Capacity-building for CEOS, a catalyst for the success of organisations


There is a popular saying that “It’s lonely at the top”. How incredibly true that statement is when one carefully considers the expectations placed on Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of businesses, both in the private and public sectors. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is expected to provide direction for the Company to steer the business at all times, particularly during dire straits.

In recent memory, in the contemporary business world, perhaps nothing compares with the decidedly difficult economic situation that the world has faced. The COVID-19 pandemic confounded the medical world before conspiring to virtually bring all economies to a screeching halt. Economies of the most powerful nations on Earth (America and Europe), China and Africa were not spared. Supply chains were massively disrupted, trade across the world collapsed almost overnight.

As though this was not disruptive enough, a war began between Russia and Ukraine even before the world could recover fully from the full effects of the pandemic. Owing to the inter-connected nature of modern trade and the globalisation phenomenon, this war also cast a crippling shadow on most economies.

In an attempt to address these externalities, most economies had to adjust. Ghana was no exception, with the introduction of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) which was a conditionality imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Doom and unending gloom was predicted by all economic authorities and indicators for businesses.

This cocktail of chaos understandably must have been extremely stressful for the CEO, lending weight to the ‘lonely at the top’ mantra. But the question is, who does a CEO turn to in such situations? Who helps the Boss? Also, who speaks on behalf of the CEO?

Enter CEO Dialogues to address the immediate need occasioned by the extraordinarily turbulent economic times and to fill the gap in the space.

What is CEO Dialogues about?

CEO Dialogues is a capacity-building and thought leadership vehicle. It is targeted principally at CEOs and designed as a platform to discuss contemporary business issues covering, but not limited to, economic, finance, corporate governance, legal and regulatory.

It is a frank, intimate, peer-to-peer business conversation held twice a year. To ensure that the discussions are pure, direct and honest, it is structured as an invite-only event.

Through the conversations, CEOs and persons in leadership positions would have access to thought-through and heavily assessed approaches and strategies for dealing with the prevailing situations. CEOs would also benefit from the network of peers with whom they can share ideas, issues, opportunities and experiences. Ultimately, the dialogues would provide tools and strategies for CEOs in their leadership role.

Who are behind CEO Dialogues

CEO Dialogues is a joint collaboration between Ishmael Yamson & Associates (IY&A) and Base Element Limited.

Ishmael Yamson & Associates is a leading management consultancy firm. It is headed by Dr. Ishmael Yamson, an unparalleled doyen in the world of business – both locally and internationally – with years of “lived business” experience and achievements that mirror the honours list of some of the world’s most prestigious awards programmes.

Ishmael Yamson & Associates delivers an approach to transformation that is bold in an all-encompassing and time-tested vision-to-value creation model. Ishmael Yamson & Associates has helped shape the strategic paths of many clients across many industries in-country.

Base Element is a full-service marketing agency affiliated to Base Element Digital, a foremost player in the world-wide marketing industry. It is an agency in a digital world that understands, consults, strategises, designs and implements across the spectrum of Marketing, Communication and Technology to build meaningful client relationships.

Base Element has presence in several locations across the world, including Cyprus, Accra, Athens, Brussels, Madrid and London.

CEO Dialogues regularly partners with recognised bodies, including KPMG, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (Ghana), Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and a network of international partners – including Dale Carnegie (UK), among others.

CEO Dialogues (2022) series

CEO Dialogues was launched in November, 2022 in the wake of the World Economic Meltdown. The maiden edition was under the theme ‘How your Business Can Survive the Economic Meltdown”.

The second edition, held in July 2023, was under the theme ‘Evaluating your Business in the Light of the New Economic Paradigm”.

When the next edition is due

The next edition of CEO Dialogues (2023) series will be held on Wednesday, November 29, 2023. It will be held at Midindi Hotels & Conferences, Accra from 10am to 1.00pm.

It is meant to follow up on the maiden edition and ascertain how economic circumstances have changed a year on. The theme is ‘A Year after the Economic Meltdown”.

That is a million-dollar question and one that is quite intriguing considering that the world of business is having to grapple with the effects of the raging Israel-Hamas War.

The call out to all CEOs is this: “how is your business doing?” As the slogan for CEO Dialogues aptly encourages, “come learn from the experts, hear from the rest, and hear how they are coping”. CEO Dialogues remains grateful for the support of sponsors, including Japan Motors, Silver Star Auto, GCB Bank PLC, Kosmos Energy and FBNBank, over the previous editions of the series, which ultimately contributes to the overall sustainability of the Ghanaian economy.

The CEO Dialogues (2023) series, Edition 2 is sponsored by Japan Motors and GCB Bank PLC.

The writer is the Director of Growth, Base Element (Ghana) Limited

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