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  #21  
Old 15.02.2012, 02:10
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

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The use of A for Austria comes from the country code used for vehicle identification (those white oval stickers with black letters on them on the back of cars). Under that system, Austria is A, Germany D and Switzerland CH. Dear forgotten Liechtenstein is FL (Fürstentum Liechtenstein, Fürstentum meaning "principality"). To make it into a pronounceable word, I'd go for FLADCH. It is odd that Austria does not use letters related to Österreich in its various designations, but its ISO 2 letter form is AT and 3 letter form is AUT, it's internet domain is .at and the old Austrian Schilling was the ATS.
You guys have forgotten Luxembourg, plenty of German spoken there - it is one of the three official languages. Country code is LU -- I guess this means the German speaking world now has to be represented by the abbreviation FLADLUCH? There's my contribution.

Now it is up to one of you less lazy than I am to use every country code along with an anagram solver to create a new pronounceable word for the German speaking world. Then English Forum Switzerland can then get to work collaborating on a new Wikipedia entry for it.

Once we're done with that, I'm sure we can all find a solution for world peace before dinner time tomorrow. BTW, what was the original question that spawned this thread again?
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  #22  
Old 15.02.2012, 02:26
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

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The acronym DACH - is this widely known and used, or something made up for the purpose of this thread? ..... because I've never encountered it and can only think that it's something dreamt up by those from across the pond.

If D is for Deutschland, and CH for Confoederatio Helvetica, then A for Austria, is incorrect - it should be Ö for Österreich, if each countries' name for itself is used.

This would make the correct acronym DÖCH (not to be confused with DOHC, meaning double overhead cam.). For keyboards without umlauted letters, then DOECH should be used.

As the acronym is in the thread title, then it should be something that is easily understood by those who read it. Maybe German speaking Nations or Germanic peoples should be used, if this is the meaning intended.
DACH is quite common in Germany and also in other countries with international sales, similar to APAC and EMEA. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-A-CH

Sorry for the confusion and I'll try not to use CONUS to refer to the US in the future
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  #23  
Old 15.02.2012, 02:33
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

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BTW, what was the original question that spawned this thread again?
I think it had something to do with organizational differences in the two areas...

Having said that, are there are work cultural diferences between northern Switzerland and Germany?
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  #24  
Old 15.02.2012, 09:14
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

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The use of A for Austria comes from the country code used for vehicle identification (those white oval stickers with black letters on them on the back of cars).
And postal codes (what you write on an envelope).

Tom
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Old 15.02.2012, 09:16
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

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Having said that, are there are work cultural diferences between northern Switzerland and Germany?

Yes, Germany has shorter working hours and more vacation time.

Tom
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Old 15.02.2012, 12:05
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

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The use of A for Austria comes from the country code used for vehicle identification (those white oval stickers with black letters on them on the back of cars). Under that system, Austria is A, Germany D and Switzerland CH. Dear forgotten Liechtenstein is FL (Fürstentum Liechtenstein, Fürstentum meaning "principality"). To make it into a pronounceable word, I'd go for FLADCH. It is odd that Austria does not use letters related to Österreich in its various designations, but its ISO 2 letter form is AT and 3 letter form is AUT, it's internet domain is .at and the old Austrian Schilling was the ATS.
Ah, yes. FL. I was thinking after I wrote the above that L might be confused with Luxembourg.

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You guys have forgotten Luxembourg, plenty of German spoken there - it is one of the three official languages. Country code is LU -- I guess this means the German speaking world now has to be represented by the abbreviation FLADLUCH? There's my contribution. ]
Oh & Belgium too. They speak German there as well.

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Sorry for the confusion and I'll try not to use CONUS to refer to the US in the future
CONUS? What? Noooo!!!

LOL. Thanks for your thread. It made me smile. But I did reply to your question so I should get a brownie.

Seriously has anyone worked in ANY country that does the RahRah events like the US? I'm convinced it's only a US thing.
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Old 15.02.2012, 12:22
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

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You guys have forgotten Luxembourg, plenty of German spoken there - it is one of the three official languages. Country code is LU -- I guess this means the German speaking world now has to be represented by the abbreviation FLADLUCH? There's my contribution.
.......
on that note German is also an official language of Belgium
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Old 15.02.2012, 12:30
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

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Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to ask any anyone who worked in US and DACH noticed the difference in work attitudes in relation to company culture?

I'm a US/EU citizen who worked the past 10 years in Germany plus Ireland and now working in San Francisco for a dotcom startup. Don't know if it's just pre-IPO fever, or if it's a culture thing with regards to work, but I find my fellow citizens over eager and way enthusiastic about work. Not all, but most.

For example, the companies I worked for in Germany and also Ireland, company events would mostly be around a dinner and fairly modest. Here I notice things being big, obnoxious and really believing the marking hype - "Yeah TEAM!! GO! GO! GO!"

Anyways, just wanted to bring this up and see if I should start calling myself European.
Yeah, I work for an American company and most of the "best company ever!" jingoism completely falls flat on the people here, rightfully so IMO. People here work to live, not live to work. On our annual employee surveys, the question that repeatedly appears is "Are you proud to work at ____?" Which just seems insane to me and most people I know. I value working where I work, value the people I work with, but we're not saving the whales here, guys.

Edit: Oops, seems there was a running joke to keep this thread off-topic for as long as possible. I apologize.
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  #29  
Old 15.02.2012, 16:11
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

I worked as an engineer in the US untill last summer when I started a new job in London at a large publisher. There was a stark difference in work ethic, for example in the US it was not uncommon to reply to work emails/phone calls on the weekend or after hours, but was impossible at my company in London.

It's true that in the US I worked to live, whereas in London I had actual free time (which I used to work through as I didn't have anything else to do ). Working in the states I felt on edge, as so much depended on the job: health insurance, rent, food, car, etc. In London I could relax a bit more. There's a very nice safety net set up in Europe that a lot of people take for granted. I think -and this is entirely an opinion- this is in part what leads to the different work ethics between the two continents.

And yes, don't forget Belgium also speaks German. Almost a whole 0.01% of the population! Then again the Limburgers speak some incomprehensible version of Dutch that's pretty much German, so maybe they should be added to the total.

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Yeah, I work for an American company and most of the "best company ever!" jingoism completely falls flat on the people here, rightfully so IMO. People here work to live, not live to work. On our annual employee surveys, the question that repeatedly appears is "Are you proud to work at ____?" Which just seems insane to me and most people I know. I value working where I work, value the people I work with, but we're not saving the whales here, guys.

Edit: Oops, seems there was a running joke to keep this thread off-topic for as long as possible. I apologize.
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Old 15.02.2012, 16:46
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

Working for a big CH company, I was once seconded for 3 weeks to one of the US affiliates and it was quite a culture shock. My colleagues were great fun to work with, I had a great time and we got a lot done to a high standard but a number of things did stand out:
  • Clock watching, I'd come in early (so I could talk to my CH colleagues at a reasonable hour for them given a 8 hr time difference) my US colleagues would turn up at 9am and it really had to be a DEFCON 1 situation to get them to stay after 5pm (I worked until done, BUT when I left I was off duty until the next day). And come the weekend, I was on my own!
  • Meetings. I really hated having meetings (or, worse, premeetings) to make the tiniest decision. Most were just wheel spinning, and as I was responsible, I felt I could decide on things without excessive consultation...
  • Obsession with timelines and bonuses - mainly because bonuses were tied to meeting the goals which in turn were linked to timelines and when bonuses were accounting for up to 20% of the take-home yearly wage, missing a deadline by even a day (even if to get something right) was a matter of great import. Maybe I was lucky, I got my salary of X independent of goal status and bonuses were a nice little extra on top of my wage (and were not used to make up my wage to 100%)
  • Cubicle culture; I was senior enough to get an office with an outside window, most of my US colleagues were in a cubicle farm. I don't know how they stood it....
  • Rah Rah Culture: my US colleagues were not much given to self reflection and introspection (let alone self-doubt) and everything was "great", "fantastic" and the smallest achievement celebrated. As an English colleague cynically remarked of the difference "we get shot at, we stick a bandaid on it and carry on without a murmur, they manage to tie a shoelace and it's celebration time" (a bit unfair, perhaps, but with a foundation of truth...)
This was, admittedly, quite a few years ago and from what I hear from my US chums, things in the workplace have not changed, perhaps even worsened...
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  #31  
Old 15.02.2012, 17:03
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

I'm wondering where some of you people worked since I've never seen any of this. I'm not saying your experiences are false but having worked for a midsized tech firm in the US we'd show up, do our jobs, head out to pubs and spend our time on the weekend doing fun stuff and talk about it on Monday. People did things like climbing, building wooden boats, mentored scouting troops, were rabid concert goers, etc.
Meetings didn't drag on because we all had real work to do and managers kept things on course. Meetings tend to wander when someone in charge isn't guiding it properly. Despite working directly with customers and also a stint in pre-sales, I never experienced this kind of boosterism and our revenue stream was very sensitive to individual sales (think expensive).
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Old 15.02.2012, 17:14
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

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Germany Austria Switzerland aka The German speaking world.


And yes, massive differences in the working culture - I know some will naturally object to the sentiment, but I've yet to have half the productivity expected of me here as in the past.
D for Deutschland A for Austria and CH for Switzerland = DACH region
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  #33  
Old 15.02.2012, 17:21
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

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Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to ask any anyone who worked in US and DACH noticed the difference in work attitudes in relation to company culture?

I'm a US/EU citizen who worked the past 10 years in Germany plus Ireland and now working in San Francisco for a dotcom startup. Don't know if it's just pre-IPO fever, or if it's a culture thing with regards to work, but I find my fellow citizens over eager and way enthusiastic about work. Not all, but most.

For example, the companies I worked for in Germany and also Ireland, company events would mostly be around a dinner and fairly modest. Here I notice things being big, obnoxious and really believing the marking hype - "Yeah TEAM!! GO! GO! GO!"

Anyways, just wanted to bring this up and see if I should start calling myself European.
Yes the go ! go ! approach in the US might result in aggressive career growth which may not be sought after in the DACH area. It is a generalization though. But for many companies the DACH area is a very important market, including dot-com startups. So your European background will come in handy.
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Old 15.02.2012, 17:28
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

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DACH is a sales abbreviation for the Germany, Austria and Switzerland area.
Ahh.... sales speak. No wonder I didn't understand it. Sales people are in their own little world.

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I would say there is a difference between the world & the US. I don't know of any other country that has these rah, rah team building events that the OP describes.

Anyone seen these outside the US?
I've never seen them IN the US. I've heard about them. Seen them depicted on TV. But I think that's one of those mysterious "sales" things, also. Kinda pumps them up to go out and face a world of people that hate them.

P.S. CONUS only refers to the Continental United States. "OCONUS" means Outside the Continentatl United States and can refer to Hawi''i, Alasaka and US posessions as well as other countries. I learned these terms in the military. As far as the formal abbreviation for the US... it's just.... US.
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  #35  
Old 15.02.2012, 17:42
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

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Rah Rah Culture: my US colleagues were not much given to self reflection and introspection (let alone self-doubt) and everything was "great", "fantastic" and the smallest achievement celebrated.

As an English colleague cynically remarked of the difference "we get shot at, we stick a bandaid on it and carry on without a murmur, they manage to tie a shoelace and it's celebration time" (a bit unfair, perhaps, but with a foundation of truth...)
This was, admittedly, quite a few years ago and from what I hear from my US chums, things in the workplace have not changed, perhaps even worsened...
I would agree that lack of cynicism and enthusiasm is more common in America, but that is a culture thing, not just a work culture thing. Though it can be annoying for the more cynical, nothing inherently wrong with a positive attitude.

Alot of the rah rah stuff is often for service staff (e.g Walmart, Disney). To get them to buy into the friendly service aspect of their jobs. I find it a bit much at times, but also sometimes wish the Swiss service employees were a little friendlier.
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Old 15.02.2012, 17:46
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

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but that is a culture thing, not just a work culture thing.
:-/

This American disagrees. I think you're observing the trends of corporate cultures in America.
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Old 15.02.2012, 17:58
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

Ahh... I recall annual meetings with this sort of "rah!rah!" theme, after one such meeting it was "recommended" (mmmhmm, as if such "recommendation" could be ignored) for all store managers and above to read a particular book.

If you read it, you will probably see (a big part of) the reasoning behind the whole "rah!rah!" thing, and how wide spread it became in US Corporate Culture.

In case you're interested, here's the book:

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Old 15.02.2012, 18:01
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I worked in an academic hospital in the US, and we had lots of these team building events. I found many of them to be a huge waste of time and resources.
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Old 15.02.2012, 18:01
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

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:-/

This American disagrees. I think you're observing the trends of corporate cultures in America.

I suppose if you want to blame Dale Carnegie for it.

Team building in Switzerland happens over lunch with your colleagues.

I agree that America's greatest skill is marketing.
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Old 15.02.2012, 18:27
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Re: Company culture in US and DACH

So far, my analysis of Swiss work culture is "Wait until someone tells you to do it. Then wait until they tell you again. If they get tired of waiting for you and try to do it, complain to management that they're stealing your job" My expat colleagues (English, French, American, etc) are all a lot more protactive about dealing with things than the Swiss. Maybe it's just a culture thing. Of course, I would NEVER generalize this to an entire country.
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