The idea we present in the book is simple: national culture, through its influence on corporate culture, has a powerful but often-invisible impact on the success of global companies. What’s more, the very same national traits that accelerated growth in one stage of the corporate lifecycle may derail that growth at a different stage or when an inevitable crisis hits. When you, as a leader of a global organization, become able to recognize the impact of national culture, you will be in a stronger position to lead your company. We will present you with two concepts, Richard D. Lewis’ renowned Lewis model and Kai Hammerich’s new Cultural Dynamic Model®.

Play – Summary

Play – The Importance of Culture

Chapter 1 – Corporate Culture, Strategy and Business Results

In Chapter 1, we discuss how values, beliefs and assumptions are embedded in the organization, through the founders and leaders. We introduce the concept of business influencers and national influencers, and how they impact a company in different ways. We present the simple version of the Cultural Dynamic Model®, and use most of the chapter to discuss the effects of business influencers.

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Play – Strategy and Corporate Culture

Play – Schein’s Approach to Culture

Chapter 2 – The Lewis Model – Setting the Scene

Chapter 2 will introduce the Lewis model, which triangulates national cultures between linear-active, multi-active and reactive national types. We use it to describe national traits and national types across the globe, and how the national influencers impact a company’s corporate culture through its history, the national types and the founders and leaders.

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Play, Corporate and National Culture

Play, The Lewis Model

Chapter 3 – Nation-State Traits and how they affect Corporate Cultures in Seven Countries

In Chapter 3, we discuss the key national traits of a few countries in more detail: the USA, Sweden, France, Japan, Italy, Germany and Great Britain. The main point being that no culture is perfect. All national cultures have different strengths and traits that may enable derail their success at each stage of their lifecycle.

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Play – United States

Play – Sweden

Play – France

Play – Japan

Play – Italy

Play – Germany

Play – Great Britain

Play – Denmark

Play – Finland

Play – Korea

Chapter 4 – The Cultural Dynamic Model ® and the Austin Motors Case

Chapter 4 presents the full Cultural Dynamics Model® and introduces the key concept of a cultural dynamic. We use the Austin Motor case to demonstrate the idea of a cultural dynamic. A cultural dynamic describes the dynamic effect when the national and business influencers, through the company’s work practices, start interacting with each other and through this unintentionally can change the corporate culture, unless the board and management react in time.

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Play – The Cultural Dynamic Model

Play – Corporate Values In Action

Play – Austin Motor Company

Chapter 5 – The Embryonic Period

Chapter 5 continues the detailed discussion of the lifecycle periods. We start with the embryonic period, which includes the early innovation phase and continues with the geographical expansion phase. We will present three cases (Nokia, Walmart and Kone.) that illustrate the dynamics of this period and the influence of the national culture which is often embedded through the founders.

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Play – Nokia

Play – KONE

Play – Walmart

Chapter 6 – The Growth Period

Chapter 6 discusses the growth period as companies continue their geographical expansion, expand their product offerings and start focusing on efficiency and scale. The company needs different skills and capabilities to be successful, and thus different national traits will impact the success compared to the earlier embryonic period. This period is exemplified through the comparative case of Sony and Samsung, showing how their national heritage influenced their fortunes over the past 50 years.

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Play – Samsung vs. Sony

Chapter 7 – The Maturity Period

In Chapter 7, we describe the maturity period with the efficiency and scale phase and the ultimate consolidation phase through the cases of  Toyota, FLSmidth and  P&G. Consolidation is the end game of an industry, with only a small handful of global or regional players in the segment. Again, this period requires different capabilities from the growth period and again different national traits will impact success. We will summarize the key learnings from the eight cases at the end of this chapter.

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Play – Toyota

Play – FLSmidth

Play – Procter and Gamble

Chapter 8 – Whither the west

In Chapter 8, called “Whither the West”, we discuss how this new balanced global world will affect countries in the West and outline a few golden rules for dealing with people from reactive and multi-active cultures.

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Play – Whither the West

Chapter 9 – The Crisis

In Chapter 9, we discuss the crisis in more detail, in particular how the national culture influences the company during a crisis. No company and no leader can afford to ignore the effect of the national cultural heritage during a period of crisis!

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Play – Crisis Points

Play – Reaction to Crisis

Chapter 10 – Enhancing Corporate Performance in a Mulitcultural World

In Chapter 10, we summarize our findings and present eight recommendations that the management, boards and investors should consider. Finally, we briefly discuss what countries may learn from these findings and what implications it could have for them if they want to strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship and deal more effectively with national enablers and derailers.

Play – Conclusion