For those who have not been lucky enough to interact with Kenneth Oyolla, more popularly known as Ken from Kenya, he is the humble chap who headed Nokia as GM for East and Southern Africa up till sometime in January of 2012. He now holds the higher role of Global Head of Market Activation for Mobile Phones and sits in a big office all the way in London.
I had a chat with Ken on phone a while back and felt compelled to ask him how he’s coping with the new environment so I did a nice Q&A with him. Here’s what he had to say:
Juuchini: How has the shift been from local office to global office? What is your experience so far? What has changed?
Kenneth Oyolla: I see my move to from regional general management to global as two sides of the same coin. On one side you have a big team to manage that looks after a smaller region whilst on the other side you have a smaller team of specialist to manage that look after a global business. Whilst as General Manager “your word is the law” and goes and you bet your job on your decisions, in global you have a lot of matrix relationships to manage and you have to hone your rapport building skills as well as influencing skills to achieve your goals. You also have to contend with different time zones like the call I have to take weekly with teams in Sydney because there is a 12hour time difference. Different cultures also kick in when you have to deal with Chinese, Indian, European and American colleagues as well as the complexity of dealing with virtual teams using technology like video conference and Halo. Read more »
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