of King and carrying on the fight for justice, peace, equality everywhere in the world by giving lifesaving assistance to fellow humans.

I wish to imagine a world where all people live in harmony, peace and put Love first. The greatness of Humanitarian is in their service to others.

In conclusion, on a personal note, I wish to say Goodbye to a fellow humanitarian. Michael died due to Covid-19 while delivering humanitarian assistance, in Africa. May his soul rest in peace. A colleague and brother, he was a great Country director. He has not lived in vain. He stayed and delivered until the end of his life. The greatest among us are those who serve. As in the words of MLK I will remember Michael as one who gave his life serving others. (Rest in Peace, Brother)

For all others, please follow WHO guidelines on Covid-19 while delivering humanitarian aids.

PS. I love the UNICEF rendition of the song: Imagine. Among the guest-singers, one my life heroes, former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, a real humanitarian and a man who did his best to make this world safer. For me, Ban Ki-moon is a diplomat, humanitarian who dedicated his life to better the lives of fellow human being, a real-life hero. It is beautiful to imagine a world where all the people are living in peace and harmony.

Workplace by Facebook

Workplace by Facebook

The outbreak of COVID 19 Pandemic that intensified worldwide in February 2020 COVID-19 changed the way; we are working. I have been managing ten country programs in the Africa Region. Therefore I have been working remotely with nine countries out of 10, using WhatsApp, emails and phone; and with the up and downs of modern technologies. After the deadly toll of the pandemic on humanity, I knew we had to adapt and knew of Facebook Workplace and decided to connect with employees on the platform. With the pandemic, I had to find a way to connect the employees in our Humanitarian organisation. I chose the Workplace created in 2015 by Facebook. For years, the social Network Giant has been using internally and then shared it with employees and organisations worldwide. Workplace empowers and transforms the complete business management, and the application has familiar features such as groups, chat and video calls. I can post the latest news on the general pages, operational updates, UN agencies information, the latest updates on the pandemic and humanitarian news and resources. The group pages are dedicated to each team. All my staff are available one click away. The Workplace also has the advantage of robust and secure servers of Facebook and excellent connectivity.

Workplace empowers and transforms the complete business management, and the application has familiar features such as groups, chat and video calls. I can post the latest news on the general pages, operational updates, UN agencies information, the latest updates on the pandemic and humanitarian news and resources. The group pages are dedicated to each team. All my staff are available one click away.

Here are some of the added benefits:

•Guarantee people see important organisational updates: like with the Facebook News Feed, but about it is all about work. Staff can view updates in a scrolling stream of posts.

•The News Feed is a personalised guide to what’s going on in our organisation, and for AIRD, it is about humanitarian operations, UNHCR, WHO, WFP, UNICEF and other International NGOs work. With this, I can keep my staff up to date with the information that matters.

•Video conferencing and Video Chat are available, and so staff can hold virtual live meetings as if they were in the same workspace. Video calling is a great way to manage remote employees. Workplace Chat is straightforward, on the laptop, desktop and mobile.

•The live video function available, helps me to use it as my office to reach all the staff. Managers broadcast to everyone in the team or company from your phone, laptop, tablet and desktop. And employees can take part in real-time, have the feeling to belong.

•Management of Workplace is straightforward, and it is open to all employees with a companies email address.

•Improve staff engagement in the remote environment. Workplace brings people together and deepens engagement at a time when it’s vitally important that all employees have access to the latest information and advice.

•A secure e-workplace for staff.

• Workplace has three pricing options, Essential, Advanced and Enterprise. Workplace Essential is free, while Workplace Advanced is $4 per active user, per month and Enterprise is $8 per month per user. However, Workplace Advanced is also offered free to registered non-profits and staff of educational institutions. 

Finally, as the Director of Operations for our AIRD operations, I have chosen to lead my team with Workplace as it is one of the best instrument for remote working. Others leading organisation have also selected the Facebook Workplace. To name of a few: Starbuck, Walmart, Virgin Atlantic. For the Humanitarian organisations: World Vision International, Concern World Wide, World Wide Fund (WWF), Save the Children, UNICEF, United Way, Boy Scouts of America, Comic Relief, Australian Catholic University and Norwegian Refugee Council among other are the organisation already using this exciting platform.

In conclusion, I would advise using Workplace and contacting the customer service for a free advance option for a registered humanitarian organisation.

Social Media Management

We are experts in creating cost-effective social media pages and campaigns that will deliver a strong returns for your business or non-profit. We work across all social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedInsocial-media-1795578_640 and Instagram, catering for all your targets audiences. We formulate a powerful and effective message and build a strong social marketing strategy. Management Integral Ltd will:

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  • build a strong community of internal and external e-customer
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  • publish e-news, e-blast, online newsletters
  • drive email campaigns
  • create your logo
  • design and brand your posts

Please contact us and we will deliver cost effective social media strategies and campaigns. Click on the link to visit our online shop and website.

An effective communication strategy

A communication strategy is designed to help organizations communicate effectively and meet key objectives. To start, it is useful to highlight the context. The following steps will help you write a compelling communication strategy.

  1. Set the communication goals and objectives.
  2. Identify key stakeholders including the target audiences.
  3. Develop effective messages which will speak to the audiences. The messages should be relevant and appropriate to the different audiences.
  4. 4.Identify key communication channels, techniques, and tools.
  5. Create a timeline of activities. The timetable indicates the key communications activities, budget, and resources allocated to delivering the strategy.
  6. The communications strategy should conclude with a section on evaluation.

You can also include a PR and Press strategy to raise organizational profile in the media; or a digital strategy to build an online presence using social media, a website, online campaign and web marketing.

Click on the link to see how to deliver an effective communication strategy.

Self-actualization: the state of optimum happiness.

Cheerful businesspeople looking at the report.“The loss of illusions and the discovery of identity, though painful at first, can be ultimately exhilarating and strengthening.”        Maslow.

Maslow describes self-actualization as “the desire for self-fulfillment, namely the tendency for the individual to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.” The self-actualizer shares merits and similarities and have the qualities below in common. According to Maslow and fellow psychologists, they share the following qualities:

An effective perception of reality

They have an effective perception of reality. To become a self-actualized: “gets real!”. It is important to be genuine and authentic and see things as they are.

Self-acceptance and Gratitude

They are comfortable with themselves, others, acceptance of self, others, and nature. Not only do they have self-acceptance, they are also appreciative of life basic goods. They are not cynics but have spontaneity and freshness of appreciation. They are unconditionally grateful.

Goal and task oriented

They are goal and task-centered, humanitarians, autonomous, resourceful and independent. Even though they have clear objectives, they enjoy the journey toward achieving the goal.

Spontaneous, independent with great interpersonal skills

Although comfortable with solitude, they have developed fellowship with humanity and sustained profound interpersonal relationships. They are the master of the own destiny, and they do not hesitate to be unconventional. They are broad-minded and kind. They have great people skills.

A great sense of humor

They enjoy a great sense of humor; as they say if “you cannot take a laugh, you should not have joined!”

Self- actualization is the attainment of all the highest goals.

Self-actualization peak experiences are like moments of insights, enlightenment or clarity as in meditation. They experience ecstasy, harmony, and understanding of the deep meaning of life and work. According to Maslow “Self-actualizers reported feeling at one with the universe, stronger and calmer than ever before, filled with light, beautiful and good, and so forth.” These states are comparable to the state of self-realization attained via meditation. It is the reaching of Samadhi, or enlightened when peace follows deep and abiding meditation. The Self-realization of the yogi has great similarity with the self-actualization of Maslow and the psychologists. It is a state of optimum happiness. And it is attained through work and working on oneself.

See my business website and shop: https://www.managementintegral.com/shop

Practice relaxation to alleviate stress

relax-1183533_640When stressed out, the best way to deal effectively with stress is to work on the body, mind, and emotions by using physical exercises and meditation techniques. Another wonderful technique is the use of relaxation, known as Yoga Nidra. It is a technique that allows the body and mind to enjoy the benefits of deep sleep while being fully awake.  Keep on working on professional skills like communication, conflict, and time management which are also great ways of dealing with stress. However, it is primordial to learn to relax. I have recorded a relaxation. Listen and practice Yoga Nidra, deep relaxation.

Women in leadership: companies do better when women are in charge.

Powerful woman
Back view of confident businesswoman with arm on waist

According to the DDI study, the top performing companies have the highest number of women in a leadership role. The company performing among the 20% best organizations in the west have 27% of women in a leadership role, While the less performing companies have fewer women. The company at the bottom of the 20% financial performer have around 19% of women in a leadership role. What does this mean? Hire women, if you wish to be a successful company.

Women entrepreneurs, such as Ivanka Trump (Former Executive VP of Development & Acquisitions at The Trump Organization), Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO), Indra Nooyi (Pepsi Cola CEO), Cathy Fiorini (Former HP CEO), Debra Lee (Black Entertainment Television – BET – CEO) and many other talented women are working to change perceptions and their leadership roles are encouraging women to become leaders and entrepreneurs. There is a need to see women in leadership across the entire arena of life including politics, and business, and there is still a way to go. For example, Canada which is the most successful country in achieving equality has 50% women in a leadership role, while the USA and Philippines are close to 41% and the less performing are is Japan at8%, followed by India at 14% and Taiwan at 21%.

Top Research Findings

  1. 70% of Companies Have a C-Suite Featuring 25% or Fewer Women
  2. Most Organizations Struggle to Build a Leadership Culture for Women
  3. Companies Struggle to Hire Female Technical Talent
  4. Smaller Firms Are More Likely to Achieve Gender Parity
  5. High-Performing Organizations Have Different Cultural and Philosophical Views about Female Leadership

Click on the link to read the study.

https://www.ddiworld.com/DDI/media/trend-research/women-in-leadership-2016_bhg_ddi.pdf?ext=.pdf

Mind the gap: The Women’s Leadership Gap

This is for the overall management, but if one looks at the senior management, the number drops. In the USA for example, there is only 14.6% of women in senior management and only 4,6% of CEO hired and working among the 500 most performing companies. This is according to the Centre for American Progress.

This shows that there is still a long way to go… Boards should take courage and hire women in leadership roles, and CEOs and at all the level of organizations.

There are not enough of women in a leadership role, even though they represent 50% of the populations.

Top Findings

Women lack representation in leadership positions:

  1. They are only 14.6 percent of executive officers, 8.1 percent of top earners, and 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.
  2. They hold just 16.9 percent of Fortune 500 board seats.
  3. In the financial services industry, they make-up 54.2 percent of the labor force, but are only 12.4 percent of executive officers, and 18.3 percent of board directors. None are CEOs.
  4. They account for 78.4 percent of the labor force in health care and social assistance but only 14.6 percent of executive officers and 12.4 percent of board directors. None, again are CEOs.
  5. In the legal field, they are 45.4 percent of associates—but only 25 percent of non-equity partners and 15 percent of equity partners.
  6. In medicine, they comprise 34.3 percent of all physicians and surgeons but only 15.9 percent of medical school deans.
  7. In information technology, they hold only 9 percent of management positions and account for only 14 percent of senior management positions at Silicon Valley startups

Click on the link to read the article.

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2014/03/07/85457/fact-sheet-the-womens-leadership-gap/

In conclusion, we can see there is still a long way to go, despite the progress, women have to keep on fighting to achieve equality.

FC