Expanding globally? Get full Value Optimizing Performance!
You and perhaps your family will explore many new adventures, and you are all, for good reason, excited. You know that life is not a smooth ride, but you are a high performer and a troubleshooter so you will, of course, also manage whatever comes your way the next couple of years you are in ‘foreign territory.’ So, with all those skills and all that willpower why is it that up to 20% of US managers sent abroad return before agreed end of term due to various difficulties, and 33% do not perform to expectations?
Global success highly depends on the expat’s individual performance
Market analyses and strategic plans are made; housing and schools for the kids are in place. Maybe, you and your family have even received some cultural training. Everything is well planned. So what goes wrong? Being in foreign territory requires a myriad of things to go right: Your family has to adapt; the market has to perform; the support from headquarter has to be sufficient; success criteria have to be aligned – just to mention a few. Nobody can foresee what obstacles and challenges you will face along the way – personal and professional. The way to handle the challenges will most likely have to be very different from how you would have to take care of it at home where you have your colleagues and your personal network.
From our experience and coaching, here are a few real life examples of what went wrong which nobody expected:
- The spouse did not adapt and wanted to move back home before term expiration.
- A $2 million marketing campaign did not generate the expected return because the expat was overwhelmed with running the day-to-day operation.
- Communications with headquarter were lacking and expectations were not aligned, giving severe delays and frustrations.
- Teamwork in the US was not the same as work in teams in Denmark, so employee performance was far from potential.
Expatriation costs anything from $100,000 per year to millions of dollars. No matter the organizational level Return on Investment (ROI) is to a great extent up to your performance. As such, it is in direct correlation with your well-being and personal career and life balance on location.
Little or no training or coaching
Through our research, we have uncovered that expats, in general, receive little or no support (training or coaching) before and during being sent to a new culture to build residual value for the company. This trend continues throughout the assignment, and expats receive significantly less leadership development than their colleagues in the headquarter. Putting it bluntly, the company hands over a tremendous responsibility for success or failure to the expat without giving the expat the necessary personal support.
Optimizing and enabling the expat’s individual performance and growth in unfamiliar territory can significantly increase the success and ROI of an expatriation. It will also substantially increase the personal success and satisfaction, again leading to better performance. The Personal Business Plan™ is an ideal tool to help you deliver effectively to challenges, professionally and personally and preserving current perceived value from where you will be increasing value going forward and much quicker compared to hoping for the best based on a positive mental attitude.
A business plan is a familiar concept. It is an ambitious plan which is precise, it is complete, and it is specific. It relates to the short run as well as to the long term. First and foremost, you can execute it. Supplementing with a Personal Business Plan™ensures that you are mentally and intellectually strong and can deal with challenges in unfamiliar territory. Coaching is one of the most effective ways to not only plan, but also to simulate and prioritize your choices for actions and meet the challenges in full balance along the way.
We have done the math and figures never lie. Saving money due to less failure and generating residual value due to stronger performance is a no brainer once you explore the potential and have done the math.
Here are some examples of areas that will be clarified together with the coach:
- Clarification of the individual’s unique strengths.
- Anchoring plans and development directly to the company goals & mission.
- Ensure consistent drive of performance.
- Full clarity of continued mutual expectations between individual and company.
- Smooth communication of performance expectations.
- First-hand support when the going gets tough.
Investing in performance will give you results, peace of mind and valuable knowledge.
 ‘The right Way to manage expats’ by J. Stewart Black & Hal Gregersen. Harvard Business Review, 1999
 Lack of investment in Danish leaders in the US. Nordic Coach Group. Survey results from 2013
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