Probably the Best

In Scandinavia, modesty is the best policy.

We first noticed this upon our arrival in Europe when we observed that the streets and restaurants in Helsinki were relatively quiet, even though there were plenty of people around.  As a group of American students, we had the tendency to be the loudest group of people everywhere we went.

Scandinavian modesty also has implications in business.  Bragging is frowned upon in the boardroom.  We noticed this during the numerous presentations and meetings we attended.  Many of the companies we visited are some of the best in their respective industries, you wouldn't have surmised that based on the presentation style alone.

Perhaps my favorite example of Scandinavian modesty during this trip was a sign posted outside of a restaurant in Oulu, Finland. It read “Probably the Best.”  Management at Da Max has come as close as possible to bragging, without stepping on anyone else's toes of course.

Da Max

Probably the Best

Lesson learned: take the modest approach in Scandinavia.