“​Germans are bunch of bureaucrats!”​

Cliché A phrase or expression. Boring from much use. Not fresh or original. Something that has become overly familiar or commonplace. French, literally, printer’s stereotype, from past participle of clicher. (MerriamWebster) Bureaucracy 1. Non-elected government officials. Administrative policy-making group. 2. Specialization of functions, adherence to fixed rules, hierarchy of authority. 3.A system of administration marked by […]

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“Germans are bureaucrats”

Thursday. June 17. At 5:00 p.m. Germany-time. Connect via Chrome or Firefox at: https://contrastingcultures.whereby.com/john-magee whereby(dot)com is a Norwegian videocall service. Simple. Straightforward. No download. No set-up. No fee. Use Chrome or Firefox. It does NOT work with Safari. Here are my talking points – Stichworte is the German term:

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002. Consciousness.

Ok, so I am mostly of German heritage. Strongly Irish, but more German. What was my level of consciousness of all things German as a child, as a youth, pre-high school? Well, the Vietnam War was raging at that time. Born in 1959, I was in the first grade in the years 1965-66. The turbulences […]

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001. Names.

My middle name is Otto. John Otto Magee. An interesting combination. John is the most common name for a male. Otto is about as German as you can get. It was the first name of my mother’s father, Otto Hentz. And it is the first name of my uncle, Otto Hentz, a Jesuit priest and […]

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Business. Collaboration. Love. What?

Eric Ward on Unsplash Yes, this is about love. What does love have to do with business or cross-border collaboration or the influence of cultural differences? Everything. Here’s why: Work We spend most of our lives working. Forty, fifty, sixty hours a week. Over three, four, some folks five decades. The rest of the time […]

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Three Key Questions

Dr. Christian Forstner is a former executive at Siemens. He consults global companies. Christian recently co-founded Excellence Talks. I’ve known him for twenty years. Christian did three interviews with me. This is the first interview.

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About

Germans – Americans I am an American who has mastered the German language, studied their history, lived and worked in their culture for three decades. I am an historian by training, having received my B.A. from Georgetown University in Washington, DC and an M.A. from Die Freie Universität in Berlin. In Germany since 1988, I reside […]

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Book

I began writing this book in January 2009. It was completed in eighty days. It is based on my experiences supporting the post-merger integration of Westinghouse Power Corp. into Siemens, at that time the largest acquisition in the history of Siemens. The twenty characters in the story are based on real people. Americans and Germans. […]

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Philadelphia

Friday evening Otto John raises the ultimate question. Sheehan and Haupt swear each other allegiance. They meet at the City Tavern, corner of 2nd and Walnut Streets, a stone’s throw away from the Delaware River. From 1774 to 1777 the conspiratorial meeting place for the leaders of the revolution against British rule. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, […]

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