The Swiss Business Mindset
by Sorin Despot
Most likely, you have noticed the 100% Swiss Owned label right next to the Twispay logo, all across our website. I've been meaning to address this fact in one of our blog articles for a while now but, to be perfectly frank, for some time, I was not quite sure what it truly means.
As far as I could tell, Twispay displayed the business-culture traits of any truly European company, but the nuances of Swiss business culture eluded me. Moreover, since FinTech stands tall at the intersection of Finance and Information Technology, the Twispay offices encompass an impressively broad spectrum of attitudes, personal and professional backgrounds, and a couple of very different management styles.
Diana Șomănescu, our seasoned People Management Associate, covers part of the topic beautifully in her article: The Clash of FinTech Leadership Styles | Bureaucratic Vs. Laissez-Faire.
However, we haven't yet gotten to fully contemplate the genuinely Swiss nuances that have made their way into our company culture. This is precisely what I am going to do in the following paragraphs, highlighting the benefits it has brought us and our clients along the way.
Intercultural Prosperity | The Value of Diversity
Even though it is a relatively small nation, Switzerland has four official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansch. Less than one per cent of the population speaks Romansch, yet the Swiss have kept it as an official language. This decision speaks volumes about how much the Swiss value cultural diversity, heritage and inclusivity.
Cultural diversity and openness toward cutting-edge technology make Switzerland a prime test market for European products and services, especially in tech-driven fields. New technologies are often implemented in Switzerland before any other country in Europe.
What all this translates into, in terms of mindset and business culture, is a daring attitude toward innovation and disruptive technologies. Then again (one might argue), the field of information technology displays the same sort of openness and hunger for innovation and disruption for the greater good.
Indeed, IT does. What the Swiss seem to bring to the table is a certain balance that involves financial soundness and sound, data-driven strategic thinking. Which brings me to our second big point:
Empiricism and Critical Thinking
While ethnocentric inclusivity and openness toward technology might give them an air of fully progressive pioneers, the Swiss are well-known to prefer conservative perspectives. Business decisions cannot and will not be based on wow-factor, hunches or opinions.
The Swiss business mindset is purely empirical, factual, and data-driven. Moreover, a high level of seriousness and professionalism is always appreciated. Consider that even German punctuality needs to run like a Swiss watch. :)
For Twispay and our clients, conceptual and analytical thinking, manifested at every step of the way, translates into sound business decisions and a constant level of confidence required to keep our edge in an increasingly competitive space such as the FinTech market.
All in All,
We do our best to maintain the best mindset required to balance our thirst for disruption and our willingness to build a thriving tech-driven financial institution. The Swiss openness toward innovation and their notoriously conservative side reflect our need for balance beautifully, so we will keep that label up there, just as a reminder and a symbol of our common goal: a future where technology mediates and enhances all business endeavours.
All in all, there is no such thing as a typical Swiss, but there are stereotypical, "famous" Swiss traits that have definitely made their way into Twispay's company culture. Just to name a few, we are: scrupulously fair, industrious, tidy, educated, modestly affluent, conservative, private, neutral, responsible, critical and self-critical, ambitious, tolerant, reliable, conscientious, stubborn, efficient, enterprising, liberal, courteous, meticulous, inventive, punctual, serious, a little bourgeois, cautious, dependable, polite, reserved, law-abiding and in love with FinTech.