Launching: Friends of Hofstede
Would you like to be a friend of Hofstede?
I mean these two:
Geert Hofstede has made a lasting contribution to the understanding of culture. My father’s death on 12 February 2020 has been a game changer. Of course, the Corona pandemic took centre stage since then. Now that CO2 emissions are back to abnormal, and a year having passed, Geert would want us all to carry on our cross-cultural work, for the benefit of future generations.
Gert Jan Hofstede
That’s me. Having started talking with Geert about his then incipient work in the early nineteen seventies, I am intimately familiar with it. In the mid-nineties, I introduced my simulation games with “Synthetic Culture” scripts. Since then, I have been a populariser and connector (for my own new work, see here). Making Geert’s work accessible, and showing its deep relation with our biological nature, drove me. Geert asked me to co-author Cultures and Organizations 2nd ed in 2005. I moved on to do artificial sociality, but also kept in touch with Geert’s work, which had now also become mine.
BOSS Blogs, Hofstede's Globe
I started the BOSS Blogs two years ago, directed at cross-culturalists and the general audience. With Iekje Smit, we created the Geert Hofstede archive and the online exhibition about my father's life and work. I contributed Hofstede’s Globe as a resource for consultants, trainers and students. Hofstede’s Globe connects to the Hofstede Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire (Hofstede CWQ) used by our partner, ODE Consulting and the Culture in the Workplace (CW) partner network.
A new step
Geert’s passing gives me more responsibility, and a new ambition. Also, as a grandfather of six, I feel responsible for the world we are leaving to them, or should I say the mess. What I aim for is to inspire an egalitarian, voluntary community of cross-culturalists from around the world, paying just enough money to keep us in the air, and having a good time discussing issues that matter. The name: Friends of Hofstede; in the context of culture, a friend of Geert is a friend of mine.
Friends of Hofstede
I imagine Friends of Hofstede to be a circle of cross-cultural consultants from a variety of angles. They will meet regularly, mostly in cyberspace, and discuss anything that surfaces. It could be inspired by my blog, by recent events, or by an issue that one of the Friends is facing in their work.
Friends of Hofstede will be inspired by Geerts work, and by my “big theory” perspective on culture. I love to use and connect theories at different levels of scope, e.g. the individual, the group, or all of humanity; and to do so in a way that makes evolutionary sense, and is of practical use. This is close to Geert’s vision, but more explicitly systemic and biological. My ideas are fed by practice, as well as by my work in artificial sociality.
What you do to be a Friend of Hofstede
- Be a cross-cultural consultant (our partners are automatically Friends, too)
- Write a paragraph of approx. 300 words, stating your aims and context, and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Be accepted by me in a personal talk. I could terminate the friendship one-sidedly, without explaining myself – as could you, of course.
- Pay € 300 per calendar year to Geert Hofstede b.v. through email@example.com.
What you get
- Copyright clearance for all of the printed material by Geert and myself. Geert Hofstede BV holds the copyright for all Geert’s books.
- A mention on geerthofstede.com as our Friend, with a link to your own web site.
- Most importantly: access to regular discussions with other Friends and with me: “Culture’s Coincidences”. This will often be through Zoom, but who knows what the coming years will bring.
...but note that
- You cannot use the name Hofstede as a brand
- You cannot develop branded products based on Geert’s work. If you have thoughts in that direction, talk to me and our partner, ODE Consulting.
Culture’s Coincidences circles
In our discussions, I'll listen, interpret, and try to clarify. Over the years, I have found that one of the most useful contributions I can make is helping others make sense of what happens around them. In other words: to connect the everyday rat race to solid, comprehensive social scientific theory. This is particularly true of interculturalists, who may get caught between theoretical consistency on the one hand, and the wild variety of life events on the other. They could also get caught in trench wars about theory issues. They might have been misguided schooling.
The idea here is that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. I fully expect some of the Friends to know more than me about many things. I expect the circle to expand its understanding over time. I may contribute more issues at first, but a group of clever, purposeful cross-culturalists will no doubt find new issues to tackle. There could be changes to the formula along the way. For me, this is an adventure too!
Do you like the idea?
If you have an interest, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Expect the first Culture’s Coincidences circle somewhere in spring.