“​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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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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Hard vs. Soft Factors

We all know the difference between hard factors and soft factors. Hard factors can be observed, defined, and most importantly quantified. Soft factors, in contrast, are difficult to observe, difficult to define and difficult to quantify. Everyone likes hard factors better than soft factors. And that is quite understandable. But, what about national culture? Let’s […]

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Wrong Thinking

Blind Spot Folks you won’t believe this, but it took me five years to discover my blind spot about the Germans. In fact, I didn’t even find the blind spot myself. It was pointed out to me. By a German. Until then I thought Germans were basically Americans who just happened to speak a different […]

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Seven Thoughts

Many words for culture I’ll be honest, I am not a big fan of the term culture wishy-washy touchy-feely. I like the term national culture. It’s more robust. It’s more accurate. It’s more true. But there are many words we can use: logic, tradition, hard-wiring, dna, method, process, approach, self-understanding, beliefs, belief system, mentality, character, […]

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Corporate vs. Country

Folks, country culture runs deeper than company culture. Let me to make the case for this: Which came first? Literally. Which existed first, the company or the country where it was founded, where it has grown, where it currently exists? Formulated differently: which existed first the company or the culture of the people who founded […]

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Thought Streams

To integrate is to form, to coordinate, to blend into a functioning and unified whole. Collaborating across borders means to integrate not only on the working level, but also on the thinking level. The working level is about how the work is done. Literally. Specifically. Concretely. How-the-work-is-done defines company culture. “This is how we do […]

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Three Threes

Third Explanation What happens when collaboration doesn’t work? Typically we have one of two explanations. The other culture is incapable. Or the other culture is unwilling. Sometimes we say it’s both: incapable and unwilling. Seldom does it occur to anyone that it could be neither, that both sides are capable and willing. And that should lead […]

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