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June 15, 2023

Localization in Enterprises: Expanding the Sphere of Influence



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In this dense 15-minute session, Wada'a shares two concrete examples of expanding the sphere of influence of localization, first at Harley Davidson, then at Zendesk. What's the common thread? You'll have to watch to find out!

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Hello everyone. This is Wadafa Health, Senior Director of Engagement Marketing at Zendesk. Super excited to be with you here today. I'm joining virtually due to travel schedule. Hopefully we'll have live opportunities in the future. We have an exciting topic for you today, how to expand the sphere of influence in an enterprise environment. I've been in this business for about 18 years now, spent more than half of them leading globalization operations and strategies for power brands and passion brands like Harley-Davidson Water Company and Zenvesk. And the lay of the land is actually quite different between a manufacturing environment and a tech environment, fast-paced environment. So we have two interesting stories to share with you today, although we could spend hours talking about the executive sponsorship and expanding the sphere of influence. The first topic is about how to expand your sphere of influence in a large organization, a power brand with over 120 years of history, but where you have to go through many layers of E staff and C staff to earn executive sponsorship. And the second topic is around how to expand your sphere of influence in a fast-paced tech environment where you already have executive sponsorship. So let's go to the chase here, starting with Harley-Davidson Motor Company. I've been blessed with eight years at Harley-Davidson Motor Company, where I led globalization operations spanning from compliance all the way to marketing and the tech stack. And as you know, the scope of the work is quite large for a power brand like Harley-Davidson, 96 markets, 44 languages, touching on each facet of globalization now earning executive sponsorship in a large organization that requires heavy lifting and a lot of work. So how did we go about it at Harley-Davidson? When I first started, obviously we ran an environmental scan and deep dive the lay of the land to understand the challenges and the opportunities and we came across something very interesting. We realized that without localized owners, manuals and service manuals, bikes won't ship. They will sit on the dock somewhere in New York. So this is actually a compliance issue, a liability issue. But what the leadership did not see is that it's actually a localization issue. The underlying problem was actually localization.
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