Analyzing and explaining German culture and how it relates to other cultures is a big part of my job. Naturally, I always try to watch how others in the field are processing and formating cultural knowledge. Here is a find from the Netherlands: The Goethe Institute in Amsterdam created a few short video clips in which it highlights some unique behavioral preferences in German business culture.
Now, I am always wary of over-simplification. However, sometimes it helps to point towards tools which – despite (or perhaps: because of) their simplicity – can serve the goal of transferring information in a nice and concise manner.
UPDATE 1: It appears that the GI in Amsterdam has removed the videos from YouTube. Let’s see if I can fix the issue.
UPDATE 2: Just got word from the GI that they’re moving their videos. Please stay put.
UPDATE 3: GI Amsterdam has moved the videos to a new location on YouTube. So they’re back and available here now, too. However, where there used to be four clips, there are now only three. We’ll see if they’ll upload more in the future. Enjoy.
In this first clip the Goethe folks take a look at how time is perceived in Germany:
What does “Made in Germany” really mean?
International business. Is it really that different from doing business in your own country? — I’m sure you can guess what my answer is.
Since I am already focusing on simple show pieces allow me to recycle an “info poster” I saw online at Bloomberg BusinessWeek a few years ago. Again: This is very simplistic but it’s a start to learning about cultural differences:
Once you’re past the stage of not embarrassing yourself, try to get a deeper understanding of how business is conducted in Germany. This blog post from the archives should get you started: “What you should know about Germans before doing business with them”
If you feel that you want to dig deeper and hear more about the intricacies of German business culture, you should reach out to me via my website.
Christian is a cultural trainer, coach, and consultant with extensive experience in working with multinational companies and especially in developing global leaders. He is the President and CEO of The Culture Mastery, LLC, where he leads a team of dedicated training, destination services, and expat support specialists. Christian works with global organizations (or those who are going global) to help their employees overcome cultural differences. Typically he only uses the word “normal” in quotation marks and he is an advocate for helping people understand the why of behaviors – not just the dos & don’ts. Most just call him “The Culture Guy”. Find out more about Christian here and follow him on Twitter. You can also see him, listen to him, and experience his work – just invite him!