Iliyana's Blog

Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is the author of Inbound PR - the book that is transforming the PR industry. She's also a keynote speaker and a consultant in inbound and digital for fast-growing companies and agencies. Currently, Iliyana is PMO Lead at the Chief of Staff office for CX EMEAR at Cisco where she is the operational leader for all things Customer Success and Growth. In her previous roles at HubSpot, she led major cross-functional change for the global Partner Program with her detail-oriented approach to project management and advised hundreds of agencies on how to transform their businesses with inbound and digital. During that time, she earned the globally recognised Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification by the PMI. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or travelling the world.

Recent Posts

The Four Management Zones in the Age of Disruption

[fa icon="calendar'] 11-Apr-2022 13:01:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business, Growth

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I was recently made aware of a book called "Zone to Win" and having just watched a video summarising the key points, I found it fascinating.

It's not just about why established companies struggle to embrace disruptive innovation but about how they can do it. 

Even though I have not yet read the book, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the key points with you as they can be an eye-opener. 

The author, Geoffrey Moore, argues that companies struggle with disruption because of internal issues. Having worked in different types of industries and different organizational sizes, I can definitely agree. Internal processes and challenges stall innovation. Companies get too bogged down into fixing things rather than innovating and changing.  

To resolve such issues, the book says organisations need to segment the enterprise into distinct management zones, each with its own methods and metrics.

These zones are also aligned with the strategic horizons of the company - a model defined by McKinsey around annual planning of investments and resources and when you get a return on them. 

The Three Investment Horizons

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Going Sustainable When it Comes to Fashion - Fast vs Slow Fashion

[fa icon="calendar'] 20-Mar-2022 12:00:04 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Sustainability, Zero-waste

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At the beginning of the year, I promised myself to go slower

That promise relates to clothes, shoes and accessories as well - either through 'slow fashion' or simply making a lot more conscious decisions about the things that I buy to wear for myself or my family (if at all). 

Why am I making this decision? Because 'make, waste, dispose' is the premise of fast fashion and it doesn't fit with my sustainability beliefs and zero-waste efforts.

Fast fashion has become so big and we're all guilty of it. We buy pretty clothes and fashion accessories or shoes that are the latest trends, we use them, then simply dispose of them and certainly, not everyone reuses them or recycles them.

Fast fashion is basically “an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.” It's fueling your desire for “new" and FOMO.

Thanks to COVID-19,

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The 6 Pillars of Project Management Leadership

[fa icon="calendar'] 21-Feb-2022 09:48:29 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Program Management, Project Management

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70% of all projects in organisations fail. Shocking isn't it? But it's the reality. And most often than not, projects fail because of competing priorities. 

We move too fast and work on too many things at the same time. Many leaders want everything done now. Program and project get assigned to multiple projects at the same time alongside other stakeholders from the companies. And because there's so much to do and little prioritization to everything that needs to be done, project teams have to choose shortcuts and many times jump right into doing without planning. But by skipping planning, project teams are bound to see surprises later for their initiative.   

That's why I see the job of the project or program manager to push back to leadership and ask for prioritisation, to really look at where do we get the most impact among all the projects and to work with leadership to identify what to 'kill'. Organisations have the habit of just adding things but we never look back at what's actually not working and just stop it so we reuse the resources and talent for the initiatives that will bring an impact. 

In fact, the ROI from quitting the wrong thing is far greater than the ROI from doing the right thing.

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Going Slow in 2022

[fa icon="calendar'] 03-Jan-2022 10:30:14 / by Iliyana Stareva

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With the New Year having just arrived, I have a confession to make. 

I'm a total speedoholic and a rushaholic.

And I've become an even bigger speedoholic and rushaholic since having a baby and returning to full-time work. 

Reflecting on 2021, I realise that I have managed to achieve a lot - got back to work from maternity, managed to juggle having my daughter at home until she was 11 months before she started daycare, made new friends in the Netherlands, travelled 3 times during these COVID days (probably would've been 13 had it not been for COVID) and generally, kept everything going smoothly, taking care of my family daily while having a newborn and now a toddler. 

I'll be honest, having a child is a lot of work, especially when neither my husband nor I have any family living here in the Netherlands. I did not expect it to be that much and I'm guilty of trying to do many things on my own (even though I have a terrific, supportive husband) and putting pressure on myself to get so many things done in a single day, feeling like a failure when not getting something done or not getting it done on time as per my original plan. The time I've had for myself to recharge or disconnect has been minimal, mainly because I had prioritised other to-dos. 

The work-life balance or work-life integration I had before having my beautiful daughter was figured out and sorted; it was working perfectly. But in 2021, I've been trying to adjust to my new normal. In some areas, I've succeeded, in others I haven't and especially in taking care of myself.

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Disrupt or Be Disrupted [Video]

[fa icon="calendar'] 23-Nov-2021 11:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Technology

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Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting at the Digital Marketing Transformation e-Conference on the topic of Disrupt or Be Disrupted. 

It's been a while since I've done some public speaking and even though it was all online due to COVID-19, I loved it. I realised how much I miss it and how energised I feel by the audience and by the opportunity to share what I know. 

I'm a firm believer that knowledge is to be spread and not kept. That's why I am always thrilled when an opportunity to present arises and I jump on it right away. 

In the spirit of sharing, I want to make the video of my talk available to you so if you're curious to hear about digital disruption in marketing and in business in general, take a look at my presentation below. 

I cover four areas, bringing my experience from HubSpot and Cisco: 

  1. technological transformation 
  2. digital disruption 
  3. business models 
  4. specific activities you can take

I hope you enjoy the video! 

Disrupt or Be Disrupted [Video]

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