As a training partner to the Expat Academy Bournes Relocation Solutions team were delighted to attend the annual conference on Monday 24th September.
This years conference theme was 'Around the world in 80 ways' and the event which is run annually in central London was as always a fun and motivating day full of knowledge sharing, training and exploring the challenges and best practices of global mobility management.
Natalie Chapman, Bournes Business Development Manager, shares some of her key highlights of the day below:
"The event was both fun and inspiring which is down to the brilliant hosts at Expat Academy, who said conferences need to be laborious!"
The morning session saw a panel discussion on the increasingly popular use of core flex models discussing both the advantages and disadvantages. Global Mobility professionals Gavin Cockburn (BAT), Charlotte Dodd (NBC Universal), Matt Maltby (King), Lizzie Bodington (Capco) and Tom Standing (Hitatchi) joined the Expat Academy on stage to share their insights. The panel agreed core flex models promote flexibility and agility, allow assignees an element of choice and discourage requests for policy exceptions, however Gavin Cockburn of BAT highlighted companies may well choose flexible policies to contain costs but the most important factor is using the right policy for the type of assignment and to include a robust exceptions process.
It was interesting to note that despite the huge appetite for technology advance there is still low uptake by companies to implement these systems. Many still rely on Excel and information fed through from their tax and relocation provider.
Next up Paul Kerensa, co-writer of the TV series Miranda and Not Going Out provided some pearls of wisdom on how to help get your voice and ideas heard reminding us that in an age of increasing remote workers that face to face interaction must not be forgotten. What can be achieved in one hour’s face to face meeting may take hours of emails back and forth. He shared with the audience tales of the numerous sitcoms he had worked on over the course of his career highlighting that the route to success is peppered with learning curves and mistakes.
The interactive session in the afternoon saw table teams working together to map out the responsibilities of the different roles within global mobility, for instance which tasks fell under HR, Offshore, In-house, Robots, outsourced and assignee. It was interesting to see that the majority of responsibility for tasks fell between in-house global mobility and outsourcing teams - though no one was entirely sure who should take up the task of mowing the assignee's grass! Interestingly when we reviewed the map to predict how we would envisage things changing in the future we all agreed that a lot of tasks would be undertaken by technology (aka Robots/artificial intelligence) in the future. Watch this space!!
The Key Note speaker was by the hugely inspiring and record breaking sportsman, adventurer, broadcaster, documentary maker and author Mark Beaumont who shared his belief that through sheer strength of mindset, endurance, preparation and persistence we are capable of achieving what may seem like an impossible challenge. Poignantly he wrapped up with the thought that without his family and friends to support him he would not have achieved his tremendous challenge, which left us with the humbling realisation of what really is important in life and not to lose focus of that."
During the breaks guests spent time networking with fellow global mobility professions and the Expat Academy training partners and sponsors in the themed networking space. This year all exhibitors embraced the 'Around the world in 80 ways' theme, bringing an informal, entertaining and relaxed environment to meeting and catching up with colleagues and subject matter experts. Bournes Relocation Solutions team represented Monaco, taking on a Grand Prix theme with twin racing car simulators hosted by the UK's own Lewis Hamilton. We had a lot of fun with our Expat Academy friends and were delighted to present the winners trophy and bottle of Champagne for the fastest track time to Greg Smith of Lockheed Martin with Chris Blair of Aviva taking 2nd place and Simon Davis from Crown coming in 3rd.
Thanks to everyone who spent time with us on the day and as always to our wonderful hosts at the Expat Academy - we hope everyone had as much fun and learnt as much as we did.
We look forward to seeing you there next year! If you would like to find out more about future Bournes or Expat Academy events register your interest here and we'll be in touch with more information.