Iliyana's Blog

Executive Presentations: How to Get a 'Yes' from Your Executive

[fa icon="calendar'] 31-Jul-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Leadership, Program Management, Internal Communication

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Have you ever struggled to get a 'yes' to your proposal from your boss (or anyone else for that matter)?

I have. It's hard to persuade someone else to do what you want or to agree to the approach you are proposing so that you can execute.  

The more you move up in a company and the bigger the company becomes (i.e. a corporation), the more important it becomes to build a business case and present it in front of the right person in the right way in order to get out what you want for your next steps. It's the same if you work in an agency and need your client's buy-in.

I spend a lot of my time at my job doing exactly that. I wouldn't say I've mastered this but I've certainly learned a few things. 

And as always, I learn by reading, listening to videos and of course, by doing. 

Today, I want to share with you the key learnings from a video and a slideshare that I came across on executive presentations that get you an executive 'yes'. In addition, I'll share some of my own experience too.

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8-Step Framework to Problem-Solving from McKinsey

[fa icon="calendar'] 01-May-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Program Management, Project Management

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Do you know what prewiring is? 

By the time you finish reading this blog post, you will. 

I recently read the McKinsey Mind which is a great, quick book that offers a simple problem-solving framework and quite a few consulting techniques, proven and tested by McKinsey and its people. 

We all know McKinsey so I think we can trust their expertise which is why I wanted to share with you my learnings from the book.

Some of them are simple but we don't implement them enough, others are very clever tips that can help us not just in consulting but also with stakeholder management and buy-in or teamwork. 

Before I get to the tips, here's the model that McKinsey uses for problem-solving with clients: 

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Managing Cross-Cultural Communication in a Multinational Company

[fa icon="calendar'] 23-Jan-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Program Management, Project Management

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As companies grow, scale and expand in international markets, the need for cross-cultural sensitivity and communication ability increases.

In fact, communication is what underpins both stakeholder management and change management - two areas without which a company cannot function or grow.

However, when we add cultural differences to how people make decisions and follow orders, organisations face a tremendous challenge to getting things done.

Two Areas for Consideration

There are two key areas that companies should be strategically looking into when operating in a cross-cultural setting:

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

[fa icon="calendar'] 05-Dec-2017 09:00:00 / 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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Your Go-To Project Management Framework

[fa icon="calendar'] 12-Sep-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Program Management, Project Management

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In my new role as Global Partner Program Manager at HubSpot, I'm involved in a ton of projects. I run quite a few of them as well. 

I knew this was going to be the case before I officially got into the job so as with anything else that I'm not a full expert on (yet), I read a ton of literature and did a few courses on project management, including getting Scrum certified. 

By doing so I managed to develop a framework for project management that I now use and I have shared with colleagues at HubSpot who have also used it. 

I thought it only makes sense for me to share this knowledge with you because I believe that almost every professional runs some sort of a project and so putting a formalised structure around it can only make you more effective and efficient. 

Bear in mind that the way I've gone developing this has been from the standpoint of a process or operational improvement rather than product development but it can be applied there as well or any other area/department with some tweaks (even marketing/PR agencies).

Here we go.

Project Management Framework Steps

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