Global Mobility, relocating or working in another country isn’t always easy. Make the transition seamless with our pre-deployment and re-entry briefings, workshops, online training, and in-country coaching support.

International Relocation: Playing the ‘long game’

Global Mobility

Have you ever been on holiday or a short business trip to a new country and thought ‘I could live here’? The two weeks you spend are joyous, the food is interestingly different, and the culture fascinating… However, relocating to a new country is a radically different experience to a short-term visit. You’ll still be there once the ‘honeymoon’ is over.

Having worked with thousands of individuals and families on both our pre and post-deployment programs, we’d like to share a few tips to make the adjustment as smooth as possible:

Prepare. Seek information and advice about the local people, history and culture. Access local news websites and become familiar with local issues and popular culture. Absorb as much information as possible from a wide variety of sources about your new home.

Pace yourself. To successfully relocate and live for more than six months in a new location you need to play a ‘long game’. It will take time to find your place in your new community, establish relationships and know where you fit in.   

Create a sense of ‘home’. Remember, home is a sense of belonging and unique to you. What rituals can you maintain? Is it the smell of coffee in the morning? Is it the sound of your favourite music? Do you like to cook? Do you always run on the weekends? If you are relocating with others, remind them of the things they love about home. Try to keep some continuity in your life. Small things can be nurtured anywhere in the world.

Look for people who can support you. It might not be the same people you lean on at home. Their lack of understanding of what you are going through may sometimes make things harder. Expat communities are a great support – they have already ‘been there, done that’. 

Be gentle on yourself and those around you. You can’t force adaptation. Not everyone will adapt at the same time. Everyone is under pressure and copes in the best way they know how. To preserve relationships, remember, this is a challenging time, be patient.

Take time out. A mini break from your new location to a third destination can help. While it may be tempting to want to ‘work through’ and get everything under control at the office, a brief break can help gain perspective. When you return, somehow your new place feels more like home than when you left.

You got this…Hang in there. It’s normal to be overwhelmed at points. Don’t underestimate the amount you have already learned, and the skills and life experience you bring. Think back, what worked for you in a previous period of change in your life? Many of those strategies will also work now.

 

Beasley Intercultural has supported thousands of employees and their families to make a successful transition when relocating internationally. Our programs facilitate better adjustment and productivity on arrival, minimise foreseeable risk, and ensure duty of care is addressed. Contact us now to find out about how our pre and post-deployment programs can help you or your team. 

2018-08-17T06:04:45+00:00 By |

Connectivity

Global connectivity, collaboration and engagement are changing the spaces and ways in which we engage across cultures.  I recently purchased an intercultural transitions book for a friend who was relocating internationally with her family.  When the book arrived (from the US with significant postage charges), I was  intrigued to find it was a historical document.  Published in 1992, the book suggested keeping in touch with friends by mailing audio tapes home!  Not a mention of facebook, twitter or skype.  Geography as we knew it, is history.  At Beasley Intercultural, we have modified our focus accordingly towards effectiveness in globally connected, and culturally diverse workplaces.

2018-08-09T23:13:48+00:00 By |

Staying Connected and on the Move – Tools of the Trade

How to stay connected and travel between locations with the minimum of hassle is an essential aspect of working globally. Reliable email and phone access and the ability to access the files you need when you need them are just the beginning.

APEC Business Travel Card

As well as access to fast track diplomatic/APEC or air crew channels at selected airports, the APEC card allows accredited business people to obtain multiple short-term business visitor entry to participating economies of: Australia, Brunei, Darussalam, Chile, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, People’s Republic of China, The Philippines, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam. Be warned, the application process can take months, but is well worth it.

Access and security of data on the road

Being connected to a physical office space where all files are stored is becoming less of an issue for many global workers. We use a citrix system which means that all of our computers are empty and our software and desktop and files are ‘located’ on the internet and a remote server. The biggest challenge is remembering the 3 layers of passwords to get in. From a data security and risk management perspective, we suggest that traveling with all of your key files in a thumb drive is a high risk approach and best avoided. Thumb drives are simply too easy to lose.

The Essential Travel Connectivity Kit

Our travel kit includes: PDA with global roaming enabled, a laptop with wi-fi capability, connecting cable, USB hub, universal adaptor, cable for USB to mini USB, thumb drive for file transfers, wi-fi card (check for network coverage and global roaming capabilities before you sign up). We also recommend a Skype account for phone calls and or vision to home and family while on the road.   Happy travels!

Photo: Maple

 

2018-08-09T23:18:59+00:00 By |

How to get traction on your investment in cross-cultural training

Beasley Intercultural was recently involved in a review of the quality of cross cultural training in Australia commissioned by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs. The research supported our experience in that, to maximise return on investment in intercultural training, the training must be of sufficient duration and tailored to the client environment.

To read a copy of this report click here.

To maximise the effectiveness of cross-cultural training, it is important that it be positioned within the organisational context, followed up appropriately and used as an opportunity to leverage diversity within the client organisation. Following is an overview of our recommended process to ensure maximum traction on your investment in cross-cultural training:

1. Undertake a Needs Analysis

The needs analysis is typically carried out by an intercultural specialist who liaises with key management staff, people in the business line as well as Human Resources (HR) and Learning and Development (L&D) staff. Key areas explored include:

  • What is the business context and what are the outcomes required?
  • What are the current challenges and opportunities being faced when working in these specific cultures, and what is the impact on the business?
  • What is the organisational context?
  • What existing L & D frameworks are in place?
  • What current knowledge and cross-cultural skills do team members have?
  • Is this knowledge shared?
  • What are the gaps?

The Consultant will then discuss the summary of needs analysis findings with the client and advise on the most appropriate and effective learning intervention.

2. Consultant Preparation

The consultant will then prepare a training and/or coaching process which best addresses the gaps discovered during the needs analysis process. To do this, the consultant will analyse and prepare:

  • What cross-cultural information would be of most use in this context?
  • What examples are available from other organisations and our experience to explore these themes?
  • What cross-cultural resources are most appropriate?
  • >What process is best to enable the learning and development of skills and competencies required?

The design and printing of program materials, provision of pre-reading/watching with guiding questions will then occur.

3. Cross-Cultural Program Delivery and/or Coaching

The training or coaching program will then commence. Core themes which are often covered include:

  • What culture is, and the impact on your work
  • The most frequent sources of challenges and how to avoid them
  • Key cross-cultural competencies and what you need to know to be effective
  • Approaches to your core business: what is considered important in different cultural contexts and why
  • Key cultural drivers and their impact
  • Cross-cultural factors depending on needs analysis results. These may include culture-specific topics such as: verbal and non-verbal communication, management, negotiations and conflict resolution

Program delivery and/or coaching may involve one or two accredited Consultants, depending on the business need. Comprehensive participant notes, including further references and resource lists are provided..

4. Key Recommendations and Follow-up

As a result of working closely with the client, it is common to identify opportunities to maximise success in the cross-cultural context. Through providing comprehensive feedback to the client, key recommendations can be made and follow up guaranteed. This process may include:

  • Application of Consultant cross-cultural experience and expertise to create a brief summary for management of recommendations for greater effectiveness when achieving specific outcomes in diverse cultural contexts, based on the needs analysis and responses to program delivery.
  • Summary of all participant feedback and evaluations
  • Follow up call or meeting with client

As a result of undertaking this process, it is possible to ensure training is highly effective and the following outcomes can result:

  • Better understanding of the cultural variances in the way business occurs in different locations
  • Enhanced ability to navigate cultural differences and achieve outcomes
  • Greater effectiveness in regional or global planning
  • More efficient communication when working regionally or globally, reducing misunderstandings as a result of cultural or language issues
  • Improved business strategy through new understanding of intercultural challenges and opportunities
2018-08-09T23:19:54+00:00 By |