Until recently, the world seemed to be moving inexorably closer, with “us” and “them” giving way to a more global sensibility. Recent populist political movements, from Brexit to Trumpism to Italy’s Five Star Movement and France’s National Rally Party, have challenged this narrative, advocating for a return of local sovereignty and the primacy of national interests. The implications are significant for global mobility and companies that depend on a free flow of talent.
In a recent TRC Global Mobility/Worldwide ERC Learning Zone webinar, Dean Foster, Founder, DFA Intercultural Global Solutions and Executive Strategic Consultant, Dwellworks Intercultural, discussed how cultures and companies are adapting and responding to the new post-global world. He noted that culture is the DNA of a nation. Everything else—politics, economics, social and business life—is a consequence of this culture.
Dean discussed some on-the-ground daily mobility challenges in three areas:
- More frequent extended business travelers
- Increased timelines in obtaining immigration approvals
- Special relocation packages for anticipated Brexit
- Inbound to US changes in visa policies
- Outbound to Canada and intra-European immigration policy changes
- Outbound immigration changes to China, intra-Asia
- Relocation training/support modality shift to technology, end-user
- Relocation support service uptake driven by different cultural forces (taxation, mandated policy, lump-sum trends, etc.)
- New relocation trends (short-term, single, extended business travel, etc.) driving new needs
- Communication style consideration based on location (Europe vs Asia)
- Can’t assume that same language (English) will have the same understanding for all—interpretation of language, how we counsel/words we choose
- Global mindset and need to be mindful of who/where we are speaking to, being able to adapt accordingly
- When managing teams globally, each team from each location will have a different culture; need to adapt and provide different mediums to share feedback