Around the world with Erik Nordling

Around the world with Erik Nordling

Learning from Senior Executive, Advisor and Author Erik Nordling 

We are excited to learn about global collaboration from Erik Nordling.

Erik Nordling has worked in Executive leadership positions in major international IT- and Telecommunication companies originating from both US and Europe. He has work experiences from US, Latin America, Western and Central Europe and the Middle East as well as extensive time in Eastern Europe and Africa.

Erik has also been engaged in a number of sustainability and procurement networks, start-up activities, managing commercial, technical and political aspects.

Erik is passionate about international leadership and collaboration, and the dynamics of multi-cultural workforces.

The episode is recorded as both an Audio and Video Podcast, and it focuses on Eric’s journey, insights from his book and approaches he finds useful for international companies, leaders and boards.

Welcome to listen and learn about

  • About Erik and how it all started
  • What do you know about countries 
  • Considerations when working internationally 
  • Country law and Company alignment
  • Commercial Management, Sales & Procurement 
  • Leadership insights 
  • Sustainability insights 
  • Erik as a furniture

Around the world 

International business collaboration is a crucial part of many businesses’ progress. Not only does it help to expand the company’s reach, but it can also lead to new and innovative ideas. It is also an important vehicle to continue driving our joint challenges, including climate actions and establishing the platform for peace.

The international business collaboration includes working with businesses in other countries to buy, sell or produce goods or services. International business collaboration can be a great way to boost your company’s growth. It can also be a complex process, so it’s essential to do your research and work with experienced leaders and partners. As Erik Nordling shares in the podcast and his book, it also contributes to many individuals’ both business and personal experiences and growth.

There are many benefits to international business collaboration. It can help businesses access new markets and expand their customer base, and it can also lead to cost savings by taking advantage of different countries’ strengths. When businesses work together, they can pool their resources and knowledge to create products or services more appealing to customers than what either company could make on its own.

Another benefit of international business collaboration is the sharing of risk. By working together, businesses can spread the cost of research and development, production, marketing, and other business activities over a more extensive base, making each company less vulnerable to financial setbacks. Ultimately, international business collaboration can lead to a prosperous future for all involved. Businesses that work together can create opportunities for growth and development that would not be possible otherwise.

Relationships and cultural impact

Collaborations are built on relationships, so taking the time to get to know potential partners is essential. It is critical to ensure all parties understand the cultural differences and communication styles of those involved.

Careful management of international collaboration is essential to success, and understanding cultural differences usually achieve better organizational effectiveness.

Several academics have done research into international collaboration. One of the leading academics isProfessorErin Meyer, a Professor of Organizational Behavior at INSEAD and author of The Culture Map.She has explored how cultural behaviors impact collaboration and shares valuable insight on how to understand better, prepare for and handle the differences.

She has identified eight critical dimensions impacting our collaboration: Communicating, Evaluating, Persuading, Leading, Deciding, Trusting, Disagreeing, and Scheduling.

Communicating identifies low-context cultures (where communication is precise, simple, explicit, and clear) versus high-context cultures (where communication is sophisticated, nuanced, and layered).

Evaluating identifies how criticism is appreciated and expected, whether direct, frank, or diplomatic.

Persuading identifies how cultures understand and appreciate explanations, whether principle first or application first.

Leading identifies the degree of respect and deference shown to authoritative figures.

Deciding identifies to which degree a culture is consensus minded.

Trusting identifies whether the culture creates trust via task proofing or relationship building.

Disagreeing identify tolerance to open disagreement.

Scheduling identifies if a culture follows schedules in detail or treats it as a suggestion.

To understand the impact of the stories shared by Erik and outline where some of the mentioned cultures fall on the scale, we have plotted them on a map as shared by Erin Meyer in Culture Map;

Erik Nordling has his origin from Sweden. In especially the areas of Leading, Deciding and Linear-Time, where Sweden is on the far end, he has needed extra care and effort to overcome. However, he will likely have learnt to listen actively from early in his career, being impacted by the cultures he worked in and adjusted his style.

Globalisation and Trust 

The continued globalization, combined with increasing virtual interactions, has further increased the need for insights around cultural differences and added other dimensions that need more cautious built-ins, such as regular check-ins.

The broader topic of the company culture further highlights the need for curiosity and insights into the matter. Corporate culture is the tacit social order of an organization. One of the bases of many corporate cultures is the culture of the headquarters office, in terms of both country culture as well as trust and openness.

Trust is built over many years but can easily and quickly be destroyed by one wrongdoing. Trust has now grown into one of the critical dimensions of any business. Societal leadership has now been further included in the required capabilities a company and its leaders and employees need to consider, as can be found in Edelman Trust Barometer 2022.

One of the reasons the business has become even more important is the increased mistrust in many countries of their governments and their ability to solve societal and existential challenges, including climate change and inequalities.

An interesting finding is that the most trusted are scientists, followed by co-workers and the CEO. This fact further highlights the need for companies to establish a clear code of conduct and follow that with accountability, transparency, and monitoring. Why again, the individual representatives of businesses and their understanding and ability to cope with international collaborations are crucial.


International business collaborations are essential for developing both individual businesses and our societies. The collaboration is mainly based on actions from individual employees. Their understanding of other cultures is vital to establish trust.

 Learn More

About Erik Nordling 

Erik Nordling at LinkedIn

Nordling Cross Border Business Contact

Book “My Work Journey. Fifty short stories from my professional life” by Erik Nordling at Amazon

Erik is an Ambassador for the Sustainable Procurement Pledge

Other inspiration 

Being the Boss in Brussels, Boston And Bejing by Erin Meyer at HBR

Culture Map Book by Professor Erin Meyer

Remote work might force us to be better cross-cultural managers at Forbes

The leaders guide to Corporate Culture by Boris Groysberg et al at HBR

Edelman Trust Barometer 2022

In Swedish:

Book Förtroendekapital by Kristina Jarring Lilja

This blog post was originally shared at the blog of Digoshen,  and the blog of the Digoshen founder

At Digoshen, we work hard to increase #futureinsights and help remove #digitalblindspots and #sustainabilityblindspots. We believe that Companies, Boards, and Business Leadership Teams need to understand more about the future and the digital & sustainable world to fully leverage the potential when bringing their business into the digital & more sustainable age. If you are a board member, consider joining our international board network and master programs.

To understand where you and your company stand in digital business and leadership progress, take our survey at and get a free-of-charge personalized report with recommendations on moving forward. The survey is anonymous and takes about 15 minutes to complete.

You will find more insights via Digoshen Website, and you are welcome to follow us on LinkedIn Digoshen @ Linkedinand twitter: @digoshen  and founder @liseeng