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Guest post: A Scotsman In America: One Mans Travels

Todays guest post is from Peter Lanc, better known as HRMexplorer. I had a Skype conversation with Peter earlier this week. I was intrigued by his story. not just how a Scotsman managed to end up in the US, but how he had managed to switch industry sectors throughout his career. With the job market as it is, with some sectors booming and others dead in the water, transferring sectors is becoming a reality for many. The complication is getting people to be open-minded enough to accept the different. I’m delighted Peter agreed to share his story to show what is possible.

This is Peters story:

Remember the Sting Song? – An Englishman in New York.

Yes we do have different accents and drink tea!

I was reminded recently in conversation with a friend of mine from the UK (@ Bill Boorman) what a small world we live in!
The USA and UK are very similar and yet different and yet the similarities are more.
It was once quoted: that England and America are two countries separated by a common language. George Bernard Shaw
That’s so true we have some very interesting ways we say things!

I came over to the USA to marry my American Bride in 2002 and since then people always seemed to want for me to tell my story of how a Scotsman came to live and work in “America”. Well it was Love! The job was always secondary in my mind. Mushy I know but there you have it!

Maybe people just like to listen to my accent, that happens. I get asked if I knew the Beatles or Sean Connery! but it’s the same when Americans go to the UK. So it is more than that.

They ask how is it that someone can move from different industry sectors like Automotive, Engineering, Telecom, Broadcasting, Mental Health Care, Government Defense, Agriculture, Sporting Goods in mainland Europe and the UK and then come over to the USA and start in other business sectors such as TV Broadcasting and US Health Care!

Its’ called faith, heart and transferable skills, and a desire to focus on what all business needs – an engaged soul who understands business needs!

It seems that changing business sectors and countries is a topic of conversation and yet is it so strange? For me not so.

When it boils down to it business is straightforward – It has inputs (resources) and outputs (mission). The trick is to get these aligned in the most effective way through people.

That is the talent I bring to the businesses I have worked for. The challenges may be different but are really very similar when you get down to “Brass Tacks.”

So what gives me the ability to traverse countries and business markets?

I think it is the qualities that business needs craves for and yet is often reluctant or lacks the courage to cash in on the diversity of having people within their organization with a different lens. Inclusiveness is hard to grasp, but the day is here and those who have “have a the secret ingredient.”

1. Hiring people with different business backgrounds and perspective adds much to a conversation and to the development of business.

2. Folk with different cultural backgrounds bring different mindsets and mental models that provide diversity or rather inclusion, bringing ways of creativity and with it new ways of thinking that those with “group think” cannot achieve. http://www.imd.org/research/challenges/TC073-10.cfm

3. That it is not essential to recruit people with longevity in the business sector that the employing organization is in! Indeed the incestuous nature of hiring “those from within a business develops a sameness that leads to staleness.”

4. That ” fit for hire” needs to include hiring those who challenge the status quo, not be subsumed by it.

5. A need to remember when hiring someone who they will never have all of the knowledge that you seek, and if they did what are they going to get out of it. They need to grow and learn new skill sets so recruiting your new hire it is a two-way learning process. “Development to the power of two.”

6. Yet when all is said and done both countries need exceptional talent and they need to grow it in an ever-changing multicultural workforce environment. Let’s look at the demographics of both countries.

a. The USA- some demographic trending
And from SHRM

b. The UK- demographic trending

So a Scotsman working in the USA is not that unusual after all and like many others with “different backgrounds” we all have something to bring, a perspective, a new process, a new idea, and as such a valuable voice and mind, and new stories.

Once the accent is ignored, (and sometimes understood) you get the broadening of thinking of what real inclusiveness means and then you will see some pretty “cool” things happen.

Thinking differently, learned from experiences gained “wherever” gives new insights, and brings freshness, fun, new energy and new friendships. That is why it works!

Thanks Peter for being an ambassador. What difficulties do you encounter when talking about transferable skills?


Bio of Peter Lanc

Peter has been described as having an “edgy sophistication” with a talent of writing challenging blogs including.

Why does a hospital have a waiting room? And HR Folks don’t get it and it’s getting old!

Peter is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and is a highly successful and engaging HR-Business Professional whose mantra is “deliver highrr profits and Performance”

He brings a wealth of experience that spans corporate and non-profit organizations in the healthcare, telecommunications and manufacturing sectors.
With a Unique talent for seeing “the art of the possible” in people, teams and organizations.
He understands what it takes to rally employees, clients and stakeholders around a shared vision, mission and mandate.
Skilled at thinking at both the strategic and tactical level, Peter Challenges ingrained assumptions and patterns of operation that no longer make good business sense, and offers practical, cost-effective and value-based solutions that will work both in the short and the long term.

Peters Blog: HRMExplorer

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