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Tue 19 March 2013

Event report: Lotgenoten on 14 March 2013

Let’s face it, Japan can be a tough place to manage a business. This country has its charms, but it can be a tough market to crack and maintain for the foreign executive. And Japanese managers of foreign firms have their own challenges when dealing with expats in Japan and the people at an overseas headquarters. That’s why the NCCJ began its Lotgenoten series of informal seminars – to provide an opportunity to share experiences of challenges and solutions in an informal, friendly atmosphere. To help ensure an atmosphere of frankness and openness, all discussions are off the record.

The Lotgenoten on March 14 was on the theme of “Dutch vs Japanese working culture – How to read each other’s behavior at work.” This topic prompted a spirited discussion of the pitfalls and misunderstandings that so often befall executives in a multicultural environment in Japan. Participants – both Dutch and Japanese – discussed differences between the two cultures in communication style, decision-making, work-life balance, even in the way meetings are run – all of which can have wide-reaching ramifications for foreign managers, and for Japanese managers at Dutch companies.

This year’s Lotgenoten, which was sponsored by ASML Japan, was the first we’ve organized in the evening, and this offered an opportunity to network afterwards over dinner and drinks at the restaurant in the Gotenyama Trust Tower building.