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Leadership Lessons with... Belma Ambrose, Managing Director of Global Councel Delivery team

We recently spoke with Belma Ambrose, Managing Director of Global Councel Delivery team, about the upcoming trends and trials of 2024, including the upcoming US presidential election. Take a look.

What significant trends do you foresee in your industry in 2024? 

Over the decade that GC has advised clients on global tech, AI has had huge resonance, though in particular the November 2022 launch of ChatGPT pushed the issue of AI regulation into the public conscience and policy discourse in a way that hadn’t come across before. We ran our own survey over the latter half of 2023 probing opinion formers on the regulatory questions around AI, confirming how much appetite there is to apply generative AI, though with lots of caveats on need for regulation.

Beyond being a huge part of our advisory support to clients, generative AI is already making a big impact on how we work, as tools like CoPilot become easily available for business of our size. There are a lot of unknowns about this technology and its impact on our work, but in principle we see it as a tool that can assist our team to save time, ensuring that they in turn can focus on what they do best: to reflect on the difference between information and advice, and how to bring that to bear in consultancy.

Looking ahead to 2024, what significant changes do you anticipate within our industry? Elaborate on the driving forces behind these changes and their potential implications for businesses in our sector. 

Tech is the obvious one from a client advisory and operating perspective. But, the convergence of elections globally – US, UK, Brussels all quickly come to mind – will be hugely impactful from both a domestic and international policy perspective. We've already seen ripple effects from the recent Taiwanese elections, sparking client inquiries about US-China relations. Our global presence positions us uniquely to interpret these political changes and their impact on international business strategies. GC advises on the ‘knowledge gap,’ serving clients on what happens to their capital when it moves abroad, and bridging that gap with our insight and advice.

How has your leadership style and approach evolved of late to navigate and embrace the volatility of the last few years? 

Since the pandemic's onset, leading a growing team across five offices has been a journey of adaptation. Being based in DC while maintaining a global role has taught me the importance of consistent, meaningful interactions with my team, even when we can't meet face-to-face. I've learned to embrace digital communication tools not just for efficiency, but to maintain a cohesive team culture.

How do you think AI will impact the comms/public affairs/policy industry? What benefits do you see, and what concerns or challenges do you have? 

We want to strike a balance. We encourage our team to use tools like ChatGPT to as a starting point for research, to enhance their high order thinking skills. It’s up to our teams to interpret and apply their research and experience to advise on complex policy decisions.

Are you optimistic about 2024? If not, what challenges are you monitoring, and what measures are in place to address them? Conversely, if optimistic, what factors contribute to this outlook? 

As I sit in DC, the buzz of the upcoming US presidential election is impossible to ignore. It's shaping up to be one of the most consequential elections – since the last one of course! 2024 won't be a politically calm year and post November, changes in political mandate mean policy and regulatory change too, and it's in these areas of change where our expertise shines. We're fully prepared to engage with our clients, offering the support and guidance they need to navigate these complexities. So, from a professional standpoint, there's a sense of optimism about the impactful client work we anticipate. Does this optimism over the elections carry over on a personal or emotional level? That is a different story…

Posted on 12.02.2024

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