Frank Garten is a Netherlands-based speaker, author, and facilitator specializing in communication and cooperation with people from different cultures. His main focus these days is ‘Clarity in Conversations.’ Frank helps companies and teams to improve the quality of their dialogues. With a solid basis in general management in international companies (NXP Semiconductors, Philips), he is able to understand the dynamics of global teams and businesses. Author of 3 books on cross-cultural management, Frank travels the world to give lectures and provide practical workshops on the do’s and don’ts of (intercultural) business communication.
This is the last episode of Season 1 of Clarity in Conversations. And just like the previous episode was a special one where I interviewed co-host Els de Maeijer, for this last episode we reverse roles and Els will interview me. It's not my first move usually to put myself in the spotlight. I operate better when not all lights are shining on me, even though I know I do myself short sometimes with this modest trait. I have to admit I like this role-reversal though. Els' questions triggered me to think about my own career moves and my interests, and connect these to the experience of producing this podcast. I won't give you hints here of what we talk about: listen for yourself. This end Season 1 of Clarity in Conversations, and I have tremendously enjoyed producing, interviewing, editing and publishing this podcast 13 times. What the future will hold? I have not taken a decision yet. I will use the summer months to think about a next season. Maybe a similar set-up and format. Maybe a change to a talkshow with multiple guests. Maybe a forum where we address real-life business challenges with a panel of wild thinkers. Maybe... ?Any ideas are welcomed; great podcast ideas, offers for help and suggestions for modest sponsoring will be very welcomed to start Season 2: full of energy, after a nice and long summer break!For any feedback and responses, get in touch at thanks Els: for your fantastic role in Season 1. I never thought collaborating would be so nice when we started. Not only have you made this podcast come to life various ways: you also stimulated me to put the bar higher each time, and strive for a high quality listening experience for the many listeners in 50+ different countries. Thanks so much!
Els studies language. But that summary would not do justice to a full PhD with the subtitle “Languaging in industry-academia collaborations”. The main title is “Open Innovation Dynamics”, which characterizes Els’ PhD research at the universities of Eindhoven and Antwerp.Els de Maeijer has an MA in Linguistics and Literature at the University of Antwerp, she studied International Politics and works since 2010 at Fontys University of Applied Science, Industrial Engineering, Education and Management.Her research is about open innovation, based on the assumption that critical knowledge for innovation resides often outside the borders of your organization. So collaboration with external entities – or in this case between Academia and Industry – is vital.In this episode of Clarity in Conversations, I talk with Els about her research, but also about her teaching to students at Fontys University of Applied Science.Of course the episode ends with practical tips. Read more about Els de Maeijer at the website of Fontys or follow her on twitter.
Managing change is a challenge for any leader. And helping your people through change is an essential attention area for (people) managers. But corporate change is a curious process: in spite of organizational change being thoroughly prepared, most change projects fail. “Lack of Communication” is often cited as the number one reason for big change projects to fail.I have asked all guests of this podcast so far to share their most important insights and tips for communication in times of change. Together with Els de Maeijer, we structured their insights into a few topics:The time delay effect: the leaders of the changes have been involved in designing it for a long time and fail to understand that when they start communicating the changes, it’s new for their people who need time to digest and adaptExplaining the change is not a one-time announcement, but ideally consists of a continuous dialogueBeing stuck in one conversation style: while logic and ratio work for some, other people rely more on other communication stylesListening to your people in times of change: managers often use a strategy of “talking AT the group” rather than “talking WITH the people”The head vs. the heart: emotions play a role, and ignoring these because rational argumentation is preferred is not a good ideaI like this quote by William Bridges: “Change comes more from managing the journey than from announcing the destination.”In this episode of Clarity in Conversations you will hear many practical tips for managing change in organizations.
In episode 10 of Clarity in Conversations, my guest is Geof Cox. Geof has his own consultancy company called New Directions for over 25 years now, and he is the author of two very practical books about influencing and communication skills. “Getting Results without Authority - The new rule sof organisational influence” was published in 2010, and introduces a simple yet powerful model for influencing people who use different personal communication styles. Ten years earlier, in 2000, Goes already published Ready - Aim - Fire problem solving - A strategic approach to innovative decision making. Geof is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He started his career as a line and HR manager in the oil industry with Esso Petroleum. As an independent consultant, he advises companies and facilitates workshops on management and communication skills, and designs and facilitates international leadership development programs. Geof also is a colleague of mine, with whom I’ve been in front of groups frequently. And that’s been a pleasure always. Geof succeeds to have a vast database of theoretical background and great anecdotes about company life. But he uses this knowledge in a very practical way, succeeding to give people tools they can use the next morning in the office. We’ll talk about his model for effective influence: the model he uses as the starting point for his book Getting Results without Authority. When you have to rely on personal rather than positional power when influencing somebody, you’d better recognise the preferred style of that person and then choose consciously which style to use yourself to achieve results. The four styles - ACTIONS, PROCESS, PEOPLE and IDEAS, are distinctly different. In the podcast we talk about the importance of adapting to different styles when you want to have a high quality conversation. Yes, you want to provide clarity. But for one person clarity consists of concrete actions, for another person it consists of clarifying the vision, and for someone else it’s all about giving logical and rational explanation for what you need to get done. I reflect on the interview with Els de Maeijer, researcher Communication and Innovation at Fontys University of Applied Science in The Netherlands. Els starts with a question this time, wondering how to recognise the style fo your influence target when that person doesn’t wear a sticker on her head telling you what personality type she is. And of course, the podcast concludes with 3 practical tips to enhance the Clarity of your Conversations, in the office and at home.For more information about Geof Cox, visit his company website! Or contact me at, for information about the short and condensed online versions of the mentioned workshops, especially relevant in these COVID-19 times. 
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Creator Details

Jun 23rd, 1970
Utrecht, Netherlands
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
8 hours, 39 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 609250