I thought I would introduce myself in my first ever Blog, which is very intimidating, because writing doesn't come naturally to me. Going forward I'll share my learning’s and experiences on working in CEE with you.
I have been extremely fortunate to work for HP in Asia, the US and EMEA and interact with almost all HP Business Units, that included regional and local HP teams and partners in over 40 countries. Before coming to CEE, I had always worked in a Worldwide Business Development Role, so I have never been constrained to working in one super-region, a sub-region or a country. There is no doubt that working with partners like you around the world has significantly broadened my business perspective and by far given me the best business education in my career.
I accepted the role as the HP Software (SW) CEE Channel and Alliance Manager starting last November. As usual in HP when you start any new job in a different Business Unit (BU), you have to understand the BU’s organizational structure across WW, EMEA, CEE and most importantly locally. In parallel you work with your new team that is specific to EMEA, CEE, local sales, the presale's and all other teams, but most importantly is to evaluate your business needs, which in CEE is very broad. Actually I find working in CEE similar to working in a worldwide job, because you have many unique business cultures and it takes time to travel around the region to meet many of you and understand your needs.
One of the first questions I always get, is do you understand how to do business in my country, especially because you're from the US. This was a very challenging question early in my career and I failed to answer it properly until you educated me.
What I learned is that the basic business needs are fundamentally the same across the world; meaning that 70% - 80% of building our common business approach utilizes good basic business fundamentals, and the last 20% - 30% is local knowledge and very cultural and obviously very important. Seems simple enough, but it took time to realize that when I meet and work with partner’s from a different culture, I must do some homework and understand the uniqueness of the country, but also know that I'm not a local and need to initially keep the focus and our interaction on the 70% - 80% of hte business that we always have in common. The benefit from this approach is the discussion leads to the cultural side of doing business in your country and this is where I am very fortunate, because I learn new things each and every day, and gain new perspectives and acquaintances of which some become lifelong friends. I still learn new things from countries that I have traveled to 30 or 40 times over my career, Japan is a great example, so as an American or a non-local, I may never fully be an expert on your culture, but by understanding the uniqueness of your market, listening to your market requirements, and building mutually beneficial business plans, we are on a great start in our journey together and in building our common business.
I hope that in our interaction that you learn a little from my experience in business, about my cultural and that we grow personally and professionally together.