Tell us your name and what you do
My name is Dr Rommel Sergio. I am a Professor and the Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Program, Faculty of Management and at the Canadian University Dubai.
Tell us about your background
I am a community leader, multi-award-winning educator, book author, and distinguished academic. As a mental health advocate and humanitarian, I have spearheaded pro-bono counselling programs to support overseas workers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). I have also provided free educational consulting in schools in Dubai, UAE through a combination of psychosocial programs, human resources, and organizational development initiatives. With over thirty years of experience as a leader and mental health advocate, I have established numerous mental health programs in various schools and community organizations in the UAE and the Philippines. Also, as a philanthropist, I have established the Dr Rommel Sergio Scholarship Foundation to support underprivileged college students in the Philippines. My ground breaking research on happiness, organizational and personal wellness, leadership, and mental health have spurred me to write my first book “Management Cases: Thriving Organizations in the New Normal”, an Amazon best-seller.
What is your specialist skill?
As a consultant and educator, I can say that my organizational development and human resource management make a difference in my corporate and classroom management engagements. Teaching and research are essential skills, and so are people, soft and management competencies.
What challenges are organizations in the Middle East facing right now?
Being a resident in the Middle East for the past 15 years, I have seen the need to innovate by providing the right opportunities to employees through technical training programs. It is imperative for us to use artificial intelligence to make work efficient and smart, but not to the extent of replacing key positions. Setting a positive mindset through wellness programs and the use of positive psychology is also something to reflect on as we can see a limited number of universities offering psychology study opportunities.
What is the biggest opportunity right now for organizations in the Middle East to innovate?
The biggest opportunities I can think of would be the continuum of hybrid work to improve work-life balance, business processes being digitalized, advancements in technology and the agility to break the usual bureaucracy.
Tell us about your new book ‘Management Cases: Thriving Organizations in the New Normal’
My book explores three dimensions of business operations during COVID-19: What global organizations did to thrive amid the pandemic; how organizations in the UAE were able to rise above it; and what organizations in the Philippines did to mitigate its impact. Local case studies include Emirates NBD’s Employee Engagement and Inclusion Programs, and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s Innovation and Leadership approaches. Among the international case studies are Toyota’s Global Supply Chain Mode and TikTok’s Social Responsibility and Integrity Platform. Cases from the Philippines include SM Prime’s Health Initiatives and the Training and Development Digitization Program by Ayala Land Incorporated.
What inspired you to write this book?
The world has changed dramatically in the past two years and the pandemic has transformed the way we see and respond to management situations. This book captures the real-world challenges that organizations are facing in this new normal and provides good practice solutions that managers can learn from and implement or benchmark against. In sharing my own story of the psychological challenges that I faced during the pandemic, I have to reveal how a period of depression provided the impetus for me to explore how organizations were able to address setbacks and thrive. This recognition of my flaw inspired me to discuss the need for positive reflection, to draw out the success stories that emerged in difficult times.
How does it help organizations in the Middle East?
It is relevant to students who need to analyze and solve the issues they will come across in the workplace and, importantly, it is set in the local context, as well as providing global insights through international case studies. The book is also intended to be a valuable resource for existing businesses, large or small, that need practical, proven solutions to 21st-century challenges.
Can you share a case study of the method in the book achieving success?
Among the 22 cases I have written and co-written, I would PICK Emirates Airlines’ critical factors and success. This case study features the methods of organizational agility of the company, which is one of the largest airlines in the world. It examined the key agile business processes that Emirates Airlines implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic to navigate the negative impacts. In addition, the case study highlighted the organization’s key business strategies to turn its operations back to profitability as the aviation industry was among the hardest hit during the pandemic.
How can readers find out more about your book?
The book is available through amazon.com, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Google Play, Flipkart, and Notion Press.com.