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Relive it again: Mohamed Khalifa

The closing speech was given by Mohamed Khalifa who is remembered as “the Arabic man that wanted us to jump”. Mohamed did his best to keep people active and attentive after the intensive conference day, interspersing small energizers between highly interesting essential parts of his presentation “Agility, Change Management and Innovation as Catalysts in Organizational Transformation”.

At first, Mohamed asked participants to build pairs and train their psychomotor coordination through a short exercise combining speaking and motion. It gave people fun and prepared them for active listening of the speech.

The presentation was divided into four main parts. Three of them presented the catalysts for organizational transformation: agility, innovation and change management, and in the last section, a case study was presented to prove that it works in reality.

Agility is the ability of an organization to renew itself, adapt, change quickly, and succeed in a rapidly changing, ambiguous, turbulent environment. But agile doesn’t mean instable. Mr. Khalifa showed how important it is to keep the balance between agility and stability and advised how to make it possible. The participants were asked to take into consideration what kind of organization is their company with reference to dynamic capability and stable backbone. It’s a big luck to work in an organisation that is strong in both features.

Innovation helps create new methods for alliance creation, joint venturing, flexible work hours, and creation of buyers' purchasing power. And the simple rule says “innovate or die”. Mohamed gave some sad examples of dead companies and some proves that the rule has a reflection in the real life. He also explained the differences between traditional, hybrid and open innovations. Traditional innovation is an effect of experts’ work controlled by the corporation. In contrast, open innovation is not directed by companies and happens because of activity of independent individuals.

PMI views change management as an essential organizational capability that cascades across and throughout portfolio, program and project management. Mohamed referenced to a paper that describes how Dr. John Kotter’s eight stage change management process can be applied in domains of portfolio, program and project management. It also explains the practical techniques which can be used in different cultures and with people having different personality types.

The eight steps of change management process are: 1. Create sense of urgency, 2. Build guiding coalition, 3. Form strategic vision, 4. Enlist volunteer army, 5. Enable action by removing barriers, 6. Generate short term wins, 7. Sustain acceleration, 8. Institute change. The steps were showed on an example of the PMO in the IT Department in a Ministry of Education. In the Ministry was also implemented the agile approach and the hybrid model of innovations. The case showed that Innovation and Agility are the most important catalysts for organization transformation since both of them help organizations to survive in this turbulent environment. Change Management is the vehicle to implement innovation and agility. And if we miss one of these three catalysts the organizations can’t transform smoothly.

Thank you, Mohamed, for a great closure of the first day of Portfolio Experience. We really enjoyed your presentation and the exercises that you prepared.



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