Doing Business in    The Netherlands Han Mensink
So near, so different.
Day Rhythm
Meeting Protocol - 1 <ul><li>Assess the role of the leader </li></ul><ul><li>Let everybody participate (ask & involve) </l...
Meeting   Protocol   - 2 <ul><li>Use (short) minutes and action list </li></ul><ul><li>Insist on realization of (agreed) d...
Meeting   Structure <ul><li>Create meeting structure for different levels </li></ul><ul><li>Be (occasionally) involved at ...
Working with the Dutch -   1 <ul><li>Introduce good sense of humor + fun  (=quality) </li></ul><ul><li>Make colleagues ‘pa...
Working with the Dutch - 2 <ul><li>Ambivalence towards changes  </li></ul><ul><li>(this is how we always did this) </li></...
Working with the Dutch - 3 <ul><li>You can not simply fire staff (high employment protection) </li></ul><ul><li>Involve di...
Dutch company life - 1 <ul><li>Organizations are often lean and practical </li></ul><ul><li>The main function is the botto...
Dutch company life - 2 <ul><li>Strong influence of opinion leaders (informal channels) </li></ul><ul><li>Role of trade uni...
Leadership - 1 <ul><li>Hierarchical systems are shallow </li></ul><ul><li>People will cut across reporting lines if necess...
Leadership - 2 <ul><li>Communication is open and transparent </li></ul><ul><li>Better talk and discuss than written commun...
Etiquette <ul><li>Fairly quickly on first name basis </li></ul><ul><li>Dress is (very) informal (also when not expected) <...
Summing up <ul><li>Honest and modest </li></ul><ul><li>Informal ( but not too..) </li></ul><ul><li>Very busy </li></ul><ul...
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Crosscultural Workshop

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Crosscultural Workshop

  1. 1. Doing Business in The Netherlands Han Mensink
  2. 2. So near, so different.
  3. 3. Day Rhythm
  4. 4. Meeting Protocol - 1 <ul><li>Assess the role of the leader </li></ul><ul><li>Let everybody participate (ask & involve) </li></ul><ul><li>Know that in first meeting people will take a back seat </li></ul><ul><li>All participants thinks they have the same rights (irrespective seniority) </li></ul><ul><li>Insist on starting in time </li></ul><ul><li>Insist on good preparation (agenda!) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Meeting Protocol - 2 <ul><li>Use (short) minutes and action list </li></ul><ul><li>Insist on realization of (agreed) deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>NL = very often first name basis </li></ul><ul><li>NL can be rudely informal </li></ul><ul><li>Lobby in important issues </li></ul><ul><li>Strive for active consensus </li></ul><ul><li>Coffee breaks </li></ul>
  6. 6. Meeting Structure <ul><li>Create meeting structure for different levels </li></ul><ul><li>Be (occasionally) involved at all levels </li></ul><ul><li>Regular information stream about decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Always have a round of questions at the end of a meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared people do not necessarily follow up decisions they do not agree with </li></ul>
  7. 7. Working with the Dutch - 1 <ul><li>Introduce good sense of humor + fun (=quality) </li></ul><ul><li>Make colleagues ‘partners in crime’ </li></ul><ul><li>Explain nobody can do a job all on his own </li></ul><ul><li>Praise the good and help finding solutions for the bad </li></ul><ul><li>The Dutch love to complain </li></ul>
  8. 8. Working with the Dutch - 2 <ul><li>Ambivalence towards changes </li></ul><ul><li>(this is how we always did this) </li></ul><ul><li>Affection for the underdog </li></ul><ul><li>Go home in time (if needed finish work from home) </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of birthdays + family life </li></ul><ul><li>Involve family once a year </li></ul>
  9. 9. Working with the Dutch - 3 <ul><li>You can not simply fire staff (high employment protection) </li></ul><ul><li>Involve direct colleagues in new hires </li></ul><ul><li>(twice) yearly performance review </li></ul><ul><li>Polder model (discuss & adjust decisions before implementing) </li></ul><ul><li>Once a decision has been made the Dutch may start to think and argue about it </li></ul>
  10. 10. Dutch company life - 1 <ul><li>Organizations are often lean and practical </li></ul><ul><li>The main function is the bottom line </li></ul><ul><li>Dutch are frugal (careful with money) as individuals but also companies </li></ul><ul><li>Dutch are cautious/step-by-step and pragmatic </li></ul><ul><li>If reality does not conform expectations they are willing to improvise </li></ul><ul><li>There are strong informal structures </li></ul>
  11. 11. Dutch company life - 2 <ul><li>Strong influence of opinion leaders (informal channels) </li></ul><ul><li>Role of trade unions </li></ul><ul><li>Company > 50 staff has to have a Company Council (= OR) </li></ul><ul><li>Legal requirements ZZP’er </li></ul><ul><li>Prevention employee </li></ul><ul><li>Annual company event </li></ul>
  12. 12. Leadership - 1 <ul><li>Hierarchical systems are shallow </li></ul><ul><li>People will cut across reporting lines if necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Authority has to be earned and is not automatically granted </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships between all levels are open and tolerant </li></ul><ul><li>Although the Dutch are direct, they do not necessarily accept it against them </li></ul>
  13. 13. Leadership - 2 <ul><li>Communication is open and transparent </li></ul><ul><li>Better talk and discuss than written communication </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperation and trust are more highly valued than individual performance (attribute success to the team) </li></ul><ul><li>Regular and structured individual meetings </li></ul>
  14. 14. Etiquette <ul><li>Fairly quickly on first name basis </li></ul><ul><li>Dress is (very) informal (also when not expected) </li></ul><ul><li>Modesty in outward presentation (also of companies) </li></ul><ul><li>Not so easy-going, </li></ul><ul><li>Tough negotiators </li></ul><ul><li>Arrive on time </li></ul><ul><li>Careful planning and scheduling </li></ul><ul><li>Family versus business </li></ul>
  15. 15. Summing up <ul><li>Honest and modest </li></ul><ul><li>Informal ( but not too..) </li></ul><ul><li>Very busy </li></ul><ul><li>Birthdays are important </li></ul><ul><li>Teaming = sharing </li></ul>

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