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Leadership and collaboration: Lessons from Saudi Arabia's transformation
MBA International Healthcare Management / 27 March 2024
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MBA International Healthcare Management Class of 2024
Dr. Maram Mobara is a dedicated consultant radiologist specialising in breast imaging, currently practising in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. With a deep passion for her field and a commitment to actively contribute to the healthcare transformation in her country, Maram decided to pursue an MBA in International Healthcare Management. Her goal is to enhance her skills and knowledge and to play a significant role in advancing healthcare practices and services in Saudi Arabia.

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Our recent MBA International Healthcare Management module in Riyadh, focusing on HR Organization and Change Management, was more than just an academic endeavour – it was a transformative journey that brought together a diverse group of international students in the heart of Saudi Arabia.

As a Saudi student, I was honoured to welcome my colleagues from the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, Australia and South Asia, who came together for an immersive learning journey in the heart of the Kingdom. I was thrilled to welcome my colleagues to my home country and showcase the rich tapestry of culture and transformation that defines modern-day Saudi Arabia.

Our module focused on HR Organization and Change Management, offering us a unique opportunity to delve into key concepts and practices under the expert guidance of renowned professionals. The interactive lectures delivered by Prof. Erich Barthel on human resources and change were both insightful and engaging, providing us with valuable insights into organisational dynamics and strategic HR practices.

Change Management and Leadership

One of the most impactful sessions was led by Tim O’Hanlon, who facilitated an interactive workshop on Change Management and Leadership. Through activities such as reviewing our #DISC Leadership Profiles, we gained a deeper understanding of ourselves and our peers in the workplace. Tim’s guidance on leadership roles and fostering healthy team dynamics came at a pivotal moment in our careers.

This is also especially important amidst Saudi Arabia’s ambitious transformation efforts driven by our visionary leader known for his saying, “My dream as a young man in Saudi Arabia, and the dreams of men in Saudi Arabia are so many, and I try to compete with them and their dreams, and they compete with mine, to create a better Saudi Arabia,” Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, as he told The Economist in 2016.

Healthcare transformation

A special highlight of our time in Riyadh was the privilege of meeting Prof Dr. Ahmad Hersi. I was so proud to see one of my professors at King Saud University and Prof. Hersi, an MBA International Healthcare Management graduate, during our week in Riyadh. His talk was an authentically inspiring conversation, covering career milestones and the role of a CEO during the healthcare transformation.

We also had the honour of meeting Abdulrahman Alqahtani, whose insights on the Saudi Vision 2030 Healthcare Transformation provided a comprehensive overview of the country’s healthcare landscape and future aspirations.

The discussions around challenges, solutions and real-world applications of our learning added a practical dimension to our academic endeavours. As a student studying the transformation in Saudi Arabia for over a year, witnessing firsthand the progress and initiatives taking shape was truly inspiring. The opportunity to engage with industry leaders, alumni and experts in the field reinforced our commitment to driving positive change in the healthcare sector.

Transcended cultural boundaries

Another memorable experience was the warm hospitality extended by my Saudi colleagues, who invited us for a traditional dinner on a beautiful desert night. Under the starlit sky of Riyadh, we shared stories and forged lasting bonds that transcended cultural boundaries.

Our group also had the opportunity to explore the natural wonders of Saudi Arabia, visiting the Edge of the World cliffs and touring the UNESCO heritage site of Diriyah. These activities not only offered us a glimpse of the country’s breathtaking landscapes but also provided moments of reflection and camaraderie with our professors and colleagues.

As we near the culmination of our MBA, the experiences shared in Riyadh have enriched our understanding of global business practices, cultural diversity and the power of collaboration in driving positive change. I am grateful for the invaluable lessons learned, the friendships forged, and the memories created during our time in the vibrant city of Riyadh.

In conclusion, our module was a transformative experience that not only deepened our knowledge of HR and Change Management but also broadened our perspectives on leadership, teamwork and cultural diversity. As we continue our journey towards becoming future healthcare leaders, the lessons learned and connections made in Riyadh will serve as a guiding light in our pursuit of excellence. I am grateful for the invaluable learning.

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