Are Mobility professionals as open to change as they could be?

I’ve recently returned from delivering a keynote at the FEM Conference in Philadelphia where, amongst a warm welcome, I experienced delegates keen to share knowledge, make new contacts and discuss how to improve the role of Global Mobility.

Go to the profile of Damian McAlonan
May 26, 2016
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Are Mobility professionals as open to change as they could be?

I’ve recently returned from delivering a keynote at the FEM Conference in Philadelphia where, amongst a warm welcome, I experienced delegates keen to share knowledge, make new contacts and discuss how to improve the role of Global Mobility.

The reoccurring theme’s that spanned the two days included;

  • The role of Global Mobility and its evolution.
  • The desire to be recognised.
  • How to align, and be part of the company-wide strategy and;
  • Gain a seat (or presence) at the top table.

Its clear that Mobility professionals are facing key challenges in their role but much of the discussion centres around the ‘How to’s’ which by its nature focuses in the ‘transactional’ element of the role (delivery and hard skills) rather than in the ‘transformational’ (strategic and soft skills) an area which I believe is the best for the future of Global Mobility.

When you work with organisations to help improve their engagement and capability to implement their strategies more successfully, as we have, you must first create a passion for change.

You may recount a story about a mother that brings her son to Gandhi, asking him to urge her son to stop eating so much sugar. Gandhi agreed, but tells the mother to come back with her son in two weeks. So the mother leaves, and returns two weeks later, Gandhi then obliges her by advising her son to stop eating sugar.

The mother thanks Gandhi, but asks why he didn’t just tell her son to stop eating sugar during the first visit. Gandhi said, “because I needed the two weeks to stop eating sugar myself.”

The lesson behind the story is, if we want to create change we must ultimately start with ourselves.

But for change to actually work you need to focus on the question why. Why is this change important to the business? Why is the change important to me personally? Why will the team benefit? If we accept that Global Mobility wants to achieve new goals and move beyond its present circumstances we must also accept that we need an answer for why and be the agent of change. That’s a tough realisation because to change often means, breaking habits, embracing fears and taking risks.

At Boost we recognise the importance of getting you better prepared for being the agent of change, we call it ‘Oxygen masks on first’. It’s similar to when you hear the safety briefing on a plane, the crew always tells you to “put your own oxygen mask on first” before you can help others. We’ve found that communication workshops for people who are instigating change helps them become better at framing the change so others see it as an opportunity rather than as a threat. This (in turn) encourages better collaboration, recognition and visibility, the very cornerstones discussed at the conference.

So my message to Mobility Professionals is, fin out your why's and be the agent of change, there’s already been a positive trend in the strategic input and brand of global mobility over recent years so with this visibility and trending seize the initiative and drive forward your needs within the business.

Just tell yourself, today could be the day, today is the day to put myself out there, create the discussion, ask the questions, request the training, show my value and turn my world upside down for the better. Today could be the day everything changes, it only takes one moment, one decision, one action.

Let me know if today was your day, and if not, how I can help make it so.

Go to the profile of Damian McAlonan

Damian McAlonan

Managing Partner , The Boost Partnership

Damian is a multi-award winning communications professional with more than two decades experience in commercial strategy and advertising roles. He’s held senior managerial and board executive roles at Express Newspapers, United News & Media, WFCA Plc, EMAP and AOL Time Warner. Before becoming Managing Partner of The Boost Partnership he specialised in ‘people engagement’ as Business Advisor for a leading CIPD HR consultancy in the UK. What distinguishes Damian in the field of ‘learning and development’ is his passion for keeping things simple and providing clear explanations for what motivates and drives effective change in people. Damian currently helps a select group of clients uncover how to create their own people strategy that enables them to provide a more productive, engaging and great place to work. He is a contributor to specialist HR, Leadership and Business Management press and Business Mentor for His Royal Highness the Duke of York’s ‘Enterprise Unit’.

1 Comments

Go to the profile of Iyla MacIntyre
Iyla MacIntyre over 1 year ago

Absolutely agree! Global Mobility should be taking a more strategic role within the business - be the change....