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Akpoveta: Gathering business executives for change


Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta

Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta

Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta is a change consultant, John C. Maxwell coach, speaker and author. Her passion lies in working with individuals, entrepreneurs and organisations to succeed in their desired goals, thereby elevating them to a higher level of performance. Yvonne is multifaceted, having worked with a variety of clients; small businesses, not-for-profit organisations and major corporations such as, JPMorgan Chase, Loblaw, GM, Phillips Consulting, Deloitte & Touché and British Telecom to deliver strategic and business critical projects. The author of three books including, The Change Your Want, Change Your Mindset and Change Your Life, and a regular contributor to a variety of print and online publications, and blog sites. She spoke to GREGORY AUSTIN NWAKUNOR on the forthcoming OliveBlue Consultancy executive organised roundtable in Canada.

What do you hope to achieve with change leadership series?
The Change Leadership is an organisation focused on empowering leaders and organisations in Africa to lead transformational change. For successful change to occur, it takes strong leadership and commitment. And strong leadership requires growth and continuous learning. The series meets these needs and provides a forum to help leaders and entrepreneurs become more effective in driving results, achieve higher levels of success, growth and market leadership in their respective sectors, and increase return on investments.
It is a corporate and entrepreneurial sequence of events held yearly, which aims at driving positive change by empowering individuals, entrepreneurs and corporations to become effective change leaders.

It recognises the need to tailor its content to fit the respective nuances and culture of its participants. The aim at the executive roundtable being held for Nigerian business leaders is to strive for the leaders to learn from one another on how they have been able to achieve success and manage challenges within the Nigerian context and culture.

Tell us about the roundtable billed to hold in Toronto this year?
The executive roundtable will hold in Toronto from July 6 to 8. It is an exclusive event that will bring together 50 executive and business leaders to mastermind with one another and also learn from the number one global leadership expert, John Maxwell.

Other notable guest speakers include, Foluso Phillips, CEO, Phillips Consulting Nigeria; Jeremy Gutsche, award winning Innovation expert; Segun Agbaje, CEO GTBank Nigeria; Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora; Arole Oodua Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife and an astute real estate mogul; and Samuel O. Oboh, an accomplished architect in Africa and Canada.

Why Toronto and not Lagos or Johannesburg?
Toronto was chosen to provide something different. It is one of the world’s largest financial centres and Nigeria is one of Canada’s largest trading partners in Sub-Saharan Africa, with growing opportunities for bilateral trade. The country has cultivated relationships in Africa for over five decades working with countries to boost development outcomes including promoting economic opportunities. More so, the World Economic Forum has declared Canada’s banking system to be the soundest in the world for the seventh consecutive year.

Who are your primary target in attending this event?
It is targeted at bringing C-Suite executives together. This encompasses a range of leaders from CEOs, executive leaders and senior management of organisations to senior public sector leaders in Nigeria focused on leading transformational change. Organisations in Nigeria or those that do business in Nigeria and Africa can be part of this event by registering to participate. Details can be found on our website or email

How will this event help to attract investments to Nigeria?
The event will enable participants to explore a range of investment opportunities, provide opportunities for networking with potential Canadian business partners, high ranking officials and investors and provide the forum for high level dialogue between industry experts, which will no doubt result in opportunities for diversification and investments to be made in Nigeria.

How receptive are Nigerian companies or CEOs to Change. What has been your experience so far?
We have often heard the saying by Heraclitus, the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher who said that change is the only constant in life. Being receptive to change or not does not stop change from happening.

In my experience Nigerian companies understand this philosophy; from the banking to the telecommunications industry, taking on tremendous change in the past 10 years, constantly reinventing themselves to stay relevant and some doing so successfully over the years. While some may fall through the cracks or struggle to remain relevant and successful, by and large every organisation is in the business of succeeding, and therefore needs not only to be receptive to change, but embrace it.

This roundtable is an opportunity to bolster our effectiveness in leading change to drive higher returns on investment and collectively move the Nigerian economy forward. And one of the ways this can be done is through effective change leadership.

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