We went to Malmö and Copenhagen and ‘Denmark’ed if off our list!

Overview

Wow, we can’t believe we’re saying this but.. we just wrapped up our last stop visiting Copenhagen in Denmark amd Malmö in Sweden! We got to visit some really great companies and learn even more about the Swedish culture and immerse ourselves in the Danish culture for the very first time! Through our company visits with SAAB, Trelleborg, Maersk, and Mikkeller there’s a few takeaways we’ve noticed. The first is something we picked up about Swedish business culture in Malmö. We got a deeper look at just how deep this casual work culture goes which we elaborate on a bit deeper down below! As for Denmark, we got a really unique experience because we go to experience perspectives from both a major multinational corporation as well as a smaller startup. We have to big takeaways. The first is that even in massive companies like Maersk company/owner values remain a critical component of the companies operations. The second, is the importance of separating work and social lives in Danish culture.

Malmö

More of Swedish workplace environments and leadership styles

We had a very brief but very interesting chat with Patrick Bomberg, head of communications for Trelleborg and it was really interesting to get a first hand perspective of international business and ways their Swedish culture differs from elsewhere in the world. Patrick emphasized once again the casual and friendly environment almost all Swedish businesses offer. He discussed an office with no one on a high pedestal where bosses ask for opinions and waits for a group consensus before making a decision. He did mention the fact that these are things he has to be aware of as he transitions from country to country in order to adapt. An example he gave was when doing business in France he has to be careful to establish authority rather than asking for group opinions to avoid employees not respecting him. This casual and personal atmosphere is so different from what we experience in the U.S. It is often you don’t know much about your colleagues at all and what the boss says goes your opinions aside. It’s been really interesting for us to get a better understanding of how these cultural differences affect business.

Denmark

Maintaining company/founder values

At Maersk, one of the very first things them mentioned to us was how important it was for them to uphold the previous owner, Mr. Maersk’s, values in everything they do. This was very surprising to us due to the fact that at home, often times once a company hits a certain size founders and even current owners can lose a say in how the company is run and often times the initial values and vision the company is started with is lost. It was really amazing to us how well Maersk was able to scale these values into every aspect of their business. It was evident that the employees have a great respect for him and the vision he had for his company. This was something we really admired.

Separation of work and social life

When we as Americans hear the words work and social life, we think it is nearly impossible to achieve both. When Americans go to work, we stay there believing there aren’t enough hours in the day; causing us to either stay late at the office or continue working at home. Even when Americans aren’t working, we’re thinking about work while trying to have a social life. While at Mikkeller, on the other hand, we learned that businesspeople in Denmark have different mindsets. They go to work, work hard until 4pm, and then leave their work behind. It is not common to stay late at the office and their work does not follow them home. Even when at work they commonly enjoy communal lunches with their colleagues, as well as coffee breaks. Danes believe in keeping work and social life as two separate entities so that they can truly give their best in each, while also reducing their stress levels; which greatly differs from Americans who are known to be highly stressed individuals.

Overall, Copenhagen was a quick stop but a great one! We got to visit beautiful Malmö in southern Sweden and experience the culture in Denmark, we even survived the sea of cyclist! We saw some beautiful history, met some great people, ate some great food and learned a ton! Oh Denmark, you may be the last stop but you’re certainly not the least!

We really did have a blast, see for yourself!

SAAB visit!

Telleborg talk!

The girls in the square near Nyhavn

Nyhavn!

Surf n’ Turf yum!

Aloha bar with Professor Myhr!

Maersk visit!

The whole gang before our last business visit!

Mikkellar!

The Crown Jewels at Rosenberg Castle!

Rosenberg Castle!

All the ladies at our last dinner at Tivoli Gardens!

#ScandiSisters #BizScand #ChapmanU #ArgyrosAdvantage #ChapmanMBA #SocialProfessor

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