Fons Trompenaars studied Economics at the Free University of Amsterdam and later earned a Ph.D. from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, with a dissertation on differences in conceptions of organizational structure in various cultures. He experienced cultural differences firsthand at home, where he grew up speaking both French and Dutch, and then later at work with Shell in nine countries.
Fons joined Shell in 1981 and moved into the Personnel Division for Shell in Rotterdam. From 1985, he worked in job classification and management development at the Shell Research Laboratories in Amsterdam. In 1989 he founded the Centre for International Business Studies, a consulting and training organization for international management. Since 1998 we operate as Trompenaars Hampden-Turner. Fons Trompenaars has worked as a consultant for Shell, BP, ICI, Philips, Heineken, TRW, Mars, Motorola, General Motors, Nike, Cable and Wireless, CSM and Merrill Lynch.
Fons Trompenaars is known all over the world for his work as consultant, trainer, motivational speaker and author of many books on the subject of culture and business. He has spent over 25 years helping Fortune 500 leaders and professionals manage and solve their business and cultural dilemmas to increase global effectiveness and performance, particularly in the areas of globalization, mergers and acquisition, HR and leadership development.
Fons wrote Riding the Waves of Culture, Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business. This book sold over 120,000 copies and was translated into French, German, Dutch, Korean, Danish, Turkish, Chinese, Hungarian and Portuguese. He is co-author of Seven Cultures of Capitalism, Building Cross-Cultural Competence and 21 Leaders for the 21st Century with Charles Hampden-Turner. Recently he published Riding the Whirlwind, a dynamic new take on creativity and innovation. Fons has co-written an article with Peter Woolliams entitled “Lost in Translation” regarding culture and failure, which was published in the April 2011 online issue of the Harvard Business Review.
In 1991 Fons was awarded the International Professional Practice Area Research Award by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). He was mentioned as one of the top 5 management consultants, next to Michael Porter, Tom Peters and Edward de Bono in a leading Business magazine in August 1999.
Fons was voted one of the top 20 HR Most Influential International Thinkers 2011 by HR Magazine. He is also ranked in the Thinkers50 to be one of the most influential management thinkers alive in November 2011 and shortlisted as making substantial strides in the contribution to the understanding of globalization and the new frontiers established by the emerging markets.
In 1994 the translation of his book Riding the Waves of Culture was awarded “Book of the Year” by the Order of Experts and Consultants on Organization (OOA), a Dutch management organization. The third edition has just recently been published stateside and in Europe in 2012.
- Co-Director at the Servant-Leadership Centre for Research and Education (SLCRE) at the Free University Amsterdam.
- Member of Advisory Board Webster University Leiden.
- Distinguished Advisor of Centre for TransCultural Studies at Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore.
- International Director at the International Society for Organisational Development.
- Faculty member at the Global Institute for Leadership Development (GILD).
- Judge of the Fons Trompenaars award for Innovation and Creativity at the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI).
- A tribute to Nelson Mandela from SERVUS and Trompenaars Hampden-Turner December 6, 2013It is the end of an era for South Africa and millions of people worldwide will mourn him. His extraordinary servant-leadership strengths - his capacity to reflect on his weaknesses and his fight for justice will continue to give us energy. Especially to students and those who are struggling to give meaning to their lives, he was and will be a role model. Jus […]
- Stranded, Candid or Blended? | Tata Communications New WorldTata Communications New World December 4, 2013Stranded, Candid or Blended? | Tata Communications New WorldTata Communications New World: Face to face or digital: Fons Trompenaars examines the high-tech presentation dilemma in his post on the Tata Communications New World Blog […]
- Tijd voor transitie - Servant-Leadership als gids November 25, 2013For the Dutch readers, We are happy to share that there are still some tickets available for the 9th annual, national Servant-Leadership Congress, organized by our colleagues. The Congress takes place this coming Wednesday, 27 November in Spant! Bussum. Many workshops are already full, so hurry to reserve your place. Registration via: www.gcsl.eu/wp/inschr […]
- Fons Trompenaars one of the top 50 management thinkers worldwide November 12, 2013Ranking is a result of increasing need for knowledge of intercultural management During the bi-annual ceremony of Thinkers50 in London Fons Trompenaars, academic, consultant and author has been ranked as one of the current most influential management thinkers worldwide. Among previous recipients of these ‘Oscars of management’ were Michael Porter, Henry Mint […]
- Thinkers50 2013 November 11, 2013Fons is at the Thinkers50 2013 Gala Awards in the City of London, UK this evening. You can watch the live stream of the event here. Results of the awards will be published later this evening once they have been announced at the event. UPDATE: Dr Fons Trompenaars has been listed 41 in the 2013 Thinkers50. Congratulations to all those on the list! More details […]