Expat or local to start overseas’ operations? It’s just the wrong question…
The jury’s out.
Some say overseas’ ventures are initially best led by company veterans. They know the corporate culture and management styles best, no?
Others believe that putting local experts at the helm works best. Local connectivity being everything.
A headhunter put the question to me 2 weeks ago in Poznan, Poland.
For the record: I’ve often supported the view that the first job of an international being sent over to start operations is to hire his/her successor. Hiring a local HR expert is job #2.
But the headhunter and I concluded that the expat versus the local is not the right question.
It all-depends on the individuals’ capability to bridge between cultures and people.
Not sure as to how many cross-border companies follow that principle.
It makes much sense, what do you think?