Yay Scandinavia!

Oh, Scandinavia!

Every company that we visited in Scandinavia displayed similar values: collaboration, social responsibility, green / eco-friendly initiatives. By utilizing hydro-power, wind-power, natural cooling, spruce bark, natural ingredients, talent and technological advances have positioned Scandinavia to be a world-leader in various market segments. By harnessing their natural resources and talent, their competitive advantage and edge is unquestionable. Fortlax, Dong Energy, Spotify, Orbital Systems…etc. were great examples of how to companies were able to harness talent and resources to maximize their competitiveness.

Aside from the businesses, Scandinavian food was delicious (plenty seafood) and societal values (egalitarian) were quite progressive. The landscapes and city-scapes were beautiful and the weather, albeit chilly at times, was perfect. The people were incredibly friendly and the beer was great too! While on the drinking topic, you will also learn how to properly drink in Sweden. Spoiler alert, there's a lot of eye contact involved so the professors will make sure to teach you the Swedish ways. Skål!

Take-aways

Modesty, collaboration and green initiatives are some areas where the U.S. can absorb some admirable values from Scandinavia. I know that in my current role, I will try to promote these values and beliefs through my own actions. These visits have also provided me with insight on how these countries run their businesses so should an opportunity arise where I will need to work with colleagues from a Scandinavian country, I will know that they meetings will take twice as long to make decision. 😉

Thanks Chapman for such an awesome cultural learning experience! If you want to delve into a new culture in 2 weeks, this travel course is right for you but just one word of caution: make sure to dust off your 1970's classics since you'll be strongly encouraged to sing a tune or two in order to really have a memorable cultural experience.