Helen van Eeden: Moving boundaries – global mobility in the age of information

Taking the culture of your home office and implanting its culture in another country is not enough. Global Mobility experts have to develop district set-ups, honed to fit the individual environment they find themselves in. Subsidiaries have to take an international mind-set.

In a complex, information-rich, global economy, the need for companies to have a culture that supports and fosters mobility is more important than ever. Capturing and fully realising internationally dispersed knowledge demands an approach that supports information and talent liquidity. It is no longer enough for global companies to think in terms of traditional, localised models, operating internationally but through many distinct, national silos. The risks are too great, with information, knowledge and talent often imprisoned in local subsidiaries.

Metanational companies are different from traditional international companies. In the race to captitalise on the skills and expertise of the many talented individuals dispersed across the globe, metanationals recognise that the ability to fluidly connect employees, knowledge, skills and technologies is crucial. They operate as a single, organic organisation breathing as one, rejecting the traditional structure of an international head office acting as puppet master to local satellite offices. This fluidity comes with rewards; metanational companies are more easily able to mobilise their talent where market opportunities exist, developing a culture that locally captures skills, innovation and knowledge, efficiently transforming them into global applications.