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53 minutes | Aug 17, 2020
Mobility Connect and Love + Relo with Ben Cross
In this episode, Adam connects to Ben Cross, a fellow creator. Ben goes live with Love + Relo 5 times per week with mobility leaders from around the world. Both Ben and Adam discuss the beginnings of their social media projects, including how they came up with the name, but also where they plan to take Mobility Connect and Love + Relo in the future.Ben's show can be found on LinkedIn, Youtube and Facebook. You can also find behind the scenes content from Love + Relo on Ben's Instagram page all under Ben Cross, Love + Relo.Hopefully in the coming months both Ben and Adam can connect again as two creators from the mobility industry.
55 minutes | Aug 10, 2020
The Evolving Equation with Laura Levenson of Weichert
In this episode recorded late May, Adam has a chat with Laura Levenson of Weichert. To begin the chat, Adam couldn't resist digging into life in China during the 80s - when Laura first began her global mobility journey. In the coming months on Mobility Connect, there will be an "80s Party" with a group of 80s China expatsexchanging storiesof what life was like as China was just opening up.With Laura's vast experience within the global mobility industry, the chat then revolves around what the new global mobility equation will look like, which is now much more complicated with the increased duty of care required while sending expats on international assignments. With the growing voice at the table of the mobility community, increased levels of high-touch service are seen as much more important than with recent trends of lump sum payments.
104 minutes | Aug 3, 2020
Managing into the New Normal with Bill Graebel and Katy Zhang
In this (unintentional) two part podcast, Adam discusses with Bill Graebel and Katy Zhang (Graebel Shanghai) the future of mobility and what the "new normal" might look like in 2021.In Part 1, recorded June 4th 2020, the discussion revolves around managing both Graebel and Maxxelli through the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic - the decisions both firms were challenged to make in order to ensure safety for their staff, while still maintaining quality levels of service experience.In Part 2, recorded July 30th 2020, the discussion looks at the future of mobility and what we have all learnt over the past 6 months - what will global mobility industry look like in 2021 and beyond?
80 minutes | Jul 27, 2020
East-West Leadership with Gabor Holch, Intercultural Leadership Coach
In this chat, the first and only chat in our Shanghai podcast studio prior to Covid-19, Adam and Gabor do a deep dive into what it takes to thrive as a global manager in China, East-West Leadership.Gabor has a vast amount of experience bridging the gap from the international community into China. He enables communication and trust through understanding the culture on both sides, but also the unique culture of the firm itself, which is just as vital.A useful listen to anyone managing a team in China.
102 minutes | Jul 24, 2020
24-Years as an Expat with Dave and Darlene Lee
In this chat with David and Darlene Lee, we go into life in Beijing in 90s straight through to June 2020 as they prepare to repatriate for the final time. This is the story of a couple who thrived as career expatriates and fully assimilated into their new surroundings each and every time they changed locations.There are A LOT of stories to tell after a 24-year "expat-life"Whether this is your first overseas assignment, or you are repatriating for the final time after a quarter century, their insights are invaluable to any global employee no matter where you are from or where you are traveling to next. Dave and Darlene, at Maxxelli we would like to wish you well as you begin your next chapter. Thank you for all your patience and support over the many years as we developed our service. Your passion for the journey will be missed.
67 minutes | Mar 25, 2020
From Inside Wuhan - The Global Community
A good friend from Canada reached out to interview me and hopefully learn from the experiences of China over the past 2 months. As the global community now deals with isolation and sudden uncertainty, perhaps Bill Gates said it best."I’m a strong believer that there is a spiritual purpose behind everything that happens, whether that is what we perceive as being good or being bad. As I meditate upon this, I want to share with you what I feel the Corona/ Covid-19 virus is really doing to us:It is reminding us that we are all equal, regardless of our culture, religion, occupation, financial situation or how famous we are. This disease treats us all equally, perhaps we should to. If you don’t believe me, just ask Tom Hanks.It is reminding us that we are all connected and something that affects one person has an effect on another. It is reminding us that the false borders that we have put up have little value as this virus does not need a passport. It is reminding us, by oppressing us for a short time, of those in this world whose whole life is spent in oppression.It is reminding us of how precious our health is and how we have moved to neglect it through eating nutrient poor manufactured food and drinking water that is contaminated with chemicalsupon chemicals. If we don’t look after our health, we will, of course, get sick.It is reminding us of the shortness of life and of what is most important for us to do, which is to help each other, especially those who are old or sick. Our purposeis not to buy toilet roll.It is reminding us of how materialistic our society has become and how, when in times of difficulty, we remember that it’s the essentials that we need (food, water, medicine) as opposed to the luxuries that we sometimes unnecessarily give value to.It is reminding us of how important our family and home life is and how much we have neglected this. It is forcing us back into our houses so we can rebuild them into our home and to strengthen our family unit.It is reminding us that our true work is not our job, that is what we do, not what we were created to do. Our true work is to look after each other, to protect each other and to be of benefit to one another.It is reminding us to keep our egos in check. It is reminding us that no matter how great we think we are or how great others think we are, a virus can bring our world to a standstill.It is reminding us that the power of freewill is in our hands. We can choose to cooperate and help each other, to share, to give, to help and to support each other or we can choose to be selfish, to hoard, to look after only our self. Indeed, it is difficulties that bring out our true colors.It is reminding us that we can be patient, or we can panic. We can either understand that this type of situation has happened many times before in history and will pass, or we can panic and see it as the end of the world and, consequently, cause ourselves more harm than good.It is reminding us that this can either be an end or a new beginning. This can be a time of reflection and understanding, where we learn from our mistakes, or it can be the start of a cycle which will continue until we finally learn the lesson we are meant to.It is reminding us that this Earth is sick. It is reminding us that we need to look at the rate of deforestation just as urgently as we look at the speed at which toilet rolls are disappearing off of shelves. We are sick because our home is sick. It is reminding us that after every difficulty, there is always ease. Life is cyclical, and this is just a phase in this great cycle. We do not need to panic; this too shall pass.Whereas many see the Corona/ Covid-19 virus as a great disaster, I prefer to see it as a great corrector. It is sent to remind us of the important lessons that we seem to have forgotten and it is up to us if we will learn them or not"
44 minutes | Feb 20, 2020
From Inside Wuhan - Mental Health with Lifeline
In this chat with Karli Rowland of Lifeline, Adam discusses many of the issues all of those in China are facing due to isolation and quarantine. At the time of this recording, nearing one month since the Covid-19 virus caused the closing of cities and turned life in China up-side-down, Karli goes into detail on many of the common issues and provides relevant solutions on how to maintain a positive attitude during a time of crisis.
29 minutes | Feb 13, 2020
From Inside Wuhan - Corporate Insights
In this episode, Adam chats Fred Schlomann, the Vice President at AIRINC Asia-Pacific Limited; and Meng Ziang Chy, the Director of Business Development APAC at Graebel Companies, Inc.Both have recently conducted surveys on the impact of the Covid-19 virus within global mobility industry. The discussion outlines the findings in their surveys with mobility leaders following the Chinese New Year holiday.Meng's survey can be found here.The AIRINC Survey is yet to be published, but check back shortly as we will also link it here.Of course, for more insights, both Fred and Meng can be found on LinkedIn.
66 minutes | Feb 13, 2020
From Inside Wuhan - The Entire Team
In this episode, Adam chats to all 5 Maxxelli staff from the Wuhan office. They tell their stories on what life in Wuhan has been like since being closed off for 17 days ."From Inside Wuhan"- An aunt who fell ill to Covid-19- A husband supporting construction of the 1,000 bed hospital- Advising younger cousins in Europe dealing with discrimination being from Wuhan- Organizing medical donations from around the world- A mother and her journey supporting her familyThe wonderful Maxxelli Wuhan Team was doing all this while still supporting their clients and their needs.Maxxelli is extremely proud of teams across China and Wuhan during the past month. We look forward to celebrating together, in Wuhan, once we can put the Covid-19 issue behind us.
41 minutes | Feb 4, 2020
From Inside Wuhan
In this episode, I (Adam McWhirter, Maxxelli Managing Director), discussed with Ms. Dan Huang (China Operations Manager based in Wuhan) what has transpired over the past 3 weeks in China with regards to the Coronvirus.A bit of a recap on the timeline of things:- January 11th, Dan returned to China from her vacation- January 13th, Dan flew to Shanghai from Wuhan for our 2020 Strategy Meetings- January 17th, Dan flew home from Shanghai to Wuhan full of positivity.- January 20th, suddenly life in China/Wuhan is turned upside-down - February 3rd, we recorded this podcastWhat life was like in Wuhan the past 2-weeks and how Maxxelli, as a Destination Service Provider, remained operational to support our existing assignees. With so much misinformation out there, this story explains what life has been like in Wuhan the past 2-weeks since the Coronovirus outbreak.
55 minutes | Dec 16, 2019
Settling into Shanghai with Jenny and Lisa of Shanghai Mamas
Started in 2006 as a group for expat mothers looking to arrange playdates for their children, Shanghai Mamas today is a diverse online community with over 4000 members from across the globe, providing peer to peer recommendations and advice on all things to do with living in Shanghai. Run by a committee of volunteer members, this grassroots, non-profit community allows members to connect with each other through forums, Facebook and WeChat groups and weekly coffee mornings across the city. With advice on everything from residential neighbourhoods to schools, and specific feedback given by international families already living in Shanghai, the website provides assistance and support to help expats thrive in China. Adam talks to Lisa, a seasoned expat with experience living in 10 locations who relocated to Shanghai with her family 3 months ago, and Jenny, who has been living in Shanghai since 2008 and is a senior member of Shanghai Mamas. Jenny and Lisa discuss how new technologies such as mobile payment apps and online shopping have made life in China much easier than it ever previously was, as well as the power of social media to help stay connected to those at home. They then go on to talk about empathy, and Jenny and Lisa explain the processes put in place to help newcomers navigate the new city, as well as the importance of working with trusted brands and sponsors. Finally, the three discuss how DSPs can further assist with organisations such as Shanghai Mamas, including the importance of one-to-one contact with established expats, and how providing a personalised service is essential to the expat experience.
39 minutes | Dec 12, 2019
Service Consistency with Bob Rosing of Dwellworks
Originally hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, Bob Rosing is a global mobility veteran with over 30 years’ experience in the relocation and real estate industries. In 2007 Bob started with Dwellworks, a global provider of services to the mobility industry. Today, Dwellworks has 250+ employees located in 12 centers around the globe providing services ranging from destination services to property management and intercultural support.In this interview Adam and Bob discuss the importance of hiring and retaining staff when it comes to maintaining consistency throughout multiple markets and countries. The conversation then moves on to the power of AI and data analytics in improving service delivery. Bob reveals how Dwellworks uses tools for capturing data to shorten delivery periods and allow teams to focus on personalizing the service delivery to each individual assignee. Finally, Bob suggests that when it comes to value creation, being respectful of a customer’s time and being proactive in sharing information with the employe as the keys to success.
52 minutes | Dec 3, 2019
1 Million Children with Tom Stader of The Library Project
Tom Stader is the founder of The Library Project (TLP), an international non-profit organisation started in 2008 that donates libraries and provides teacher training to rural elementary schools, orphanages and community centres around China and Vietnam. Originally from the US, Tom relocated to China fifteen years ago and initially worked as a teacher for six months; this experience exposed him to the difficulty of teaching without the correct tools, and inspired him to make a change. Fast-forward 13 years and The Library Project has help over 1 million children, worked with 3000 schools and is registered for compliance in five regions around the world. In this insightful conversation, Tom and Adam discuss the value of both the local and expat community in assisting non-profit organisations such as The Library Project, as well as talking about the vast range of companies that have helped and contributed to the project since its conception. Tom also sheds light on the decade long partnership of TLP with its first major corporate donor, and how the sharing of photos and stories on the company’s intranet helped grow their involvement and led to the first large scale contribution to the organisation. The conversation then turns to the future aims of TLP, and Tom expresses his goals of improving the quality of the content in the libraries, looking for ways to bring teacher training into smaller rural schools, and ultimately help as many children as possible.
32 minutes | Nov 7, 2019
Repatriating Children with Elizabeth Sawyer of Bennett International
Having spent the first twelve years of her life overseas, and with an education spanning five different systems from Ireland to New York, Elizabeth Sawyer is no stranger to international schooling. Following the completion of her MA at Villanova University, Elizabeth spent the first 15 years of her career teaching English, French and Spanish at private high schools in the US, a path that would later inform her role as an Education Consultant for Bennett Educational Resources. In 2009, after Bennett acquired School Choice International, Elizabeth became the CEO of what is now Bennet International Education Consultancy, a firm providing advice and support to relocating families across the globe. Today, in addition to leading a network of over 70 trusted consultants who provide expert counsel on best fit schools for relocating children, Elizabeth is a frequent speaker on education and relocation and has presented at numerous venues worldwide. Today, Elizabeth discusses the importance not only of assisting in the schools’ search for relocating families, but also in the repatriation of children back to their home countries following the end of an assignment. She provides insightful tips and advice for families relocating abroad, including the preparation that should be taken before repatriation, and reveals the difficulties children may face when returning ‘home’. She and Adam also discuss the richness of experience that comes with being a TCK (third culture kid) and how even the most disrupting uprooting experience provide a unique perspective that can be beneficial in later life.
30 minutes | Oct 29, 2019
The Growth of a Mobility Career with Sean Collins of Talent Mobility Search
Sean Collins of Talent Mobility Search has over 20 years’ experience in global mobility, working in leadership roles on both the service provider and corporate client side during his extensive career. Originally from the UK, Sean began his career at a relocation management company, managing sales and marketing first across China, and then the South East Asia and India region, before moving in-house to manage the mobility programmes at Microsoft for 8 years. In 2014, Sean identified a need for more personalised mobility consulting in Asia, and as a result set up Talent Mobility Asia, a boutique consulting firm that helps companies design and develop their mobile talent strategy. Since 2015, Sean has also been a managing partner at Talent Mobility Search, a recruitment firm focusing on senior hires within the mobility industry. Now based in Singapore, Sean has also spent time living and working in France, Switzerland, China and Australia and considers himself a true global nomad. In this interview, Sean discusses how those looking to get into the mobility industry may do so, either via the vendor or HR route, or through employment in one of the ‘Big 4’ tax firms, and the potential career progression available via each of these routes. Sean also discusses the skillsets relevant to a career in mobility, and the importance of building deep strategic relationships with internal clients. Finally, reflecting on his own experience in mobility, Sean talks us through the three-step process in his customer service approach and how this has been used to build his own career and teach others in the company.
35 minutes | Oct 20, 2019
Medical Care in China with Dr. Stephen Misch
With over three decades of medical experience in the US, then in Chengdu and Shanghai, Dr. Misch has expertise in a broad range of family practices, from blood pressure, asthma, cholesterol concerns, depression and anxiety to emergencies such as treating lacerations and fractures. He is also a promotor of preventative health measures and natural living, aiding his patients to understand any obstacles to their improvement. Having practiced in China for over twenty years, he has in-depth industry wisdom to help those new to the country adjust to the new medical landscape. This insightful conversation with Dr. Misch sheds light on one critical aspect of being globally mobile – medical care. In this exclusive chat, he debunks and discusses various health myths of living in China and reflects on his own experiences of moving and assimilating into his home here. From complicating common misconceptions of air quality in Shanghai to the safety of vaccinations and the use of ‘fake’ medicine, Dr Misch talks to us about settling the concerns of his new patients and the recent strides made in the quality of healthcare in China. Finally, he talks warmly of the vibrant experience of living in China and the closeness between of work and leisure when living in such exciting and colourful neighbourhoods.
37 minutes | Oct 13, 2019
Growth into Tier 2 China with Nick Veiga of Renault
With over twenty years’ experience in Human Resource Management, Nick Veiga has been HR director of automotive giant Renault for over a decade. Nick has been based in Wuhan since 2016 where he has overseen Renault’s forty assignees and their families while also managing those based in Beijing. Since 2013, the same year Maxxelli handled Renault’s first wave of inbound assignees to Wuhan and Beijing, Renault began its joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group, which now comprises most work of the assignees Nick overseers. In this interview Nick gives us an exclusive look at a comprehensive range of issues facing HR departments as they handle inbound assignees. He reveals the overriding priority of expat families on education and how he has managed to ensure quality and choice in a Tier 2 city, including the implementation of his hybrid language programme. He and Adam also discuss the empathy required of those involved with mobility and the importance of cultural training programmes, of which Nick is a great advocate. He closes with an insightful examination of the qualities he looks for in a partnership with a destination service provider – and shares his thoughts on the industry adage ‘no news is good news’!
42 minutes | Sep 30, 2019
Special Needs Education in China with Andrew Hill of ELG & Xiersen
Andrew Hill first arrived in China thirty years ago and has since founded and managed several companies and received The Charity Star of Shanghai in 2010 for his service projects and charity work. He founded ELG to provide quality special needs education and therapy services in China – the first service of this nature in Shanghai – and is also the chairman of ELG’s sister NGO, Xiersen Children Service Centre. ELG has provided much-needed specialist therapy and behavioural services to thousands of children since its establishment in 2005. In this in-depth discussion, Andrew examines the landscape of private and international schooling in China and the various difficulties of sourcing and providing specialist therapy for children. Referencing the standard issue of individual education plans for special needs children in the US, he compares the competitive and high-achieving nature of Shanghai’s private and international schools and the inclusion issues this can give rise to. Recognising the relative absence of ELG’s services in China, Andrew also explains Xiersen’s efforts to foster training and equip support staff to those providing special needs services across China. Finally, he shares moving cases he has witnessed over the years and the inherently rewarding nature of his work.
34 minutes | Sep 23, 2019
Empathy and Growth with Sei Ishikawa of WeWork
With well over a decade of experience in the mobility industry, Sei Ishikawa first joined The We Company in 2016 and has since grown its global mobility division from a one-man team to an entire department, responsible for the movement of nearly 700 employees. The We Company’s spectacular growth in the decade since its founding – as of mid-2019, over 500 WeWork locations in 28 separate countries – has rapidly expanded the need for a specialized, expert mobility team. Sei tells us more on how he was able to manage his mobility programme to keep apace of the company’s extraordinary growth. Revealing the various policy changes the mobility programme’s growth required, Sei tells us of the flexibility and innovation both the company and his team have had to bring to the job. He also speaks in-depth on empathy and how he is able to ensure the best service for employees – from minimizing points of contact to encouraging the recruitment of mobility experts who have experienced relocation themselves. He closes this insightful and reflective interview with thoughts on individualizing packages for different employees and the various factors to keep in mind when transferring them.
38 minutes | Sep 17, 2019
140 Countries with Andrew Morollo of AIRINC
Globe-trotting Andrew Morollo has visited 207 cities in nearly 140 different countries, and that’s without keeping exact lists. As a senior surveyor with AIRINC, a leading data provider for global talent deployment with over half a century of experience, Andrew has been conducting cost-of-living research and hardship surveys across the globe and in every continent for nearly twenty years. Much of his work is specific to the oil and gas industry, and Andrew has decades of expertise in expatriate policy design, travel logistic support and data research. This week, Andrew takes time out from his travels to discuss with us his personal story, share the sheer diversity of experiences he has encountered and his thoughts on the concept of ‘development’ as a measure of the world’s cities. He reflects on his years of travelling to share experiences which still surprise and shock, especially in the difference in facilities and living standards across the world’s capitals. He also shares with Adam his opinion on the qualities of a truly ‘global’ city, especially his experiences with culture. As a long-term partner of Maxxelli, he also shares his opinion on China’s breakneck development as compared with other rapidly growing economies, as well as the varying levels of expat liveability across the country’s cities.
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