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Thinkers50 RADAR

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Culture and Projects

Erin Meyer, Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez

Growth is easy. Being profitable is not. How can you create and sustain profitability and growth in changing markets, where competition is intense, and price pressure is immense? Cost cutting is rarely the route to long-term success. We explore how to balance these different challenges, how to ensure that large and complex projects are delivered most effectively, and how to bring people and cultures together, to win today and in the future.

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INSEAD’s American professor in Paris, Erin Meyer has created “the Culture Map”, an indispensable tool for every business today:

  • Global organisations need to learn how cultures work together – understanding the different attitudes to time, influence, trust, agreement, leadership etc.
  • Example: multi-culture teams need low context processes (explicit/simple, like in USA or Germany, rather than implicit/nuanced, like in Russia or China).
  • This can be applied to internal teams, but also in aligning internal/external (organisation/brand) cultures, and in marketing/selling around the world.

Erin Meyer, INSEAD professor and author of The Culture Map, on how people from different cultures work best together, and why they sometimes don’t. She focuses on how the world’s most successful managers navigate the complexities of cultural differences in a global environment. She is winner of the Thinkers50 Radar Award 2015.

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How do you make change happen? Spain’s Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez is the world’s leading project guru, and also VP of GSK Vaccines business:

  • Business ratio of “stable:change” (i.e. operations:projects) is rapidly shifting from 90:10 to 30:70 … which means projects increasingly dominate.
  • Agile organisations are project driven, cross-functional, less hierarchy, more speed. Even customers want projects not products (e.g. to run a marathon).
  • CEOs are the ultimate project managers, or more likely, portfolio managers. This requires focus and prioritisation, engagement and collaboration.

Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez, the world’s leading project management guru, on why everything is a project, and the new ways to implement strategic projects. He is the creator of the concept Projects Inc., which argues that project management is the lingua franca of the business. He is Director of Program Management at GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines. He is also the author of The Focused Organization.

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