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#3: Fons Trompenaars: Reframing Strategy as Reconciling Dilemmas

#3: Fons Trompenaars: Reframing Strategy as Reconciling Dilemmas

In this episode of The Outthinker Podcast, Kaihan welcomes Fons Trompenaars. Fons is one of the world's leading thinkers in the area of cross-cultural communication and culture strategy. 

His work infuses experience from his years as an executive and consultant for Shell, GM, Nike and other global fortune 500 companies with his own thought-leadership and research into the underlying drivers and complex variables that influence cultural understanding and strategy. 

The author or co-author of over 20 books, including the best-selling Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Diversity in Global Business, Fons is known for his model of the 7 Dimensions of Culture and other practical frameworks for creating intercultural collaboration and developing culturally aware strategies for global businesses. 

In this episode, Fons will walk through a six-step process that can be used to reconcile cultural challenges or dilemmas.  He will also walk us through an example of a strategic challenge involving a car crash to illustrate a provocative take on strategy: that strategy not about making choices, but about reconciling dilemmas. 


"So in fact, culture is a way we approach the dilemma, and it gives foreground and background. Although the dilemma is human, but it depends on your culture what you give priority."

-Fons Trompenaars


Episode Timeline:

00:00 — Introducing Scott Anthony + The topic of today’s episode

1:40 — If you really knew me, you know that...

2:25 — What is your definition of strategy?

4:05— How do you approach strategy?

5:28 — The 6-Step Process to Reconciling Dilemmas

8:00 — Story on provocative question that highlights how culture comes into play in dilemmas

12:25 — What are you working on now?

15:09 — Where can people go to find you?


Resources Mentioned:

THT Consulting (Website)

Riding the Waves of Culture (Book)

Transcultural Competence: reconcile dilemmas to collaborate and innovate (Article)

The 4th Option Junto
The Outthinkers podcast is a growth strategy podcast hosted by Kaihan Krippendorff. Each week, Kaihan talks with forward-looking strategists and innovators that are challenging the status quo, leading the future of business, and shaping our world.