Fons Trompenaars

The original cultural difference thinker.

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.

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Speaker Profile

About Fons Trompenaars

Fons is an accomplished 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. Invaluable insight to smooth negotiations in globalisation, mergers and acquisition, HR and leadership development.

Awards, accolades, achievements, honours

  • One of the Thinkers 50 group of influential management thinkers
  • One of HR Magazines top 20 Most Influential International Thinkers 2011
  • 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


Trompenaars 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 70,000 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

Trompenaars 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.

Speaking Topics

  • Managing across Cultures
  • Leadership for the 21st Century
  • Multicultural Management
  • A new paradigm of Entrepreneurship to revitalize business from the Credit Crunch
  • The Management of Strategic Dilemmas
  • Cultural due-diligence in Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • International Teambuilding and Remote Management
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability


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, Sietar International

Testimonial for Riding the Waves of Culture: "Great work. 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, Yeungnam University, Korea

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 Business Network

Books By Fons Trompenaars

  • Marketing Across Cultures (Culture for Business Series) with Peter Woolliams (2004)
  • 21 Leaders for the 21st Century: How Innovative Leaders Manage in the Digital Age with Charles Hampden-Turner (2001)
  • Riding the Waves of Culture - Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business with Charles Hampden-Turner (1993)
  • The Seven Cultures of Capitalism: Value Systems for Creating Wealth in Britain, the United States, Germany, France, Japan, Sweden and the Netherlands with Charles Hampden-Turner (1993)
  • Business across Cultures with Peter Woolliams (2004)
  • Building Cross-cultural Competence: How to Create Wealth from Conflicting Values with Charles Hampden-Turner (2000)
  • Did the Pedestrian Die? Insights from the Greatest Culture Guru (2003)
  • The Global M & A Tango: Cross-cultural Dimensions of Mergers and Acquisitions with Maarten Nijhoff Asser (2010)
  • Innovating in a Global Crisis with Charles Hampden-Turner (2009)
  • Servant Leadership across Cultures with Ed Voerman (2009)
  • Managing Change across Corporate Culture (Culture for Business Series) with Peter Prud'Homme (2005)
  • Managing People across Cultures (Culture for Business Series) with Charles Hampden-Turner (2004)
  • Mastering the Infinite Game: How Asian Values are Transforming Business Practices with Charles Hampden-Turner (1997)
  • Riding the Whirlwind: Connecting People and Organisations in a Culture of Innovation (2007)
  • Accelerating out of the Great Recession: How to win in a Slow-Growth Economy (2010)

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