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FCSA has inherited from the two organizations that merged to form it, namely ECC and NBS a strong culture of innovation. In particular, the ECC has emerged as a very entrepreneurial organization that successfully launched several innovation elements revolving around its operations. In particular two elements stand out: the development of simulation and analytics for its work around rankings and the second around workforce organization and allocation of resources where it developed three key innovative programs.

From its onset the FCSA has identified the capacity to create simulation tools based on advanced economic models used for competitiveness rankings as a critical competence for its activity. This allowed the organization not only to advise peer government entities on the best policies to improve its rankings but also to forecast with great accuracy the UAE’s future rankings as well as the impact of policies on the rankings. This core competency has been developed over the years and allows the organization to fast track reforms and improvements.

Be the Boss

Regarding organizational innovation, the first noteworthy initiative is “be the Boss”. In this program randomly selected employees would be selected to swap duties and seating with the Director General. This allowed them to better understand the organization, while giving a chance to the leader of the organization to view its organization from the ground and take the pulse of the organization from the most privileged place.


The organization has also launched a tradition called “Ramadan” boot camp. While the common wisdom hold that the holy month of Ramadan sees a slowing down of activity, this cannot be further from the truth for our organization. Ramadan is the occasion to launch strategic planning and reviews programs that would overhaul all our activity. The organization has proven that despite shortened work days with focus tremendous results could be achieved.

the Kitchen

Finally, the organization has also launched a program called “the Kitchen”. It includes elements of empowerment and gamification. Its concept is simple: the management launches a menu (which is the description of a project) and then Chefs volunteer to prepare it they can choose their position (Chef or Helpers). This program fosters cross department collaboration as it is open to any as well as risk taking. Anyone regardless of his/her position and tenure can apply to be the Chef. The program uses as well a distinct 360 evaluation where everybody is graded and grades all the other participants to allow learning and improvement. Participants obtain points and at the end the most performing are celebrated and awarded. The Kitchen has delivered more than 50 studies so far and some outside organizations expressed interest in replicating the model.