Iliyana's Blog

How to Earn Stakeholder Commitment in a Multicultural Setting

[fa icon="calendar'] 14-Feb-2020 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Project Management, Cultural Differences in Business

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To be a successful project manager, one of the key skills you need to have or need to acquire is stakeholder management. This is yet another of the project management fundamentals.  

That's especially important because often you'll be the person responsible for the execution and the success of a project and you'll have a team of people who will be doing the work but they won't report into you directly. 

Being able to influence is crucial so that your team can follow your guidance and requirements, but it's also important even before you start your project - you need to be able to get stakeholder commitment so that you can get the resources you need for your project and have the buy-in of key people in the organisation that will support you in case of difficulties because you'll need to have convinced them of the importance of your project. 

There are typically five strategies for gaining stakeholder commitment. I learned about them from a paper on PMI written by Bill Richardson.

We'll cover them briefly in a second but what I'll also do is to spend time on looking at how these strategies might have to be adapted based on cultural differences.

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The 6 Different Leadership Styles Based on Culture [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 29-May-2018 10:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Leadership, Cultural Differences in Business

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I'm fascinated by culture. I'm also fascinated by leadership so when I stumbled upon this HBR research on what leadership looks like in different cultures during an online course on International Project Management, I had to dig deeper into it and decided to summarise my learnings in the below infographic. 

Before we get there, though, let's make sure we're all on the same page with what leadership is and why cultural differences play a role

Leadership can be defined as the ability of an individual to influence, motivate and guide others.

Regardless of where they work, good leaders distinguish themselves by their judgment, their ability to relate to others and their integrity. Those skills and qualities are fairly universal across the globe and organisations.

However, culture influences the degree to which each quality is practiced and valued.

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Cultural Differences from West to East and Why They Matter in Business

[fa icon="calendar'] 05-Dec-2017 10:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business, Program Management, Cultural Differences in Business

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I'm fascinated by culture. 

As someone who's lived in four countries over the last eight years, works in a global company, and collaborates with people from dozens of cultures on a daily basis, cultural differences are very much top of mind for me.  

It all started at university in a module on Intercultural Relations where I was introduced to the cultural dimensions study of Geert Hofstede, however, I do believe that cultural differences are heavily underestimated in the business world. 

They are not top of mind for when decisions are being made, emails are sent, meetings are run or changes are implemented. Essentially, cultural differences impact all of our communication

Cultural awareness is not something you are born with, it's something you develop.

To develop it, you have to study it, you have to experience it in work regularly and you have to reflect on it during and after certain situations so that you continuously grow your cultural awareness and next time you are faced with a similar situation, you'll know how to act better by adapting to the cultural setting and requirements.

Today, I'd like to help you develop that cultural awareness.  

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