This Diversity Day I would like to promote contemporary music as the ideal communication to show diversion and human relation. Not only because the origin of composers all over the world, but also because music is the international worldlanguage.
Compose and enjoy this very day, Stan Paardekooper
Gnr. Manager
Asko|Schoenberg Ensemble
Verzonden vanaf mijn draadloze BlackBerry®-toestel

From Sanda Ionescu
The Culture Broker
has been in the headlines quite a bit lately, usually with negative connotations.  And while it is true that the bureaucratic system is heavily overloaded and that the level of debt is unsustainable, some of the other perceptions of Greek business practices or the average Greek worker are not justified.  As a friend of mine who recently went to Greece (to set up a joint venture) was stunned to find.  Let me just share with you some of his preconceptions and some of his myth-busting moments of realisation…

It was just a small mistake from somebody trying to be helpful but it had big consequences. I was part of an international group staying in a hotel in Dublin, Ireland and a few of us were at the reception desk trying to obtain our receipts. The receptionist was having problems and was getting more and more flustered. Finally a German from our group leant over her computer to see what was going on and started offering advice by saying, ‘You have to click here and then here.’ at which point the receptionist burst into tears…


Doing business in another country is much more than flying out, staying in posh hotels and eating different food.  It’s entering into a different world where everyday business events have different rules. Understanding how different peoples across the world go about their day-to-day business, how they conduct meetings, undertake negotiations, make a sales pitch – and even how they regard their boss – will help us all develop Cultural Intelligence and appreciate the value of cultural diversity.

It will make us more successful in our professional lives.

Some years ago it was popular for OD consultants to observe that
many US organizational culture “managed by emergency.” s. In my several ongoing engagements with US groups, after living in France for some years now, it seemed to me that people in these organizations rushed about in a constant state of urgency, “putting out fires.” I won’t tell stories at length or repeat the literature on the effects of this kind of management on planning, productivity and morale, but I do want to share an observation about it that I did not remember seeing in this kind of discussion. It is much more of a cultural and personal insight. It comes from my US soul with the perspective of living abroad for many years now. The urgency is both part of me and something I recognize in others like me….

Individual culture shock is well-known but researchers collective culture shock
suggest that Eastern European countries are showing symptoms of ‘collective culture shock‘ as they undergo a transition from their communist heritage. Post-communist countries exhibit characteristics like an irritation about authority, diffusion (mix-up) of private and business spheres, a lack of confidence and orientation, a blockade to take action, rising xenophobia and fluctuating levels of self-esteem.

These reactions are the result of confrontation with a foreign culture – in this case foreign ideology. Unfortunately, this “collective culture shock” influences management and business relations and causes problems…

There are many models that exist to describe the stages of emotions
and behaviours that one experiences during culture shock and the adaptation process. All of these models include periods of highs and lows, anticipation and resolution.  One model that describes the many ups and downs of culture shock is Rhinesmith’s Ten Stages of Adjustment.

So, you are off on a new adventure! You’re moving abroad.
You’re going to explore new cultures, do new things and meet new people.  However, living or working in a completely different culture can leave you feeling a little homesick. Here are a few tips of what to do before you go to help you acclimatise.

Though culture shock is normally a temporary phase, it is
important to know there are things you can do to help so that some of these worrying effects can be minimised. Don’t feel “this isn’t going to happen to me”.  Culture shock can hit you whatever culture you come from and however experienced or well-travelled you are. Having information and understanding about culture shock is the first important step. The diagram below depicts the process we go through. However, by following the actions mentioned here you will help lessen the stress of culture shock…

The Oxford Dictionary defines culture shock as disorientation
experienced when suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture or way of life
. Culture shock can be characterised by periods of frustration, adjustment, and even depression. Nearly everyone, regardless of maturity, disposition, previous experience abroad, or knowledge of the country in which they will be living, experiences some degree of culture shock when initially moving to a new country. Rather like the grieving process, there are stages that we go through…