IPMA’s Keynote at Global Project Management Forum in Riyadh: A Call for Multicultural Collaboration and Competence

On June 2-3, 2024, Amin Saidoun, the Executive Director of IPMA, delivered an inspiring keynote speech at the Global Project Management Forum (GPMF) in Riyadh, which was attended by 11.000 participants. This event, a part of the continued efforts in IPMA’s global advocacy for project management practices, highlighted the growing importance of collaboration in multicultural project teams within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), a country progressively embracing diversity and inclusion and opening up to the world.

Amin Saidoun’s address underscored the pivotal role of multicultural collaboration in achieving project success. He noted that diverse project teams not only outperform their peers financially but also excel in creativity and innovation. Citing a McKinsey report and research from renowned scholars, he emphasized that project teams with high cultural diversity are significantly more creative than less diverse teams. This message resonates deeply in KSA, a country embracing rapid transformation and striving to integrate diverse talents from across the globe.

IPMA’s unique approach to project management was a focal point of Amin Saidoun’s speech. He described the IPMA Ecosystem as a robust framework that embraces competence in culture and values. This approach, he asserted, is essential for building trust, fostering effective communication, and leading multicultural teams to success. The IPMA’s Individual Competence Baseline (ICB4) and its commitment to professional ethics and conduct were highlighted as foundational elements supporting this vision.

A significant portion of the keynote focused on strategies for building trust and respect within multicultural teams, illustrating this with examples from the practice.  Amin Saidoun highlighted active listening and practicing empathy as critical attitudes and behaviours. He shared insights from studies indicating that trust is a crucial component in reducing costs and enhancing team effectiveness. The session underscored the necessity of cultural awareness, inclusive leadership, and clear communication to navigate the complexities of multicultural collaboration.

In conclusion, Amin Saidoun reiterated IPMA’s commitment to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion within the project management profession. He encouraged project managers to leverage IPMA’s resources and frameworks to adapt their leadership and management styles to the diverse cultural landscapes they operate within. 

The GPMF event provided a platform for promoting IPMA’s advocacy and partnership initiatives in KSA. IPMA, an excellent model for embracing competence in culture and values, attracted many attendees to its stand, where they expressed interest in effective strategies for working in multicultural project teams and requested training and certification. This underscores IPMA’s role in advocating the profession and establishing partnerships in the region.

Amin Saidoun expressed gratitude to Mr. Badr Burshaid, the President of the GPMF, for the outstanding organization of the event and welcomed him to the upcoming IPMA Global Project Profession Forum in Sibenik, Croatia, in September 2024.

The announcement of the IPMA Global Project Profession Forum in Sibenik, Croatia, marks another step in IPMA’s mission to orchestrate the project profession for a better world. This upcoming event by IPMA promises to further the dialogue on multicultural collaboration and competence, besides the key topics such as public-private initiatives for environmental and economic resilience, ESG principles in project management, and the navigation of complex project management by global companies and public partnerships.

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