18 January 2013

Senior Management Committee Members Tackles 'AfDB People Strategy'

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The African Development Bank's Senior Management Committee members (SMCC) on Friday, January 18 in Tunis, participated in a high-level "People Strategy" workshop, to define the desired future leadership culture and style of the institution.

"AfDB People Strategy" has been designed to help build upon what the Bank has already achieved and to take the Bank forward to meet the challenges of the future.

"The Bank's strategy focuses on people and invests in staff and in order for it to meet its development goals everyone must be open to change, be innovative, flexible and professional," Christopher Johnson, Senior Partner and Head of Human Capital with Mercer in the UK, said in an interview.

He stressed that AfDB is committed to being an organization that openly encourages participation and personal development, and values its staff.

The main objectives of the day-long brainstorming exercise were: to confirm the priorities for the AfDB People Strategy in 2013; to discuss how best these priorities should be addressed; and to generate buy-in and ownership. Most importantly, the meeting also sought to identify where and how each person would most like to contribute to the Bank, going forward.

"The Bank's Long Term Strategy requires taking new directions and needs a workforce with new skills and attitudes," Johnson added.

SMCC members brainstormed on the challenges the Bank would face over the next years, the difficult economic climate across the continent, and the continuation of decentralization, Bank staff engagement and identification of some specific changes that would be needed in people policies.

Other prominent areas at the heart of the meeting were the 2013 priorities criteria, such as, What will have most impact on the organization and how it operates? What are fundamental building blocks that are required for other initiatives to be successful?

The meeting was also an opportunity for SMCC members to make a personal commitment to two substances described as the "Bank's tough but essential program of change", namely: What do I need to do differently? And what personal contribution am I willing to make?

The Bank's decentralization, governance, investment in staff, return to Abidjan and best practices on managing change were also at the heart of the workshop.

According to the meeting, the AfDB will adopt a "people-oriented approach in the way it does business", with confirmation of priority initiatives with the Board Committee on Human Resources, with communication as the guiding principle.

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