The hidden danger in society re-writing history

We deserve a re-write, but we need to be careful to preserve the lessons of the past.

At the moment the world is at a cross roads.

The events of the past few years have led into the chaos that is 2020. In the aftermath of the horrible events in the U.S in May, society seems to be at a tipping point.

In the past it’s been governments who have re-written history. Whether we liked it or not as a society that’s what happened.

In 2020 and with the BLM movement building momentum across the globe. It seems like society itself is going to re-write history.

Its not the first time that’s happened of course. France and Russia became republics in the 18th and 20th centuries. Both are good examples of the power society has.

At this point re-writing some of our history and removing monuments etc., may feel like the right to do. If that’s what we as society want to do their is nothing wrong with that.

We do need to bear some things in mind.

We are at a generational crossroads that we haven’t seen since the 60’s. The values that young adults have today are not the same as those who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s.

What does remain the same is the aim to build a better world and change society for the better.

Not everyone is going to agree on the best way to deal with that. Remember as humans we are very uncomfortable with change.

This is an opportunity to come together as an equal society. The danger is that divisions will only push us all further apart.

The further we are from history the stronger the lessons are

As the world turns and the years pass we get further from the questionable events in history. Things such as slavery, colonialism and the holocaust for example. That objectivity lets us learn the lessons with different optics. Those lessons should also become stronger over time as an example to us all of how not to live.

We need to make sure that those lessons are being learned. Re-evaluated and passed onto the next generation. Otherwise things will not improve.

As a society we are far from perfect, we have so far to go in our journey. Learning the lessons and making sure we do not forget is key.

We need to learn to live together

As society we need to learn to live together. We are all humans at the end of the day. In 2020 it should not matter the color of our skin, our race or our religion.

We are all the same.

The lessons of the past are not being learned. Until they are we will continue to see turbulence and inequality in the world.

As much as we are trying to move forward, we still have racial segregation in living memory. That’s hard to move beyond in a generation.

Until we accept each other as equals, and put all the privilege’s, racism and xenophobia aside. Nothing else that we do will solve the issues that we have in society.

We can re-write as much of history as we like, that’s our united right as citizens of the world.

The real danger is that we complete the re-write but don’t take the lessons forward.

In the end that’s only going to cause history to repeat itself. The world is at a real cross roads right now. The only way forward is equality and respect across the board.

We have a long road and a hard journey in front of us, but like anything we humans put our minds to. Its possible we just have to come together and believe.

How to make the expat life work for you

The essential checks when getting ready to move

Being an expat is a great experiance.

Travelling and experiencing different cultures and getting paid for it.

As someone who loves to travel, for me it doesn’t get any better.

Everywhere you move opens up new and different opportunities.

One thing stays the same though…

Whether its your first time or your an experienced member of the expat circus.

The preparation you put into the move, will make or break the experiance.

Too often people hate their new location. It’s not an uncommon feeling and almost always its because they didn’t prepare.

Think about it?

Moving is one of the most stressful things we humans do. Moving to a new country, new language and new culture doesn’t make the process any easier.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. We can do some basic research to prepare for the move to make it so much easier.

1. Research the Country on Wikipedia

Sounds simple I know, but this is a good place to start. Often a company asks us to go somewhere and we know roughly where that place is on a map, but that’s about it.

The basic facts you need to know are all in Wikipedia, that goes for the country your moving to and the city. Weather, history, population size, transportation, all this information is available in Wikipedia.

2. Join an expat group

Social media is your best resource here and its free. Join an expat group specific to the country and the city your moving to and start asking questions.

In these groups you may have to filter out some of the info you get. But in general, cost of living, entertainment, quality of life, schooling. The group will have the answers to these questions.

You also get the bonus of cultivating new friendships you can pick up in person on your arrival in country.

3. Check the visa requirements

Always a tricky one.

The visa process is the thing which creates hold ups for any potential move.

The key here is to research what’s required and don’t rely on your employer to tell you.

Worse than a big delay for the whole family is when one person goes to start work and the rest of the family have to follow.

Being informed and prepared to work through the visa process, avoids this issue.

4. Travel Connections and costs

Depending on where you will be moving to this is one that can catch you out.

Pre-2008 this wasn’t much of an issue. Companies provided plenty of free flights for their expats.

Nowadays its one flight per year. You are going to want to travel around more than that, and go home at least once. Do the research and make sure that its affordable.

You don’t want to find that all the sacrifice and working away from the family doesn’t cover your travel.

Make sure you know your costs before you commit.

5. Life doesn’t just happen at home…

Life doesn’t stop because your living abroad. You may be planning for children or marriage etc.

Plan upfront, your embassy will be able to tell you the services they offer. If you have a child in country or want to get married for example having a plan for that will set you up for success.

I have friends who had a child in country, then were stuck in country for 6 months.

The reason?

They didn’t plan upfront for passports, birth certificates etc. for their newborn. It was all done at the last minute as they didn’t think it would an issue.

Some research before hand would have avoided a lot of stress.

Final Thought’s

Having the opportunity to live and work as an expat is an honor.

It’s also great fun and a fantastic experiance.

Preparing for that change and the place you will be moving to, will make or break your experiance.

Doing the research and working out if its the right move for you, is key.

If it doesn’t look right for you, it isn’t. Other opportunities will present themselves over time.

That said, it if it’s the right for you then go for it.

Game Changing Communication

How BP’s CEO just raised the bar for how business should treat employees.

A good news headline for BP is unusual these days, im going to be open here and say I have no stake in BP at all or connection to them.

I did however come across this story on linked in yesterday and found it fascinating and refreshing in equal measure.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/reinventing-bp-next-steps-bernard-looney

A lesson in real leadership???

This for me is a game changer for a number of reasons and a lesson in what real business leadership should be in the 21st century.

  • Open and honest communication
  • Sharing the true detail of the situation
  • Giving bad news early
  • Transparancy on job losses
  • Tools for those leaving the company

All of these details were provided in this simple communication to the workforce.

Is their new CEO raising the bar in terms of how leaders treat their employees?

Too often we are kept in the dark, change comes fast and it’s often unexpected.

In this case, a whole bunch of changes, some positive, a lot more negative are going to hit BP employee’s.

The difference here is they know about them and can prepare.

That’s leadership and guidance in action.


We are all in this together….

Like all industries the energy industry is being hammered right now and BP are no different to any other company in this sector.

The difference here is that their leader, is making very clear in a simple and concise way the situation, the costs and what is going to be done.

Change is coming but its coming to us all and here is the timeframe for that change.

I can’t help but find this such a refreshing and different communication style that I really want to engage with it and share it.


Financial Direction

The energy industry typically pays bonuses and shares as part of the full financial package they offer to employees.

Being humans, most who receive the bonus spend it long before its in their pocket.

At the end of the year when despite making the targets those perks don’t come, the disappointment and sometimes the personal implications of that are very real.

Again the message was simple and concise, the bonus wont be paid so don’t figure it into your financial plans.

The disappointment may be real now, but there is time for employee’s to prepare themselves emotionally and in the real world for the fact its not coming.

That honesty to me is refreshing and powerful.


Not everyone will be sticking around

This wont be news to any of the employees in BP, they will know that job losses have to happen in order for that business to start making money again.

Too often though there is very little communication on these type of changes.

Here the organization has been told, what’s happening and why, the numbers affected and the timeline.

The news also extends to the help that those affected will get directly from the company as they make the transition into what will be an uncertain future.

Again very clear and concisely shared information with everyone.


The hardship will end…

Annual pay rise, promotions, flexibility these all will come back and more this year.

Timelines are shared, giving those that remain the comfort that while things are tough now, that will end and things will get better.


Takeaways?

This for me is a big change in how information is shared openly and honestly from the top down.

Employees have of course always known that they could be trusted with this kind of information, it breeds loyalty to the company and a true sense that we are all in this mess together and will come out the other side all the stronger for the shared experiance.

The type of leadership emerging in 2020 feel different, more engaging and with an honestly and open ness that’s not been there before.

That’s true in business with this type of emerging leadership style and also in politics I think with Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand for example (Although please see free to correct me on that if im wrong).

This is more than leading by example, its leading with a transparent set of actions and priorities that the public as well as your employees can hold you accountable to.

Whether it lasts or grows in momentum who knows?

What I do know how ever is that this is something new, we haven’t seen before, im both impressed and ready to see where this goes.

Success or failure its very much management and leadership in the public eye.

Remote Working

Could the digital nomad dream be about to open up to us all???

Is this is new normal???

Well if you are remote working right now, then yes this might be an option.

I’m not suggesting that everyone is going to be able to chase the 4 hour work week dream, but the new normal for many is going to be increased flexibility in terms of how and where we work.


We are returning to work, but not to the office

This is something that companies are really switching themselves onto.

Employees can start working again, but don’t need to be in the office environment.

The cost benefits for business are huge, albeit there is a crash coming for the commercial real estate sector.

As employees its also good news, we are not going to be limited to living and working in one place.

There might be some limitations on us to be working in a certain country or time zone for periods of time but the biggest change to working conditions in living memory, maybe even since the beginning of the industrial revolution 250 years ago is coming our way.


What can we expect???

At the moment that is still a little unclear, what we can say is that there will like every other change we go through, a period of adjustment along with positives and negatives.

The negatives are likely to be around:

  • Pay structures being flattened out as employees no longer need to live and work in expensive areas (We already see face book being brutal here and others will follow)
  • Expat assignments ending — Unless you have a critical role that needs to be face to face in country, the days of expat assignments and the advantages that come with them are going to end
  • Tying in essentially a whole office and everything that this contains to your home at your expense.

Like any big change with the negatives comes the positives, which in this case are likely to be around:

  • Flexible work schedule
  • No or much less commuting
  • Greater flexibility to travel
  • More than 1 career at anytime

It will be different for everyone, but one thing is for sure change is coming, and fast.


Making the most of the opportunity

As usual the folks who are most comfortable with change, who are optimistic and see the opportunities to be grabbed will make a succesful transition.

If you have been happy working from home and/or if its always been the dream to pursue life as a digital nomad, now might just be a good time to start working up the plans for how you would do that.


Final thoughts

The early bird catches the worm as they say.

Change is coming fast, for some of us it is already here, I know of at least 12 companies allowing their employees to travel (restricted today of course) and work today, albeit for trade off in pay or benefits.

This is not going to go away, and as businesses look to save costs in order to recover from the disaster that has been 2020 so far.

If you really want to be a digital nomad but need the security of a salary, your time may well have come.

Change is here, let’s embrace it

In the last 10 to 15 years the world has been changing at an astonishing fast rate. At the same time Humans, dread, hate and generally do everything we can to avoid change. Some of the change we have seen is for the better and some we could argue is for the worse such is the way of the world.

2020 is definitely causing widespread change across the globe and in all areas of our lives like never before, we just need to get comfortable with it and embrace the changes.

Winston Churchill once said that “to improve is to change and to change often is to be perfect”

We all have the power and ability to change our outlook to suit our circumstances, and likewise we all have the ability to be comfortable with and embrace change.

t’s an opportunity to pursue new hobbies or take up old ones. It may be the opportunity to take a new challenge in a new country or it may be unfortunately also be a forced change in circumstances.

Whatever it is try to embrace it, remember that change itself does not have to be negative, we control what we think and we control how we react. If our thoughts and reactions are positive then change itself is nothing at all to fear.

How and when changes come to us are largely uncontrollable from a personnel perspective and what we cant control should never be a source of worry, apprehension or regret.

How we react to the change, make the most of it and use it to thrive, that we do control.

At the end of the day who doesn’t seek perfection? Even just a little??