Undeniably, a business impacts the life of a person who indulges in its products, services, or organization. And very rarely is the case that it impacts the lives of the ones who are remotely effected by its offerings. But businesses like Al Dabbagh Group, that inculcate the home-grown philosophy of Omnipreneurship, not only impact the lives of the people they are collaborating with, rather also the lives of the people who are surround by the business.
For businesses as considerable as Al Dabbagh Group, the person who overlooks the implementation of Omnipreneurship, making sure that this aspect of their business is not neglected, is the remarkable leader, Sahar Taleb, Chief Omnipreneurship Officer. Sahar brings outstanding abilities and is a powerful force in the organization with nearly 20 years of experience in HR, PR, and Marketing.
She inspires others to work hard and succeed with her upbeat attitude and boundless energy. Sahar is driven by the Omnipreneurship eco-system that governs Al-Dabbagh Group and uses its principles of giving, earning, and sustaining, as well as its ten golden rules, to help guide her decisions and achieve her goals.
Insights Success had the privilege to interview Sahar, through which she conveyed the true implication of the term ‘Omnipreneurship’ as well as the methodology she utilizes to ensure the impactful delivery of her organization’s objectives.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Please brief us about your journey in your industry and how you have made Omnipreneurship implementation and communication excel in Al-Dabbagh Group
I come from a strong background in HR and communication; I also worked as a consultant for both: the public and private sectors. This rich and diverse experience gave me the skillset needed to become the Chief Omnipreneurship Officer in Al-Dabbagh.
First, let me introduce you to the concept of Omnipreneurship.
Omnipreneurship is an approach to living a life of meaning. It is the ecosystem by which we govern all our companies. So rather than looking at things with an entrepreneurial lens and only focusing on earning, we ensure that we are equally focused on giving, earning, and sustaining aspects.
My main task in Al-Dabbagh Group is to cascade the understanding and culture of Omnipreneruship within our organization. In doing so, I work on building a culture where giving lies at the center of our organization and the purpose of our work. Also, , with every initiative that we launch, we ensure that we are working towards achieving 1 or 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals. So, we link our earning initiatives to our giving and sustaining initiatives in such a way that each one of them feeds into the other and completes it.
Here, my background in communication helped to spread the message and understanding and to grow a culture that is passionate about giving back to our society and our environment. My background in HR helped me create meaningful training and development programs and to launch engaging initiatives that encourage and foster innovation.
What professional qualities and values do you think your clients, colleagues, and employees admire in you the most?
Honesty, transparency, and integrity are values I pride myself in, and I believe these values are what built and strengthened my professional reputation. Having said that, I am often complimented on my passion and strong dedication to work.
Indeed, this is what enables me to motivate others and grow my team’s dedication so that we are all engaged and highly motivated to achieve our goals.
Additionally, my inherent love for meeting, learning from, and communicating with colleagues has allowed me to engage our community in the Omnipreneural culture we are trying to foster. Thereby helping me create a loyal and high-performing team.
What, according to you, are the qualities of an exemplary HR leader, and what are the traits that make you stand out as an influential HR leader in the modern industry?
In my opinion, successful HR leaders need to have integrity and instinctively care about their colleagues. They need to be passionate about what they do, where they work, and, most importantly, about their teams. To that end, they need to train, develop and empower their teams. Most importantly, they need to prepare them for success.
Successful HR leaders also need to be excellent communicators and problem solves; They need to be able to provide guidance and influence their teams. To facilitate change and avoid a crisis. Most importantly, they need to listen to their colleagues and provide a safe environment for them to express their needs and wishes, building a long-lasting relationship with them.
HR leaders need to be forward-thinking. They need to study the sectors they operate in and plan for the future of their workplaces by identifying potential threats and opportunities, as well as implementing positive changes to their organization to build a culture of innovation. It is up to us to design creative approaches to attract, manage, and develop our colleagues and to provide them with the tools they need to passionately give back to our companies.
Throughout my career, what made me stand out was my strong ability to connect and communicate with people. As well as my dedication to building a healthy and nurturing work environment, devoted to building my colleagues’ skillset and nurturing their passion for the work they do. I pride myself on being a life-long learner. In order to improve my effectiveness and ensure I achieve the targets I set out for myself, I never stop learning and networking. I strive to develop my leadership skills as well as to gain new ideas.
Recently, I have been accepted into the prestigious MISK 2030 Leadership program , which is an exclusive world-class leadership development program devoted to transforming exceptional senior Saudi leaders to change history and achieve our common goals for vision 2030.
Enlighten us on how you are driving impact at Al-Dabbagh’s Omnipreneural initiatives through your expertise.
With a mandate to spread the knowledge and understanding of all the elements of Omnipreneruship and to foster a culture of innovation, I launched an internal platform called the Omnipreneurship Awards. This platform connects all 15,000 of our global colleagues and encourages them to submit innovative solutions to challenges we share on a monthly basis. Winners of these challenges are awarded meticulously planned courses from HarvardX and MIT to develop a more robust culture of ideation and innovation.
In 2020 we launched the first of our annual open innovation initiatives: a global crowdsourcing initiative that looks for sustainable nature positive solutions to challenges within the sectors we operate. In 2020 we asked how waste from poultry farms can convert to value and awarded one million dollars to the solution provider who shared a proposal for a technology that will convert waste from poultry farms into biodegradable plastic pallets.
In 2021, we launched our second sustainability challenge asking, how used cooking oil can be converted into a biodegradable base oil used for lubricants. We are currently reviewing 2 finalists’ prototypes to choose and announce our winner in the next quarter.
Separate from the sustainable open innovation challenges that we launched, I am also very passionate about launching training and development programs and helping create engaging employment opportunities for aspiring job seekers who are keen to build their experience and skill set.
This is why we are in the process of launching an online training platform called the Omni Academy with a carefully curated training program that will train and develop young Saudis and better equip them with the skillset and knowhow to become responsible corporate citizens who give back to their communities in a sustainable manner.
Being an experienced leader, share your opinion on how the adoption of modern technologies impacts your industry and how is your company leveraging these advancements to enhance its operations.
Our annual million-dollar Omnipreneurship Award is always looking for the next big thing: new sustainable technologies that will help us achieve our goals in a sustainable, cost-effective way. These challenges reach out to academics, startups, and innovators and ask them to come up with innovative out-of-the-box technologies that will dramatically change the way we operate while also giving back to our communities.
Our commitment to finding and implementing nature-positive solutions is not easy: we need buy in from company leadership and colleagues to work together to implement these solutions to ensure we tackle the many climate challenges we are facing and ensure a sustainable future.
Considering the current industry scenario, what challenges do you face, and how do you drive your company to overcome them?
I strive to campaign for new sustainable, innovative, emerging technologies that will have a transformational impact on the way we currently do business.
The Omnipreneurship Awards has aligned its goals with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by identifying innovative challenges, supporting the co-creation of innovative solutions, and contributing to the implementation of sustainable/eco-friendly initiatives.
Our Omnipreneurship initiatives and our sustainability challenges encourage creating a circular economy through sustainable innovations.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the HR niche?
I would advise them to always commit to creating a healthy, engaging work environment where their colleagues can learn and thrive.
Also, ensuring that you invest in well-planned-out training and development programs is key to ensuring you build a skilled workforce.
And lastly, always ensure your organization has strong values and passionately delivers meaningful impact at a measurable scale.
How do you envision scaling Omnipreneurship initiatives in Al-Dabbagh Group’s operations and offerings in the future?
All of our initiatives are piloted locally on a small scale but are then scaled up globally. Since the Al-Dabbagh group employs 15,000 colleagues in 60 countries, and since we are committed to spreading the culture and understanding of Omnipreneruship across all our companies, then every one of the initiatives we launch needs to be scalable and with a positive global impact.
Involving your team in the setting of your goals and growth plan gives them ownership and empowers them to work towards a common goal. Linking these goals to giving and sustaining initiatives grows their passion and loyalty, so you are organically growing and globally scaling up your projects.