Holocaust Memorial Day is commemorated internationally on
27th January each year. On this day in 1945  the Soviet Army liberated the largest Nazi concentration camp – Auschwitz-Birkenau – and the world began to truly understand what took place. When I was a teenager, I remember interviewing my local doctor – Dr. Norman – for a school project about the holocasut. Dr Norman was with the first contingent of the British military that entered the camp and he then had to travel to other concentration camps to make a report for the British Government. An experience that haunted him for the rest of his life.   HMD Trust.

Why is it that serious attempts at sharing knowledge acrosscross-culture
cultures frequently end in frustration, disappointment and a sense of aggrievement on all sides?

The problem is that people from different cultures have fundamentally different beliefs about the proper roles of bosses and subordinates, teachers and students, and even about the nature of knowledge itself.

Keynote speaking at Gala Awards Banquest

Keynote speaking at International Gala Awards Banquet

The end of the year found me  doing a whirlwind lecture tour in
the Baltic States & Finland. I also undertook some interesting engagements here in the UK, culminating with being the keynote speaker at a Frost & Sullivan’s prestigious Excellence in Best Practices Award Gala Banquet. What interesting people I came to meet running some fascinating businesses. The occassion offered unparalled access to European Industy’s movers and shakers.  Needless to say Christmas arrived very quickly! 

Frost & Sullivan Excellence in Best Practice Awards:
The much anticipated and highly competitive Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

F&S Gala Awards DinnerMy presentation “Developing Roots & Wings for your Company” explored how businesses can develop a culture of excellence that filters down from the leader to all members of staff. This builds individual self-confidence, self-esteem and self-belief that in turn enables each individual and the organization in turn to reach full potential. This talk covered the need and the ways in which an organisation can adapt for foreign markets to do business with greater knowledge, understanding and success. http://www.frost.com/prod/servlet/meawardsevent.pag?id=171353456

HSBC’s Women In Business ConferenceDr Deborah Swallow
Held in Weybridge, UK, HSBC’s conference also featured Karen Darby
of uSwitch fame as a keynote speaker. Although it was our job to inspire the women who attended to reach their full potential, I certainly received my fair share of inspiration from the audience! One of the main topics being discussed was home-life balance to which I contribute my own story of how I ended up redefining what ‘success’ means to me and my observations that in a partnership with children, I believe, one of you has to put home and family first and the other has to put work first. And, I’m one who firmly believes that there is life after children!

Export Mentors ClubEstonia: Export Mentors Club
A welcome return to Tallinn saw my sixth visit to Estonia where I spoke to members of The Export Members Club on behalf of Tallinn City Enterprise Board. My talk was on the topic: ‘Playing to Win: how to raise your game in international markets’.


Estonia: Tallin University of  TechnologyTallin University
‘Communicating Across Cultures’ was my theme for the
lecture I gave to staff and students of the Tallin University of Technology. My thanks go to Professor Peeter I was humbled to find that we had standing room only for the event.  www.ttu.ee


Deborah Swallow in Tampere UniverstiyFinland: Tampere University of Applied Sciences  
December found me visiting Finland – a place I love – and my first visit to Tampere. Although a little cold the first snows still had not really arrived. My presentation to staff and students was on: The Implications of Culture on Effective Knowledge Sharing in Multi-Cultural Groups.  http://tamk-en.blogspot.com/2009/11/knowledge-sharing-across-cultures.html 


Latvia: Conference on High Performing Virtual Teams Tallin Univeristy 2
The pace was still high energy as I arrived in Latvia to
address a conference whose theme was on High Performing Virtual Teams. The topic for my breakout session was: ‘Knowledge Sharing in Global Teams’. This highlighted that people from different cultures have fundamentally different beliefs about the proper roles of bosses and subordinates, and even about the nature of knowledge itself. Therefore, transferring knowledge is not as straight forward as one thinks.

Deb-CokeLondon: 3 Day MBA
Back to London to deliver one of my ‘3 Day MBA’ courses. These are always enormously satisfying. There is always such a range of people – different industries, different nationalities, different challenges – but with one thing in common: a hunger to thrive in the global market place. Three days of wall-to-wall ideas and solution finding – we are all exhausted but invigorated at the end of the course.

Essex: Education Sector Lunch & LearnDebby at Blyth Eden Conference
Blyth Eden were the hosts of a special Lunch & Learn session for
educationalists in the Essex region where I was invited to address delegates on ‘How Different Cultures Teach and Learn’. This talk emphasised the differences in expectations about the roles of teachers, students and pupils across cultures, and highlighted the unexpected problems that arise from this.

PASSION for the PLANET Radio Interview
Finally, I got to say my piece on the radio, about the importance of respectful communication in a widely diverse community, when I was interviewed by Chantal Cooke. PASSION for the PLANET is a radio station that is dedicated to ethical living in a very broad approach.

Louis Braille’s birth day. This day celebrates the contribution
that Louis Braille has made to the lives of those who are blind, deafblind or living with vision loss. In 1829, Louis Braille published the Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Song by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged by Them. Today, this method – braille – is used in virtually every language as the standard form of reading and writing for the blind or poorly sighted.  This has become the annual opportunity for blindness organizations to promote braille literacy, showcase their work and raise public awareness of blindness issues.