Fons Trompenaars: Biography highlights

World leader in understanding cultural difference, his seminal book Riding the Waves of Culture, Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business put culture in business on the map.

Full biography

Dr. Fons Trompenaars is recognised around world for his work as consultant, trainer, motivational speaker and author of various books on all subjects of culture and business. He’s an accomplished business motivational speaker and is both lively and amusing on the subject of cultural stereotypes and how we can get beyond them. His Seven Dimensions of Culture is the leading model for managers and negotiators wanting to work more effectively with people of different nationalities. Anyone who has ever led a multi cultural team knows why they need to hear what Fons has to share.

He has spent over 30 years helping Fortune 500 leaders manage and solve their business and cultural dilemmas to increase global effectiveness and performance, particularly in the areas of globalisation, mergers and acquisition, HR, Managing Change, leadership development and digitalisation.

Awards, accolades, achievements, honours

  • One of the Thinkers 50 group of influential management thinkers
  • Ranked in the Thinkers50 2011, 2013 and 2015 as being one of the most influential management thinkers alive
  • Voted one of the top 20 HR Most Influential International Thinkers 2011 by HR Magazine
  • Inducted in the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame in 2017
  • Shortlisted for the T50 Global Village Award for contribution to the understanding of globalization and emerging markets in 2011
  • International Professional Practice Area Research Award from the American Society for Training and Development

Career

Fons joined Shell in 1981 and worked in 9 different countries. In 1985, he founded Trompenaars Hampden-Turner consultancy with British expert Charles Hampden-Turner. He created a cross-cultural database of 140,000 managers worldwide, resulting in best selling books Riding the Waves of Culture, currently in its 3rd edition, Building Cross-Cultural Competence and Mastering the Infinite Game: How Asian Values are Transforming Business Practices.

His book Riding the Waves of Culture, Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business sold over 200,000 copies and was translated into 16 languages amongst them, Chinese, Estonian, French, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish and Turkish. He is co-author amongst others of Nine Visions of Capitalism: Unlocking the Meanings of Wealth Creation, Servant Leadership Across Cultures, M&A Tango on Mergers and Acquisitions and Rewarding Performance Globally.

He work now goes beyond merely understanding cultural difference to describe ways in which smart leaders can gain advantage from it. In 21 Leaders for the 21st Century he redefines our idea of leadership to include the ability to resolve competing cultural dilemmas.

Trompenaars Hampden-Turner has advised leading corporations, including Shell and BP, Heineken, Philips, Nike and General Motors.

Current / Past Roles & Positions

Consultant, trainer, motivational speaker and author, Trompenaars is one of the world’s most influential management thinkers. As founder and director of intercultural management firm Trompenaars Hampden-Turner (THT) he has over 25 years experience helping leaders manage and solve their business and cultural dilemmas.

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Watch Fons in action

Playlist
1/4 videos
1
Riding the waves of culture: Fons Trompenaars at TEDxAmsterdam
Riding the waves of culture: Fons Trompenaars at TEDxAmsterdam
18:53
2
Learning to deal with cultural biases with Fons Trompenaars: People Matters TechHR 2017
Learning to deal with cultural biases with Fons Trompenaars: People Matters TechHR 2017
17:49
3
Fons Trompenaars | Biography (EN)
Fons Trompenaars | Biography (EN)
02
4
Interview with Fons Trompenaars | Leadership & Multicultural Teams
Interview with Fons Trompenaars | Leadership & Multicultural Teams
01:33
Gartner CIO Leadership Forum 2019

The feedback from your keynote was exceptional, you scored 4.92/5 and there was lovely comments!'

Sietar International

Testimonial for Riding the Waves of Culture: 'A must-read for all international/intercultural managers...a powerful pioneering work that has gained the respect of corporate leaders around the world.'

David Wigglesworth
Global Business Network

Testimonial for Riding the Waves of Culture: 'Riding the Waves of Culture is the guide to managing effectively in diverse countries and cultures'

Napier Collins
Global chemical company

'As a part of the recent Leadership Workshop, we invited Fons Trompenaars, to discuss managing in a multi-cultural and diverse business environment. From our experience and those of our leaders, there was broad agreement that this speaker and his tools were the most effective and approachable multi-cultural training we had ever experienced, aimed at building alignment objectively - training we wish we had received earlier. The primary reason for this was a framework and tool for working through what he called 'dilemmas' - aimed at win-win decisions and solutions in a pragmatic way. For a room full of engineers, having this framework and practical tool was a welcomed relief from the 'soft' culture workshops we've attended in the past.'

Project Director
Yeungnam University, Koreav

Testimonial for Riding the Waves of Culture: 'Great work. This...book offers the roadmap to solve the dilemmas of cross-cultural management in the 21st century, not only for the West bust also for the East.'

Dr. Jae Ho Park
Professor of Psychology

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