Bay Area Mobility Management: Celebrating Wins Amid Rising Tide of Change

One element that has made the Bay Area Mobility Management (BAMM) continue to thrive is that the members can celebrate their collective wins, despite (or perhaps because of) the spirit of healthy competition. That was the takeaway of the attendees in the recent BAMM annual conference held last February 23 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City, California.

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The participants represented 800 organizations that have interest in or conduct business in global mobility management in the San Francisco Bay Area.  This yearly event provides the members an opportunity to share best practices, discuss pressing and relevant issues, network with partners and other shareholders, and obtain access to training and other educational resources.

Northern California remains one of the top magnets for international talent, given the location of the tech giants in the area, coupled with an age-old culture that welcomes and thrives on innovation and diversity.

This spirit of collaboration among the membership has been crucial in the organization’s ability to weather an unpredictable business climate in 2016. Among the unforeseen developments last year that would have long-lasting tangible effects on the global mobility industry were the departure of the United Kingdom from Europe, and the policies of the new Trump administration on corporate immigration.

The conference also noted the tremendous changes that are happening in the industry itself, and how the membership can not just cope with them, but leverage on them to stir their organizations to greater heights.

Talent mobility has been shifting forms, with assignees with short-term contracts and more flexible benefits are emerging, to work alongside the traditional corporate expatriate who stays in his country of employment for years, if not decades. The relocation process can become customized, with partners like California Corporate Housing offering various options to make the assignee’s stay more pleasant, restful, and exciting.

One key message is that the profession of global mobility is not all about cost containment but about adding significant financial and emotional value to the business.

Technology, especially the utilization of Big Data, is another trend that global mobility specialists must learn to capitalize on. It can help them create an enormous and self-sustaining database of talents, analyze industry trends, keep track of budgets, and reduce cost.

One picture that did emerge from the conference was the “superheroic” capabilities that global mobility specialists would have to assume in order to help chart their organization to the next level.

Superb, qualified, and hardworking talent would always be a premium, especially if the tides of change rise even higher. Global mobility specialists would need the telescopic vision of a Superman to always look forward, the strategic mind of a Batman that can respond to any crisis, and the resolve of a Wonder Woman who achieves her every goal.

At the end of the conference, the members had a strong idea of the challenges that lay ahead in 2017. At the same time, they faced it with confidence, knowing that they could always find strong support from each other in the organization.