Voice of a GCC BDI member: Saudi Aramco training a...

Voice of a GCC BDI member: Saudi Aramco training and development expert Alberto Melgoza reveals his tips

Alberto R. Melgoza is currently accountable for designing and implementing technical, soft and leadership competencies for selected candidates at the C-Suite expert programme of the Finance Strategy and Development (FSD) Business Academy at Saudi Aramco.

He is also accountable for Business Acumen Development for Saudi Aramco directors and tailored programmes for Saudi Aramco Business lines such as upstream and downstream.

Alberto holds a PhD in Organisational Behaviour and Management. He is the author of numerous articles presented at international conferences and has been awarded with numerous prestigious awards.


How important is professional development?

Globally there is perhaps a sense that the more academic development an individual acquires, the more qualified that individual is for performing work duties. I am afraid that this is not the case.

An academic degree will provide the required conceptual basis, good networking, and a diploma. But a degree will not automatically provide the relevant tools and knowledge to impact the business bottom line. Because of this, professional development is of great importance; it should not be conceptual but heavily applied and comprehensive, including business operations and commercialisation, business acumen, behaviour, culture, corporate culture, and law.

All subjects should be linked to the overall organisation strategy, including the human capital plan and enhancing the corporate culture. But most importantly, professional development should positively influence the accounts of the organisation.

Therefore, if professional development is not well designed, executed and aligned, it could negatively affect not only the numbers and the strategy, but also the corporate culture and the future prosperity of the business. 

I believe that strategies, policies and plans for professional development in the organisation must be decided at the board level.

The board should meticulously craft valuable development and request accountability for the executives, managers or professionals in charge to effectively execute professional development within their business.

What does Saudi Aramco’s Finance Strategy and Development (FSD) Business Academy focus on?

Our mission is to identify, develop and deliver highly impactful business acumen content for our community of learners. Our vision is to be the business acumen provider by addressing organisational development gaps. To be as effective as possible with our mission and vision, we have designed and developed a ‘4D Model’.  The model is implemented through the following four steps:

– The first step is related to Desire: The desire to learn, the courage to change, the awareness of the risks relating to not being developed.

– The second step, Development, is the essence of the model: What are the competencies required? How do we deliver a meaningful learning experience? Who do we need to collaborate with? What is the technology required? Nevertheless, there should be a rationale for development that should be balanced, and should have a return on investment.

Demand is the third step. With demand we will be able to provide the required development for our internal customers.

– Finally we align the development and demand with our customers’ vision for qualified staff, so they can successfully perform their duties. We focus on providing a well-aligned and effective Destination for the customer and the employee, to impact the business’s bottom line.

How do you think companies should best go about providing professional development for their board and senior management?

The shareholder or owner of the specific company should oversee for his/her benefit that the directors, including the chairperson, have the comprehensive and required development in relation to the specific results the shareholder-owner desires from the company.

In relation to holding companies or organisations that have a large portfolio of assets, it should be a priority – from a developmental perspective – to create and design a governance framework between the board and the executive team.  This framework should serve as a good guideline to provide the required development for selected directors that oversee the assets.

I believe that any company board should organise compulsory development for its board members, including the chairperson, not only to design an effective governance framework but also to be aware of the continuous local and global changes that occur in the fields of economics, law, finance, accounting, ethics, behaviour, and culture.

This, in my view, is where GCC BDI can provide the greatest value, not only to the company, but also to the shareholder-owner.