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 Chief of Staff to the EMEA President at ServiceNow. Before that, she held global and EMEA-wide positions at Cisco and HubSpot. She is also certified by the PMI as a Project Management Professional (PMP)®. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or travelling the world.

Recent Posts

What Was Hot on Iliyana's Blog in 2022

[fa icon="calendar'] 04-Jan-2023 15:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Blogging

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Even though I didn't write much here last year (although I had great intentions but ended up writing a book), the blog kept being popular with lots of views and readers so today I'm doing a review of what you liked the most in 2022 here. 

I will use this info to create new content that aligns with what you're reading the most. 

What I'm finding very interesting from this analysis is how just within a few years, the most popular posts are starting to move from those on the PR topic over to those on the Project/Program Management topic. This is evident if I look at what you spent time reading in 2022. 

Let's take a look at the most popular posts written in 2022, the most popular posts written anytime but read in 2022 and the most popular posts of all time written any time and read any time. 

5 Most Popular Posts Written in 2022

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Reflecting on 2022 - Can Women Really Have it All?

[fa icon="calendar'] 27-Dec-2022 12:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Career

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This post might be controversial for many. Some might agree. I'm sure many others will not. This post is also very vulnerable and personal. It's my take on the much-debated question if women can have it all - career and kids - reflecting on how 2022 went for me. 

Two big things happened this year for me professionally: I joined a new company starting a new job and I published my second book (on a completely unexpected topic even for me). 

Had that been pre-baby, it wouldn've been at least four big things. 

I never shied away from saying that I'm ambitious. I want to achieve a lot career-wise. I've already achieved a lot for my age, however, my curiosity and eagerness to do more and learn more pushes me forward. I get bored with the same. I need change and my brain needs progress. 

Sometimes this can have negative connotations because I put too much pressure on myself to achieve more, be better, and get more done in the finite hours of a day that I have. 

When I wasn't a mother, this didn't bother me. It pushed me beyond my limits in a good way.

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Where Most Organisations Fail - Part 1

[fa icon="calendar'] 29-Oct-2022 17:37:57 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business

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Throughout my career, I've worked in three big tech companies and consulted hundreds of SMBs. 

No matter the size, most organisations tend to fail in two areas which undermine or slow their performance and growth.

The first one is what we'll talk about today and that is execution. 

Making things happen efficiently and effectively is the number one challenge for the majority of companies but unfortunately, most of them don't even admit they have an execution problem or don't place particular importance on it. 

And it's not just about how people do work. It's really about how decisions are being made, how individuals are being let to execute on these decisions and then how change is being adopted to manifest the outcome of these decisions. 

Few companies have proper project, program and change management practices used consistently in every team and every department. Most organisations tend to leave teams and departments to figure out how they execute. There's nothing wrong with giving autonomy but the result in 99% of the cases are siloed teams with disparate priorities who don't talk to each other and end up doing similar pieces of work and in the end not knowing whether they were truly responsible for it.

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Why No One is Teaching You How to Manage Your Money

[fa icon="calendar'] 06-Sep-2022 06:28:10 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Money mastering

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I have a confession to make. 

For the last few years, I've been very interested in the topic of personal finances. 

My husband and I have dug so deep into it - reading books and blogs, listening to podcasts, webinars and YouTube videos, and speaking to friends and family. We've done this because we wanted to get better at managing our money and making sound financial decisions for the future to be able to enjoy life even more. 

We've both had rough years when starting adulthood and it's taken a lot of hard work to now live comfortably. We've also had struggles with debt (as anyone really) or haven't managed our money well spending unnecessarily or not thinking through the details until we realised some key mistakes.

Everyone falls into the trap of money. It's such a vicious circle that some can't get out of it. And what's worse is that nobody is teaching you basic financial literacy at school (unless your parents go deep on the topic with you).

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My Top 5 Learnings from Creating and Running a PMO

[fa icon="calendar'] 27-Jul-2022 13:10:16 / by Iliyana Stareva

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In my previous job at Cisco, I was put in charge of creating and running a PMO (Project Management Office) for the execution of the departmental strategy. 

I had never done this before but I took the challenge. It was incredibly interesting and rewarding to have to figure out something from scratch. It was also a big responsibility but this is what made it so exciting to work on. 

The approach I took was to examine the organisation and teams we had, look at what was going on already and figure out a way to make it work with what we had at hand and align with the teams and the existing projects. This PMO was focused on internal projects, not external so I think adapting to the organisation and your clients (internal or external) is extremely important. 

I learned so much from designing a PMO. When I reflect back on it, there are five key things I believe are key when being in charge of a PMO. 

My Top 5 Learnings from Creating and Running a PMO

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