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Rapid growth in BlaBlaCar’s global community is a good lesson for executives.

BlaBlaCar is the world’s largest ridesharing service. It is an online community that connects drivers with empty seats to passengers who are making the same journey. It now operates in 23 countries across 3 continents.

A community of users increases trust and credibility
But how do you convince people to get into a stranger’s car? This was BlaBlaCar core challenge when it started up in 2006. Their answer: focus on building a community. The founders realized that creating a community was the best way to reduce the (psychological) distance between drivers and passengers.

This smart thinking, put at the heart of all their implementation plans, evolved into six-step process to increase trust between members. The founders of BlaBlaCars believed, correctly, that the number of members would rise quickly if there was a trusting atmosphere in their community.

BlaBlaCar knew that more members and more profit would come as a result of being a trusted community. Contrast BlaBlaCar’s thinking with similar online communities like MySpace and Ebay. BlaBlaCar’s target was not to sign up as many members as possible (MySpace) or to maximise the money from online transactions (Ebay).

Global executives should prioritise a “atmosphere of trust” when rolling out implementation plans
So what can global executives learn? Their situation is similar to BlaBlaCar’s dilemma. The more distance there is between head office and global locations, the more that trust is likely to be negatively affected.

Put another way, how many executives prioritise a “trusting atmosphere” in their implementation plans across multiple regions? Not many.

There is a high failure rate for global roll-outs and strategy alignment plans. Experts think 50%-70% of international implementation projects fail. Clients show me mountains of logical reasons for their Asian / American / European subsidiaries to accept Head Office’s latest plans. But I see molehills when the same executives talk about developing a trusting atmosphere.

That’s why I often use the BlaBlaCar story when working with global executives to build a trusting atmosphere. Trust between global and local management is a cure all, but it is one key element for those who are serious about speeding up implementation.

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Client Testimonials

You have brought a direct positive impact on our sales… because people work more customer-oriented. Our efficiency levels... are continuously growing.

AL Managing Director

Leading this product launch has taught me to be effective doing what I find naturally easiest – using trust and supporting people each step of the way. It augments my chances of making sure future product launches are as successful as this one.

MN Vice Director - Medical Marketing Europe

This process allowed people to re-appraise how this [senior team of managers] group was functioning or, rather, not functioning correctly. The tendency for each member of our group to see himself as an isolated beacon of excellence – which acted against the vital need for cooperation between members – were eased and communication is already becoming more 'normalised'.

RS Senior Director

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