Welcome to Holland! (while there still is a ‘Holland’…..)

To my shame I only just yesterday discovered, thanx to ‘Google Analytics’, that a considerable number of ‘1st time ManagementPro visitors’, come from abroad….

OK, a few weeks ago I received a comment that said: ‘Hi, I’m from Saudi Arabia!’. ‘What the heck’, I thought, ‘it ’s probably a hoax.’ so I deleted this message. Sorry, sorry, sorry, because as I said: yesterday I discovered that, despite the deletion, that afternoon already 2 hits out of Saudi Arabia reached ManPro! This morning ‘1st time hits’ came from Egypt (3), Surinam (2), Austria (2) and (oh what a surprise) Greece (3).

It could of course be that these hits come from Dutch expatriates but it’s also possible that they are from local managers that googled ‘ManagementPro’ and here they are! So Welcome! Welcome to Holland! (while there still is a ‘Holland’……). If foreign visitors come over, albeit digitally, respect demands that you address them in their own language. Or at least in a language in which we all can communicate. For long such was a ‘typical Dutch Treat’, not being addressed in that @#$%^& Dutch language but in a language that you could also understand. This attitude is why we were so very good in ‘talking abroad’, talking the local language. This attitude brought us a long way from home and it provided us, in more ways than 1, with a lot of fortune; just remember The Golden Age between app. the years 1600 and 1700.

But, it has to be said: we didn’t do it on our own. When in this Golden Age these big wooden ships, galleons and such, sailed for the unknown, sailed to prosper, most of the shipmates (on 1 ship in total often 300+) came from abroad. They were, so to say, non-Dutch. Only the management the skipper, the representative of the infamous VOC, the doctor, the captain of the guards and such, were of Dutch origin. (nb: we all know that it was a Dutch ship that played an important role in the first Nieuw Amsterdam, now New York, settlement, but who were its sailors??….)

So you might ask yourself: has Holland ever been Holland? I doubt it, especially if you are aware of the fact that even our ancient Royal family isn’t Dutch.

At this moment Holland is rapidly been extinguished from the map, it seems. One company-take-over after another takes place and the pace in which this happens is increasing. You might even say that, besides the typical Dutch family owned businesses, all other companies already have been taken over by foreigners and aren’t really Dutch anymore. E.g. all the Dutch hush-hush at the moment about the ABN AMRO (by the way: a bank that fully operates multinational) take over, sentiments and such, is an almost non-issue due to the fact that most of ABN AMRO’s shareholders already came from abroad. So how Dutch was or still is ABN AMRO anyway? The same goes for ‘Dutch companies’ such as PHILIPS, AKZO even AHOLD and what to say about SHELL? Some 100 years ago it was one of the 1st Dutch companies to go abroad. To rest my case, for the moment: what to say about the investments done by Dutch investment- and pensiun funds? We, ‘Dutch’, play an important role in companies all over the world and e.g. we all are indirectly the owners of a lot of real estate in the US. So what’s still typically Dutch?

Perhaps it’s best if I stick to the actual ABN AMRO example. When, last year, ABN AMRO battled fiercely for Italian bank ANTONVENETA and finally won, over here it was as if Amsterdam soccer club AJAX had just beaten Italian soccer club AC MILAN in the UEFAcup Championship. Now ABN AMRO is to be taken over by ‘third parties’, this leaves a lot of Dutch ABN AMRO customers completely in distress. This behavior made one of ABN AMRO’s top managers Wietze Reehoorn just yesterday remark: ‘Some of our smaller customers seem to be worried, but there’s no reason to.’

‘What the heck? You, ABN AMRO, have at this moment completely lost the initiative in this take-over-battle and say that we don’t have to worry?!’ You might think that this would be a reaction of the worrisome customers. That’s not the case; or as at the eve of WWII one of our prime ministers assured us: ‘Sleep well, nothing is going to happen.’ And indeed ‘nothing happened’, nothing is going to happen, nothing is going to change because Holland is still Holland much more a country of the World then we ourselves are aware of.

Thanx for reading this entry and be assured: more entries in the Anglo Saxon language will soon follow.

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