By Jacqueline Perrottet-Tels
It is no surprise that this year’s topic of resilience at Ellevate Dubai’s 2019 Annual Forum was received with great enthusiasm. With so many uncertainties in the world combined with rapid changes in the technology sector and unstable economies, resilience is a word that has come to define this moment in time. Without resilience, whether on an individual level or a company level, it is nearly impossible to succeed.
Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. This simple, yet provoking, definition guided Ellevate’s 2019 annual forum. Throughout the day, conference attendees heard important lessons from keynote speaker Caroline Miller, international bestselling author and Goals & Grit ™ expert, and interesting observations from panels on Building Personal Resilience and Building Resilient Organizations. The topic also provided a framework for fifteen different discussions during structured networking breakout tables such as The Key to Change Management and Organizational Change and Building Resilient Brands.
For those of you who do not know Ellevate, you should. In the organization’s own words it is, “a community of professional women committed to helping each other succeed”. The network began in 1997 as an unofficial platform for current and former female Goldman Sachs employees, and twenty-two years later it has grown to become a network of female professionals with over 40 chapters worldwide.
Why is Ellevate an organization that you should know about, you might ask? Well for one thing, Itani & Company was involved in the planning and marketing of this year’s forum, and we think every organization we work with is something to know about. Also, it was announced at the event that I&Co.’s Founder and Managing Director, Maya Itani, has been appointed as co-lead of Dubai’s chapter, taking the reins with Kelly Nobles from Rana Nawas who had been Chapter President for the last four years.
Aside from the fact that we believe in Ellevate as an organization, an important takeaway from this year’s forum was the message that it is not only okay to fail, it is encouraged, as failure is often a result of taking risks and leads to a path to improvement. In the event of failure, it is imperative to share those failures and imperfections with others to normalize the experience. “Start where you are now and move forward” and “fail fast and recover” were two themes that came up numerous times during the annual conference helping us remember to take risks as both organizations and individuals and to not let perfection get in the way. “Some nights I feed my kids tinned tuna,” Rana Nawas stated in her keynote, “and my family is vegan,” she finished, causing laughter to erupt throughout the crowd at this truly relatable moment of imperfection.