Some cultural differences in corporate culture
1. Extreme Formality
Professionals in Germany are extremely formal. If a meeting is set to start at a certain time, it will start at that time, no matter how many attendees are there or not. The truth is that most attendees will probably be there, ready to go, because they are just as formal. Germans stick to the agendas created for their meetings. They expect that those they do business with will be just as formal as they are. In a corporate setting, they use formal and professional names and titles, rather than being on a first name basis with one another.
Contrast with our country, Indonesia. Quite often, you hear a presenter say, “Let’s just wait another minute to see if we can get a few more people to show up,” before starting a meeting. Depending on the company and the individuals who run it, agendas are often a guide that does not have to be precisely followed. People in the workplace speak to each other as friends, using first names, nicknames, and talking about each other’s personal lives. While you absolutely not going to find it in Germany.
2. Serious Professionalism
Seeming like you have got it all together simply is not good enough in German corporate culture. You really have to have it all together to make it works. Professionalism is taken very seriously when it comes to business in Germany. Titles, diplomas, references, and certificates are mandatory, and people with those things demand more respect than those who are “less” than them. Those professionals must present actual logic when showing a business plan, rather than just presenting an awesome proposal.
In contrast, there are many professionals who “work their way up” in their line of business in Indonesia. Indonesian culture start from the economic until how we done something, seemingly copy paste the united states culture. They may not have a degree, and may not have the proper credential for their job. However, with experience, dedication, and hard work, they could gain titles that demand more respect. Do they always get that respect? It depends on which industry they are in and what type of culture is distinct to that industry.
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