OI Global Partners World Wide Annual Conference

Belgium
For more than 5 years, Miles LeHane has been an active Partner in the OI Global Network. With over 40 firms spanning the globe, the partners come together annually to look at our industry and focus on responding to our clients' needs. This year we met in Brussels. First a little about this City.

As headquarters to the European Union and NATO, this metropolis is often referred to as the Capital of Europe. While certainly international, it offers more than governmental buildings to uphold this well earned title. It is the ultimate European city with a mosaic of languages and cultures paving the way for a vibrant restaurant and social scene. With over 80 museums and a wealth of history, architectural designs and varied cultural opportunities, one could spend weeks exploring.

With this as a backdrop, our meeting conversations focused on similarities as well as differences in what is happening in our respective markets. It was no surprise that the issues of available people to fill positions, and the lack of talent quickly emerged as a key subject areas. Much was shared among the partners on Executive and Development Coaching strategies and tactics. More and more firms saw multinational assignments merging as a key area within their respective client base. After three very full days of sharing, learning and interacting, I came away with a higher level of understanding of the rapid changes taking place. It was well worth the time and effort for participating.

On a final note there were two areas I visited that were simply awesome. 1= The Grand Palace, in the center of Brussels near our Hotel. This was built as a merchants' market in the 13th century. It is located in City Centre and plays host to numerous festivals and other performances. 2= Bruges, which from a distance looks like a backdrop to a fairy tale! There are medieval overtones to Bruges's cobblestone streets along numerous canals (much like Venice). Sitting in the main square enjoying a Belgian "brew" under the warm sunlight was an experience I will remember. With a great public train system, I returned in one hour to Brussels and my hotel for my trip home the next morning.

A great learning and cultural experience in a world center City and Country.