Tag Archives: PMI Congress

The PMI Marketplace now selling Stakeholder Relationship Management

PMI has selected Stakeholder Relationship Management: A Maturity Model for Organisational Implementation for its on-line book store and will be promoting the book at the PMI EMEA congress in Milan (10-12 May).

I will be in Milan for the congress to present on ‘The future of the PM Hero’ followed by my SeminarsWorld® workshop ‘The science and art of communicating effectively’.

I will be happy to sign copies of the book for anyone who buys a copy during the congress and look forward to exploring the delights of Italy.

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Busy Times Ahead

This is just a brief note to update you on what’s happening, for me 2010 looks like being a very busy year……

Two weeks ago I was elected President of the PMI Melbourne Chapter. The previous team have left the organisation in good shape, thanks are due to Ken Farnes and Doug Treasure, but as with any growing organisation there are always many new things to do and processes to improve. My other commitments to PMI continue, as a regular columnist in the PM Network magazine (next column due publication in March) and as a blogger in the PMI Voices on Project Management team.

The major work of editing and finalising the content of my new book, Advising Upwards: A Framework for Understanding and Engaging Senior Management Stakeholders cuts in shortly. The eminent panel of writers who are contributing chapters are due to submit their first drafts in a few weeks.

The next few days are occupied with the PMI Asia Pacific Congress, most of the time I will be around the Melbourne Chapter booth and have my paper, Beyond Reporting – The Communication Strategy to present.

I still have lots of ideas for posts for these blogs and white papers for the Mosaic site but may be slower in delivering them this year.

Just as well we are in the Year of the Tiger – I feel as though I will need all of the power and energy the Tiger possesses.

The Cultural Dimension of Stakeholder Management

The importance of understanding culture in designing successful communications to influence and inform stakeholders cannot be understated. But as discussed in previous posts, culture is multi-dimensional. Some of the facets include:

  • corporate culture – how the organisation works
  • industry/professional culture – the way people in a profession work and relate
  • age – baby boomers, Gen X, Y and Z (at least in the western world)
  • national/ethnic cultures

The last of these facets tends to be over simplified in many texts. There is not just an east/west divide! Robert J House in Culture, Leadership and Organizations (2004 – Sage Publishing) reported on the Global Leadership and Organizational Behaviour Effectiveness (GLOBE) program that is undertaking a long term study of 62 societies.

The GLOBE study identifies ten national culture clusters that have distinctive leadership and management behaviours:

  1. Asian:
    a.  South Asia – Philippines to Iran, including ASEAN countries and India
    b.  Confucian Asia – China, Japan and Korea plus Singapore, Hong Kong and Tiwan
  2. European:
    a.  Anglo – North America, UK, Australia /NZ and ‘white’ South Africa.
    b.  Germanic – Germany, Austria and Netherlands
    c.  Latin – Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Israel.
    d.  Eastern – Poland and Greece to Russia.
    e.  Nordic – Denmark to Finland, Iceland.
  3. Arab – Qatar and Iraq to Morocco
  4. Sub-Sahara Africa including ‘black’ South Africa.
  5. Latin America – Mexico to Argentina.

The GLOBE study focused on the interrelationship between societal culture, organisational culture and organisational leadership. Attributes such as uncertainty avoidance, power distance and performance -v- human orientation were considered.

Yoshitaka Yamazaki in Learning Styles and Typologies of Cultural Differences (2005 – Science Direct) identifies six dimensions:
  Cultural typologies in anthropology
    1. High-context vs. low-context cultures
    2. Shame vs. guilt cultures
  Cross-cultural management literature
    3. Strong vs. weak uncertainty avoidance
    4. M-type organizations vs. O-type organizations
  Cross-cultural psychology
    5. Interdependent-self vs. independent-self
    6. Field-dependent and field-independent

High context societies place great importance on ambience, decorum, the relative status of the participants in a communication and the manner of the message’s delivery. Effective communication depend on developing a relationship first, because most of the information is either in the physical context or in the context of the relationship, therefore relatively little needs to be in the coded, explicit, transmitted part of the message. Communication in low context societies tends to have the majority of the information vested in the explicit code transferred by the message. People from high context societies (eg, France or China) may think people from a low context society (eg, Germany or USA) think they are stupid because the low context people include all of the information in a message. Similarly, people from high context societies are unlikely to express their disagreement or reservations in an open meeting, circumstances and relationships are as important as work so they would comment in a more private or appropriate occasion but only if the opportunity is provided.

Shame or guilt considers whether a person has an outwards orientation based on the judgement of others or an inward orientation focused on their core ethical values to encourage high performance and moderate poor performance.

O-Type organisations are where the employees see themselves as a permanent part of the group; they are part of a social collective. M-Type organisations are more focused on individual achievement.

Field-dependent societies adhere to structures and perceive or experience communication in a global fashion. Field-independent societies and people are analytical; they can self-structure situations and have self-defined goals and reinforcements.

These differences in approach were one of the reasons I posed the question ‘do we need cultural extensions to the PMBOK?’ (see: PMI’s Voices on Project Management). But while understanding cultural stereotypes may be a helpful starting point, no grouping or stereotyping will provide the necessary subtleties needed for important communication.

Firstly, everyone’s experience is unique and the person you wish to communicate with will have been moulded by a range of influences including the corporate and professional cultures they have worked within. Second, no study I am aware of has focused on the effect of the global communication network on national cultural behaviours. The concept of baby boomers, X, Y and Z Gen, is very much a western phenomena, there are certainly likely to be age groupings in other cultures but where the divides lie and how technology interacts with the national characteristics is largely unknown (at least to me). Thirdly, people travel widely for both education and work, even after returning home they will have absorbed some of the influences of the other cultures they have lived in.

So how should you approach the planning of an important communication? As a start, try to define the normal communication mode of the person you are seeking to influence or inform. Understanding national characteristics helps, but is not enough; you need to seek information from a wide range of sources. Err on the side of caution if there is any doubt about the optimum mode for communication. Then carefully observe the effect of your initial communication on the receiver and adjust the mode until you achieve a satisfactory result.

My paper for the PMI Asia Pacific Congress, Beyond Reporting – The Communication Strategy,  is also focused on the topic of effective communication, as is my next book, Advising upwards: A Framework for Understanding and Engaging Senior Management Stakeholders due for publication in 2011. So expect more on this subject in the New Year.

Travel Update – Tokyo

It has been 3 long weeks on the road…….

First port of call was Boston USA for the PMI College of Scheduling conference. The conference attracted well over 200 people; the numbers were down from 2008 in Chicago but not bad for the middle of a recession. My paper Scheduling in the Age of Complexity was well received and there was a wide range of other papers and key note addresses of interest. The College’s work on its Scheduling Excellence Initiative (SEI)  was progressed and is moving towards the completion of the first stage.

Second stop was the UK for 2 key meetings and some family time. The first meeting was with the CIOB manager developing their guide to scheduling good practice – this standard will have significantly more focus on the practice of scheduling than the current PMI Practice Standard. Whilst the standard will be specifically aimed at the construction industry, my feeling is the content will have wide application. More on this later….

My second UK meeting was with Gower Publishing Ltd to discuss the marketing of Dr. Lynda Bourne’s book, Stakeholder Relationship Management: A Maturity Model for Organisational Implementation. The book will be available in September and pre-publicity will commence soon.

This last week has been in Tokyo as part of the Australian delegation contributing to ISO 21500: A Guide to Project Management. Multi-national committee work can be frustrating but the feeling at the end of 5 intense days was good progress had been made building consensus and the body of the standard was close to being technically complete. As soon as the contents are signed off, the team I work on will finalise the language and glossary and subject to a vote of all of the nations involved, move the standard forward to a formal committee draft. Developing an ISO standard is a slow process, the likely date for publication will be late 2012 by the time the standard has moved through all of the drafts needed to ensure international acceptance. ISO 21500 is designed as an overarching standard to help bring coordination and commonality to the various underlaying national and industry standards such as the PMBOK® Guide.

Now all I need is a quite flight back to Australia and its back to the backlog of mail and business. More later.

Travelling

We have an interesting 3 weeks coming up.

I will be in Boston next week for the PMI College of scheduling conference, followed by the UK for a meeting with the Chartered Institute of Building over their new Practice Standard for Scheduling and then onto Tokyo for the first week of June as part of the Australian delegation working on ISO 21500; the new standard for project management. In the meantime Lynda Bourne will be in Amsterdam for the PMI EMEA Congress.

We will try to let you know if anything interesting happens.

PMI EMEA Congress May 2009

It’s only a few weeks before I’m off to Amsterdam for the PMI EMEA Congress (18 to 20th May). The Conference program is looking really interesting and Amsterdam is a great city to visit.

I would encourage everyone who can to attend the Congress. As a fore tast you can preview my presentation Introducing a Stakeholder Management Methodology into the EU at http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Resources_Papers_087.html. We look forward to seeing you in the Netherlands – if not, I will post my thoughts from the congress in May.

Revolutionary Scheduling – Boston 2009

Registrations are open for the 6th annual PMI College of Scheduling conference. The conference will be held in Boston, MA from May 17-20, 2009 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. For more information see http://www.pmicosconference.com/

This annual gathering is the preeminent scheduling event of the year with a wide range of speakers, working sessions and networking opportunities. My paper, Research 106 – Scheduling in the Age of Complexity, can be pre-viewed at http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Resources_Papers_089.html

More on the conference next month from Boston…..