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The 38th Dutch Vietnam

Management Supporter

Do you grok it?

Its an invitation to think, not to believe. After his
novel Stranger in a Strange Land was published, Robert
Heinlein found many people didnt get it. They believed it
was describing an ideal world. But all Heinlein had set
out to do was to shake up peoples fixed mores & opinions.
He did succeed in making me think. An eye-opening
concept was to grok: the ultimate in understanding
something, or sympathizing with someone. I grok it: I get
the full picture, including all feelings connected with it. I
fully emphasize comes close.
We often ask
others, Do you
Those who do,
will use their
logic to try &
make sense of it.
When it does,
theyll say:
Sure! But logic
is only a section
of reality. Try to
make sense of
affection, taste,
art, cultural
phenomena, or
love. Logic seldom plays a role. Yet, we can grok it. And if
we dont, life will be devoid of some genuine & deep
experiences & joys. In my work I aim at you grokking it.

It's better to understand something

than to memorize something.
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Prof. Loek Hopstaken

Cell: 090 888 9450

9th year, no. 4

July, 2015
This magazine was first
published in March 2007. It is
digitally distributed among
my Vietnamese & Dutch
business & private associates.
Purpose: to keep you
informed about my activities
in Vietnam and overseas.
This amazingly attractive and
energetic country has rapidly
conquered my soul. It is my
home away from home.
Loek Hopstaken

In this issue:
Do you grok it?


The Organic World

ONP Soft Skills


Soft Skills boosts ...

Before I forget
Clients, services &
contact information


9th year, no. 4

The 38th Dutch Vietnam

Management Supporter


7 years after its arrival in Vietnam, Dutch animal feed producer De Heus will soon open its
7th factory. Training continues. 18 office staff & managers learned 2-way communication &
motivation skills, team engineering & time management. Location: Binh Quoi 2, HCMC.
Control Union is a quality inspection & certification company, active all over Vietnam.
Since June 2014 its management team does a tailor made Management Development program. Also participating are managers
of Eco2, a company selling & maintaining fumigation solutions.
Part 5 of a 12-day program included decision making skills, management by
objectives, and thinking skills.
Like De Heus, the location was a truly
green environment: Ana Mandara
Resort in Dalat.
Between workshops we cycled through
Dalats green valleys, and paid a visit to
the Organik farmone of Control
Unions clients. See next page.

The moment a person realizes that reality has many faces,

he/she takes the first step on the road to wisdom.

9th year, no. 4

The 38th Dutch Vietnam

Management Supporter

A picture may tell a 1,000 words. Sometimes

though, 100 words inspire an entire movie!
We all agree: a true leader inspires his followers, or better: inspires leadership in others.
How? By sharing his dream (without PowerPoint). He uses words, fueling them with a
strong belief in the rightness of his vision. And when he speaks while showing you around
his company, his realized dream, he has the power to change your mind.
I confess: I was quite ignorant about organic farming. Even sceptic. Dr. Nguyen Ba Hung,
Founder & general Director of Organik, changed my mind. He took us around his farm in
Dalat, telling about his work, his experiments, answered our questions, and had us taste
whatever we liked to taste. I am now better informed, lost my scepticism and am convinced
that organicly grown vegetables & fruit can make a big difference in living a healthy life. It
has a great future. provides (English) information about Organiks products. In Ho Chi Minh City you can visit its shop at 8 Thao Dien Street, D.2.

Control Union GD Mr. Richard de Boer

listening to Dr. Nguyen Ba Hung

Dr. Hung with Control Union & Eco2

managers in an Organik greenhouse

Organic farming methods combine scientific knowledge of ecology and modern technology with
traditional farming practices based on naturally occurring biological processes. Organic farming
methods are studied in the field of agro-ecology. While conventional agriculture uses synthetic pesticides and
water-soluble synthetically purified fertilizers, organic farmers are restricted by regulations to using natural
pesticides and fertilizers. An example of a natural pesticide is pyrethrin, which is found naturally in the Chrysanthemum flower. The principal methods of organic farming include crop rotation, green manures and compost, biological pest control, and mechanical cultivation. These measures use the natural environment to enhance agricultural productivity: legumes are planted to fix nitrogen into the soil, natural insect predators are
encouraged, crops are rotated to confuse pests and renew soil, and natural materials such as potassium bicarbonate and mulches are used to control disease and weeds. Hardier plants are generated through plant breeding rather than genetic engineering.
Source: Wikipedia

When you talk, you are only repeating what you already
know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.
Dalai Lama

9th year, no. 4

The 38th Dutch Vietnam

Management Supporter

ONP Vietnam Staff expands their soft skills

ONP Vietnam management & senior staff.

At my right, Mr. Patrick McNeal, ONPs General Director.

A staff retreat is a good way to say: lets get away for a few days, look at ourselves & our
company, and get ready for a fresh new start. Thats what ONP Vietnamsuccessful
manufacturer of top quality furniture for the US marketdid for 3 consecutive days at Binh
Quoi 2 (HCMC). We covered issues that had been selected as having the interest of most:
soft skills such as two-way communication, teamwork & time management, and personal
quality management. Minimum theory, maximum practice. To familiarize non-production
staff with Lean Manufacturing, CICCs Chairman Mr. Pham Thanh Dieu successfully ran a
2-hour simulation game. A week later Viet Nam News published an article about this (next

In any given moment we have two options: to step

forward into growth, or to step back into safety.
Abraham Maslow

9th year, no. 4

The 38th Dutch Vietnam

Management Supporter

Viet Nam News: Soft Skills training helps

company boost competitiveness
June 30 daily newspaper Viet Nam News ran a story
about ONPs Staff Retreat (p.4). In this excerpt, ONP
General Director Patrick McNeal reflects on the 3-day
soft skills improvement program:
Companies are always looking for a way to become
more competitive. And, companies can go out and hire
professionals and hire people with college or university
degrees. They hire people that have many years of experience in different jobs and everybody is able to do
that. But, having people with good technical skills is
not enough. It is equally important that our employees
have strong soft skills. Employees that develop these
skills will be more professional, more positive, more
productive and more cooperative. We decided to invest in this training to help our employees
develop their skills and utilize them better, and the company will be more successful.
A staff with good soft skills is able to listen, can do presentations, organize work, manage
time and work in a team. Being co-operative, flexible, and being able to lead when the situation calls for a leader, or being able to follow when the situation calls for a follower, are important skills that will help our company to be more successful.
As a young man he had worked for a company in the US that did a very good job of training
employees, he said. I always wanted to do this kind of job in Vietnam. The problem was I
could not find somebody who knew these skills and could teach people.
Most of the people attending the course ended up feeling excited in class after initially dismissing soft skills training as nothing new. Afterwards they said they learnt much more
than they had expected and the lessons were very pertinent to their jobs.
Along with theory, Hopstaken also gave them a chance to practice through role playing.
From that, they learnt how to communicate their ideas both orally and in writing, listen to
others and do presentations, organize their work better and take a systematic approach to
their tasks and manage their time so that assignments can be completed in time.
Ms. Nhun (Purchasing):Two-way communication skills was one of the three lessons she
loved the most, she says. It taught her how to act and how to express her ideas in a concise
and effective way. Emotion will be the word that she remembers best after the course.
I have learnt that I have to care about the partners emotion. I will utilize this lesson from
now on and I am sure my job will be better for it.
Source: Viet Nam News, June 30, 2015

9th year, no. 4

The 38th Dutch Vietnam

Management Supporter

Before I forget ...

Below: Not everyday I see my face in a glossy magazine.
Dia Oc (real estate) interviewed me about recruitment in
the hospitality industry. The 3-page article is in Vietnamese.
If you like to read the English version, let me know.

Above: Prof. David Snyder (USA)

is a frequent visitor to Vietnam.
Over the years he taught & tutored
dozens of Vietnamese students. We
were occasional colleagues at Royal
Business School.
And at times Im his xe om.

Food for thought: Heinlein on art

Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl.
An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old
woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But
a great artist a master and that is what Auguste
Rodin was can look at an old woman, portray her
exactly as she is . . . and force the viewer to see the
pretty girl she used to be . . . and more than that, he
can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo,
or even you, see that
this lovely young girl
is still alive, not old
and ugly at all, but
simply prisoned inside
her ruined body.
From: Stranger in a
Strange Land, by
Robert Heinlein

9th year, no. 4

The 38th Dutch Vietnam Management Supporter

Loek Hopstakens Clients

In Vietnam: a.o.

Tan Thuan IPC

HCMC University of Technology

RMIT (HCMC campus)

Royal Business School

Int. Business & Law Academy (IBLA)

Vietnam Airlines (RBS; ISM)

Vietnam Singapore I.P. (SPECTRA)

Petronas Vung Tau (SPECTRA)

Petronas Carigali (PACE)

Nike (Tae Kwang Vina) (SPECTRA)

Le & Associates

Sacombank (Training House)

Ministry of L.I.S.A. (RBS)

SONY Vietnam (RBS)

CapitaLand Vietnam (SPECTRA)

Institute for Potential Leaders / PACE

Dalat Hasfarm (Agrivina)

Hoanggia Media Group

Fresh Green Earth

Unique Design

ERC Institute Vietnam

Schoeller Bleckmann Vietnam

Robert Bosch Vietnam (PACE)

De Heus Vietnam

Control Union Vietnam (SPECTRA)

Centre for Tropical Med.Oxford Uni.

Khue Van Academy

CARE Vietnam (AIT)

Asian Institute of Technology (AIT)

HCMC Fin. & Invest. Company (AIT)

Academy of Finance

ITEQ Vietnam

Vietnam Breweries Ltd (Heineken)

ONP Vietnam

Bonfiglioli Vietnam
In The Netherlands, a.o.

ING Bank



business field
Industrial development
internat. MBA program
Pro Comm faculty
Courses & seminars
Training & consultancy
International airline
Industrial park
Chemical factory
Oil & gas
Shoe factory
Training & consultancy
Training & consultancy
Civil Servants
Consumer electronics
Real estate
Courses & seminars
Pot plants, cut flowers
Key to Success TV Show
Hi-tech agriculture
Interior Design/archit.
Business school
Oilfield Equipment
Animal food
Quality inspections
Clinical research
Courses & seminars
Training & consultancy
Investments (s.o.c.)
MBA (Un. of Gloucester)
Furniture factory
Gearboxes (factory)
Financial services

The DVM Supporter is published by

Prof. Loek Hopstaken
Cell Vietnam: (84) 090 888 9450
Cell The Netherlands: 06 510 97328
Assistant: Ms. Vo Ngoc Lien Huong
Cell: (84) 090 888 9451

Reality is merely
an illusion.
Albeit a very
persistent one.
Albert Einstein

To attain
knowledge, add
things everyday.
To attain wisdom,
remove things
Lao Tse
The illiterate of the
future are not
those who cant
read or write, but
those who cannot
learn, unlearn and
Alvin Toffler

If you can
change your
mind, you can
change your
William James