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Governance: Setting up for success in a geographically expanding program: Part 1

US-based programs express a high appetite to expand globally, based on Staffing Industry Analysts’ most recent survey of 239 programs. Twenty-one percent of the programs are looking to expand services to APAC over the next four years and 16% are looking to expand services to Europe and/or South America. Before they make that move, though, there are some key questions they need to ask themselves to be able to effectively grow a program geographically?

Every global program involves a level of standardization and compromise on what is global/local and if this is not effectively managed, it can cause friction, limited program adoption and poorly managed expectations. Often, there are winners and losers in any global alignment. Mismanaged local and regional expectations can undermine adoption and challenge the program’s ability to fulfil corporate needs. Delivering a program successfully in one location does not mean you have the requisite skills or resources to launch a global program. But you can develop simple practical considerations to increase the likelihood of global alignment and program expansion.

As with all programs, be sure you have a clear executive sponsorship as well as a clearly documented program vision with benefits that apply to all countries in scope. Further, clearly understand the business case and drivers for global expansion. Once this is firmly established, only then can you move to operational performance and accountability.

Here are some key questions to help you assess your global readiness, based on our Global Readiness Indicator Report [1]:

At an early stage, engage a dialogue with targeted country executive management and conduct roadshows to understand their business as well as educate them on understanding the potential of your program’s value and benefits.

My next article will look at key components of a strong governance team; Part 3 will look at how to manage change to make it stick.