The Global Mobility Playbook: What Rugby Can Teach Us About Success in Business and Life

The Global Mobility Playbook: What Rugby Can Teach Us About Success in Business and Life

We can learn a thing or two from the global movement of rugby players, applying similar principles to business that will give organisations a competitive edge, writes Barry Vorster, Director BDO People and Business Solutions

The Rugby World Cup has reached its thrilling conclusion, leaving South Africans in awe of the teamwork, grit, and sheer professionalism on display. But it's not just about the games – it's about the global movement of rugby players, a phenomenon that holds valuable lessons for business and life.

In the world of rugby, players switch national teams and even play for franchises across the globe. They go where their talent is valued and rewarded, shattering the boundaries of what we once thought possible. Scotland's squad, for instance, comprises players born in different corners of the world, from South Africa to Australia, coming together to represent Scotland. This mobility isn't limited to the Northern Hemisphere; it's a global phenomenon that enriches the sport and its players.

But what can we learn from rugby's mobility? Observing this freedom of movement among rugby professionals offers a number of relevant lessons for the business environment too.

  1. Increased Competitive Balance: Just as rugby teams benefit from the infusion of global talent, businesses can boost their competitiveness by embracing diversity and fostering innovation.
  2. Development of Emerging Nations: International experience in rugby grows the sport in emerging nations. Similarly, global talent in the workplace can bring valuable skills back to their countries, improving overall competitiveness and opening doors to new markets.
  3. Exposure to Different Styles of Play: In both rugby and business, exposure to diverse styles of play and thinking is essential for creating a versatile and innovative environment.
  4. Increased Opportunities: Embracing global mobility can open doors to better career opportunities and professional growth, both in sports and work.
  5. Diverse and Inclusive Representation: Rugby's embrace of players from diverse backgrounds exemplifies inclusivity, a strength that businesses can and should adopt.

So, what do you need in your backpack for this journey?

Just like rugby players and those planning to work abroad, there are essential skills and qualities that will ensure a successful and fulfilling experience. For organizations, investing in the learning and skills development of their employees can accelerate integration and performance.

  1. Cultural Awareness: Understanding and respecting the host country's culture, customs, and traditions is vital. Effective cross-cultural communication is key to building positive relationships.
  2. Language Skills: Learning the local language or basic conversational skills can greatly enhance communication and integration.
  3. Adaptability: Being flexible and open to change is essential when navigating life in a foreign country.
  4. Interpersonal Skills: Strong interpersonal skills are key for building relationships with colleagues and the local community.
  5. Resilience: Developing resilience is important for managing homesickness and cultural adjustments.
  6. Managing Health and Financial Wellbeing: Taking care of physical and mental health is essential, as is managing finances.
  7. Goal Setting: Setting personal and professional goals provides direction and motivation during your time abroad.

Global mobility is the new norm. Rugby serves as valuable backdrop and source of inspiration for the business world.  Whether you're chasing a rugby ball or your career dreams, embrace the journey, and you'll discover that the world is your oyster. πŸŒπŸ‰πŸŒŸ #GlobalMobility #CareerSuccess #LifeLessons

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