How to get an ROI for expat leaders: manage the multiple transitions

Last week in Sydney at an International Forum for HR Directors of ANZ affiliates of global companies there were robust and thought provoking conversations.  Across them all there was the theme and constant challenge of how HR can continue to be a relevant and integral business partner and asset?

One clear way was to champion the infrastructure for the building of capability and performance.  There is always the necessity for all business leaders in ensuring prudent and effective return on investment.

This echoes what we regularly hear from our clients. We at OSULLIVANFIELD continue to be relevant and integral business partner and asset by creating resources and delivering programs that minimise the risk in these circumstances.

As business leaders of the HR function in global organisations they were also familiar with the unrealised return on significant investment (both financially and personally) of the expatriate assignments occurring under their watch.

Studies put the failure rate for expatriate leaders at between 25 and 50%. When you consider the obvious cost of recruitment, international relocation etc it is enormous, usually two to three times the total package. This does not account for the hidden expenses including the time and focus of the organisational resources at both home and host locations.

If the assignment fails this is a significant expense for the organisation. It has been suggested that for senior executives whose base salary is above US$250,000, the cost of a failed expatriate assignment can be up to 40 times base salary.

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A Different Kind of Doing

As some of you may know I am currently training for my first ever Triathlon. My goal for this one is to complete uninjured rather than to compete with anyone else. I hit a bit of a road block this week as I have caught the flu – guess that is somewhat unavoidable when you have your face in pools for so many hours!

I am forced at this point to look at what I am doing and make some choices about how I am able to spend my training time – I need a different kind of doing. What is going to help me get to where I need to be and what am I able to do?

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Being nervcited….!

As every entrepreneur, innovator or business leader that is involved with a major project knows there is a moment when it finally comes together. Finally, you are ready to launch, sign off or let go. Some people say this is similar to birthing a baby…I never have actually birthed a baby so I don’t know!

The emotions however are similar. Nervousness and excitement all in one.

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(Not so) Secret Ingredients for High Performance Teams

We have some very well tested and robust information about what it takes to establish, develop and maintain high performance teams.  Our 5Q model that provides a pathway to high performance for teams provides this framework.

An article I read recently reinforces these concepts and interestingly highlighted some additional features, ones that will not always seem to be the most obvious but when you have a look at them, makes perfect sense.

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Enjoy the silence – That’s all you will have when we are gone

For those of us in Australia, 1 September marks the beginning of Spring. This season brings the promise of longer, warmer days and the re-emergence of things dormant and new life. It is with all these things that many people start to make plans and “refresh” practices.

This thinking was in my mind as I was sitting with a client in a Melbourne coffee shop. In a wide-ranging conversation over a few hours we discussed many things including the life lessons that have come his way. His career started in corporate, then transitioned to an entrepreneurial career where he owned the business and now has transitioned back into corporate.

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4 questions to ask before sitting in the “Top Seat”

So you finally have been offered the role. They want you. This is it! The one where you will be in charge. Some people call it getting the “top seat”. Now what?

A natural reaction and mistake commonly made at this important transition is to be in a rush to sit in the chair. You are impatient to get a good feel of it. To move around in the chair until it feels right. A little to the right…hmmm not right. More to the left…

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Getting Unstuck

“So what’s keeping you awake at night?” I asked a client in a coaching session last week. Being very honest he said, “I feel stuck”.

Many clients have a similar realisation through their coaching. Even just bringing this into their awareness provides some level of relief as they can now at least understand what is underneath their frustration, conflict, procrastination, insomnia, illness, unsettledness, crankiness, indecisiveness or however else it is turning up.

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What tribe (mob) are you from?

Growing up in Ireland and later living in Australia, a common question I was asked was ”what tribe are you from?” meaning, from which branch of the family are you? In Australia, the word ‘mob’ can be used to mean the same thing. Today, our notion of tribe can be expanded to take on a slightly different meaning. While society, technology and economies have experienced rapid growth and development there are still characteristics of the tribal nature of human beings that show up in workplaces. This can be an enabling or a debilitating force.

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20 reasons that suggest you need to lead differently

In working with executives over the last 20 years there is a common starting point our discussions inevitably touch on at some point. That is reflecting on and gaining clarity about  ‘What kind of leader do I want to be?” and then “What kind of leader am I’?

This reflection is useful and informative but stops short of the really powerful and sometimes confronting question(s) of “What does the organisation/ role/ team/job need from me as a leader?” This great question forces different thinking and quickly cuts straight to the core.

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3 Unexpected benefits for leaders in practising one specific emotion daily

…there has been a lot of talk about this next song…maybe too much talk…

so said an infamous rock star as he went on to introduce one of their hits in a live album recorded at Red Rocks in the USA many years ago. The same can possibly be said for positive psychology. In some regards positive psychology is humanistic psychology re-badged. However with ongoing research, there are real nuggets of insight uncovered that genuinely help us as people and as leaders. These insights help us to understand ourselves better and provide tools to evolve our leadership impact.

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