Negotiate like a local

by Marc Jacobs

7 Mindsets to increase your success rate in international business.

Our new book, now available on  

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

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

March 2016: Commercial negotiation across borders: the culture factor

by Marc Jacobs

By Marc Jacobs and Jean-Pierre Coene, Associate Partners of ITIM International and ‘The Hofstede Centre’

Published by: Luxembourg School of Business, March 2016

Maybe you are a successful and accomplished deal maker in your own country but you struggle to be as successful internationally. You’ve done all the courses, you understand how to develop business and how to close deals, but somehow, it doesn’t work very well once you’re dealing with countries other than you own. Your approach and style that made you very successful in your own country don’t seem to work that well anymore.

Very likely, the reason is to be found in cultural differences between your home country and the countries you are dealing with.  In a world where business is becoming ever more global, the development of intercultural competence has become a strategic topic.

The following quote from a report published by The Economist Intelligence Unit in 2012 illustrates the very point.

“Misunderstandings rooted in cultural differences present the greatest obstacle to productive cross-border collaboration.”

Our article in the Luxembourg School of Business Review introduces you to a system we have developped that will help you to be far more effective and successful in international B2B negotiations.

We build on the academic work of Prof Emeritus Geert Hofstede, who is well known as the father of comparative research into culture and considered one of the top 20 most influential business thinkers by the Wall Street Journal in 2008.

Please click HERE to download the full article.

February 2016: Article in Connecting Competence

by robinj1995 0 Comments

By Marc Jacobs, Associate Partner of Itim International and ‘The Hofstede Centre’

Published in ‘Connecting Competence‘, ONE: 16 edition

Despite what many people think, culture differences aren’t just a fluffy and emotional concept but they can be measured, quantified and therefore managed.

More and more organisations struggle to realize the return their shareholders are looking for.

My article explores the positive impact that good understanding and proper management of cultural differences has on the performance of any organisation that works with people from different nationalities.

Please click HERE to download the full article.