An egalitarian management style is widely known as one of the most important aspects to Swedish business culture. They seek consensus and managers are seen more as facilitators or coaches who offer advice and suggestions, not as the final authority.
One result of this approach is that decisions can be hard to reach and the process (i.e. a meeting) tends to be drawn out. It is dangerous to try to circumvent this process, however, quick, unilateral decisions are unlikely to be respected or adhered to.
Six Tips for Working with Swedish Business Partners:
1. Absolute need for punctuality. Don’t be late in Sweden if you want to maintain a professional image.
2. Dress tends towards smart-casual in Swedish business life. If travelling in winter be sure to be warmly dressed.
3. Different from India, Swedes expect to be allowed to perform their allotted tasks without interaction.
4. ‘Buy-in’ from others is central to the Swedish approach.
5. Delegates are expected to arrive well-prepared for meetings. Agendas are often used and adhered to.
6. Swedes put business needs before personal relationship (with business partners).
For more information about how to work in another country or with partners from another culture, contact us!