Short and Sweet: Short-term Assignments Are a Prevailing Trend


There are minimally 2 criteria, which should be considered at the outset in any type of global or cross-border assignment:
- Individuals must be given specific objectives or goals for the assignment as it relates to elevating their global acumen;
- The enterprise must have realistic expectations based on duration of assignment, flexibility, functional requirements of the assignment, etc.

We know from experience that 80% of those chosen for a global assignment are not given specific goals related to the development of global acumen. Thus, they focus exclusively on the functional task at hand and fail to take steps to expose themselves to the culture, develop an appreciation for the culture and recognize the unique cultural differences.

Success in a cross-border or global assignment requires a set of personality traits including overall attitude, self-awareness, appetite for new experiences and innate curiosity. Without these characteristics, the global or cross-border assignment will not advance the person’s global acumen since the individual will not actively seek to expose themselves to the overall culture and will not understand the value of the experience and its potential impact on the organization.

Ken Belanger