by Julian Goldsmith

Book review: The Rise of the Global Nomad

Feb 06, 2011
IT LeadershipIT StrategyTelecommunications Industry

The Rise of the Global Nomad: How to Manage the New Professional in Order to Gain Recovery and Maximise Future Growth By Jim Matthewman (Kogan Page)

There is a growing segment of the employment pool that has no borders. These highly skilled, highly motivated workers don’t have the same motivations and expectations that stay-at-home staff hold dear. This is why a book that claims to inform managers on how to recruit, engage and reward these globetrotting workers should be gold dust. However, Matthewman misses the mark by a wide margin.

The author makes sweeping statements about the nature of the 21st century workforce that aren’t backed up by enough hard evidence. He relies too much on Baby Boomer, Generation X and Gen-Y stereotypes, making his assumptions so much cod theory.

Anyone expecting to get some insight into how to manage this new group of workers will have to weather pages of helicopter-view economic commentary before Matthewman gets to the point. Once the book focuses on the issue of management though – from about halfway – he is on firmer ground and his knowledge begins to show through.

This book won’t answer all of your questions about how to make the best use of ex-pat workers, but it could prove useful in framing further reading. Some of Matthewman’s insights will resonate with readers who are coping with the changes in their workforces that he describes, but they will have to sort through a lot of chaff to get those few grains of wheat.