The event “Expand your Network after Setting Up in London” organized by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain at the London & Partners office was quite interesting. The venue was ideal: some of the best views in London. As a matter of fact that meeting room is often used as a recording studio.

Networking events are quite useful if they are industry focused, if someone already knows everyone and introduces to those who may have specific synergy (or if everybody has a chance to quickly  introduce themselves).

But, of course, this was an event with “Spanish flavor”. For better and worse.

On one hand the excellent Enrique Tomás ham (they are about to open their second store in London), was a hit, as a good ibérico always is. Besides, there were many people with interesting projects, like Aglaris or Virtualware. But, professionally speaking, sincerely and as usual, it makes me both sad and angry that Spaniards have so many deficiencies. From speaking English (those who did, because there were some who were sent from Spain to open the British market not knowing how to speak English!, even international government officials) to public speaking, corporate strategy, the use of new technologies, the design of their presentations… Actually, one realises that in Spain people are quite inventive and courageous, because daring to dive into a market like that I want to believe it takes courage and not foolishness.

To top it off we have the collaboration issue (or actually, lack of thereof). I do not feel “Spanish”, not more or less than “European” or “Mediterranean”. But it is obvious that a identifying with a nationality is quite often link enough to create alliances and synergies. The Italians are experts at that, I must admit. But the Spaniards, on the contrary! I won’t go into probable causes or historic/social/political causes, but in Spain instead of collaborating and helping each other, it’s all about mistrust, envy and suspicion. I know that is a huge and coarse generalisation and that there are many and honorable exceptions, but let’s call things by their name and let’s be able to look in the mirror. We might learn something. Maybe English.