As the year comes to an end, it is about time to make Christmas wishes. I will certainly make my personal ones, but I would also like to provide some on behalf of the world of global business and global mobility – topics I work on and write so much about. Looking back at the themes brought up in my blog during 2016, it should become clear what to ask for… so, as long as Santa is ready to listen, and my dear readers are ready to follow my somewhat childish wishful thinking, here is my Christmas Wish List…
- Dear Santa, could you please make the world a friendlier and safer place?
2016 hasn’t been easy: the world is still struggling with terrorism, refugees and climate change. As mentioned in one of my posts this year, the fear of terrorism has become more palpable and global mobility professionals have to put expats’ safety concerns on their agendas. It is not anymore about emerging markets with their poor infrastructure, it is also about classical expat destinations, where we are seeing an increasing number of terrorist attacks. Such stats, together with an ongoing inflow of refugees, have made governments take a more defensive stance.
Although the European migrant crisis was much more acute in 2015, this year we started seeing the aftermath of it, with Brexit, Trump’s election and other anti-globalization sentiments spreading around the world. And the predicted increase of climate refugees doesn’t make the picture any better. All in all, the events of 2016 seemed to have ‘burned a lot of bridges’… So, next year I wish we would become a friendlier place again, and global businesses are a great place to start, hence my second (and much more practical and concrete) wish…
- Dear Santa, please send a bunch of balloons to help celebrate diversity in the workplace.
Actually, at second thought I would like to cancel the balloon order, as it seems that the showy rhetoric about diversity and its very celebration is all that has been achieved so far. So, no balloons Santa, rather send us more motivation, commitment and persistence. Global businesses need to put in place more real action, with corresponding policies, outcome goals, action plans and follow-up. Truly diverse and inclusive businesses are those that create a safe and friendly environment, thus, making my first wish much more achievable, right?
And here is a last wish, this time for global mobility functions.
- Dear Santa, please help global mobility functions to better demonstrate their strategic value, and help everyone else to see it.
In 2016, many have spoken about the role of global mobility functions, arguing that they should take a more strategic role and demonstrate their value. Indeed, given the unstable global landscape on one hand, and the important role global businesses can play in terms of global hazards on the other, decisions about global mobility should, by nature, be more strategic. Strategic in terms of business objectives is one part of it, but why not think in even broader terms and reach for a strategic role in addressing global challenges? After all, it seems that doing good for the wider society is indeed helping your business do well too.
That’s it Santa. I know, I asked for a lot… but then again, that’s what Christmas wishes are for, right? And soon enough, we will all continue working on the small steps towards our big wishes in the New Year – hopefully with the necessary new energy.
Thanks and Merry Christmas!