TAQA turns cultural differences to advantage

TAQA is a prime example of a high-performing multinational organisation that values, thrives on and actively promotes cultural diversity. To improve cross-cultural communication and teamwork TAQA engaged Pearn Kandola to run a ‘Cultural Intelligence’ workshop for its senior management.

The initiative comes at a time of rapid expansion for TAQA. It currently operates in nine countries, and employs 2,300 people from 38 different nations. In one year alone the company made strategic acquisitions in Scotland, the Netherlands, the USA and Canada.

TAQA’s CEO, Peter Barker-Homek explains: “TAQA is a very diverse organisation – a bit like the UN. We want to create an environment where everyone has a voice, and where people with successful domestic careers can go on to achieve international success, based on their ability.”

Every leadership team at TAQA is taking part in the workshop, which mixes theory and practice. Managers learn how people’s different attitudes, expectations and assumptions show themselves, and how these impact on working practices, relationships, and communication. Although the workshop exercises are fun to do, they have a serious point. They raise awareness of each person’s own cultural biases and increase their sensitivity to other cultures. Through case studies managers also explore practical solutions to issues that can affect business efficiency, such as virtual team work, dealing with conflict and building relationships.

“The Pearn Kandola workshop is very comprehensive and people’s response has been positive. We’re now building on this momentum to make cultural intelligence part of our DNA,” concluded Peter Barker-Homek.

(TAQA is the trading identity of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC on the Abu Dhabi Securities Market)

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