Category Archives: Travels

The Culture Map

Erin MEYER [1]

Following the Acknowledgements at the end of the book, I also owe one to my dear friend Ray, K. for introducing me this fascinating work. As languages, history and learning are always tempting for me and I have met many people from different parts of the world, with various cultural backgrounds, the book sparked my interest from the very beginning, because all of the above concepts are interrelated with the “Culture”

Erin Meyer, as a professor at INSEAD, one of the world’s leading international business schools, focuses her work in this book on how the world’s most successful global leaders navigate the complexities of cultural differences in a multicultural environment. She collects data from the observations and practices of executives, who lead international teams, and brings them under eight categories by successfully mapping the underlying cultural point of views. Experienced difficulties by these executives are in deed very prevalent and solutions/suggestions that Meyer provided looks to me very pertinent. 

So far I did not have such an opportunity to manage a multicultural team, but during my professional career and personal travelings I have witnessed many anecdotes of the book from the first hand. In this regard, I was already familiar with the many interesting stories that take place in the book and curiously read the suggestions of the author. So this book not only verified my personal findings, but also set them in a well-framed context. I think the eight broad categories that are developed from Henry Zinglersen’s work by the author address many problems and mismatches at todays global interactions.    

Although not all the countries scattered on diagrams, more or less you can guess a country’s place simply by comparing the qualities presented. For example Turkey is not plotted in most of the diagrams, but with the questions like:

“Who gives the decisions?, How are the meetings arranged, run and followed? For example: Is the agenda months ago determined and disseminated to participants;

Does a meeting starts-ends at the scheduled time; during the meeting how the non-agenda items handled and do the meetings end with a consensual decision or is it to the manager deferred?

Or how welcomed to openly disagree an idea when it does not make sense at all for you. And when you dare to do it even politely and with a proof does the manager take it personal or resents?” 

With such queries you can find a country’s place at the map or you can find your way through the cultural complexities. However, keep in mind that an individual or a business entity can have totally different culture from the culture of the country they exist in.

I wish you a pleasant reading.


Ergun UNUTMAZ, 11.10.2017


[1] Erin MEYER, Public Affairs, 2015, New York, USA.


A Rough Guide for Athens!

In these hot summer days I would be more than happy to give you suggestions about great vacation spots of Greece, including its famous islands where you can enjoy your holiday and have a tranquil, relaxing time at the natural beaches. However, this essay is to address Athens in a broad sense with its well-known historical monuments, rich and delicious cuisine, and a glimpse of daily life in the capital.

On these grounds, I will try to share my recent observations with my best of knowledge and goodwill rather than fulfilling a mission or professional duty. In this dossier you will find basic background information as well as places to go and things to do and taste.     


pantheon                                          (The Parthenon – Acropolis)        


Although the title is “A Rough Guide for Athens” you will find in this file rather comprehensive information. Athens is a historical city and the capital of Greece. But more importantly many of Classical civilizations’ intellectual and artistic ideas originated there, and the city is generally considered to be the birthplace of Western civilization. Therefore, writing a 3 or 4 day-trip guide on things to do in Athens would be a disrespect to this cultural heritage, in my understanding. So, I decided to start with introducing its history, geographical position and climate and continue in the second part about suggestions on places to go and things to do in Athens in 4 days. As I acknowledge that it might be boring to read this brief introduction or you might already know it beforehand than you can directly start reading from page 7 for the practical information before your travel.  

Enjoy your stay in Athens!


Please click on the link for the file “A Rough Guide for the Athens“.


Ergun UNUTMAZ, 13/07/2014



Welcome to Istanbul!

Although, people haven’t been here yet, must have been heard about the Istanbul. Because, it is not only one of the most attractive, cosmopolitan city in the world with high population, but also it is one of the most ancient. It has a unique position where the European and Asian continents meet. Moreover, it is the largest city and seaport of Turkey, as the leading industrial, commercial, and cultural center.

On these grounds, I will try to present you the Istanbul and Turkey in general as a Turkish citizen, with my best of knowledge and goodwill rather than fulfilling a mission or professional duty. In this dossier you will find both valuable background information as well as practical city guide. 

Click here for the file “A Rough Guide for the Istanbul“.

Ergun UNUTMAZ, 01/04/2012