Festival of Global People round-up: Day Two

Day two of the Festival of Global People continued to bring the best Relocation experts and innovators together to discuss a wide range of issues, relevant to all those working in the global mobility sector. Marianne Curphey reports on all the keynote speakers from the second day of the Festival.

Relocate Festival of Global People Day 2
Keeping employees engaged, managing a global workforce, building a diverse and inclusive workplace, and future-proofing your business were the themes of Day Two of the Festival of Global People.From the historic setting of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, festival delegates heard a blueprint on how to keep employees engaged in a world of constant change.

Watch highlights from the Festival:

Change, trust & engagement – squaring the circle

Speaking on Change, trust & engagement – squaring the circle, Dr Linda Holbeche, author in leadership and HR, consultant and researcher and author of The Agile Organisation, discussed how to balance the need for change with the need to maintain trust.“We are now in a situation where organisations have to keep on changing,” she said in her keynote speech. “How do we reconcile the need for change with the need to maintain trust? Unless you have trust between employee and workers, you are not going to get engagement.”Managers needed to be adept at getting the best out of people and giving everyone a voice within the organisation, she said.“If people feel that there is a genuine connection, even if there are tough times coming, they are more likely to trust senior managers.”

Read about Day 1 at the Festival of Global People

The leadership of the future

Ben Renshaw, Leadership coach and author of Purpose, who had spoken on Day One about Developing Purposeful Leaders, joined Dr Holbeche for a panel discussion on the leadership of the future. He said it was fundamental to the survival of any business to deliberately attract and listen to different opinions and new ways of thinking.“It’s time to redefine the role of the leader,” he said. “If you really think about it, the fundamental role is to engage. That’s a different mindset.”He talked about the “sweet spot” of finding a leader who was both a high performer and a collaborator, which was an ideal combination.“High performance research is about focus. Most people are very rarely present. Most of the time we are distracted by noise, both internal and external. This takes away from our ability to focus.”On the subject of focus, delegates were challenged to think about how much time they gave themselves to pause and reflect. What time did they give to considering their own purpose and their personal and professional priorities?

Power of Pause

That was the challenge from Lindsay Lydon of InterNations Business Solutions, and coaches Morag Paterson, Belinda Smith and Alexandra Holden Terhalle in their presentation on the Power of Pause. It led to some lively round table discussions on the importance of connecting with colleagues on a deeper, more personal level, and how this could bring better relationships within the workplace and with suppliers and customers.Relocate Festival of Global People 2019

Get Creative

After lunch, Peter Moolan-Feroze, artist and business consultant, invited participants to Get Creative.Peter trained as an artist at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, the Slade School (1979-1983), London University and then post-graduate at the Royal Academy Schools (1984-1987). For the last 15 years, he has been an external consultant at the London Business School. He has designed creative learning programmes for companies including Deutsche Bank, A.T.Kearney, Givaudan, M&S, McLaren Automotive, Unilever, Estée Lauder and Jo Malone.He explained that drawing can help to create a different work culture, tackle difficult or intractable problems and come up with new strategic initiatives.“You can change the atmosphere in a business meeting by changing the activity,” he said. Incorporating art and drawing was a way of exploring how you can make thinking more multi-dimensional and find new solutions to difficult issues.“From a position of inexperience you can discover new things about yourself,” he said. “When you are an expert in something, then it becomes like castle walls and it can be frightening on the outside. Knowledge is a wonderful thing, but it can inhibit us from coming at it from a different angle.”He cited a case study where he had worked with the managers of Boots the Chemists, looking at how to reach out to mothers with new babies. The brief was from two managers who wanted to examine store layout and behaviour.“During the session, they came up with a drawing of an abstract bird – gentle and wave like – to represent what they wanted to achieve,” he explained.“One of the managers said: ‘That is how we want the mother to feel when she leaves the store. What are the emotions she is walking away with that make her feel like this?’ Drawing can foster innovative thinking. If you are drawing about ideas, you start seeing connections.”

Innovation – How a dynamic theatre group takes to the stage

Spotting talent and designing a training programme that creates the leaders of tomorrow was the subject of Innovation – How a dynamic theatre group takes to the stage. Paul Williamson, Head of Talent Development, Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), described two innovative leadership programmes, Leading Lights and Rising Stars, which identified potential and existing talent and invested time and money over a period of years in order to help managers work on their personal and professional skills.“How much better would an organisation be if we refrained from over-prescribing?” he asked. “If we involved people more and respect their creativity? It’s about taking risks and connecting on a human level.”He gave the example of Hayley Sharples, general manager of the Lyric theatre on Broadway, who started as an usher and who progressed into management through customer service training. She now manages one of the best-known theatres in the world. Relocate Gala Awards Dinner 2019

An inclusive workplace is a high-performance workplace

Dr Susan Shortland, Professor Emerita at London Metropolitan University, gave a presentation on diversity and how it has become as issue that needs to be incorporated into global mobility. Her speech described how diversity had moved from a legislative imperative to business sense, and how An inclusive workplace is a high-performance workplace.Dr Shortland joined Eva Stock of FOCUS and Claudine Hakim, ISL, for a panel discussion with journalist Marianne Curphey on what diversity really means and how businesses can foster inclusion and diversity and recruit from as wide a talent pool as possible.

Recruit for diversity

Dr Shortland discussed how organisations can recruit for diversity and the steps to take, including displaying examples of diversity and inclusion and using advertising and branding campaigns that demonstrate inclusivity.Claudine Hakim described how ISL already had a very diverse range of talent, as it provided 27 different languages via teachers who were all native speakers. However, there were sometimes cultural barriers to diversity. She explained that at the school’s campus in Qatar there were different challenges, especially for teachers who might be sent there but who were a same sex or unmarried couple. She also described how shifting demographics meant that the language had changed. A meeting for new starters, which used to be called Mum’s drinks, had been renamed to make it inclusive for all parents and carers.Eva Stock said her organisation, which provided support for assignees, was also seeing a different demographic and more same sex couples, single female assignees and dual career couples.

Future fit workforce – tech AI and beyond

A presentation and panel discussion on the Future fit workforce – tech AI and beyond, was led by Angela Middleton, MBE, of MiddletonMurray. She talked about how software and digital jobs now each made up ten per cent of posts currently being advertising, and that digital marketing was now taking over from telesales. Camila Bolen of NYC Navigator talked about how the millennial workforce was interested in a better work-life balance and how online review sites meant potential candidates would check out the ratings of companies as a place to work before they applied for a job.

Read about Day 1 at the Festival.

Festival Sponsors:

Festival of Global People sponsor the four seasons
Icon Relocation Festival Sponsor
NYC Navigator
ikan relocations
internations business solutions
Room Service by Cort

Festival Supporters:

Association of Relocation Professionals

Learn more about the 2019 Festival of Global People and the Relocate Awards

Subscribe to Relocate Extra, our monthly newsletter, to get all the latest international assignments and global mobility news.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory

Related Articles