By Razak Owolabi, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
TEXEM (These Executive Minds) is one of the UK’s pre-eminent consulting firms focusing on Africa with a British Nigerian, Alim Abubakre (PhD), as its founder/chairman.
The firm remains a leading innovative consulting firm that seeks to offer an unmatched learning platform to African leaders.
It offers organisations actionable frameworks in the areas of consulting, executive development, and recruitment.
Through its services, it has collaborated with hundreds of organisations in the UK as well as Africa.
TEXEM has helped them achieve their goals efficiently and effectively – in terms of overcoming adversity and achieving prosperity and optimising their impact.
This is what the just successfully concluded TEXEM capacity development programme for Nigerian Senators and Members of the House of Representatives achieved.
As leaders, legislators too need to acquire the right skills that can enable them to perform their roles efficiently and effectively.
Programmes organised by TEXEM mainly focus on leadership, corporate governance, successful implementation of change, enhancing performance/workplace productivity, and winning strategies.
All these topics are very vital for legislators since they are strategic leaders and bastions of democracy.
The five-day TEXEM programme with the theme “Optimising Legislative Impact” saw legislators challenge assumptions, network, share best practices, and brainstorm on inclusive growth and nation-building strategies.
The programme was held in Birmingham, UK, between July 5 and July 9.
This capacity programme included a trip to Shakespeare’s birthplace at Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, and other exciting activities.
Illustrious opinion shapers from leading citadels and eminent corporate executives shared their experiences and knowledge with the legislators during the period.
The intention for bringing together such a team of faculties was to make sure that the legislators got world-class insights.
The organisers and participating Nigerian lawmakers were unanimous in their assertions that the programme added value and changed lives.
That explains why the organisation remains the forerunner of helping organisations win and assisting leaders to become better strategists and problem solvers in the current challenging, disruptive, fast-paced and competitive operating landscape.
With respect to TEXEM methodology, for impactful pedagogical sessions, the firm utilised its tested and proven approach during the entire capacity development programme from day 1 to day 5.
The programme comprised case studies, a boat ride, a visit to Cadbury World and a presentation by the founding director of this iconic organisation; games and interactive daily assessments.
TEXEM’s methodology harnesses the quadruple benefit of improved engagement, enhanced motivation, optimised fun, and stimulated concentration to improve learning performance and classroom dynamics while still striving to meet the learning goals.
TEXEM used case studies on this programme as it provides a simulated real-life situation that stimulates delegates into making well-informed decisions.
Also, case studies were utilised during the programme to encourage the federal legislators to enhance their cognitive skills, improve their analytical rigour, evaluation skills, and better manage ambiguity.
TEXEM’s approach of using a range of learning tools comprising of discussion, corporate trips and games, has improved interpersonal skills, decision-making capabilities, communication and team spirit.
That is exactly what the legislative impact programme sought to achieve, and the participants say it, indeed, achieved it.
There was a trip to Shakespeare’s birthplace on the first day, group activities daily, and all presentations by the highly experienced faculties utilised coaching, audio-visuals, role-play, and relevant examples to stimulate self-reflection and encourage personal development plans.
The key themes covered during the training were; Leadership for Sustainable Success, Strategic Leadership in an Unknown Tomorrow, Good Governance.
Others were, The Importance of Public Participation and Civic Engagement during the implementation of projects by legislators and the executive arm of government; and Optimising Legislative Impact for Success.
The ultimate goal of the capacity development programme was to benefit the legislators whose active role and exemplary leadership will enhance nation-building via better accountability of the executive arm of government and ultimately enshrine good governance.
Whether the leaders are born or made, effective development programmes directly impact their daily roles and the outcomes of their projects.
With that said, all the legislators who attended the programme articulated that the following are some of the benefits of the programme:
Increased individual and organisational performance; Improved capability to influence and negotiate for symbiotic outcomes; Enhanced strategic leadership quotient; Effective management of change in the nation; and Better decision-making credentials.
Indeed, the five-day programme was a perfect mix of well-planned activities facilitated by world-renowned scholars and executives whose contribution to the area of good governance and strategic leadership is exemplary.
Undoubtedly, the TEXEM’s programme content was rich, educative, enlightening, and thought-provoking.
The attendants not only got a chance to learn the art of achieving goals effectively and efficiently, but they also had memorable interactions.
Here is what faculties had to say after the programme:
“An interesting day with Nigerian politicians. TEXEM performs a valuable developmental function in connecting UK experts with senior African executives for exchanges that enrich both,” – Ambassador John Buck, former British Ambassador to Portugal and former Director of BG Group Plc.
“I thoroughly enjoyed working with the delegates from the National Assembly. They were engaged, thoughtful, eager to learn and great fun. TEXEM organisation was very efficient, and the day proceeded smoothly. It was a pleasure to work with the company and the delegates,” – Dr Rachel Aron, former British Ambassador to Belgium and chairman of various boards.
“It is a pleasure to work with senior executives and leading government figures in this dynamic and engaging programme designed by TEXEM, UK.
“The organisation and support for delegates as they engage in their learning journey is excellent. The opportunity to share perspectives and ideas to address the challenges of working in an uncertain world is unparalleled,” – Prof. Paul Griffiths, Professor of Practice, Products & Services, Ashridge Executive Education at Hult International Business School.
Looking to the future, the pertinent question now is: After the TEXEM programme, what next for Nigerian legislators?
As TEXEM has always done, the conclusion of this programme marked the end of an impactful and life-changing learning experience.
As was evident during the closing ceremony, all of those who attended are already looking forward to implementing what has been learnt and transforming their organisation and the nation.
Indeed, the programme would not have come at a better time than now when the world is fighting a pandemic and Nigeria is facing socio-economic crises and insecurity.
Notably, at this critical time and as ever, the role of legislators as leaders who aspire to champion; accountability, good governance and inclusive growth is vital, and their actions influence many.
Therefore, with the right skills and result-oriented mindset, senators and members of the House of Representatives can help solve societal problems and effectively lead innovation even during tough times.
Testimonials from the UK Programme include that of
Sen. Ibrahim Hadejia who said, “I like the qualities of the faculties; they are first-class faculties that know what they are doing as well as the flexibility of the programme”.
“We are encouraged to participate, and being assessed really kept us on our toes.
“Our visit to Cadbury World and Shakespeare birthplace were practical teachings
I liked the way the faculties went beyond legislation and went down to general politics. The teachings weren’t just theoretical; there were role plays,” Hadejia said.
On his part, Hon. Akin Alabi from the House of Representatives said:
“The case studies, interactive and quiz segments get you fully engaged. The interactive sessions make you engaged and engrossed and, in line, increases assimilation and learning.
“The programme has increased our leadership quotient with what we have learnt and gathered from the experiences of the instructors, which will be applied to real life situations when we get back to Nigeria”.
Hon. Olumide Ojerinde has the following to say:
“The best part of the programme is the interactive session, and the scenarios being discussed are real-time situations that reflect on our day to day lives.
“The most interesting part is the teaching part; the tutors are just too great that I had no choice but to adopt them as mentors.
“I have been able to identify where my lapses are and make a change in my leadership skills”.
Hon. Chinedu Ogah said:
“We have been taught about quality leadership for legislation in Nigeria; we have been taught integration among our people.
“We were taught different ways of rendering solutions. The programme has taught us teamwork and progressive legislation in Nigeria.
“Leadership is all about service to the people and making yourself accessible to the people, thereby having a feedback mechanism.
“The most interesting part is the Montessori part of the teaching, the question and answer and the group discussions.
“I am taking the lessons here back into my legislation, to my constituency, to my local government, to my ward and to my polling unit”.
Hon. Ahmadu Jaha was also full of praise for the programme:
“The programme is very educative and inspiring, particularly the resource persons. They are people of integrity. The visit to Cadbury World and Shakespeare’s birthplace were eye-openers.
“The practicability and the reality of the programme is inspiring. The question and answer were most cherished, and the faculties are amazing”.
As for Hon. Shehu Balarabe, his remarks are:
“What I cherished most about this programme is seriousness. I have not found such dedication anywhere. Every session had questions and answers; I really cherish that.
The programme was well organised. You can see what they are teaching us in the faces of the professors.
“I acquired knowledge on how to make decisions at critical times. It taught me to speak realities at all times. It taught us to be more serious and focused.
“It has taught us to legislate efficiently.
The programme revived our togetherness; it gave us cohesion. It instilled oneness in us”.