Living and working in challenging locations

Papua New Guinea has been a significant focus of our work for the first month of this year.  A number of clients have expats moving there and another has Papua New Guineans moving to Australia on assignment. 

Locations such as Port Moresby are not high on the list of preferences for expat assignments.  The risk of crime is high and the lifestyle changes expats need to adopt to stay safe are significant.  Yet expatriates continue to take up assignments when organisations provide the opportunity. 

Organisations have a duty of care - a legal obligation embedded in OHS and compensation laws in Australia. Duty of care for business operations and workers that cross international borders involves risk management, health and safety, security and cultural awareness.  

Why cultural awareness?  The reality is

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Expats - don't leave before the end

I was at a rock concert on Saturday. 

That’s not a sentence I write very often!

In reality it was a picnic alongside a rock concert.  

A Day on the Green -four bands playing in a vineyard.  The main act was legendary Australian band Hunters and Collectors.  It was a great concert with the crowd dancing and singing along for many of our old favourites. 

Like all bands they left the stage with the crowd wanting more. So we clapped and shouted “more, more, more”, knowing they would come back, waiting for classics yet to be played.  Some people around us began to pack up, and many, including the people beside us, left the ground. 

“How can they leave?” I wondered, “They haven’t played ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’ yet.” The band returned to screams and thundering applause and played another bracket that included the song I’d been waiting for.   But the people beside us had missed it.  They’d already gone.

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Happy New Year

And best wishes for your life, your family and your work in 2014.

Here in Australia as I write this on a hot Sydney day it is January 2, 2014.  It’s a business day in Australia, unlike New Zealand where the day after NY is also a public holiday. I think of family and friends there, who are relaxing.  And I think of friends around the world for whom it’s still New Year’s Day.  

It’s a day that tends to bring out the optimism in us.  A new year brings new possibilities.  A new chance to change the things we want to change, or become the person we want to be, to build the relationships we want to have.

Statistics show that about 50% of people respond to that feeling of possibility and make NY resolutions. 

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Christmas - a time for Kiva giving

In our culture and family, Christmas is a time of giving and being grateful for all we have.

Over the past two years, here at CIC, we have regularly given to KIVA, a micro financing website that lends to small business owners around the world.  Read about our first loan and how we crowd sourced where to lend it with our newsletter subscribers here.

Christmas 2013, we have again joined with Kiva to lend to two small businesses - this time in Samoa. You can join the more than a million people who have loaned money through Kiva here 

We are grateful for you.  For your reading and following our work over this past year and for all of you who work with us to build bridges of understanding across cultures.

And we wish you and your family joy, peace and happiness at this time.


Nelson Mandela – An example of high Cultural Intelligence (CQ)

I first heard of Nelson Mandela as a uni student on protest marches in the 80s. 

“Remember Sharpeville, Remember Soweto, Remember Mandela.”

 At that point my focus was on a cause rather than on a man.  Then I learnt more about his life, his experiences and his journey and grew to admire him and gain inspiration from him. 

Since his death others have written about his strengths and his deeds, and many of his qualities. I want to focus on one aspect; his cultural intelligence – a capability he demonstrated in many ways.

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