"...If we are to have any sort of a voice, we must focus on creating value"
Nick Jackson, Group Head of Reward & Human Resources, Lloyd's Register tells us what changes he has seen during his time in Global Mobility ahead of the FEM EMEA Summit 2016.
FEM is delighted to confirm Nick Jackson, Group Head of Reward & Human Resources, Lloyd's Register will be joining us on our 'The evolution from global mobility to talent mobility: Successes, challenges and obstacles' closing keynote panel at the FEM EMEA Summit 2016 on 10-11 November.
Nick tells FEM a little more about his session and what to expect.
FEM: How long have you been involved in the Global Mobility sector?
NJ: A little over 18 years. I started in the Big 4 (when it was the Big 5) and have been “in house” for almost 4 years now.
FEM: What changes have you seen in that time?
NJ: In myself or in the industry? Lots, in both! To begin with, it was all about tax compliance, but as time went by, and I did my Masters in International HR Management, I saw things very differently and tried to focus much more on the people issues. The more fascinated I became with the impact of mobility on people, the more I separated the risk and governance side of the job from the more strategic, talent focused aspects. I think that’s actually a pretty good reflection of what has happened generally in our industry in the time since I started. The advent of digital tax accounts is, I think, more a confirmation of something we’ve known for some time than it is a revolution in the way we think about the issue. We have to be compliant and manage risk, but it’s a given. It isn’t how we add value. Don’t get me started on “return on investment” (well, not unless you’ve got an hour to spare) – we can’t put a number on it - but the key change in Global Mobility is the growing awareness that, if we are to have any sort of a voice, we must focus on creating value. If we just bang on and on about risk and why you can’t do what you want to do, people will find a way around us. If we want to bring them in and engage with them, we have to show them why that’s worthwhile!
FEM: What do you think are the 3 greatest challenges facing Global Mobility professionals today?
NJ: We don’t actually understand very well where we fit into the bigger picture, too many of our ideas have lost their relevance and we are poor communicators. That’s pretty brutal as an assessment, sure, and you will notice that I said “we” and not “you”. This is something we are all grappling with. We can do the bit that I said was a given – the compliance and governance. We learned our craft doing that and most of us are very skilled at it. We love a good process too. But we tend to be very insular. We spend a lot of time criticising others for not understanding why they should listen to us, but we need to challenge ourselves more to listen to them – REALLY listen. Understand the real business problem. We’re a bright bunch. If we truly listen, with an open mind, We have the skills to make connections between the real problems the business has and the solutions we can offer. Bingo – value!
FEM: Why do you think (this issue) is such a challenge for Global Mobility and why is it important that the audience understand more about the debate?
NJ: It’s a challenge because we don’t define any of the terms. We don’t say who’s talent. We don’t say what they need in order to be developed. We don’t typically have a say in where they are sent. We just make it happen when we’re asked to. But if that’s our role in the process, we must understand that. There’s no sense trying to build our part by selecting talent, if that’s not what our business wants from us. We are here to apply our very considerable professional expertise to making this easier. Not harder, more complicated or long-winded. Show people how you can make their life easier and they will talk to you more openly. Then, you can make suggestions – who makes a good assignee, what challenges might they face in one location versus another, how could they do this quicker (and cheaper)? Don’t be the unwelcome cold caller with their foot in the door, be the invited guest who brings a well thought out and tasteful gift to the party!
FEM: What is the one message you hope delegates take away from your session?
NJ: Be an enabler, not a blocker.
FEM: Who would you recommend attend your session?
NJ: Anyone with an open mind!
FEM: Which particular session are you most interested to attend?
NJ: There’s a lot to choose from but it won’t surprise you that I’m drawn to the sessions that challenge our thinking about how we add value and how we communicate that.
Nick began his Global Mobility career at PwC in 1998. After two promotions and several role changes he was back in almost the same desk as he had started in, but substantially older and wiser. He gained more consulting experience and another promotion in four years at EY. Early in 2013, Nick moved to an in house role with Associated British Foods and in September 2014 he joined Lloyd’s Register as Interim Head of Global Mobility. Nick has successfully led the team through considerable change and was recently promoted to Head of Reward with responsibility for both the GM and Reward teams globally.