Negotiate like a local

by Marc Jacobs

7 Mindsets to increase your success rate in international business.

Our new book, now available on  

It applies and operationalizes Hofstede’s 6D model for international negotiation.
It provides a very practical guide for anyone active in international business development & sales as well as anyone managing international teams.

A review on Amazon:
The best book I have ever read on the cultural aspects of negotiation and even the best book I have read on cultural aspects of doing business around the world full stop.
By Alexis Kyprianou, former VP of Strategy and M&A at Vivendi and former Group Head of M&A at Danone

An invaluable guide to anybody involved in international negotiations in business or any other field.  Although supply chains and communications may have globalized, stubborn cultural differences between people remain.  The authors have extensive experience and some illuminating anecdotes, but, importantly, they have filtered their experience through established research into cultural differences, and consequently, their guidance is reliable and transferable.  Adapting to local styles of doing business is often the difference between success and failure – this book gives the reader a valuable advantage.

Professor David Arnold, London Business School (UK), China Europe International Business School (China).

“Nothing is more practical than a good theory’’ (Kurt Lewin, 1890-1947). That may be so, but even a good theory may need some interpretation. This is precisely what Jean-Pierre Coene and Marc Jacobs have done. These two authors had long careers in business, came up against many problems, found that theory could help them, and have now put their learning into a comprehensive format. If you are an experienced salesperson, then you know that, across borders, amazing and often frustrating surprises happen. This book will allow you to make sense of your experiences, and to reach better deals in the future. It uses, and interprets, the 6-dimensional model of national cultures developed by Geert Hofstede and others. That means it is based on solid ground, not hot air.

The book is eminently practical. It reads like a novel, using brief and clear summary of theory, well-chosen metaphors and a wealth of examples from real business life. Read it before establishing new contacts, and return to it when you wish to make sense of your experiences. I have no doubt that both you and your future business partners will benefit.

Professor Gert Jan Hofstede, University of Wageningen

6 Mental Images to help you make sense of Intercultural Challenges

by Marc Jacobs

Have you ever wondered what the underlying dynamics of Brexit are?

Do you know why many Chinese say ‘YES’ when they mean ‘NO’ or ‘MAYBE’?

Why do the Dutch speak in such a blunt way?

At Itim International, we specialise in answering these questions to help you be more effective in any multicultural environment.

Please click here to read the full article published by HROne

Golden Bridge Awards : Winners Day

by Marc Jacobs

Workshop: Using intercultural intelligence to your advantage in International Business Development

January 12, 2017: Hosted by the British Chambre of Commerce in Brussels and the Belgian-Luxembourg Chambre of Commerce in the UK , the workshop was conducted with the winners of the prestigious Golden Bridge Awards.

Course “Developing Intercultural Competence”



Managers, employees and individuals who want to work more effectively in a global environment.


Using a multi-method approach including case studies and lively intercultural discussions, this programme will:

  • Introduce you to Hofstede’s 6-D model, a scientifically based tool that will optimise daily working practices in an intercultural context
  • Increase your knowledge of and insight into the importance of your own culture in determining your behaviour
  • Emphasize the significance of other cultures’ behaviours, assumptions, reactions, and expectations
  • Sensitise you to identify and deal with cultural challenges in your day-to-day work


July 2016: Building on the strengths of a multicultural workforce: a critical skill for the future of Luxembourg

untitled-1By Christine Fornaroli & Marc Jacobs, Associate Partners of Itim International and ‘The Hofstede Centre’

Published by the FEDIL in ‘écho des entreprises’, July 2016 edition

This article brings us to Luxembourg and gives us an overview of some of the difficulties and opportunities for businesses in the area.  It offers practical advice on how to capitalise on cultural diversity by using the power of Hofstede 6D model, a must read for all those managing across cultures.

Please click HERE to download the full article

June 2016: How to visualize and manage your Corporate Culture

by Marc Jacobs

monkey-improvedBy Marc Jacobs, Associate Partner of Itim International and ‘The Hofstede Centre’

Published in ‘Connecting Competence‘, TWO:16 edition

Multiple studies show that at least 65% of managers say that culture is more important than strategy or operating model. Yet very few can accurately describe their organisational culture. Studies also show that the majority of acquisitions and mergers do not achieve their targets, or even fail completely. Often this is attributed to differences in culture.

Participants in the 2015 annual convention of the IoD (UK Institute of Directors) will have noticed that managing corporate culture was highlighted as a major concern. The VW scandal was a hot media topic at the time, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that culture was highlighted as an important board-responsibility by several keynote speakers.

Peter Drucker once famously said that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”
and according to Lou Gerstner from IBM “Culture isn’t just one aspect of the game — it is the game”

My article introduces you to Prof. Geert Hofstede’s Multi-Focus Model of Organizational Culture.  It is a powerful tool to assess and visualize your organisation’s culture and will enable you to manage it so that it becomes a powerful enabler for your organisation’s strategy.

Please click HERE to download the full article