Engineering Vision Enhancing Business Strategies: Dr. Lana El Chaar Advancing Women Leadership in the Energy Sector

Dr. Lana El Chaar | Vice President of Talent Management and Capability Building at ACWA Power
Dr. Lana El Chaar | Vice President of Talent Management and Capability Building at ACWA Power

From driving innovation to fostering inclusivity, women have made significant contributions to shaping the landscape of global businesses. Their diverse perspectives, collaborative approach and resilience have led to groundbreaking advancements and initiatives that drive growth and promote diversity, equality and inclusiveness in the corporate world. One such exemplary leader is Dr. Lana El Chaar, the Vice President of Talent Management and Capability Building at ACWA Power.

Dr. El Chaar is a distinguished Global Technology Services Leader with a stellar track record in directing the efficient delivery of large-scale enterprise solutions in the Energy industries. With her guidance, industry best practices are seamlessly integrated to streamline operations, enhance efficiency and drive significant cost reduction. Her strategic leadership has ensured superior results for industry leaders, and she has excelled in building high-performance teams while establishing key executive stakeholder relationships.

With exceptional academic qualifications, including a PhD in Electrical Engineering, Dr. El Chaar is highly motivated, ambitious and considered an excellent leader and communicator. Her expertise in software solutions to optimize power plant efficiency—coupled with her proficiency in project management and coaching—makes her a valuable asset in the field. Additionally, her expertise in Photovoltaic design and assessment, along with her publications in esteemed journals and conferences, further solidify her position as a thought leader in the domain.

Dr. El Chaar’s dedication, expertise and leadership serve as an inspiration to women leaders, showcasing the immense impact they have in driving positive change and innovation within their respective industries!

The Fusion of Engineering and Leadership

As the Vice President of Talent Management and Capability Building, my journey has been shaped by a fusion of technical expertise in Electrical Engineering and a deep understanding of the intricacies of business operations,” Dr. El Chaar shares. her immersion in the technical domain has been enriched by the opportunity to work closely with various business units. Through these experiences, she emphasizes the importance of listening to the diverse perspectives of team members, adapting leadership styles to suit different contexts and fostering an environment that encourages mentorship and continuous learning has become evident.

Dr. El Chaar’s insights underscore the value of melding technical prowess with an astute grasp of organizational dynamics ensuring holistic growth and development within the corporate landscape.

Breaking Down Silos

In my role of leading large-scale enterprise solutions for industry leaders like General Electric,” Dr. El Chaar explains, “the emphasis was always focused on fostering operational excellence through the facilitation of industry best practices.” She elaborates on her approach to undertaking a comprehensive industry analysis served as the foundation of her approach. This involved closely examining market trends, competitors and emerging technologies to identify best practices employed by industry leaders.

Dr. El Chaar emphasizes the importance of open communication channels with key stakeholders including executives, department heads and end-users. “I advocate for the development of tailored enterprise solutions that align with the organization’s unique requirements and incorporate identified industry best practices,” she says.

Dr. El Chaar also stresses the significance of breaking down silos and promoting cross-functional collaboration for holistic operational improvements. “I encourage teams from different departments to work collaboratively on solutions that address end-to-end operational efficiency,” she asserts, “fostering a more integrated and efficient organization.” her approach highlights the importance of synergy and cooperation across departments in achieving overarching organizational goals and driving sustainable growth in today’s dynamic business landscape.

Strategic Foundations

With the vision and the growth strategy that ACWA Power has set to become a top leader in the energy transition globally and in the dynamic landscape of leadership, two critical components underscore success—building high-performance teams and cultivating strong relationships with executive stakeholders. She explains that effective team building starts with a clear articulation of the vision and goals fostering a shared understanding among team members. “Cross-functional collaboration is at the heart of my team-building strategy,” she asserts. Dr. El Chaar advocates for diverse teams that bring together varied skills and perspectives, empowering team members by delegating responsibilities based on their strengths and expertise. This delegation allows individuals to take ownership of their work, fostering a sense of accountability. her approach highlights the importance of aligning team objectives with the overarching organizational vision, promoting collaboration and empowering individuals to drive success in today’s competitive business landscape.

Predictive Maintenance and Data Analytics

Dr. El Chaar explains, “My academic background, including a PhD in Electrical Engineering, serves as a foundational pillar in leveraging technical expertise to optimize power plant efficiency.” She elaborates on her approach, stating, “Here’s how I harness my technical background to achieve these optimizations”:

  • Employ advanced data analytics techniques to analyze massive datasets generated by power plants. she emphasizes the use of machine learning algorithms to identify patterns, anomalies and areas for improvement in plant performance.
  • Develop predictive maintenance models to anticipate equipment failures before they occur minimizing downtime and optimizing reliability.

Her method highlights the integration of cutting-edge technologies with her technical knowledge to drive efficiency and reliability in power plant operations ensuring sustainable performance as well as uptime.

Harnessing Flexibility

Dr. El Chaar shares, “One project management strategy that I find particularly effective revolves around the principle of Agile Iterative Development.” She explains that this approach encapsulates flexibility, collaboration and adaptability, providing a robust framework for navigating large-scale enterprise projects. This can be accomplished through adaptive planning where the project is planned in short and iterative cycles.

Moreover, Dr. Chaar emphasizes Agile’s focus on continuous collaboration with stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle. Regular feedback loops, facilitated by short iteration cycles ensure that stakeholders are actively involved in shaping the evolving solution.

Furthermore, in complex enterprise solutions where requirements may evolve, Agile accommodates changes seamlessly. Stakeholders can introduce modifications during each iteration ensuring that the final solution aligns closely with the evolving needs of the business. her insights underline the value of Agile methodologies in fostering flexibility and responsiveness in project management particularly in dynamic business environments.

Fueling Growth

My commitment to talent development,” Dr. El Chaar asserts, “is manifested through the creation of tailored learning paths for employees.” She explains that leadership development programs are designed to provide high-potential individuals with exposure to challenging assignments, mentorship and training further preparing them for future leadership roles. In addition, regular workshops are organized to enhance both technical and soft skills. These workshops cover a spectrum of topics from technical advancements to leadership, communication and innovation ensuring employees have a well-rounded skill set.

Moreover, Dr. El Chaar highlights the importance of recognition programs in motivating employees and reinforcing the connection between effort and appreciation. ACWA Power is investing heavily in these programs and in learning platforms and resources to ensure that employees have access to the latest industry insights. her approach underscores the significance of continuous learning and recognition in nurturing talent and fostering a supportive and dynamic work environment.

The Power of Knowledge Flow

Incorporating learning goals, encouraging collaboration, providing access to resources, recognizing achievements and actively disseminating knowledge are integral components of a culture of continuous learning. Dr. El Chaar elaborates on her role as a leader, stating, “My role extends beyond just promoting individual learningit involves creating an environment where knowledge flows organically, driving collective growth, innovation and adaptability.”

Dr. El Chaar aims to empower individuals and fortify the team with the skills and insights needed to thrive in a rapidly changing professional landscape. Her approach underscores the importance of fostering a culture of continuous learning within organizations where individuals are supported in their development journey and where collective growth as well as innovation are prioritized.

Bridging Differences

The most critical action is adaptability to Stakeholder Diversity, where tailoring communication to resonate with diverse audiences ensures that the message is well-received and understood. She stresses the importance of starting with “a well-articulated vision and goal of every project we plan to launch,” which provides a guiding light for all team members and stakeholders, fostering a sense of purpose and direction.

Dr. El Chaar also highlights the necessity of establishing open channels for dialogue. “This is achieved through regular team meetings, town halls and interactive sessions,” she explains, “providing platforms for transparent communication where each team member is encouraged to voice opinions and share insights.”

Furthermore, she underlines the importance of cultural sensitivity in communication. Dr. El Chaar asserts, “I prioritize cultural sensitivity, respecting diverse perspectives and adapting communication strategies to align with cultural expectations.” Her approach underscores the significance of effective communication and inclusivity in fostering collaboration and understanding among diverse stakeholders.

Resourceful Leadership

Dr. El Chaar recounts, “Upon joining the organization, I discovered that commitments had been made to deliver at least two comprehensive leadership programs within an accelerated timeframe.” She acknowledges the challenge posed by limited resources, both in terms of personnel and tools. She outlines her approach, stating, “With limited tools, I collaborated closely with a small team to conduct a rapid yet comprehensive talent assessment.” She then engaged an external consultant to develop initial program content tailored to the specific needs of the leadership programs.

Furthermore, she initiated a structured process to identify suitable partners for program delivery. As program requirements evolved, Dr. El Chaar ensured that both internal teams and external partners were well-informed and adaptable to meet revised expectations. Her proactive and collaborative efforts highlight the importance of resourcefulness and effective communication in overcoming challenges and delivering successful outcomes within tight timelines.

Building a Future-Ready Workforce

Dr. El Chaar’s aspirations and goals are intricately incorporated into positive transformation within ACWA Power. She articulates her leadership endeavors as aiming to shape a dynamic and forward-thinking approach. Her overarching goal, she asserts, is to build a workforce that is not just adept at current industry demands but is also future-ready. She emphasizes championing a culture of lifelong learning aiming to ensure that the workforce remains at the forefront of industry evolution.

Furthermore, Dr. El Chaar highlights the importance of developing strong and visionary leaders for sustained success. “I aspire to identify and nurture leadership talent within the organization,” she affirms. Her vision underscores the commitment to fostering continuous growth, innovation and leadership development within ACWA Power ensuring its resilience and success in an ever-evolving industry landscape.

Championing Gender Equality

Fostering gender diversity and nurturing female leaders is a priority. Recognizing the importance of a diverse leadership team contributes to innovation, resilience and improved performance. Some practices outlined by Dr. El Chaar that she wants to implement for the support of the growth of female leaders in ACWA as the VP of Talent Management and Capability Building include:

  • Advocating for inclusive talent practices that ensure equal opportunities for career advancement regardless of gender by establishing mentorship programs to support female talent in career progression.
  • Developing targeted Leadership Development Programs for Women specifically designed to enhance the skills and competencies of female employees which include leadership workshops.
  • Implementing Mentorship and Sponsorship Programs to provide guidance and support for aspiring female leaders.
  • Advise ACWA Power to continue investing in programs that encourage girls and young women to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers and build a talent pipeline through collaboration with schools, colleges and universities.

Celebrating Women: Strength, Resilience and Empowerment

Dr. El Chaar expresses, “On this International Women’s Day, I extend my heartfelt wishes to every woman around the world.” She emphasizes celebrating the achievements, resilience and boundless potential of women and shares a message of empowerment and encouragement. Every woman is a force of nature with strengths and qualities that are uniquely hers. She urges women to embrace their individuality by recognizing that their distinctiveness adds richness to the world. “Your experiences, perspectives and dreams are valid and valuable,” she emphasizes.

Dr. El Chaar encourages women to recognize their boundless potential and not be limited by societal expectations. Empowerment is not a solitary journey, it thrives in solidarity. She advocates for supporting and uplifting one another, celebrating achievements, mentoring those in need, and creating a community where every woman can thrive. Furthermore, Dr. El Chaar reminds women to be audacious and bold in pursuing their dreams, emphasizing resilience as a superpower. She reassures, “In moments of adversity, remember that you have the strength to endure and emerge stronger.”

Lastly, she highlights the significance of women’s voices in shaping narratives and influencing change. “Do not underestimate the power of your voice,” she concludes, “in shaping narratives and influencing change.” Dr. El Chaar’s message resonates with the spirit of International Women’s Day, celebrating the strength, resilience and potential of women worldwide.