Do you work with a multicultural team and do you have the idea that something isn’t quite right? That there are issues beneath the surface that you can’t quite put your finger on? That there are misunderstandings between team members which could have something to do with culture?
Drawing on the academic work of Geert Hofstede and my own experience, I can help people to gain greater insight into these processes and begin to find solutions.
As an Associate Partner of Hofstede Insights I work with the models developed by Geert Hofstede. These provide insight into your organisation culture and the intercultural relations within your organisation. Based on personal experience I can draw parallels with many situations.
As a trainer and adviser, I seek the human dimension and am always open for discussion and feedback. By learning together we gain inspiring new insights.
I create an atmosphere of trust and openness, in which cases can be shared and discussed. Always with the goal of learning together.
DEFINITION OF CULTURE ACCORDING TO GEERT HOFSTEDE
“Culture is the collective mental programming which distinguishes the members of one group or category from those of another.”
Surprisingly enough, my interest began at a very young age in the years when I was growing up in a small village in Brabant. There was a female student from the Antilles in my parent’s house and a Polish girl during the holidays. Missionaries from Brazil, Papua New Guinea and Guatemala visited us with boxes of slides. Whilst my holidays were limited to neighbouring European countries, the world came into my life at a young age. As a child I feasted on the stories I heard, and I already knew back then: I want to find out more about this. I want to understand this.
Years later, when I studied history in Nijmegen, the obvious thing to do was to combine this with subjects within cultural anthropology. I visited friends who worked at International Schools and traveled as much as I could afford. Back then it had to be cheap above all, and when possible, with a rucksack.
In my role as an education manager, I have been responsible for setting up bilingual education at the Mencia de Mendoza Lyceum in Breda. I experienced working with colleagues from other countries for the first time, mostly native speakers. As director of the International School in Breda I had a team comprising 20 nationalities, with more than 50 nationalities among the pupils.
Over the years I have initiated and implemented educational partnerships with schools in the United Kingdom, Turkey, Sri Lanka, and Ukraine. I underwent part of my management training in Boulder (Colorado) and the United Arab Emirates. I started traveling again with my family, albeit a bit more luxuriously this time. I like to think of myself as a citizen of the world and I can draw on a great deal of personal experience. Since 2021 I am an accredited trainer with Hofstede Insights, the market leader in the field of intercultural management.
Culture is not just about intercultural matters. Every organisation has its own culture. The often-unwritten rules and values which define an organisation. In order to investigate whether a culture is helpful for achieving certain goals or quite the opposite, I can draw on my personal experience and, on the instruments provided by Hofstede Insights.