The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world

Global Accelerators: Celebrating Innovation Across Cultures

InnovationGlobeDespite all of the doom and gloom of the global economy, there is still a ray of light that reminds us of the possibilities ahead. See this moment as an opportunity to create and innovate across cultures. Yes, we still need to manage our projects and organizations with thrift and efficiency. However, that’s not going to help us accelerate future project opportunities. Yes we can hang on tight and try to ride out the storm, but where will we be when the sun is shining and the economy is on the rebound? This is the time to evaluate and create new processes and tools that will capture project results around the globe.

So how do we innovate in launching global projects? What is the product or service idea that brings a unique solution to a global marketplace? What is the plan and strategy that will ensure a global reach with a local touch? How can we ensure an optimal design and development process across functions and cultures? How do we ensure that teams are aligned and ready to communicate and collaborate around the world? The 2008 IBM Global CEO Study highlighting the Enterprise of the Future showed that high-performing organizations pursued the most global, collaborative, and disruptive business model innovations.

In order to achieve global integration and optimization, the study showed that a majority of CEOs plan to change the organization’s capabilities, knowledge, and assets. In addition to optimization of global operations and products, executives plan to achieve integration through partnering strategies (85%), new market entry for emerging (72%) and established (76%) economies, and mergers and acquisitions (66%). In face of these change initiatives, CEOs emphasized the importance of having a common corporate culture while sustaining the diversity of local cultures. Which also means that project managers will have plenty of work in navigating and leading their organizations through the planning and execution phases. Are you ready for the challenge of international project management?

There is a growing need to leverage cross-cultural capabilities in order to innovate across the global project cycle. It may be time for your team and organization to take inventory of the current state of international project management. This can be accomplished through a virtual road trip or web conference to review best practices and lessons learned from initiation to closing. It may also provide the incentive to further explore and uncover innovative processes and programs across cultures.

In the coming week, we’ll take a look at innovative practices that serve as global accelerators. Hopefully this journey will bring new inspirations, ideas, and actions for your global projects in 2009. And that’s worth a big kick-off!

What’s your global readiness challenge? Respond to this blog or contact or visit


About the Author

Karina Jensen is a global management consultant, instructor and facilitator with nearly 20 years of experience in launching business and education initiatives across cultures. She is the founder and principal of Global Minds Network, a consulting firm that facilitates global market success through effective planning and execution solutions. Karina has successfully launched and managed products and education programs across the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific for companies such as Hyperion, Adobe, Macromedia, NEC, and Symantec. For clients such as Hyperion and Adobe, she planned, coached, and facilitated strategic planning and communication programs to ensure successful product introductions worldwide. In her prior roles at Macromedia, NEC, and Symantec, she introduced international product management, marketing, and communication programs to strengthen team performance and global business results. Karina holds an MBA from the ENPC School of International Management in Paris, France, and a BA degree in Public Relations from California State University, San Jose. She currently teaches courses in International Marketing, Management, and Communication at UC Berkeley Extension's International Diploma Program, the Art Institute of California, and Menlo College. Karina specializes in the areas of global launch management, cross-cultural communication, and international business education. Karina can be reached at
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