http://www.telegraph.co.uk reports this morning Des Hurlby, Human Resources Director at international car maker Jaguar Land Rover, as having “had “pointed” conversations with up to five of the company’s best employees urging them to consider moving “out of leafy Warwickshire” to China to help the company capitalise on emerging markets“.
” Those who refused had less chance of being shortlisted for a future top job at the company” reads the report.
The war for talent is truly global. If you want to assume a seat at the top table in a global company then you need a truly global perspective. In that sense Mr Hurlby is right to suggest that your experience of life in “leafy Warwickshire” alone is unlikely to equip you for the challenges you will face as CEO of Worlwide Plc.
To run a global company in 2010, you need to understand politics, culture, economics, social issues, working practices, people, management styles, the laws of the land in which you are operating, the list goes on. Sure you can gain such knowledge from in – country leadership, but unless you have experienced working life in a practical sense in other cultures how can you understand the opportunities, innovation and strategies required to remain competitive?
That aside, the article refers to Jaguars stance as controversial. It’s not. The employer is well within its rights to explain to its employees that if you want the top job you will have to consider upping sticks and relocating. The employee is equally within their rights to refuse to relocate.
We have choices in life. Our fortunes rise or fall on the strength of the decisions we make, the choices we take. There is much to be gained from enriching your experience in different countries and cultures as much as there is to be gained in terms of happiness from raising your family in “leafy Warwickshire”. We all have a choice. Nothing controversial in that.