Symposium Network Huddle: From Social Security to Hip Hop

Expat Academy Symposium Network Huddle: From Social Security to Hip Hop

What I love about the Network Huddles is that one minute you can be talking about Tax and the next about Hip Hop, admittedly at either end of the day, but still!

We’re so pleased you valued the candour too, telling us, “the level of sharing in this group was off the chart”.  Certainly the growth of our member base and fresh perspectives that this brings was noticeable in the room, as was the rich, technical opinion offered by some new faces amongst our Sponsors.

The Symposium Huddle is designed to follow a member-led agenda, aiming to use your time wisely and talking about items that really matter to you, with GM colleagues just like you.  Between you, you have a massive menu of priorities – transformation projects, policy redesign, talent strategy, flexible benefits, tech efficiencies, to name but a few.

Some of these items were elaborated on throughout the day, with the morning session looking at tax and social security, best practice sharing around Posted Workers, an injection of immigration advice on several topics such as the ICT Directive plus a discussion on business traveller tools.  Many, many take-aways were to be had including a quote and top tip of the morning:  I think I actually heard, “I love social security, I can’t get enough of it”.  Steady on.  Wise advice was imparted to help aid business travel compliance – let’s see how many of you now adopt the words “your personal risk”.

Big thanks go to Lucy Chittenden, Aon and Jennifer Baillie-Stewart, Baker and McKenzie for delivering two brilliant corporate updates.  Always an absolute winner with other members, these updates offer valuable insights into other companies and their GM programmes. In the case of Aon and sponsor of Man U, we heard about their growth and learned about the huge strides they have made in the mobility space in establishing team, technology, policy and governance. Similarly, Baker McKenzie talked about their mobility transformation and new mobility policy framework.  We learned about their “be agile” strategy and unique “profit and loss” approach to assignments.

A chunky policy and operational discussion was very welcome in the afternoon, including chat about housing norms, flexible policies, project workers and the employee experience. Another spark of passion emerged when it came to debating “consistency” – who does, who doesn’t, who says they do but doesn’t really? As one of our members bravely put it, “if you use consistency in your company, then I think you’re a liar!”  Harsh but true?!

We were happy to see the good humour and bonding carrying on over drinks.  Stood in my corner were corporate members from Italy, Columbia and Hungary.  Someone was on their way to a Gods of Rap concert, someone else confessed to being named after Elvis’ wife and showed me a photo of her pet donkey.  It’s all going on in GM.

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