Filed under: Business, Change, Goals, Innovation, Leadership, Personal Discovery, Society, Sustainability, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: AIESEC, alumni, exchange, internship
It’s been a long time since it was called a time to move on for me. Since then, I have grown up a lot and I must accept that it was hard to learn to get by without you but I have done so while keeping you in my heart. I didn’t want to be like those creepy ex-boyfriends that show up uninvited.
Every time someone talks to me about becoming an alumnus, a dinosaur, head for the future, going into the life long connection or however you want to call it nowadays I tell them exactly the same thing, and AIESEC, the problem is that you get so deep into our hearts and go so much into the core of who we become, that letting go is initially a pretty hard thing to do; Accepting that it is someone else’s turn to learn and experience the amazing lessons and friends you gave me was a hard task initially and it required me to make a clean cut, a hard cut. So I wasn’t in touch for a while. I needed to catch up with myself without you.
And as your acronyms changed; Careers progress, people move countries, continents and new lessons are learnt; Life continues and one moves on, unavoidably. It seems that all that time I spent with you passed in a heartbeat and it seems that life is going by even faster than that, if my head could comprehend.
It is only after a couple of glasses of wine and in the company of those who shared you with me that I dare to say things like “Years later and I haven’t found anyone that understands me as well as my AIESEC friends”, because it is once or twice a year that every alumnus, dinosaur, headed for the future or life long connected accepts they are nostalgic. It doesn’t matter really how many years we spent with you we all get it here and there. If there is no wine confession, there will be a cryptic Facebook post.
And you were so good to us AIESEC… Many of us are getting ahead in many ways. The business skills that completed my academic education… You made it happen. May we be successful artists, technologists, scientists or business people, entrepreneurs, activists or politicians, we are conscious citizens in this world thankful to that, which made us who we are today: YOU.
There are few magical moments like having a conversation with a truly inspiring person, a real change agent in the middle of a conference on any imaginable topic only to discover they are too an AIESECer.
And then, the question that I really want to ask you pops in our heads… What is the job of an alumnus? Here is the advice I gave to some soon to be alumni:
- Join an alumni association.
- Give advice when you are asked for it.
- Act as a mentor of current members that want to learn something from you
- Chair a conference, a workshop or a local planning weekend when you are asked to.
- Get a trainee.
- Pass on your piece of history to those that can use it.
- Let AIESEC know you are there when it needs you.
- Remember ONE roll call and keep an AIESEC T-shirt; you will need it once.
- If honoured with the invitation, become a member of a BoA or an auditor.
- Show in small and meaningful ways that you will always be an AIESECer.
AIESEC, you have changed so much too. It is hard to keep up with what happens with you in only a few years time but any alumnus can feel nothing but pride when as I went back to you this weekend I discovered
- You do twice as many exchanges in my country as you did (2000!).
- You are present in twice as many universities as when I left you (1700!).
- You change the lives of three times as many students (86000!).
- You expanded to 30 new countries, making a total of 110
Who wouldn’t be proud to be part of a legacy like that?
We had an identity and now a way; We have done projects, leadership, issue based learning, programs and many more; There was 1996, 2005, 2010 and now 2015; there were green forms, pink forms, Match, Insight, Insight 2, myaiesec.net, the orange one and the blue one and many more will come, but there is one thing we all believed for the last 65 years and we will believe in forever: Exchange.
AIESEC, don’t let this letter be only the nostalgia of one that remembers the incredible rush of selling, matching and realising a management internship or the feeling of that full bucket of cold water spilling over my head…
For you are not only an organization for us, you are our life long cause. We are out here, millions of us. Find us.
I am back from an AIESEC National Conference in Germany. Truly inspired by AIESEC’s evolution and success, believing in the impact that AIESEC and its alumni can have together. In this post I think of every AIESEC member in the world, and the two alumni that with their role during my active time in AIESEC , starting in Mexico and until the culmination of my AIESEC International term, changed my life. I am forever thankful to Juan Manuel Ferron and Victor Loewenstein.
Filed under: Change, Society, Goals, Sustainability, Personal Discovery, Business, Leadership
Filed under: Branding, Business, Goals, Human Resources, Leadership, Marketing, Planning | Tags: Emerging markets, Employer branding, Globalization, Market expansion, Recruiment
What are the divergent challenges global talent professionals are currently facing?
As the UK, Europe and the US start having the feeling of catching a breath after recession, businesses continue to follow strategies mapped out when an economic recovery appeared within reach, and are under pressure to grow despite an increasingly shaky economy. This has left organisations striving for growth with fewer resources, leading many to rely on growth in emerging markets to propel their businesses forward (few will do it for other reasons, like truly appreciating the potential of these regions).
This has created a dual challenge for global recruiters. In regions and countries in which the organization is well established, organisations struggle to improve the performance of the workforce in the face of declining employee engagement and effort levels as well as cutting through high volumes of applicants to find the often very specialised skills the organisation still requires.
In new markets, organisations are struggling to attract enough talent in very competitive labour markets with short supply of technical and managerial skills and high levels of staff turnover.
As a result, talent professionals are faced with a set of challenges that represent themselves unevenly across global labour markets and find solutions to new challenges in new markets.
Despite an influx of applicants in established markets driven by a soft labour market, recruiters continue to struggle to find the right skills to meet the needs of the organisation.
Another challenge for organisations recruiting for roles in developed economies is that, unlike many emerging economies, the talent they require is becoming even more entrenched in their current roles. Rising unemployment has made the most talented employees fearful of leaving their current roles with just a small part of those employees actively looking for a new job.
The situation is very different in emerging markets or new markets. For multinational companies, attracting talent in emerging markets has always been a challenge, and one that has grown since the financial crisis. Until recently, local employees favoured international companies, believing them to offer better career prospects and higher status than their domestic rivals.
Memories of the economic crisis and the rounds of redundancies made by multinationals however, means that many local employees now perceive local companies to offer more stable career paths and better prospects.
The stakes are high for international businesses operating in emerging and new markets, as their ability to capture market share will be largely dependent on the quantity and quality of their local team. A ‘one size fits all’ approach to talent across global labour markets is destined to fail. While high levels of unemployment in the developed economies have resulted in a flood of applications for every available role for established organisations, it is becoming increasingly difficult for organisations to attract and retain talent in emerging and new markets where their brand power might not be the same.
To cope with the divergence between new and established markets
Differentiate your sourcing strategy across global markets
When recruiting in the markets where an organization is already established, companies need to take a more strategic approach towards recruiting and move away from the mass branding they have undertaken previously to attract candidates. In new markets however, companies need to focus on promoting their employment brand, communicating their commitment to the country, their focus on individual employment development and their overall employment value proposition.
Establish long-term workforce planning and forecasting
In many organisations staffing planning focuses on identifying and responding to current talent needs and does not address longer-term strategic gaps within the organisation. In both established and new markets companies need to think about the skills the company is likely to need in the future and to build a pipeline of candidates that will meet this need.
Focus on skills not just experience
Recruiters need to encourage hiring managers or boards to focus on candidates’ skills rather than their knowledge, experience and education. For example, one friend’s employer, an insurer, wanted to ensure that new hires for a particular role were qualified actuaries. Having struggled to identify candidates the company changed its approach and began hiring people with backgrounds in banking and consultancy and found their new hires to be just as effective as the actuaries hired previously. I believe special approaches to technology and software development could also benefit from such an approach.
Use succession planning to build a pipeline of external talent
Business leaders should be encouraged to consider both internal and external candidates for key roles. Nowadays business leaders focus on strategies such as to identify three candidates who could fill a key role, one of which must be an external candidate, helping to build a pipeline of ready candidates based on the incumbent’s own network as part of the annual succession planning process.
Start building your employment brand in new markets
In addition, there are further, specific steps that we believe companies must take to build their employment brand in a new market:
Develop local career opportunities
While most employees within multinational companies in new markets once hoped to be posted overseas, more and more employees now prefer to advance their careers at home. Companies need to design their international rotations accordingly, at the same time exposing a higher proportion of their global leaders to key new markets.
Provide compelling career paths
While competition for talent has meant that many employees in new markets demand unrealistic, rapid promotions; a more pressing concern is the alignment between their current role and their professional interests. Creating a credible career path that charts a trajectory to personally fulfilling jobs and leadership roles that are managed carefully on an on-going basis will help to reengage employees.
Be clever about pay
In order to secure the right talent, local companies in new markets globally are prepared to pay up to 50% more to lure employees away from multinationals. However, many employees in new markets continue to express strong preferences for careers with international companies, and so a more moderate salary increase is likely to convince employees to remain in their roles.
Develop local roots
International companies that are well established in emerging markets can develop many of the advantages that local companies are perceived to have. A global brand that can demonstrate strong local roots will leave companies better placed to acquire the domestic talent it needs to keep growing in those new countries.
Talent gaps in the English speaking countries and the rest of the world
The talent gaps in both the English speaking countries and the rest of the world are real but not insurmountable if companies focus on tailoring their approaches to recruiting in these markets. Developing a strong team will be crucial for all businesses wishing to compete in an increasingly competitive market place, and so businesses need to focus their talent strategy on a limited number of candidates with the right skills in order to fill requisitions in the established markets, while boosting their brand to attract candidates in larger numbers in new markets.
Note I : In this article I have used the terms “New markets” and “Emerging markets” interchangeably, given that most companies will think of new or emerging markets in terms of emerging and developing economies, but I believe similar phenomena can be observed in countries in which any organization is starting operations without previous support of a strong employer or product brand. The same struggles some of my friends face in the Middle East at the moment, are the same challenges I face in my current role in Germany.
Note II: I refer to “English speaking countries”for the large majority of multinationals have their headquarters or regional offices in English speaking countries. This has a large influence in the way multinationals attack new talent markets abroad. I believe treating a new labor market or searching in a new labor market, as it was the US, the UK, Singapore or Australia (among other regional powers) is a huge mistake that should be avoided.
Filed under: Change, Goals, Innovation, Leadership, Society, Sustainability, Technology | Tags: Civil Society, Collective Intelligence, Conciousness, Mexico, Transformation
Mexico has it all, but we are drawning in the sea of poverty, of inequality, impunity, corruption anddeath. The emptiness created by the social fractures has been filled with hate, resentment and fear. The lack of hope and chances have been taken over by mistrust and violence. Problems are explained structurally, but they are also go across a social and cultural dimensions and that makes us question ourselves as a society.
We need answers and actions that will transform the current conditions and with which we will reach the ideal of a democratic, participating and equal society. Now, more than ever, it is time for the revolution of conciousness, culture, education, institutions and finally the evolution of citizens.
It is key to create a community, networks, built by people with feelings, ideals and common purpose, with a sense of identity and belonging. In the information society, what will guide us to a superior level of human nourishment is the architecture of the human link. The construction of decentralized human networks with multiple nods, can be triggered by technology and the collaborative nature of the internet.
The net gives place to the emergence of collective intelligence: People can easier, quickly build networks to generate and communicate knowledge that can be later translated to action and common wellbeing. Creativity and imagination convert into empowerment: Intelligent masses with the capacity to impact their surroundings. The basic principle of collective intelligence: Everyone as a whole knows everything; with the practical application: We can do anything.
The Digital Era creates networks and communities, it articulates its sense of identity and belonging, it promotes its capacity of organization and action. Internet opens a small window of opportunity for citizens. Citizens can for the first time make choices directly and in real-time between opinions, information or actions coming from the governing agents of content. Civil groups organized in networks with common interests and worries have accomplished public visibility. New leaders have come from contexts that previously had no presence in public debate. These new networks organize themselves many times along the order of party organizations, use technological tools and social network platforms for communication, organization and action; the create a space for public debate on social topics and create and distribute alternative content to that of the traditional media, they develop consciousness about the social surroundings, provide critical but constructive views about reality; they get media visibility, enable the emergence of civil leaders, drive political and civil agendas, propose innovative initiatives, integrate differentcommunities and and themselves to different social causes; they have a social impact.
If it is truth that in Mexico the access to the internet is limited to one third of the population, it is also truth that this small group of users the valuable initiatives that have achieved social impact put in new light the old judgement and myths of social and youth apathy. Even if many young people have felt captive to organized crime there are many that despite their poverty, the uncertain future and the social rejection have demonstrated they are capable of positively influence their surroundings. They are only a few, but they are there.
The transition from representative to participating democracy should come from the incorporation of all voices conforming society. The technological tools are only one option to achieve this. In this sad historical moment for Mexico is when more voices are needed to make proposals, and more hands are needed to take action. We have to bet on the imagination, the creativity, human dignity, sensibility, civil networks, youth…
Juan Villoro says: “Mexico is not going to be saved by bullets, it will be saved by its people”. We need to understand we are a community, a collective intelligence and that together we could do anything.
Filed under: Business, Change, Goals, Innovation, Leadership, Personal Discovery, Society, Sustainability | Tags: Collective Intelligence, Entrepreneurship, Evolution, Fear, Practice, Spiral Dynamics
It can happen to anyone sitting on the life they planned; an idle moment, a feeling that changes everything.
What many experience as the “entrepreneurial bug” can be more or less scary depending on the clarity they initially have about their personal endeavour. For me, the initial feeling of this bug has brought me into a 2 years journey to really uncover what the call was behind the bug that decided to bit me. Why? Well, the more out of the traditional path your idea is, not only makes it harder to crystalize it’s “what”, but it can exacerbate the fear anyone starting on their own gets making the process even slower.
Deciding to become an “independent practitioner” of the different paths of social innovation and collective intelligence can get out of balance even those that know the theory of “how to make it work”. There is no news on milestones like “building a network”, “identifying a field of specialization” or “looking for financing sources”.
The vastness and novelty of the field, the amazingly global scope it has, makes the most attractive features of this path, the points of fear of those who decide to follow it.
Personally I have never met someone that chose for this path of conscious evolution and planetary alignment straight out of high school, the struggle to break old paradigms is key to future success, to personal enlightment and collective impact.
In the last months I submerged myself in which I sometimes like to call the “evolution of the corporate shark” the change beyond orange… better known in the field as the conversion from strategist to alchemist. The road seems to be long and filled with beautiful sights to be seen, bewildering experiences to be had… As for the learning I try to capture along this journey to find my unique role to truly contribute to the sustainable success of our planet and species I can so far come up with one advice I can give to other rookies on this high speed motorway:
- Die to learn. Be eager, hungry to learn more, to experience more even from the least obvious.
- Strive for the feeling of absolute creation and good.
- Be open to discover the unexpected in yourself and others and be ready to embrace it.
- Find an individual practice, go deep into it, and change it as much as much as it feels right.
- Hold tight and just take the unexpected turns synchronicity will bring you and connect authentically to those you find.
- And boldly said… Get the balls to follow your call fearlessly, daringly even if your finances will be harder to plan.
Filed under: Business, Change, Goals, Innovation, Leadership, Meditation, Society, Sustainability
When the dotcom bubble burst, hotelier Chip Conley went in search of a business model based on happiness. In an old friendship with an employee and in the wisdom of a Buddhist king, he learned that success comes from what you count.
Filed under: Goals, Leadership | Tags: Graduation, Inspiration, Sppech, Stanford, Steve Jobs
Filed under: Business, Change, Ecology, Goals, Health, Leadership, Resources, Society, Sustainability, Technology | Tags: Action, Global Dialogue, Global Warming, Responsibility
A nice contribution from the global dialogue going on around this topic of huge relevance.
Filed under: Change, Goals, Leadership, Society, Sustainability | Tags: Change, Connecting, Leadership, Seth Godin
According to Godin, modern leadership is about connecting… capitalizing on people’s natural need to gather. He suggests that gathering people around the right topic can change the world. Marketing and product design are now about finding the true believers for a cause.
1- Tell a story – Who are you upsetting? – Leadersh challenge the status quo
2- Connect a tribe – Who are you connecting? – Leaders build a culture, people want to be missed
3- Lead a movement – Who are you leading? – Leaders commit to their idea and people
4- Make change
Filed under: Change, Goals, Innovation, Personal Discovery, Society, Sustainability
Inspired by the global emergence, I hope to discover opportunities for collaboration,acknowledge diversity, personal exploration and learning while contributing to social innovation and change