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Relocation: An Executive Team Effort

A new location means new opportunities, so it's vital for the CEO and other executives to actively participate in a relocation plan.

Apr/May 07
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• The CIO has evolved into an increasingly important team player in the IT-driven business world. As "chief systems architect," he or she helps ensure that information systems make a seamless transition to the new location. Jointly with the relocation project manager, the CIO also helps ensure that needed technology resources are available to successfully identify and redesign new work processes. The CIO also helps make sure that metrics and scorecards for measuring results are in place, and he or she both identifies and implements risk mitigation processes to keep IT services at an appropriate standard during the transition and opening of new facilities.

• The CHRO's main executive interrelationship is with the COO. These two corporate officers align employee performance management systems for a dual focus, one toward improved work processes and the other toward changes in incentive compensation for supporting improved processes. Also, the CHRO helps to make certain that "people impacts" are identified and worked through. Similarly, he or she leads the way in identifying worker competencies needed for the project and, as necessary, provides relevant training, documentation, and knowledge transfer. In addition, the CHRO deals with change-resistant workers, of which there are usually some in any corporate relocation. That may mean supporting either a transfer or termination, and may add the responsibility of recruiting sufficiently-skilled replacements at the right time or right wage to maintain consistent customer service.

Getting and Staying Involved
Corporate relocation is not just a relocation project manager's job, but rather one for the entire executive-level team. Since the decision has been made to physically relocate the business, upper management might as well improve daily organizational performance at the same time. And that takes full executive involvement.

Corporate relocation is an ideal time for active, aggressive leadership that moves the entire organization forward, not an optional exercise in which executives engage when they have spare time. When commitment is solidly in place and the executive team gets with the program, results can be extraordinary.

Mike Forsyth is a managing director and Dutch Holland, Ph.D., is CEO of Houston-based Holland & Davis LLC, a management consulting/business relocation firm with more than three decades experience. For more information or to contact Mr. Forsyth or Dr. Holland, visit the company's website at

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