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Www.culturematters.com Andreas ter Woort Doing Business: Belgium & the Netherlands, the difference compared.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.culturematters.com Andreas ter Woort Doing Business: Belgium & the Netherlands, the difference compared."— Presentation transcript:

1 Andreas ter Woort Doing Business: Belgium & the Netherlands, the difference compared

2 Who am I ? Name: Andreas ter Woort Nationality: Dutch if you ain t Dutch, you ain t much! House: Windmill Where: Below sea level Cloths: Wooden shoes and traditional dress So… What's the point…?

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4 It is our believe that you can never understand OTHER cultures Fons Trompenaars But there is hope Andreas ter Woort

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6 In the narrow sense: Civilisation (Art, Science, Education) In the broad anthropological sense: Collective programming of the human mind What is CULTURE ?

7 A way in which a group of people solve problems and reconcile dilemmas What is CULTURE ?

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9 Common to all mankind Human mind programmed by heredity and experience in 3 levels Collective by group Individual

10 Symbols Heroes Rituals Values Culture

11 Symbols Heroes Rituals Values Culture

12 The 4-D Model WI PG HI AA Low High Value differences between countries can be explained by four dimensions of national culture.

13 Were all equal… But are we?

14 1. Dealing with hierarchy hierarchy low being independent hierarchy for convenience equal rights superiors accessible hierarchy high being dependent hierarchy is existential privileges superiors inaccessible

15 NETHERLANDS JAPAN UK NORWAYBELGIUM Which culture scores a)highest b)lowest on HIERARCHY?

16 Which culture scores a)highest b)lowest on HIERARCHY? NETHERLANDS 38 JAPAN 54 UK 35 NORWAY 31 BELGIUM 68

17 What makes a good neighbour, and how do you respect your neighbour? 2. Dealing with relationships

18 2. Dealing with relationships "We" cultures the group: We opinion of the group implicit communication loss of face, shame relationship oriented "I" cultures the individual: Self individual opinions explicit communication loss of self-respect, guilt task oriented

19 Which culture is a)the most I oriented b)the most WE oriented ? U.S.A.JAPAN PORTUGAL BELGIUM NETHERLANDS

20 Which culture is a)the most I oriented b)the most WE oriented ? U.S.A. 91 JAPAN 46 PORTUGAL 27 BELGIUM 75 NETHERLANDS 80

21 Employee of the Month!!! reward or punishment ? 3. Dealing with one's role in society Consensus Or Decisive ?

22 Reward!

23 Or punishment???

24 Which culture is a)the most Consensus seeking b)the most Decisive ? NLSWEDENJAPANUKBELGIUM

25 NL 14 SWEDEN 5 JAPAN 95 UK 66 BELGIUM 54 Which culture is a)the most Consensus seeking b)the most Decisive ?

26 Bungee Jumping: Certain or not? 4. Dealing with Uncertainty

27 Which culture requires a) most structure and detail b) least structure and detail? NETHERLANDSBelgium Czech Rep.GB GERMANY

28 NETHERLANDS 50 Belgium 94 Czech Rep. 71 GB 35 GERMANY 65 Which culture requires a) most structure and detail b) least structure and detail?

29 Action & Implementation Time Action Germany Dutch American / UK Belgium

30 Manager's role varies across cultures Source : André Laurent % Percentage in agreement Great Britain Sweden Netherlands USA Denmark Switzerland Belgium Germany France Italy Indonesia Japan It is important for a manager to have at hand precise answers to most of the questions that his subordinates may raise about their work 10

31 Respect / Dis-respect for Hierarchy Rules / General guidelines Formality / Act normal Performance versus performance … Implication for communication Between Netherlands& Belgium

32 Scores compared (BE - NL)

33 Practical tips for Belgians Be less direct Pay a lot more attention to non-verbal Ready to spend more time on relationship building Do not keep talking when there is silence. Give it some time When the communication breaks down, try to solve it bilaterally or through an intermediary

34 Practical tips for Dutch Be less direct Do not make jokes. Really… Ready to spend more time on relationship building Respect hierarchy Listen (in other words, shut up for once!) Detail, detail, detail (also legal!)

35 Everything that irritates us about others… can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. Carl Jung

36 Want to know more? Visit: or Thank you!


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