Seven months ago, I arrived here in North Carolina for my third assignment as part of Husqvarna Group’s Global Trainee Program (now named Global Pioneer Program). Today, I got special permission to go to the office one last time and clear out my American-style cubicle. I have been working from home in isolation for the last couple of weeks and it’s time for me to return to Europe. Quite the different working scenario than I had in mind when coming here, but nobody else knew that a worldwide pandemic was going to happen either.

I’m at the end of my assignment where I’ve had the great opportunity to work with sales excellence development within the North American sales organization. It is a truly fantastic experience to move to another country and live and work there. While the cultural difference between northern Europe and U.S. might seem small, there are still disparities that can affect how some decisions are made. It’s very hard to predict and explain without experiencing it first-hand, but it can be business critical, especially if one of your main undertakings is stakeholder management. One of my targets I strived for was to primarily use the information provided to me by the local U.S. organization for the sales excellence assignment. This was in order to tailor the solutions to the market, keeping it recognizable to the individuals undergoing it, and capitalizing on the pride of everyone contributing to joint development. In my view, this has proven to be even more successful than I initially expected. The process of collaboration culturally and altering the product after influential differences has been one of the key learnings and will continue to bring value to me in understanding new situations and sentiments.     

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has of course been a multitude of changes and challenges arising in everyday life and work. Luckily, I had most of this assignment completed before the more serious disruptions occurred. The last great challenge is to get back to Europe, but so far, the flights are still going, let’s hope it continues that way!

A big thank you to all the wonderful people I have worked with and everyone I have met, and I’m looking forward to seeing you all again under better circumstances!

Charlotte, North Carolina.

Desolate highways and a clear message being sent out.