04 Jan Centralization, Transparency to Define Global Mobility Industry
Two distinct trends will soon characterize the dynamics and decision-making in global mobility: centralization and transparency. With constant change happening in the world’s economies and political systems, coupled with the exponential development of technology, the players in the business landscape are learning how to be agile, resourceful, resilient, and innovative.
Precisely perhaps because of these fluctuations and the unpredictability with which events happen, companies and their personnel need a foundation, a force, or a principle that will establish stability. As an analogy, compare your organization to the modern (but not self-driving) vehicle. The direction to your destination is your road map.
The cities, malls, infrastructure, and landmarks you pass by in your journey are the changes that you have anticipated and planned for in advance. Once in a while, though, something can disrupt that journey. A closed road may force you to take a detour. Sudden storms in one area may compel you to stay the afternoon in the safe confines of a hotel. Another car out of control might suddenly block your way and might even smash your rear mirror as it spirals into the sideways.
Through all these upheavals and unwanted disturbances you encountered along the way, your steering wheel remains your tool to ensure that you remain in control of your vehicle. It is the one device that will stop you from falling off into a cliff or crashing through the a house. It can help you maneuver, stabilize the motions of the vehicle, and pull it to a stop. It can also help you resume your journey.
In the same way, the organization of today will need a stability-inducing instrument that can keep it in control and on top of things even as governments change, currency fluctuates, and the talent pool dries up. Relocate Magazine names two of these instruments: regional centralization, and transparency.
Regional centralization creates an umbrella of organization over your increasing pipeline of global assignees who are being sent to various parts of the world. In our previous California Corporate Housing blog piece, we explained why even the former brick-and-mortar organizations are making their structure more fluid and their staff more mobile.
Smartphones, video conferences, and other technology designed for mobility have enabled team members to work from different locations. Projects are done on time and communications are exchanged without the need for a physical, time-consuming, and expensive meet-up.
However, there is still a need for these mobile team members and assignees to report to home base. Regional centralization run by seasoned managers updates the organization on the progress of the project and the welfare of the team. Without interfering with the autonomy of the teams, it can spot a breakdown or a breach even though no one else notices. Its broader outlook on the project and its goals will help motivate the team to look at the bigger picture.
Regional centralization can also provide guidance and support to the team members. Done properly, it can be mentorship on a larger, efficient scale.
The second pillar, transparency, strengthens the ties developed between management and the mobile teams and the assignees. The digital age and the flattening of organizational structures have made openness a norm, not an exception. Employees, partners, customers, and other shareholders want to know the reasons behind management’s decisions.
Patricia Pitsel, Principal of Pitsel and Associates Ltd., says that management transparency increases employee engagement, especially when the company’s vision, mission, tasks, and activities are explained properly and clearly. This level of satisfaction can go up to as high as 82 percent, and will definitely have an impact on productivity.
Management can rely on more support if it backs up its decisions such as financial forecasts and deployment programs with quantitative data. Using Big Data in decision-making and being open about the results will communicate to the entire team that every judgment call was made in the light of relevant data. None of it was arbitrary or whimsical. The human managers also chose that option with the welfare of the organization and its employees in mind.
With the global mobility industry increasingly adopting mobility and flexibility for its programs, centralization and transparency can support those movements and transitions with a permanence and soundness of logic that will keep the company intact, even as it rides the waves of business uncertainty.