Italy:

Tip 11
Teams built across hierarchical lines tend to be difficult to arrange as they interfere with the normal relationship networks. (Unless the cross-departmental team mirrors one of the existing networks.)
Tip 12
Any impression that the meeting is an open forum for decision-making is likely to be pure theatre. Even when a decision is agreed it is likely that a different decision will be made elsewhere and implemented by the loyal allies of the person making the decision
Tip 13
Meetings are usually informal and are in order to assess the mood of people, gauge the strength of feeling on particular issues and not necessarily in order to reach a decision.
Tip 14
It is difficult to go through a pre-arranged agenda in a structured way. Viewing the business holistically, all items are inter-related.
Tip 15
Everybody at the meeting is entitled to have a say. The importance placed on ideas put forward rests more on the character and influence of the speaker than the weight of the idea itself.
Tip 16
It is acceptable to leave or enter a meeting as necessary. Small sub-meetings often develop within meetings. Mobile phone calls are often accepted - especially if waiting for a call from somebody trusted or admired.
Tip 17
More reliance is placed on the spoken than the printed word and it is always, therefore, important to talk to people directly rather than to rely solely on written information. The ability to speak eloquently and at length is valued.
Tip 18
Humour is used less than in the UK but much more so than in Germany, Switzerland etc. It is important to be seen as not too serious - life must still be enjoyed.
Tip 19
Punctuality is important but human relations are more important. Italians will appear on time if they can but other, more vital, human transactions may interfere.
Tip 20
Food is important and meal times are more for human interaction and relationship building than for discussing detailed business matters.
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