Tip 1
With the country in a state of total flux, Russian attitudes to business can vary widely from sector to sector and from region to region. Are you dealing with a new-style entrepreneur or an old-school Soviet bureaucrat?
Tip 2
Law-breaking and rule avoidance have been promoted to an art-form in a country where the state has, for centuries, been seen as the enemy.
Tip 3
In a country where the rule of law has all but broken down, the only thing that can be relied upon in a business context is the strength of the relationships upon which the business is based. Do not underestimate the importance of relationship building - or the time taken in the process.
Tip 4
Contracts are only as valid as a combination of your ability to enforce the law and the importance placed upon the relationship. Trying to enforce an unpopular clause in a contract could prove virtually impossible.
Tip 5
Russian companies are often driven and directed by one strong, central character. Without the approval of this individual, very few decisions will be taken and any that are would probably prove invalid.
Tip 6
Don't waste time trying to get decisions out of middle and junior managers - go straight to the top if possible.
Tip 7
Companies tend to take a short-term view of any given business opportunity. In a country as volatile and uncertain as Russia, who knows what lies around the corner?
Tip 8
Managers are expected to manage and this means giving precise and detailed instructions to subordinates. Inclusive, 'caring' management styles might be viewed as weak.
Tip 9
Meetings tend to be used to disseminate information or to give direct instruction - do not expect a great deal of open debate or disagreements in front of senior managers.
Tip 10
Smaller, more informal meetings often occur behind closed doors where senior management might canvas opinion or seek other opinions.