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The 25th Dutch Vietnam Management Supporter

It’s all culture, right?
It is said that you can take a Vietnamese out of Vietnam, but you can never take Vietnamese culture out of a Vietnamese. So what does it mean, culture? It is the core set of beliefs, customs, values and even habits that makes a person differ from people of other nationalities. Parts of this set change over time. Some say globalization will diminish these differences. Yet the core set usually remains in tact. This is a nation’s culture: its “soul”. Every nation has its culture, and when there are several ethnic groups it will have more than one, and even sub-cultures. Your cultural soul is where you find a core element of your identity. See also page 9 This object has the potential to change the lives of a few million Vietnamese. Kidding? Not really. It all depends on who will be willing & able to make that difference for many of the less fortunate. What is it? And what does Bill Clinton have to do with it? Have a guess. Or, if you don’t like guessing, go to page 5 of this edition of the Dutch Vietnam Management Supporter.
Prof. Loek Hopstaken Email: Mobile: 090 888 9450

6th year, no. 6 December 4, 2012
This magazine was first published in March 2007. It is digitally distributed among my Vietnamese and Dutch business & private associates. Purpose: to keep them informed about my activities in Vietnam and overseas This amazingly attractive and energetic country has rapidly conquered my soul, and become my home away from home. Loek Hopstaken

In this issue:
It’s all culture, right? Activities Dec.-Jan. 1 2

3 What Leaders can 4 learn from Maestros WakaWaka & Clinton 5 Presentation Skills Sinterklaas Vietnam Michael Luckman Corporate Culture Hopstaken Services Contact information 6 7 8 9 10 11

A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people. Mahatma Gandhi

6th year, no. 6


The 25th Dutch Vietnam Management Supporter
Teylers Museum, facing the Spaarne River (Haarlem)

Saigon, November 30, 2012

When I was a boy I wasn’t always in the mood to go home after school to do homework or play with friends. Sometimes I would go to this museum, the first in Europe. Often I would be the only visitor, with a guard keeping an eye on me. Back then it was a dark, spooky kind of place. Collections of scientific instruments, fossils, precious stones, but also paintings, drawings & etchings, displayed in strange rooms with worn wooden floors. A place where you could fantasize about 19th century inventors conducting experiments, but also admire Michelangelo’s drawings and Rembrandt’s etchings. In 2012 Teylers Museum, in my birth town Haarlem, is a modern museum, attracting tens of thousands of visitors. The old collections are still there. Fortunately the renovations have left the original rooms in tact. Every time when I’m in Holland I visit Teylers, and at least one other museum or exhibition. It’s a basic need: to drink in culture— my homeland’s culture. I can leave Holland, but wherever I go I will always take Dutch culture with me. Loek Hopstaken

The 2013 edition of my catalog (pdf) will be yours after sending a request to
Activities in December & January:
• • • • • • • Ongoing: executive coaching Presentation & Persuasion Skills course @ Royal Business School Time Management Course (in-company) Human Resource Management (MBA) Human Resource Management (coaching) Workshop for Starters (Knowmadic Learning Lab) Vietnamese language class @ VLS

Left: when in Amsterdam, I make sure I’ll taste apple cake with real whipped cream. Unavailable in HCMC.

Business is a series of clear agreements that people are willing to own individually and collectively with others in the workplace. Kent Gregoire

6th year, no. 6


The 25th Dutch Vietnam Management Supporter

What Leaders can learn from Maestros by Master Conductor Jan Stulen
November 23 Dutch Conductor Maestro Jan Stulen delivered a Master Class at the New Music Centre in Ho Chi Minh City. Participants: young Vietnamese student-conductors. The HBSO orchestra was founded by Maestro Jan’s pupil, Maestro Tran Vuong Thach. During this class Maestro Jan Stulen compared conducting with management. He gave permission to relay his lessons. 1. The conductor must create a spiritual unity out of 50 or more highly trained individuals in such a way that everybody feels part of this community. The conductor must create a common goal, a focus (the optimum performance of a given composition). But the conductor should also give the musicians the feeling that they can develop their individual musical personality without losing contact with the group. In short: create and combine commitment with individual freedom. The musicians have in their parts only printed what they have to play, without any reference to what their colleagues are supposed to do. Only the conductor reads in his score all the individual parts. This means that only he has the necessary information about what is going on. He is obliged to give information which the musicians need to perform well, to the different groups in the orchestra. In short: give information to those who need it. The conductor must develop an instinct when to just let things go if the orchestra is in the flow of the music without interfering constantly, and when to be fully in charge of things on critical moments like tempo changes, etc. In short: be there when you are needed, but don’t disturb proceedings. Perhaps the most essential duty of the conductor is to listen to the orchestra. All his actions, verbally and physically, are determined by the aural feedback of the musicians. He must also teach the musicians to constantly listen to themselves and to their colleagues. In short: all leadership starts with listening to each other. Before a conductor starts working with an orchestra, he has imagined how a given piece should be performed by carefully studying the score, and how to realize this vision. But he should also be flexible to change his opinion if it is clear that his concept about, for example, tempo does not work. In short: be flexible to change your tactics. Experience shows that all orchestras always have possibilities to improve their standards. So don’t be satisfied too soon, it can always be better. In short: use the full potential you have at your disposal. The most essential talent a conductor needs is to communicate with the musicians. Look at them when you speak, don’t isolate yourself, be with the musicians spiritually. In short: communicate! Continued on page 4







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The 25th Dutch Vietnam Management Supporter


The Maestro at work
Maestro Jan Stulen covered all the seven points. It was an enlightening experience to see how his pupils changed from shy, uncertain persons into confident conductors. November 27 we witnessed the result of more than one week of intensive training, when besides Maestros Tran Vuong Thach (Mendelssohn) and Jan Stulen (Brahms), four of their students applied the lessons while conducting the HBSO Orchestra in works by Sibelius, Bizet, Rossini and Schubert. Maestro Jan Stulen will be back in Vietnam in June 2013 to conduct the HBSO.
Maestro Jan Stulen coaches a Maestro-to-be. Conducting is an art, like management.

7 leadership lessons from Master Conductor Jan Stulen:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Create and combine commitment with individual freedom. Give information to those who need it. Be there when you are needed, but don’t disturb proceedings. All leadership starts with listening to each other. Be flexible to change your tactics. Use the full potential you have at your disposal. Communicate!

6th year, no. 6


The 25th Dutch Vietnam Management Supporter

WakaWaka: enabling children in no-electricity zones to do their homework at night
Mr. Maurits Groen (right; with President Bill Clinton) is an old friend from The Netherlands. With his team he organizes global events about ecology, energy and sustainability. He hosted former Vice President Al Gore when he visited The Netherlands, and is involved in several global initiatives to improve living conditions in developing countries and areas. Last year he presented a product that already changes the lives of thousands: a top quality solar cell powered lamp. After charging in the sun for 8 hours it provides 8 hours of full light (to light a room) to 80 hours (as a night lamp). Mr. Maurits’ mission is to bring the lamp—named WakaWaka—to those people around the world live without electricity. They rely mainly on kerosene. This costs money, it doesn’t provide enough light, and causes fires with serious burn injuries as a result. The WakaWaka costs nothing in use, is 100% safe in use, nearly unbreakable, and lasts 3+ years. Bill Clinton, whose Global Initiative helps the 100,000’s of victims of the earthquake and hurricane on Haiti, endorses the WakaWaka. On December 12 (“12.12.12”) a worldwide fundraising will start to get enough WakaWaka’s to support the victims. WakaWaka in Vietnam Mr. Maurits’ goal is not making money out of his product. His foundation is non-profit. His goal is to bring light where light makes a big difference: to people who have no electricity, like the appr. 4 million Vietnamese in remote areas. To make this happen, a company can buy say, 5,000 or 10,000 wakawaka’s and give them to those in need. The price is then US$ 9 a piece. This would be one terrific act of taking social responsibility for the poor in Vietnam! See also page 12

6th year, no. 6

The 25th Dutch Vietnam Management Supporter


Are you afraid to give a presentation?
If you are, consider doing my Presentation & Persuasion Skills course at Royal Business School, December 10—14. I have now been training both professionals & students presentation skills in Vietnam for 4 years. The course runs five evenings from 6—9.30 pm. The 4 objectives: Your heart may be beating in your throat, but your * to know how to capture the hearts, audience expects you to deliver your message. minds & souls of the individuals in your Confidently, clear & convincing. audience with a memorable message, and to persuade them * To learn how to deal with professional and international audiences: from management meeting to congress, from sales meeting to key note speech * To know how to use media to enhance your presentations * To get practical experience delivering a speech The program: 1. The Rules of Public Speaking 2. Reaching out to capture Hearts, Minds & Souls 3. Keynotes & Media 4. Persuasion: Sales & Business Presentations 5. Leaving a Mark For more information: Left: a PowerPoint DON’T. We have all endured PowerPoint presentations that were terribly boring, a pain to the eyes, incomprehensible, or simply confusing. We live in the PowerPoint Era. It has great advantages: it can help you bring home your message to your audience. Yet, “Real Leaders Don’t Do PowerPoint”, as a title of a famous book on the subject says. So when & when not to use PowerPoint? What are the do’s & don’ts? How to use it properly? On the 3rd evening of this course you will find out.

PowerPoint DON’T’s (2)

Hopstaken for Royal Business School

December 2012


Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world. Nelson Mandela

6th year, no. 6

The 25th Dutch Vietnam Management Supporter


Sinterklaas in Vietnam
Like the Vietnamese will always celebrate Tet, the Dutch will always have Sinterklaas. Who is Sinterklaas? The custom is based on a legendary bishop, who according to legend gave to the poor and performed miracles. In Holland children believe the bishop returns to Holland every year around mid November, to hand out gifts on December 5 to everyone who has led a decent life. He is always accompanied by black servants, the jolly Zwarte Pieten in colorful outfits. They smile a lot, hand out candies and try to make friends with the kids. So how do the Dutch in Vietnam celebrate Sinterklaas? They get together at the Dutch Consul’s house, and make sure a genuine Sinterklaas & half a dozen Zwarte Pieten liven up the party and make sure to make the children happy. Dutch children believe in Sinterklaas till they are about 6 or 7 years old, and then they “find out” a family friend played the good bishop, and some cousins Zwarte Piet. Of course, their parents bought the gifts. To Lara Lien, my Dutch Vietnamese daughter of 10 months, this piece of Dutch culture is strange. But soon she will believe like all other Dutch kids. She will also learn to love Tet, the special time around the Vietnamese New Year. She will grow up with the cultural “best of both worlds”.
Did you know? In the 19th century this Dutch custom was exported to the UK and USA. It blended with Christmas. December 5 became December 25. Sinterklaas became Santaclaus. His identity shifted from a tall bishop with servants to a short man from “The North”, assisted by six reindeer. But the gifts, the color red and the white beard remained in tact.

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. Ray Bradbury

6th year, no. 6

The 25th Dutch Vietnam Management Supporter


A Wonderful Quote by Michael Luckman
“We see things not as they are, but as we are.” H. M. Tomlinson
Have you ever been in the situation where you are with several friends or co-workers and together you witness a unique event? And then later, while still together, you share what you saw and heard with several more people. As you listen to the others describe what they saw and heard you begin to say to yourself: I don’t remember that. Or, that’s not what I heard. Why do you think that is? I believe it’s because of our internal filters. By that I mean our brain has a tendency to screen the images we see and the words we hear through our belief system, that we have created over a lifetime of experiences. This belief system is based upon our fears, the things we like, our trust in others, our ability to feel empathy and understand what another is going through, our cultural biases, our intelligence, our education, how we were raised, where we were raised, our gender, our religion and even our race. And I’m sure a whole host of other things. For those who get their news from Fox cable everything they see and hear makes sense to them. The same is true for those who enjoy watching MSNBC. Both networks preach to the choir and we wouldn’t be in that particular choir if it wasn’t for our seeking constant validation that our views are the correct ones. That we are RIGHT and all other’s views are wrong. But are we always right? Yes and no. Yes, if we are so closed minded as to never step out of our comfort zones to at least try to see things from another perspective. And, if we never try to understand why someone else might see things differently. No, if we believe that we are fallible. That we are aware when filtering some new information through our minds, that we are sifting everything we saw and heard through our own particular biases and prejudices, and that we could be wrong. We refer to this as being open minded. My intention is not to get you to change channels, but to get you to understand that everything you see and hear may be true, or may not be true. It all depends on who you are.
Published on the LinkedIn, TED Group discussions page (October 2012). Used with the author’s permission. Michael’s website & blogs: Email: Phone: 1-408 404-6764 Ext.2

People fail to get along with each other because they fear each other. They fear each other because they don’t know each other. They don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.
Martin Luther King Jr.

6th year, no. 6

The 25th Dutch Vietnam Management Supporter


What is your Corporate Culture like?
Mid November a group of Vietnamese managers from different fields followed my course in Organizational Culture, Design & Development. A survey among the participants revealed that those who had worked for different companies had experienced some fundamental differences in their corporate cultures. For example, in one company they were free to communicate with their manager about work issues, while in another they were expected to “shut up & do their job”. A key issue in many Asian companies is that “the boss” doesn’t really communicate with his subordinates, let alone listens to their ideas, grievances, and sometimes even vital information. On the staff side, many Vietnamese seem to be reluctant to speak up, as this may lead to loss of their manager’s face. Meanwhile, the organization doesn’t use its full potential, creativity is discouraged and innovation remains a dream. A frozen status quo, no progress, and losses. So how to change a company’s culture, without changing its core potential? Among many things we explored John P. Kotter’s latest views on organizational change: to keep in tact what works, while facilitating a change organization. In other words, focus on both continuity and change. Recently another renowned management author and teacher, Henry Mintzberg, has endorsed Kotter’s views. The world is slowly recuperating from the financial crisis. Only those organizations that have a strong yet ethical and productive corporate culture appear to survive. Yes—curing a sick corporate culture means more than mere restructuring. The right things to do: A. redefine the company’s vision, mission and values. Add integrity to the latter. B. determine the right (ethical, workable, effective) activities, and the wrong ones (unethical, unworkable, ineffective). Research: history & experience will tell. C. In the process mobilize the high potentials in your organization. These are not necessarily part of the top echelons. Have the courage to ignore the sensitivities of some people (status, family ties, boss’s friends). D. restructure what needs to be restructured and weed out the unproductive or sick elements of the corporate culture (both negative & destructive beliefs and the people who hold on to those and keep resisting necessary change). E. Don’t expect this to be successful in two weeks. It might take two years. Or more. Success!

It is far more important to study people than things.
La Rochefoucauld

6th year, no. 6

The 25th Dutch Vietnam Management


Major Services + Client List + Mini Catalog
Loek Hopstaken’s 5 major services
The following services are in high demand: 1. Management Development programs—purpose: to train managers to qualify for higher positions, to develop soft skills, and to increase their value to their organizations 2. Seminars & Lectures in the fields of Human Resource Management, Leadership, Strategy, Public Relations and Business Communications 3. Business courses: HRM; Efficiency; Presentation Skills 4. Personal Coaching of entrepreneurs 5. Business Consultancy (Management & Leadership; HRM systems; PR; Strategy; internal communications)

WORKSHOPS A workshop is a 2-4 day group activity with a defined purpose, where theory, practical exercise and exchange of experiences are the main ingredients. Areas: HRM, PR, Communication, and Management.

Clients & Associates
In Vietnam: a.o. business field • Tan Thuan IPC (HCMC) Industrial development • HCMC University of Technology Master of BA program • RMIT (HCMC campus) Communication program • Royal Business School (public courses) Courses & seminars • Vietnam Airlines (RBS; ISM) International airline • Vietnam Singapore I.P. (SPECTRA) Industrial park • Petronas Vung Tau (SPECTRA) Chemical factory • Nike (Tae Kwang Vina) (SPECTRA) Shoe factory • Le & Associates Training & consultancy • Training House Vietnam (Sacombank) Training & consultancy • Ministry of L.I.S.A. (RBS) Civil Servants • SONY Vietnam (RBS) Consumer electronics • CapitaLand Vietnam (SPECTRA) Real estate • Institute for Potential Leaders / PACE Courses & seminars • Dalat Hasfarm (Agrivina) Pot plants, cut flowers • Hoanggia Media Group Key to Success TV Show • Fresh Green Earth Hi-tech agriculture • Unique Design Interior Design • ERC Institute Vietnam Vocational training • Golden Alliance Vocational training • Schoeller Bleckmann Vietnam Oilfield Equipment • De Heus Vietnam Animal food • Centre for Tropical Medicine—Oxford Uni. Clinical research • Khue Van Academy Courses & seminars • Training House Vietnam Courses & seminars • Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Business consultancy In The Netherlands, a.o. • ING Bank • Philips • Heineken • Yamaha • Voerman International • Damen Shipyards • Wittenborg University of Applied Sc. Financial services Electronics Brewery Musical instruments International relocations Ship repair wharfs IBA—BBA, MBA

• • • • • • • • •

Team Engineering Interpersonal Communication Commercial Communication Public Relations Presentation Skills Organizational Design Cross-cultural Communication Time Management / Efficiency Recruitment Skills

CONSULTING Consulting is any specified expert activity to help solve a defined problem. This can take the form of coaching, but also, conducting a research. By definition, it is tailor made. Areas: HRM, Strategy, PR.

• • • • • •

Personal Coach Business Coach Moderator Mediation Executive Selection In- & External Surveys (such as 360° Feedback)

SEMINARS A seminar is a 3-4 hour interactive transference of core know-how, including practical assignments.

• • • • • • • •

People Management Emotions in the Workplace Strategic Thinking Business Ethics The Allround Manager™ The Allround Communicator™ The Soft Skills Program On demand

Investments (ex. 10% VAT / 25% PIT) Workshops: US$ 1,200 per team / day. Consulting / Coaching: US$ 100 / hour. Seminars: US$ 550 – 850 per seminar (except for the ‘Allround’ programs). Lecture: US$ 250 per lecture. Train the Trainer: US$ 1,200 per day. Prices may change due to inflation. Contact me for longterm cooperation: or

6th year, no. 6

The 25th Dutch Vietnam Management Supporter


The DVM Supporter is published by Loek Hopstaken.

Email: or Mobile: 090 888 9450 Assistant: Ms. Vo Ngoc Lien Huong Email: Mobile: 090 888 9451

Technical details Size: 12 x 8 x 2.3 cm. High-tech innovation sunboost technology provides for: • 8 hours of bright ambient light, or • 16 hours of decent reading light, or • 80 hours of night safety light All on one day solar charge. Durability: • 3+ year life of (replaceable) battery • 10+ year solar panel and LED lifetime Affordable for families living on US$ 2 /day. Extra’s: • auto energy saving mode • fits on a bottle • SOS emergency beacon (press 3 seconds) You can buy a WakaWaka for US$ 29 via the website. The proceeds go to distribution of WakaWaka’s to people who don’t have electricity. When a company buys at least 5,000 WakaWaka’s to donate the price is US$ 9 a piece. The new 2013 model will contain a usb connection to charge a mobile phone.

Who is Loek Hopstaken?
1951: born in Haarlem, The Netherlands 1971-1972: travels: Europe & Asia 1972-1975: Amsterdam City University 1976-1977: travels: North & South America 1977-1993: career in banking: NCB, Postgiro, Postbank, NMB Postbank Group, ING Group, ING Bank 1979-1982: Business Administr. studies 1983-1988: Project Manager privatization process Postgiro to Postbank (field: P&O / HRM) 1989-1993: Project Manager merger Postbank & NMB Bank followed by merger with NN becoming ING Group (fields: PR, Marketing, Total Quality Management) 1991: founding Hopstaken Bedrijfsadvies 1991-present time: career in training and consultancy, coaching & mediation 1993: left ING Bank 1996-2000: Business Club MC (50 meetings) 2003-present time: combining training, coaching & consultancy with teaching at international business schools (IBA/MBA) 2005 + 2007: Professor appointments 2007-2008: visits to Vietnam: lecturing, consulting, surveying, delivering courses, workshops & seminars November 2008: establishment in Saigon 2008-present time: delivering lectures, seminars, coaching, workshops & training courses, mediation; overseas business trips 2010: Examiner VTV1 Key to Success Show 2011: Chairman Advisory Board ERC VN 2012: Chairman Academic Board ERC VN

Screw it, let’s do it!
Richard Branson

Full CV: mail