Category Archives: Global Mobility

Have you ever wondered what you are doing there in Shanghai, Pune or Moscow? Is this international assignment really a career step for you or do you feel that the tasks you have are less challenging than in your previous role? Have you felt a bit downgraded even though you might earn more money than ever?

It could be that you are a victim of a corporate strategy that does not really work out the international assignment business case but just sends “talents” abroad to give them “international exposure” or you were sent abroad to fill a gap, to replace a critical key person on a short notice. It was easier to send an assignee than to hire from the local market. Maybe your knowledge, skills and experience also justify that you were selected for the role but still…

You feel you are not working up to your full potential.

Here are five tips how you can improve such a situation:

  • Draft your international assignment business case by showing the business value of your assignment. Show facts and figures about how you can improve sales, research or processes in the new location. Discuss quarterly targets with your host sponsor. Ensure that these are filed and reported back to your home location.
  • Address the issue with your home sponsor on your next home leave. Discuss what you think is lacking for your career development. Make sure that the sponsor sees your development as a responsibility and regularly connect with her or him.
  • Journal your experience as it might be a perception error due to culture shock. Speak with an intercultural career advisor about critical incidents in the host location that give you the feeling that you are “an outsider” or “off track” or “performing badly”.
  • Ensure that your training and development history is updated in your home location regularly and that you keep your profile updated on any skill sites (internally and externally). Update LinkedIn at least every three months.
  • Build your professional network in the host location by attending business networks, industry group events and seminars. You will profit from your connections even when you move to another location.Reizigers 4

Traditional Vs Virtual Teams

Unlike traditional teams, virtual teams don’t meet at the same location daily which is becoming more of a feasible option in this century. Globalisation has created this concept which is a common phenomenon in large organizations as well as small businesses. In one recent survey by HBR, 79% of employees said they always or frequently work in dispersed teams. They define virtual teams as “work groups which (1) have some core members who interact primarily through electronic means, and (2) are engaged in interdependent tasks — i.e. are truly teams and not just groups of independent workers)”
Like any other team, these virtual teams also require proper leadership and management for optimum results. Let’s start with why we should opt for virtual teams.
virtual-teams
Advantages of Virtual Teams:

• Companies can bring global talent together when projects start, while employees can enjoy the flexibility of working from where they live according to their schedule.
• Organisations can cut the cost of relocation, traveling, real estate and other business expenditures. Businesses that use virtual teams to build global presence, outsource their operations or/and need less common expertise or skills from people who are reluctant to relocate from their home location.
• Virtual teams add diversity to a project. It is always better to brainstorm ideas to add creativity into work process, these virtual teams are ideal to do that. They also enable organisations to network globally with the fresh perspective of every country.

Challenges of Virtual Teams:

• As compared to traditional teams, virtual teams might be hard to get right and hard to manage. It might not always be easy to bring people from different cultures at one platform and get them to collaborate on a project.
• They can fall short of goals and motivation because of the way they communicate. They rely on modern technology, emails, video conferences, virtual meetings etc., which takes away the full spectrum and dynamics of in office face-to-face-exchange. Thus in order to excel, each member needs to be self-motivated.
• Collaboration within a project might cause delays in the working on the project.

Tips To Manage Virtual Teams:

• Build Trust

The first and foremost requirement is to build and maintain trust between team members. This helps unblock their communication and sustains motivation of each person involved. If they can’t trust each another, they will have issues in working together which is the essence of virtual teams.

• Clear Goals, Standards & Rules

Managers need to pay attention towards setting clear goals of each member, as well as the team combined. Performance standards and communication rules must also be clearly defined to avoid misunderstandings and harmful assumptions. In addition, they should also be clear on tasks and processes.

• Constant Communication

Team members should be able to communicate clearly, constructively and positively, even in the absence of nonverbal cues of face to face communication. Optimum use of technology for this purpose is a requirement.

• Build a Team Rhythm

This is much more crucial for global team to have regular meetings so that they stay on track, ideally the same day and time each week. Create meeting agendas in advance with clear agreement on communication protocol and timings. You will probably have time zone conflicts so don’t put the time zone burden on same members every time, instead follow a strict rotation to practice fairness and avoid biasness.

• Global Leader for Global Teams

Develop into a leader who appreciates the experience of managing global teams. Set up one to one performance management meetings with your team members. Make sure that these are taking place periodically and give feedback based on those. Let your team know how they contribute into the success of your project so that they get a feeling of ownership.

How do you manage your global virtual team? What is your experience?

Recently I wrote about how important it is to clean up regularly…not only at home but especially in your work space. As I know how hard it is for horders and messies I have developed this quick course with five S-words. Here is my quick guide for de-cluttering:

  • Systemize: Create an overview and make a plan. Decide on color-codes, three box system and buy a laminator.
  • Start: Start with the smallest possible entity and work on it for only half an hour.
  • Sort: If you clean out drawers take out all items, then sort them and decide what you would like to throw away. Then throw it away and take the bins outside. Return to the same content and review again. You might want to throw out more. Celebrate again. Clean the empty drawer right away.
  • Space : Create an empty space between fuller spaces. See what happens. Review the way you work with space. Share work space to keep it clean and tidy.
  • Standardize: Use same colors and basics your wardrobe. Reduce the amount of handbags and shoes you are using. Donate them if you don’t want to throw them away.

I would be interested in coaching you if you have an issue with clutter. Let me know if you are interested in a first conversation.

 

11078071_990750944286698_8841507939481156323_nDSCN4689The Women Expo Switzerland is the longest running, largest table exhibition in Switzerland which is solely dedicated to the promotion and showcasing of female owned businesses.

Exhibitors at the Women’s Expo Switzerland are female business owners who want to build and establish new business contacts, present their products, and educate visitors about their services in person. These female businessCBRAFEJVAAALrm1 owners also want to build business relationships with other female business owners. Visitors to the Women’s Expo Switzerland are 98% women from a professional background aged between 30 – 49 years who come from both the English and German speaking communities.

On 29th March, 2015, we had the privilege to be a part of Women Expo. It was in collaboration with Children First Association, which provides high quality care and education to babies, toddlers and small children up to seven years in the international community in Zurich.

The event turned out to be more than we were expecting. The crowd was energetic and interested in networking. Overall, the Women Expo is an amazing opportunity for women to showcase their businesses and we recommend female entrepreneurs in Switzerland to follow them for future events. We also hope that the connections we made there will lead to fruitful cooperations and clients.

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Women Expo 2015 with @cfa2011 and @GPTransitions