Blood, sweat, tears and cats

International project management through the lens of Global Entrepreneurial Talent Management 3 (GETM3)

Suzanne Crane | International Research Project Coordinator | Northumbria University

April in Warsaw. Unseasonably warm. A group of 21 researchers and Higher Education professionals from 10 universities and commercial companies in Europe and Asia gather in a stuffy conference room on a Sunday afternoon to rehearse their presentations for review by the European Commission Project Officer the next day. The outcome of that daylong meeting decides the level of future funding and £300k is at stake. Slides need rewording, re-organising or are just completely missing. Should we show our rather amateurish video about friendships in the project developed over the years, all set to a soppy Phil Collins song? Everyone disagrees on the running order, the tone and what the Project Officer wants to hear, resulting in a disastrous run through and last minute re-writes in a hotel bar at 11pm at night (after too much pierogi and sausage). No-one has been through this before.

Next day dawns and everyone is nervous: But… it goes brilliantly, the Project Officer is brought to tears at the collegiality of the team (thanks, Phil Collins), the management is deemed exemplary, there is cake and sparklers and a sense of tremendous pride in what has been achieved in such a short space of time.  The event cements the relationships between the academic researchers, the Project Manager and the professional support staff working on the project as everyone realises we are moving in the same direction and the only way we will make it to the end of this 4 year project is if we continue to move together. We go for vodka to celebrate.

The Global Entrepreneurial Talent Management 3 (GETM3) project has been deemed exemplary by the EC Project Officer in terms of its Leadership, Management and Performance, and Dr Alison Pearce and Suzanne Crane were invited to Brussels to present the project to new RISE Co-ordinators as a result of the collaboration demonstrated in Warsaw.

213: Blood, sweat, tears and cats is a working session at the AUA Annual Conference and Exhibition 2020. In these mini blogs, our session speakers talk about the journey that lead to this point. Read the full Conference programme here.

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