Success tips when doing business in Iceland
- Icelandic business meetings are brief and to the point, no excessive talk is necessary. Meetings should begin with a firm handshake and good eye contact to show respect;
- It is normal to discuss business over dinner since Icelanders tend to establish a friendly and personal relationship with their business partners. However, it is crucial that you dress formally for such occasions;
- Icelanders strongly value honesty, punctuality, and precision. Therefore, it is important not to be late, provide any misleading information or making promises that you cannot keep as you will lose your credibility;
- The organizational structure in Iceland is relatively collaborative rather than hierarchical. Barriers between departments are eliminated, employees can be interactive with the top managers which allows decisions to be made faster;
- Communication is very direct in Iceland. It is common to be straight-forward in your speech which will not be taken offensively.
Interesting facts about Iceland?
- Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe;
- 71.7% of all energy used in Iceland is produced from own resources. 53.9% of all energy needs in Iceland are met by geothermal energy production (hot springs), while 17.8% off all energy needs are met by hydro-electric production, which comes from the big waterfalls;
- Iceland’s main industry is fishing;
- Icelander’s are extremely proud of their Viking heritage and have preserved it in art, music and festivals;
- Iceland has one of the longest work weeks in Europe. Icelander’s are renowned for their dedication productivity;
- Most Icelanders do not have a family name (such as Johnson, Smith, etc). So children have a given name and then father’s-name-son or father’s-name-daughter. Thus: Jon has a son named Thor Jonsson and a daughter named Hafdis Jonsdottir. Thor Jonsson has a son named Bjarni Thorsson and a daughter named Frida Thorsdottir. And so forth;
- Even though photos might lead you to believe otherwise, there are no mountains in Iceland — just valleys. If you look closely, most of the mountains here are relatively flat on top. This is because the country was carved out by slow-moving glaciers, chewing up the land and gouging deep valleys into it;
- Iceland has no army, navy, or air force. It does have a Coast Guard.