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COVID19 General Uncategorized

Words create Worlds, are we ready to shift our business language to speakGreen?

Overlooking the beautiful mountain-hugged shores of the coastal city of Dahab, leaning into the relaxing and reflective time of the sunset, I stretched my Yoga Mat for the first use with the intention of diving into the sides of me that had been least explored, a business guy with one of these indifferent stoic faces, I told my new friends in Dahab that no one is going to believe them if they say Abdo was here doing Yoga with us.

Bugged by Car horns, aggressive expressions, as she is stuck in a Cairo traffic in the famous Mohandessin’s Ahmed Abdel Aziz Street, Dr. Claudia Gross, a German Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Conflict reflected on the number of signs, commands, and behaviors “evoking the pictures of what you do not want“, as she described it.

DO NOT BE LATE … DO NOT … DO NOT … DO NOT

I just completed two books that gave me the push to try out my first Yoga experience, The Power of Now for Eckhard Tolle and Letting Go for David R. Hawkins MD. Ph.D. There is something in common with the Yoga experience and the 2 books, soft-spoken language.

I had been a close follower of the speakGreen movement, initiated by Dr. Claudia, promoting the idea of choosing our words to build and create a better world. A good example from her TEDx talk about the power of words comes from an experiment where two groups of people at the same age and physical ability were asked to read a paragraph, one of which was neutral and the other had an elderly stereotype, it was found out that as a result, the group who read the paragraph with an elderly stereotype in average have taken more time walking to the elevator, as of just being exposed to the language.

Dr. Claudia has recently gathered all the work she has been doing under the speakGreen movement into a 50,000 words book labeled “speakGreen: words create worlds“, the book project attracted over 150 pre-orders on Publishizer platform.

I had the chance to interview Dr. Claudia for the book project and my yoga experience and observation on the use of language brought me back to the interview note. Though, trying to internalize this language shift as a business person had been a bit challenging, I could count at least two reasons for that

“Softness does not get a vote.”

Uttered the narrator in a deep masculine voice, the morning after my first Yoga experience, as I start my day with Stoic Affirmation tracks, that reminds the listener of the facts of life and how strong and steadfast you have to voluntarily face the demands of life, stand your ground, get over hard times and not only accept everything that happens to you but also learn to love your destiny no matter what it looks like.

This strong, intense, masculine language has become part of my identity not only to interface with the world when necessary but to endure the internal journey needed to go through life productively. It is quite unsettling to imagine having to eliminate the language of stoicism necessary for the voluntary pursuit and endurance of natural life challenges. A trend that’s observable in societies where the call has gone into the elimination of masculine language and sometimes the explicit effeminization of men.

The use of language for manipulation

I was daunted by the memories where the call for “softness” has been used for deception and manipulation. The biggest healing journey I had to pursue was about the use of “co-creation” and “collaboration” for explicit assassination and violation of rights. Imagine pursuing an objective in a society based on a certain dynamic and expectations, then being convinced to shift this dynamic and “drop your guard”, only to discover that the call for softness was done to expose you to circumstances necessary to advance certain interests that wouldn’t have happened otherwise without “dropping your guard”.

The experience of this form of linguistic manipulation heightens the sensitivity of the use of language in society and make it a responsibility of communicators to be precise, accurate, and straightforward. An introduction of a “new” or “adjusted” language to explain the same terms should be done in the light, discussed, and agreed upon by parties in society, otherwise, the language itself becomes an instrument of manipulation in the hands of those who devise it.

I must agree that in the 21st century, maintaining a war-inspired business language is a lot “outdated” and there could be no harm in reviewing some of the words we use in a business context within our organizations, the speakGreen movement, and the upcoming book are a positive trigger in that direction of initiating a dialogue around the world we want to live in and deriving from that the words we want to be using.

Categories
Executive Management Uncategorized

CrisisComms for CEOs and Executive Leaders in Egypt featuring Omnia Samra

COVID-19 is definitely an unprecedented crisis for many young CEOs and executive leaders in Egypt, figuring out the best way to respond could be a challenge, that’s why I connected with Omnia Samra, Crisis Comms Expert to talk about what Entrepreneurs and Executive Leaders in Egypt should focus on while responding to the crisis.

Step #1: Visibility

Good examples of communication with your employees

Step #2: Speed

Start communicating quickly and own the platform

Step #3: Simplicity

Maintain simplicity in your communications

Step #4: Consistency

Communicate frequently and often

Step #5: Transparency

Maintain transparency with your communications, say I do not know

Step #6: Frontliners

Empower your frontline employees to communicate with confidence

Want to learn more about how to best respond to the COVID-19 Crisis, visit our central CoronaVirus Business Continuity Emergency Response and subscribe to the mailing list to keep yourself updated.

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Marketing Media & Publishing Stories Technology (IT) Uncategorized

Cairo Creative Coding Meetup shows the potential transformation of The “Creative Coding” practice on arts & advertising

If you could secure time over a weekend in Cairo, your life could get more exciting by attending one of these industry meetups in an area of interest.

Cairo is increasingly hosting local meetups as part of global specialist networks that help build & nurture collaborative communities of likeminded specialists, professionals and practitioners sharing the best of their experience and spreading knowledge, resources and case studies in emerging practices.

These kinds of meetups are extermely valuable to nurture the emerging innovation, entrepreneurship and startup movement in Egypt with globally exposed practitioners and workforce that’s able to compete globally.

Last week, we knew about Product Guys meetup, this weekend, Mohamed Hossam brought together another edition of “Cairo Creative Coding Meetup” at the FabLab Egypt rooftop in Maadi.

Just like me, you are probably trying to make sense of what Creative Coding might be. Creative Coding is the practice of using code as a canvas for art, using creative coding you could be able to produce visual and audiovisual performances that compliments static works of art, opening up a new dimension for the arts and advertising industries.

Here is an example for you to ponder.

The meetup featured a conference call with Omar El Kammar, a Creative Coder and audiovisual artist all the way from Berlin.

Omar started being known to Musicians in Egypt as the guy who do weird (innovative) things with computers, after four year of learning the tools and working on projects, Omar is now confidently executing top-notch Creative Coding projects as part of an agency in Berlin. You can follow Omar on Instagram here to see some of the recent projects he had been involved in.

Omar highlighted the importance of storytelling and aesthetics for Creative Coding projects to avoid being dragged into challenges with the tools you use, but rather using them to get the concept done.

Omar has been massively generous with resources that he shared a full resource pool with attendees to get inspired and use it for their projects.

Mohamed Hossam, the ambassador of Creative Coding Meetups in Egypt highlighted that getting a residence as a “Creative Coding” professional could be the start of the way to have access to the intriguing challenges of big projects, but you can always start experimenting on your own to develop the skillset.

We had a brief discussion on the potential of commercializing “Creative Coding” in Egypt and agreeing that spreading awareness about the practice and how it can be used in advertising project would be necessary for more applications to be brought to the surface.

If you are excited to know more about Creative Coding, join the next meetup, makes sure to follow Mohamed Hossam on Facebook and join the Cairo Creative Coding Group.

Categories
Events Product Startup Executive Stories Technology Entrepreneur Uncategorized

Product Guys bring insightful discussion about Product Management to Egypt’s Tech Space at Robusta Studio

Since I started working professionally in delivering technology products, analyzing the growing tech startup scene and lately prototyping solutions using emerging technologies. I could testify that most of the mistakes that I have committed and observed had to do with the discipline of Product Management.

At Robusta Studio, a group of product management professionals hosted their first meetup in association with Mind the Product and its community meetups brand Product Tank, the volunteer group called “Product Guys” has done a fine job featuring a presentation and Q&A panel tackling the basics of product management.

Michael Soliman led an interesting Career evolving from the technology side into the product management side. Beside his experience and insights, Michael’s charachter and attitude intrigued me as possibly being the most important asset in working in product management.

Michael sees himself as a facilitator for the tech and business teams to gurantee product success. I gathered my thoughts from the discussion and  Michael’s story into the following pieces of advice – in case you a Black Mirror fan, I’m making reference to a favorite episode that help us visualize the role of product manager:

1. Empathy: Never Overstep on Anyone’s Domain Expertise or Responsability

One of the big challenges operating as a facilitator between different teams and disciplines is seeing how everyone is getting territorial, if this happens, the most honest of actions can be taken as undermining someone’s authority. Keeping your ego at the door is essential for productivity and the best way to reach that is to be the first doing it and inspiring the culture.

A product person must practice empathy with the teams and team leaders engaged with their work, on taking the time to process how they think about the challenge from their prespective without becoming pushover, a challenge for introverted empaths who naturally avoid confrontations and as a result commit to unreasonable deadlines and responsabilities.

Daly the introverted CTO from Black Mirror comes to mind as someone who supresses and often sacrifices his comfort, needs and leadership capacity for the sake of the comfort of everyone else, ending up with entrapping everyone in a digital game! Not funny!

Michael shared with me in discussion after that what he found essential in these discussions and negotiations is explictly relying on facts and maintaining a friendly relationship with everyone on a personal level.

Don’t be grandiose and don’t be a push over. Good luck figuring out what that means in every situation you encounter.

Black Mirror USS Introverted Nerd vs. Controlling Alpha

2. Committment: Take your time with estimates and trust people to decide and commit on their own

Missing a deadline or falling short on producing something they promised is a pain for every professional . You don’t want to be seen as not committed and you empathize with people who don’t want the same to happen with them.

By then getting people to commit also requires you to give them the time and space to assess their priorities, allocated time and provide a reasonable estimate that you can probably then negotiate.

Remember how Daly’s partner stormed into his room to tell him that the update will have to go live anyway, the way he shouted and tabbed our introverted engineer in the head? That’s not nice. Don’t be like Daly’s boss or you know the consequences.

3. Engagement: Engaging external stakeholders with the Product Management process

If you provide software development services, your client will think they control the flow of what gets done, the same if your CEO is not engaged or experienced in the product development process. By then, proactively engaging primary stakeholders (who don’t report to you) by explaining your product management process is a very effective practice to minimize future conflicts and have ground rules to get back to whenever conflict arises.

Imagine a product manager who can keep everyone happy? Yes, keep that thought, because that’s probably just meant to be an imagination.

Product Guys are planning to host a bi-monthly meetup and a bi-monthly Product Tank (indepth sessions). If you are interested in product management, you can join their Group on Facebook and keep yourself updated.

Categories
General Uncategorized

Why being initially underfunded can turn out GREAT for your business?

Southwest Airlines is one of the world’s most profitable Airlines, in an extremely competitive space, Southwest Airlines Turns a Profit, year, after year, after year while majority of competitors are struggling to even cover their costs.

Diving deeper into the reason why this happens, in Foundation of Business Strategy course, Professor Lenox highlights that, Southwest Airlines while starting was extremely underfunded compared to its competitors, which forced its CEO to take decisions that would make extremely good use of available resources and optimize the operations in away that made the Airline extremely efficient in utilizing resources and producing results.

Initially, in volume, Southwest Airlines couldn’t keep up with its well-funded competitors and couldn’t scale its business properly, but, as efficiency of utilizing resources and output is shown, Southwest Airlines accessed the same pools of resources as its competitors and were able to scale its business properly.

Today, Southwest Airlines is the most profitable Airlines in the world, the reason why. Is that they were extremely underfunded initially.

I have a lot of discussions with entrepreneurs complaining about lack of proper funding in MENA. And the rest see a lot of corruption and monopoly even in the activities that claim to be supporting entrepreneurs.

My argument always gets to, if you could go through the harsh reality of this and optimize your operation, build a great product with market-fit, prove your model and show potential for, real long term profits, “economic rents”, investors will be running after you. Even if not from the region, probably from outside.

So, if you are like me, running an extremely underfunded operation, working on building a culture of extreme efficiency in decision-making and utilizing resources, you should be very sure that, as long as you keep it up, the time would come where the economic engine you have built would attract the right funding to scale.

The noise of fake operations based on inefficient utilization of resources – usually because of corruption, serving a monopoly or cultural dominance will fade away as it’s presented with the test of sustainability, though, the roaring of carefully designed economic engines and intelligently optimized operations will take over.

For startup CEOs in this position, it’s just about intelligence, resilience and shooting for the right funding sources that understands and appreciates “economics” more than their own egotistical judgement.

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Tourism, Travel & Hospitality Uncategorized

Tourism Business Circle kick-started at Egypreneur Club

Egypt has established a worldwide brand for being a touristic destination, and tourists are interested in its rich culture and sceneries. However, the political instability is the main off-putting factors when they decide to travel to Egypt.

The question whether the Tourism industry in Egypt is recovering soon or the whole sector will continue going down the drains.

An answer to that might be

In a fabulous evening and with one of its first activities Egypreneur Club in Talaat Harb, hosted the Tourism Business Circle featuring a fabulous group of entrepreneurs and domain experts including Mr. Tarek Maher, Business Development Manager at Travelport for MENA region, Ehab Malek of e7gezonline.com, Mohamed El Fouli of Mageegi.com, Morkos Ishak of Egy-Hospitals.com and Ahmed Abdel Fatah of GenieTravelDeals.com and Mona Shokrof, Software developer interested in the sector.

As an industry outsider, I had one of the most efficient crash courses. The business circle witnessed the formation of the Tourpreneur business circle, an industry specific groups for entrepreneurs Egypreneur stated building in different sectors and intending to scale it as a part of its Membership offering.

Our discussion was based on the travelling circle: being inspired, making decisions, and planning their trips, reservations, experience and sharing.

As tourism entrepreneurs, we can engage in the inspiring and sharing process. We also found that videos are 85% more inspiring than pictures and descriptions.

The factors that influence the decision process are the

  • Pains
  • Needs
  • Social
  • Seasons,
  • Words of mouth,
  • Desire of different experience.

We will discuss further whether to corporate free Internet and free water into the travelling package.

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PodCast Uncategorized

WeLessa

WeLessa program is inspired by Egypreneur’s highly successful online and offline Campaign which goes by the same name. WeLessa is about the motivational and inspirational stories of the people who never give up, sharing such stories is very important to keep us going no matter what are the challenges we face in our lives.

You can take a look at the content we developed throughout the campaign to get a sense of what we’re trying to do through http://j.mp/WeLessaPL

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PodCast Uncategorized

The Successful Failure

The Successful failure changes the way we think about failure and how we can make success out of our failures and learn from them instead of crying over them

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PodCast Uncategorized

Live and invent

This program focuses on inventors and fostering their talents by interviewing them and highlighting their inventions while discussing their dreams and aspirations.

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PodCast Uncategorized

Culture and Entrepreneurship

This program will go through entrepreneurial historical poetry and novels to motivate inspire and entertain Egypreneur FM audience.