Shaping the Future - Part 3. Technology & Entrepreneurship

Shaping the Future - Part 3. Technology & Entrepreneurship

We continue to present to you the latest book published by the EMBA community, this collection of case studies largely focused on business operating in Romania and on the Romanian economic environment, outlining not only the penetration of new business trends and the adoption of new processes and management procedures but also the growth and transformation of the Romanian business community.

The reader will see not only the transformation taking place across small, medium, and large size companies operating in Romania but also how managers and business leaders understand these transformations, how they approach new practices, how they address gender inequality, and other stringent issues that hamper the development of sustainable business models and how they make sense of a fast-changing world where old models are disrupted and new business architectures and ideas emerge.

The third part of this book is about technology and entrepreneurship. For more details, please order the book here. If you want to meet the authors and discuss with them the challenges and opportunities that Romanian entrepreneurs and managers are facing, join us for the book launch on Monday, 26th of April from 18:00 (RO Time) on Zoom or Facebook live.

In the first paper, Nurturing an Innovative Entrepreneurship Culture, through a Community of Practice, Would Improve the Local Business Development Success, Cătălina Vescan studies the emergence of new communities of practices that can improve and enhance the entrepreneurial drive of the Romanian business environment. The purpose of this research was to find out if changing the current local entrepreneurs’ mindset, through nurturing an innovative entrepreneurship culture, is possible and could improve the local business development success. For this matter, the Communities of practice concept is considered as a physical setting that provides the necessary environment to nurture an innovative entrepreneurship culture. As demonstrated in the literature review, Romania has a weak entrepreneurship culture and an even smaller percentage of innovative entrepreneurship. Also, in the researched context, the development of Communities of practice is one of the right approaches, but it is acknowledged that there are also other ways.

The findings of this research indicate that networking and applied knowledge bring value to the entrepreneur’s businesses. Communities of practice create an environment that enables the creation of innovative entrepreneurship culture, offering the applied knowledge and networking needed. Finally, improving business development success.

The second paper moves the discussion towards The Future of Designing Buildings in Romania – The Next 10 Years. The author, Victor Liviu Pop talks about the adoption of new innovative technologies in the domain of civil building design. The author took the opportunity of writing this paper to combine two very important areas of interest: one being the field where he currently is active – architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) for civil buildings and the other, passion for advanced technology, a hobby that withstood the test of time.

The purpose of the paper is to present the methods used in the past in the AEC design field, the technologies that are currently used, and the technologies that could radically change the way the civil design will be done in the not too far away future.

In the third chapter of this section, Introducing the Perception of Sustainable Performance in Agile Software Product Development Teams, Florian-Udvari Antal-Arpad, uses an emic perspective (measuring the perception of employees) in the assessment of team performance within an agile organizational structure working in the IT industry. He shows how IT workers in Romania have developed their own understanding of agile and grafted it on a local cultural and organizational context. For almost two decades Agile software development methodologies became the industry standard, organizations stating that they work in an Agile way, arguing as having a faster return on investment, better quality products thus higher end-user satisfaction. Up until now, nobody could answer how Agile a team or organizations is. There is a gap in the literature when a team has reached a maximum sustainable pace.

The purpose of this research is to determine how to introduce the perception of team performance in an agile organization. A framework resulted to set up an agile team in such an environment to reach a high-performing state that is sustainable.

 

About the authors

Cătălina Vescan

Cătălina is a Creative Project Strategist, always paying attention to the customers’ needs and planning for success. Currently, she is Product Owner in the Culture & Performance Department at E.ON Romania. She has held various project management positions in the past 6 years in Cultural Change Programs, Customers Experience, Marketing, and IT areas, and she’s a promoter of Service Design Thinking and the Agile way of working. In her roles, she is a high achiever demonstrating excellent leadership and team management skills, enjoys a good challenge, and she is determined to find solutions for every problem using Lean tools.

As for her last academic achievements, Catalina graduated in 2020 with “Distinction” the Executive MBA program from the University of Hull (UK). Having a self-driven personality with small but steady steps, she is committed to bringing a positive change to her community.

 

Antal-Á. Flórián-Udvari

Antal wrote his first lines of code back in 1986 while still in elementary school, which explains his passion for software development. In the past 20 years of his professional experience, he worked his way up from software developer to lead several teams in parallel and bringing value in middle management positions. Collaborating both with startups and multinational corporations like Siemens, Oracle, Emerson, and Ascom resulted in the creation of innovative software products, sometimes backed up with custom hardware. Effectively bridging the gap between the business and technical worlds was his way of focusing on cost-effective results through streamlined collaboration.

Antal graduated an Executive MBA at the University of Hull (UK) with “Distinction” in 2020, has a PMI-PMP (Project Management Institute - Project Management Professional) title since 2020 and ScrumAlliance - CSM (Certified Scrum Master) certification since 2014, engineering and through studies diploma from Technical University of Cluj obtained in 2001 and 2003, several technical, leadership and management training in between.

Currently, he is on a sabbatical to care for his kids in such difficult times, but still open for exciting positions like leading a PMO or CIO/COO roles where his extensive knowledge and experience can be shared through mentoring and coaching peers and guide them in creating and reaching a shared vision towards a high performing organization, where the only constant is the continuous change. You can reach him by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Victor L. Pop

Victor has held different top management and teaching positions over the last 12 years of experience. In his years of experience, he was engaged in different industries: internet service provider, web development, media production, and construction (both in design and execution). Victor Pop currently holds a Teaching Assistant at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca – Faculty of Construction and also holds the position of Chief Executive Officer at Conpac Arhitect, a family-owned business in civil engineering.

Victor has an Executive MBA degree from the University of Hull (UK), graduated in 2019 with “Merit”, and a Ph.D. Diploma in civil engineering from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca – Faculty of Construction obtained in 2013. He published 3 books as co-author and book coordinator, in the civil engineering field as well as in social studies.

 

 

A New Executive Education Programme starts on the 26th of February: Strategy for the Digital Economy

A New Executive Education Programme starts on the 26th of February: Strategy for the Digital Economy

 Press release, 25th of February

 

Transilvania Executive Education starts this Friday, 26th of February, a new executive education programme: Strategy for the Digital Economy. Designed in partnership with the business community and the EMBA Alumni community, the four months transformative executive programme is addressed to the middle management and to the next generation of leaders.

 

The short programme will be delivered by international experts from various British Universities, with academic and business experience, together with mentors from various business domains and EMBA alumni community from Romania and abroad.  The programme will have a minimal impact on working time, with one module per month (from February until May).

 

Gabi Crețu CEO & co-founder @Evozon Systems & Alumni of the EMBA University of Hull: “This programme tackles something that some of us were forced to learn during the pandemic: digitalisation and new management styles. Managers have no option now but to cope with the new reality, and to do that we need to help them out/invest in them. Moreover, the entire programme was designed by experienced professionals, including the EMBA alumni part of the TEE community, who know first-hand how such education can shape managers.”

 

On completion of this course, the students will walk away with:

  • Leadership capabilities to make informed business decisions, and lead with confidence through a complex and turbulent contemporary business context.
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills to be able to identify trends and mobilise resources most effectively.
  • A network of global professionals and a certificate of competence from Transilvania Executive Education.
  • Strategy-focused skills that enable you to engage in global markets in a strategic manner to leverage your organisation’s competitive advantages.

 

Radu Orghidan Vice President Cognitive Computing @Endava & Alumni of the EMBA University of Hull and mentor: “This course offers the essential tools for making sense of our world together with a vibrant community of teachers and likeminded peers. I think this is an excellent educational opportunity for Cluj and I’m looking forward to contributing to its success by supporting the theory with real case studies from my own professional experience in the digital world.”

 

The first cohort has 19 students from Cluj-Napoca and Oradea. More details on the programme and how to enrol in the next cohort are available on the TEE website: https://teecluj.ro/en/tee-short-courses.html

 

 

Executive Talk on Charisma with Elesa Zehndorfer

Executive Talk on Charisma with Elesa Zehndorfer

In the upcoming Executive Talk, on the 26th of November, from 7 pm RO time, we are meeting with Elesa Zehndorfer Ph.D., Research Officer for British Mensa, to talk about Charisma: Cult of Personality. We will discuss applying theory to current business scenarios and encourage you to evaluate the presence and value of the charismatic forces that surround us.
 
Charisma is powerful, sought after, yet elusive; it opens doors, wins elections & drives the stellar growth of companies and careers. We all know it, desire it & admire somebody who possesses it. Compellingly, charisma is not as mythical as many of us consider it to be; it can be empirically measured and taught, possesses an observable biological foundation & is situated in legitimate positions of authority. It can function as a great force for good. 
 
It can also work as a vastly destructive force. Research informs us that charisma possesses a dark side; companies led by charismatic CEO's consistently underperform those that are led by their non-charismatic counterparts, for example. Cult of personality often leads to a destructive corporate culture when the CEO is charismatic, & charisma has been observed by researchers to be related closely to narcissism & fraud. This lecture subsequently provides an introduction to charisma, applying theory to current business scenarios, and encouraging students to evaluate the presence and value of the charismatic forces that surround them.'
 
Dr. Zehndorfer has written for many publications and appeared as an expert on BBC Radio 4 on charismatic theory. She is the author of five textbooks: 'Leadership: Performance Beyond Expectations' (Routledge, 2020), 'Evolution, Politics & Charisma: Why do Populists Win? (Routledge, 2019), Emotional & Irrational Investing: Causes & Solutions (Routledge, 2017), Charismatic Leadership: The Role of Charisma in the Global Financial Crisis (2015) and 'Leadership: A Critical Introduction' (Routledge, 2014).
 
The event will take place online [on Microsoft Teams platform] on the 26th of November from 7 PM [RO Time]. Participation is free, but please register, in order to receive the access link: https://forms.gle/dULpDiqWifaYBvq59
 
Useful links
 
 
 
Shaping the Future - Part 2. People & Organisations

Shaping the Future - Part 2. People & Organisations

The newest book of the EMBA community – Shaping the Future – a manifesto of the Romanian future business artisans is part of Transilvania Executive Education’ endeavour to offer an insightful perspective into the transformation of the Romanian business environment, outlining the emergence of a new generation of business leaders able to drive change in their organization and explore new possibilities and marketplaces. All the authors of this new volume published by Presa Universitară Clujeană are Executive MBA graduates of the University of Hull (UK), who studied in the program delivered in Romania between 2017 to 2020, and all the papers included in this book represent dissertations, that have been awarded a “Distinction”. The book is meant to inspire those willing to make changes in their organizations or develop a new business model but also shed light on the current development of the Romanian business environment.

The second section of the book, called People and Organizations, explores the changes that companies can make in creating more equitable and empowering working environments. In the first chapter of this section, Most Effective Strategies to Support Women Develop for Senior Leadership Roles - Olguța Totolici analyses how social values and gender norms specific to various societies and working environments can hamper or enable the accession of women in leadership positions. By assessing the working environment of Romanian companies and critically analysing the methods employed so far to map out discrimination at work, the author proposes a set of measures and frameworks of interpretation that companies can employ in order to ensure more equitable working environments.

In the ensuing paper, Relationship between Organization Culture and Leadership in Remote Saxon‐Latin Countries, Dan Bizubac looks at how the organizational culture and structure of a German company with offices in Romania is impacted and shaped by the millennial culture of its Romanian employees. Drawing on mixed-methods research, the author maps out the expectations and attitudes prevalent amongst the workforce in the Romanian offices and the convergence of these attitudes and expectations with the current management and leadership of the organization. He outlines how the leadership style is responsible for crafting a transparent and participative organization that responds to millennial expectations, and how the millennial workforce is simultaneously shaping the leadership model by asking for more transparency in communication and decision making, more flexibility, and achievement benefits that recognize and reward performance and commitment.

In the next paper, How Will the Millennials Shape the Labour Market? A Perspective of the Romanian Labour MarketDaniela Secară analyses how millennials shape the organizational structure and labour market by critically discussing the attitudes and expectations of the millennial workforce in Romania. Her research is based on qualitative data drawn from semi-structured interviews conducted with millennial employees and shows how millennials are actively changing the leadership models and organizational culture of Romanian companies by making demands for more security, guidance, and recognition. The millennial workforce is moving more rapidly towards the exploration of new possibilities and ways of expressing themselves within organizational structures, constantly pushing business and management models towards the edge.

In the next chapter, A Research on The Viability of a Consultancy Service Supporting the Preparation of Intellectual Capital Statements in Romania (As Perceived by Romanian Private Institutional Investors), Marius Moldovan explores how ready the market and the specialized workforce are in adopting a new service that audit firms could provide in an attempt of diversifying their portfolio of services and clients. The new product consists of business diagnosis services that help Romanian companies to raise finance by drawing up Intellectual Capital Statements. His findings unearth the fact that this is an emergent topic in the Romanian business environment and managers tend to have different and specific approaches to IC statements, depending on the size of the company and the specific of each industry.

In the last chapter of this section, Employer Branding as a Business Performance Driver, Doru Şupeală discusses employer branding. He shows how the evolution of the global market and the changes in value creation have led to the emergence of a new type of marketing – that practiced by employers in recruiting and retaining the best people with the best skills. He outlines how elements such as Purpose (Mission and Vision), Principles (Values, Behaviours, CSR initiatives), People (Brand’s Population), and Perks (Learning & Development, Health & Wellbeing, Work/Life Balance) are the most important parameters able to differentiate employer brands and contribute to the most attractive contemporary Employer Value Propositions. Working with Higgs’ (2004) labour market positioning matrix based on two dimensions - power of organizational culture and attractivity of total rewards he distinguishes between four categories of employers – Employer of Cash, Employer of Churn, Employer of Choice, and Employer of Values. The data resulting from this survey outlines how the expectations of employees in Romania align with the rest of the findings in Employer Branding research, confirming that people would like to work and belong to organizations that value and encourage autonomy, flexibility, and meaningful work, built on trust and authentic values, and led by managers who are able to guide and inspire through personal example and tailored advice and coaching.

 

This article represents a summary of the main ideas of each article from the second part of the book. For more details, please order the book here.

About the authors:

 

Dan Bizubac

Dan is an experienced Management Consultant and Entrepreneur for Building Businesses and Challenging the Status Quo. With more than 12 years of experience, Dan has managed to earn trust, uncover key business drivers, and find common ground as a respected advisor in Management Consulting in different environments. In his professional experience, Dan has navigated through cultural challenges while jumping from time zones in the International Business environment in countries such as Germany, United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, and Hungary to deliver exceptional and sophisticated business solutions. Wherever working with other Generations such as Baby Boomer, Gen X, or Millennial, Dan is adaptable and capable to figure out what makes teams tick, and how to transform individuals into top performers.

Dan has earned a Bachelor of Telecommunications Systems and Technologies in 2006 and a Bachelor of Constructions and Geodesy in 2014 and holds a Master Program in the field of E-Business (2013) and a Master of Signal and Image Processing studied in the French language (2013). He is a graduate from The University of Hull as part of the Executive Master of Business Administration (2019) delivered in Cluj-Napoca and he is also finishing his Ph.D. Program at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca in the field of Industrial Engineering. He is fluent in English, French, German, and Romanian. Dan holds the Prince2 Foundation and ITIL Foundation Certificates.

Marius Moldovan

Marius has held different management positions for most of his 10 years of experience in financial audits, accounting, and tax. These roles were carried out within the financial and medical services industries, as he has worked for strong and renowned brands such as “Deloitte” and “Regina Maria”.

His practical experience in the field of finance is backed by the most acknowledged certifications issued by reputable institutions such as the ACCA “Association of Chartered Certified Accountants” (UK) – member since 2014, the IIA “Institute of Internal Auditors” (USA) – Certified Internal Auditor since 2015, the CECCAR or the CAFR (RO).  Marius graduated with “Distinction” from the University of Hull (UK) Executive MBA programme in 2017, which he attended by winning a full scholarship. His higher education track record also includes M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees in Business Management and Finance and Banks, respectively, issued by the Babes-Bolyai University from Cluj-Napoca. Marius is highly ambitious and competitive by nature; he is attracted to challenges and will always try and find the means and ways to improve himself and the people around him. His core values revolve around continuous learning, integrity and making an impact in people’s lives. On a more personal note, Marius’s interests are centered around family, sports, and reading.

Daniela Secară

Daniela has vast experience with a demonstrated history of working in the investment banking industry, being part of BT Capital Partners since 2006, where she has coordinated major capital markets transactions on the Romanian capital market: IPOs, as well as numerous bond issuances. Strong business development professional with an Executive MBA from The University of Hull, Daniela is since 2019 the CEO of BT Capital Partners.

Before joining the corporate life, she has been a professional basketball player within Universitatea Cluj-Napoca, team that won in 2003 second place in the Romanian national league.  Basketball has offered her valuable lessons for the stages that followed in the corporate side, as such sports remain her passion and play a significant part in her life.

Doru Șupeală

Doru is a Marketing and Business strategist and consultant, Managing Director at SPOR – Școala Pentru Oameni Responsabili (The School for Responsible People) and Head of Marketing at AirportLabs, a Research & Development IT company with its own products and a global market, in the aviation industry.

He has an MBA with Distinction from Hull University Business School, MA and BA in Marketing from Babeș-Bolyai University, and MA and BA in Communication Studies from Transylvania University Brașov. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Babeș-Bolyai University, writing a thesis on the management of creativity and innovation in disruptive organizations (” The characteristics of culture and climate in Eastern European companies delivering market-creating innovations”), and initiated the creativity experiments named ”Fabrica de Idei” (The Idea Factory) – sessions and camps.

Doru worked in top management positions in Marketing, Communication, and Procurement in several local and multinational companies, such as Selgros, IKEA, Betfair, Onyx Beacon, Ramada Brașov, or InNuts Fund. He also worked as a journalist and editing manager at ProTV, Radio Brașov, and MixMediaGroup, and as a communication consultant for Autoliv, the biggest global producer of safety automotives.

He published a book about technology-based marketing (“Experience Makes a Difference – Proximity Marketing for Millennials” - Libris Publishing House, 2017), an academic article about employer branding (”Inspire to hire and win the war for talents” - Marketing ID Journal – 2019 - DeGruyter, Berlin), and is currently writing “Employer Branding 100% - the practitioner’s handbook” – to be published soon. You can read his ”MarkeThink & More” blog articles on www.dorusupeala.ro.

Olguța Totolici

Olguța is a high-achiever professional with a background in Legal and HR in the oil & energy industry, both in consultancy and operational management. She currently is Head of Data Protection Department in OMV Petrom as well as DPO for several companies of the group.

Olguța is experienced in leading change, developing legal and HR client-oriented services, leading large teams, and manage seven figures budgets. She is passionate about business strategy and helping people reach their potential. In her over sixteen years of professional experience, she set up newly created legal and HR departments, developed strategic approaches for her field of impact, optimized processes, and increased operations efficiency.

She is skilled in change management, labour law, HR processes, labour relations, litigation, negotiation, collective bargaining with trade unions, redundancy programs and now developing knowledge in personal data protection.

She graduated Law School from the University of Bucharest and Collège juridique franco-roumain d’études européennes of Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. She completed her education with HR management and communication Masters, also holding a Ph.D. in Labour Law and an Executive MBA from the University of Hull. 

 

 

 

Executive Talk on Local Governance and Urban Resilience

Executive Talk on Local Governance and Urban Resilience

 

During our Executive Talk with Anamaria Vrabie, director of Cluj-Napoca Urban Innovation Unit, we discussed the development of urban innovation labs and capacity mechanisms that can create a culture of innovation at the municipal level and address the growing challenges that cities and communities are facing in a time of rapidly growing urban agglomerations.

Anamaria shared with us her experience in developing and coordinating the Cluj Napoca Urban Innovation Unit, one of the first urban innovation labs in Eastern Europe, where innovation is seen as both as a means as well as a goal, and citizens are co-opted as both customers as well as co-creators of public services.

 

Anamaria Vrabie is a behavioural economist and leader of urban innovation practices with over 15 years of international experience. She is currently designing within Cluj Cultural Centre the development of Cluj-Napoca Urban Innovation Unit, the first of its kind in Eastern Europe, tackling urban mobility, urban resilience, and future work challenges. She is also co-founder of Urban INC, a think-tank advancing the practice of sustainable urban development since 2010. A native of Bucharest, she has set up and created new modes of action for delivering municipal innovation and has produced work for a range of organizations including the URBACT III programme, World Bank, the Urban Development Network, and the Urban Innovative Actions programme. She holds an MA in International Affairs as a Fulbright Scholar at The New School New York.

 

For more details about this, we invite you to read one of her most recent papers on public innovation published in the Journal of Open Innovation in 2020.

 

Executive Talk - Directive on Administrative Cooperation in the field of taxation (the DAC)

Executive Talk - Directive on Administrative Cooperation in the field of taxation (the DAC)

Updates:

 

Thank you for participating in our Executive Talk. You can find the recording on our youtube channel here

For further discussions on this topic, please contact our speakers: 

Andrada Goriță - Manager, Taxation Services, +40 744 655 843, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ionuț Măstăcăneanu - Director, Taxation Services, +40 747 333 015, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

KPMG public resources on DAC6 

 Dedicated website accessible - MDR Updates

 Summary and observations - September 2020 update

 Recorded WebEx sessions

Euro Tax Flashes

 Guidance from your local KPMG advisor

 Frequent contacts with regulators in EU member states

KPMG: working together with our network of EU tax law specialists throughout the European Union.

 

 

 


In the upcoming Executive Talk, we are meeting with Andrada Goriță, Tax Manager within the Financial Services department, and Ionuț Măstăcăneanu, the leader of the Financial Services Team within the Tax department, @KPMG Romania.
They will discuss reporting rules and taxation within the European Union and how the new European Directive on Administrative Cooperation in the field of taxation (2018) has changed the reporting regime increasing transparency and cooperation in the way taxes are reported and calculated across member states.
The event will take place online [on Microsoft Teams platform] on the 28th of October from 5 PM [RO Time]. Participation is free, 100% online, on our Microsoft Team channel. 


Taxation and tax reporting are policy issues that are often shadowed at the European level in the favor of other discussions that focus on regional convergence, integration, and development. However, for more integration, Europe also needs a tighten cooperation and more transparency in taxation and tax reporting. In light of the recent investigations on harmful practices and the use of offshore companies (the so-called "Lux Leaks", "Panama Papers" and "Malta Leaks"), the European Parliament has called on the Commission to introduce tougher transparency requirements for intermediaries.

In this sense, a new Directive on Administrative Cooperation in the field of taxation (the DAC) was introduced, making the automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation in relation to reportable cross-border arrangements as mandatory. The directive introduced an obligation on intermediaries and, in certain cases, taxpayers, to disclose potentially aggressive tax planning arrangements, enabling at the same time the tax administrations to exchange information on these structures. The Directive was formally adopted during the ECOFIN meeting on May 25, 2018, and has entered into force on June 25, 2018. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the current pandemic has slowed things down.

These new rules entered into force with the 1st of July 2020, when relevant taxpayers were supposed to file information on reportable cross-border arrangements the first step of which was implemented between the date of entry into force (June 25, 2018) and the date of application of the Directive (July 1, 2020). In the pandemic context, however, countries were given the option to postpone the reporting deadlines for a maximum period of six months, therefore the reporting period will start as of 1 January 2021 for the majority of EU Member States, Romania included. This allows us some time of reflection and the opportunity to discuss during this Executive Talk the effects and consequences of these reforms on the taxation regime in Romania and the rest of EU countries.

 

 

About the speakers:


Andrada Goriță is a Tax Manager in KPMG Romania for over 10 years, working in the Financial Services department. Throughout this time, she has worked mostly with banks, insurance companies, investment funds, advising them on various complex projects in national and international taxation. While working in KPMG, Andrada was seconded for 3 months abroad in KPMG’s Sydney office. She is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), an affiliate of the Advanced Diploma in International Taxation (ADIT) body, as well as a member of the Romanian Chamber of Fiscal Consultants (CCF). Andrada holds a BA degree in Finance-Banking as well as an MA degree in Corporate Finance from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest. She is part of the core DAC 6 team in Romania and will assist with the analysis of potentially reportable transactions for DAC 6 purposes and the reporting process both for KPMG and KPMG’s clients at the same time.

Ionuț Măstăcăneanu is the leader of the Financial Services Team within the tax department in KPMG Romania, as well as the leader of the DAC 6 core team of consultants. He has experience of more than 16 years in providing assistance both to local companies and to multinationals in various industries on direct tax matters, including corporate income tax, withholding tax on income derived by non-residents, tax implications of various structures, tax impact resulting from IFRS standards implementation, as well as compliance with several reporting requirements, DAC 6 included. Ionuț is a member of the Romanian Chamber of Fiscal Consultants (CCF), of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), and an affiliate of the Advanced Diploma in International Taxation (ADIT). He holds a BA degree from Université d’Auvergne in France. He was involved in discussions carried out with the Romanian tax authorities on DAC 6 implementation requirements and has appeared as a keynote speaker on DAC 6 themes at various events.

About us:
Transilvania Executive Education is an executive education provider based in Cluj-Napoca. In partnership with Hull University, it aims to connect the companies and entrepreneurs in the region with the opportunities of international business and promote connected and critical thinking amongst the future leaders and professionals of the Romanian business community.
The Executive MBA delivered by the Hull University Business School is the only genuine British EMBA from the Transylvania area. The program is certified by AMBA & AACSB accreditations and the modules are taught 100% by a fly-in faculty. The program was launched in 2015 and so far, has had more than 140 students and alumni enrolled in the program. A new class is scheduled to start in April 2021. More info: www.teecluj.ro

 

Shaping the Future - Part 1. Strategy & Change

Shaping the Future - Part 1. Strategy & Change

 

The newest book of the EMBA community, Shaping the Future. A Manifesto of the Romanian Future Business Artisans, is a collection of works representing not only a record of outstanding achievement by the authors but also a snapshot into the entrepreneurial and managerial experience of Romanians at this moment. The book can be order from HERE.

The first part of the book gathered the dissertation work focused on strategy and change, in different business sectors, from IT to healthcare, agriculture, green energy, and ESCO. We invite you to read the first section of the volume to explore how organizational culture is impacted when companies are preparing to occupy and explore new marketplaces and how companies are leveraging organizational change and participative work environments to capture new modes of value production.

In the first article of the volume, Readiness Assessment of an Integrated Solutions Provider for Blue Ocean Strategy Implementation – A Perspective from a Romanian ESCO, Gabriel Souca writes about the energy sector in Romania, analyzing how employees of an energy company understand innovation and energy efficiency in a sector that so far has focused mostly on raising revenues and behaving like a Red Ocean company (Kim and Mauborgne 2017). His study outlines the silent change taking place within organizations, showing how certain beliefs and approaches regarding innovation and value creation become implicit knowledge within companies without being consciously developed or recognized as such.

In the second article of this section, The Effects of Democratizing the Strategy on Decision‐Making. A Perspective from a Romanian IT Company Operating in the International Markets, the author - Florian Balogh-Sămărghițan takes an IT company as a case study for organizational change, looking at how the adoption of a more open, participative, and deliberative structure changes the way value is produced and captured and how employees perceive and manage organizational change. Drawing on semi-structured interviews, the authors is analyzing the way employees perceive and understand the transition to an open system and how organizational culture changes with an underlying new leadership style.

Teodor Băbuț, the author of the third article, An Empirical Investigation of Business Turnaround Strategy – A Case Study of the NORDWIND Company, is critically analyzing the practices employed by Romanian companies with turnaround problems, asserting that business failure is not entirely a problem of costs and allocation of resources, but a problem of management and capacity of critically thinking about value production. In the light of these findings, the author proposes several measures that managers and companies should critically think of and employ when see to address turnaround problems.

The attention of the reader is shifted towards the healthcare sector, with a special dissertation written by Cristinela Velicu on HPV Vaccination Hesitancy in Romania – A Social Marketing Perspective. Cristinela tackles the sensitive issue of vaccination by assessing the perceptions towards HPV immunization in Romania and developing a marketing and communication strategy that can be deployed by health authorities and other stakeholders to address negative attitudes towards vaccination and achieve higher immunization rates.

The diversity of the EMBA students is well represented in this book, with different perspectives on strategy and change. The next article, written by Mirela Târnovan, Workforce of the Future: Changing Organizational Structures and Value Creation. A Study Case in a Multinational Company, is exploring how the knowledge-based economy is changing the way global companies are operating, showing that employees want to work in more lean and agile structures, asking for more autonomy in decision making and more transparent and participative working environments. In this sense, her findings show that Romanian employees are embracing these changes and are not far away when it comes to understanding the new shifts and transformations in the way value is captured and produced.

The last article of this section, takes us to another important sector of Romania, Agribusiness in the digital era, written by Ovidiu Cernea. He explores the transformation of the agricultural sector in Romania, by analyzing the creation of a farmer association in the Someş area, in the north-western part of the country, which employs digital solutions to create a better experience for customers but also for developing better and more sustainable products. This development illustrates the need for the farming activity to incorporate digital solutions, sensors, and innovation on all levels in order to make this sector more competitive, farms more sustainable and improve the livelihoods of farmers and small producers.

 

 

We invite you to read more about who are the authors of this book and their professional experience.

Gabriel Souca is a C-level professional with expertise in various fields of activity: FMCG, energy or industrial production both in multinationals (FrieslandCampina Netherlands), Romanian owned companies (Prodvinalco, Energo ESCO, EnergoBit Group), or foreign-owned companies (Electroceramica). He held various positions in these companies like Procurement Manager, Executive Manager, Improvement Manager, Commercial and Supply Chain Manager, or even General Manager. In 2020 he decided to start his own consultancy company: EDS Advisors. Gabriel has an Executive MBA degree from the University of Hull (UK), graduated in 2019 with “Distinction”. As a personal touch about Gabriel, he is a passionate fan of Universitatea Cluj and is also involved in organizing cultural events together with Scena Urbana.

Florian Balogh-Sămărghițan is an experienced professional with a proven history of working in the IT industry. Skilled in business development, team leadership, IT consultancy and delivery, strategy, and HR, he has held different mid and top-management roles in various IT companies. Passionate about people and technology, his mission is to help companies create organizational systems which leverage their human talent and technological assets. He is focused on a strategic level, working with C-level to transform businesses, challenging their status quo. Florian has an Executive MBA degree from the University of Hull, graduated in 2018 with „Distinction” and a Bachelor in Engineering, Computer Science from The Technical University of Cluj-Napoca.

Teodor Babut is a very experienced Executive with over 18 years of experience in the Energy field (Oil & Gas, Renewables, Energy Infrastructure) that has held various Top and Middle Management positions (Board Member, CEO, Deputy CEO, COO, CCO, Area Manager, District Manager). He has a deep knowledge in Oil & Gas and International Business being relocated in various countries from Europe and Africa with American (NOV, ReedHycalog), Canadian (International Logging Inc.) & French (Datalog) multinational companies, with an outstanding track record of business achievements. Teodor has an Executive MBA degree from the University of Hull (UK), graduated in 2017 with “Distinction”, and a Geological Engineering Degree from Babes – Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca graduated in 2001.

Mirela Târnovan has a diversified and multicultural track record. She is a graduate engineer from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, the city where she also started her career with Emerson; a global multinational company providing process automation solutions. Within the company, she performed multiple roles in different locations across Europe. She worked in Sales in Netherlands and UK organizations, Project Management Office for Europe, management of strategic proposals working on major projects globally for which she has also been awarded the Emerson Presidents Award as success recognition. Most recently she moved to Emerson Dubai organization to represent Service Management Office where she drives operations initiative ensuring the organization is ready to execute projects with the highest quality. Mirela is a proud graduate with “Distinction” of the Executive MBA degree from the University of Hull (UK). She is passionate about driving results, learnings new areas of expertise but also music, reading, and exploring cities.

Cristinela Velicu is a Health policy expert with postgraduate education and training in political science, public policy, and business administration (Ph.D. in Political Science, research fellow Université Libre de Bruxelles and Executive MBA from Hull University). Accumulated progressive and diverse experience in the health sector while working in the Ministry of Health, pharmaceutical sector (MSD) and providing technical assistance to national and international bodies (WHO, The Global Fund, Deloitte). Fostered health policy improvements, evidence-based strategic reforms through input for policy design, health strategies, and policy-shaping aiming to improve access to innovative medicines and vaccines. Designed and coordinated integrated public affairs and public relations campaigns supporting access to vaccines and medicines and developed tailored social marketing campaigns to improve vaccination awareness.

Ovidiu Cernea has held different middle management positions (Regional Director, Manager, Internal Auditor, assistant professor), in his 20 years experience in the financial and banking services industry, having a proven record of results in management, sales & customer services, backed by consistent financial analysis expertise and excellent academic records. He worked for two of the top 5 banks in Romania – Banca Transilvania and BRD, but also for local university - “Babeș-Bolyai” University from Cluj – as an assistant professor. Ovidiu has an Executive MBA degree from the University of Hull (UK), graduated in 2020 with “Distinction”, and a Ph.D. Diploma in Accounting from “Babes Bolyai” University of Cluj (2014).

 

2020 Executive Talk Guest Speakers’ Business Advice

2020 Executive Talk Guest Speakers’ Business Advice

2020 brought us challenging times which made us transform the way business education is delivered and how the business community got together for sharing experiences and know-how. More than ever, we need to become skilled in creative problem-solving. Being guided by our mission, we share with you the insights from the 14 guest speakers we had this year, during our Executive Talks sessions and webinars, as a way of giving something back and connecting the business community with global ideas. Check out the link for each talk to find details on the speaker and the main ideas of the talk.

 

Executive Talk - The Marketing Mindset: 10 principles to Understand the Fundamental Role of Marketing in Business. Special guest: Doru Şupeală

“In a fast-changing labor market that drives value from creativity, the corporate employer brand becomes a strategic element in attracting and retaining talent and thus in reaching a higher business performance. To attract top talent, companies need to reach the status of Employer of Choice, a status built on a modern and inclusive culture that draws on collaboration, empathy, democratization, increasing level of freedom for employees and commitment to sustainable development.” - Doru Şupeală, Managing Partner at Scoala SPOR & alumnus EMBA University of Hull.

If you want to read more about this, we recommend one of Doru Şupeală’s recent articles: "Inspire to hire and win the war for talents " published in Marketing - from Information to Decision Journal, DeGruyter, Berlin. 

 

Executive Talk: Systemic Factors Influencing the Life of an Innovative Organisation. Special Guest: Ligia Cremene 

We talked about the life of organisations, the way they live and die, just like people. We analyzed a few epics fails and looked at the difference between deterministic and complex systems, and how we need to shift our mindset to make decisions in the new interconnected paradigm.
 
"Companies have a life of their own. They live and they die, just like people. Sometimes they thrive, other times they merely survive. You can tell the state of an organization by looking at the symptoms: delays, conflicts, burnout, lack of direction, not achieving goals, running in circles, avoiding growth, etc. 
Systemic leaders know how to look at the symptoms and how to listen to the organization they are part of, even before the symptoms manifest. They recognize that today’s problems are yesterday’s solutions and constantly grow and develop from that in full contact with reality.
 
Systemic leadership builds organizational fitness.
The systemic leader knows how to:
- look at systems: systems thinking, systemic perception, interconnectedness
- balance the need for short-term performance with the imperative of long-term strategic planning to transform their business – dynamic strategy
- reinvent/make the little bets that can change the course of an organization/ how to survive or when to die?
- to be in contact with reality and with the market forces/focus on context
- zoom in, zoom out, use design thinking, flexible mindset 
- what to include what to exclude and when/ is pro-active." - Ligia Cremene, Organisational Development Consultant, Transformational Coach & Therapist.
 
Check out the presentation on our youtube channel.  
 

Hull University Special Webinars - Mergers and Acquisitions

“Economic crises are putting pressure on companies willing to engage in mergers and acquisitions. These pressures can often push them to act based on reactive rather proactive strategies. In this respect, the art of strategic planning consisting in formulating strategies, implementing and evaluating their impact often leads to better results than reactive strategies based on following the best market timing.” - Special guest: Aurel Bernat, CEO of BT Asset Management and alumnus of the EMBA University of Hull.

 

Executive Talk on Performances are built with People

“Before putting anything first, companies should build healthy working environments. A company that aims to create prosperity for its customers and the wider society should also be able to create prosperity for its employees. The prosperity which is no longer measurable through material rewards but with an overarching sense of purpose, security, and wellbeing.” - Antoneta Galeş, Solution-focused Coach, art-therapist Phronetik and Mental Health Facilitator Trainer. If you want to know more about this, you can follow Antoneta’s work on https://www.antonetagales.ro/

 

Executive Talk on Complex Infrastructure Management

“Complex systems thinking is crucial in understanding the impact of large road infrastructure on the welfare and wellbeing of local communities and how quality infrastructure can contribute to a better living environment and sustainable development.” – Prof. Terri Harrington, the Sponsorship Director for the Complex Infrastructure Programme, Highways EnglandFind more on Terri’s work here: www.bettergovprojects.com.

 

Executive Talk on Managing Change in Cross-Cultural Settings

Throughout the two meetings, Diana AU Yeung (HR consultant in the banking and retail sector across the Asia-Pacific region and alumni of Hull University Executive MBA delivered in Hong Kong) walked us through her experience as the head of talent development and training initiatives for companies such as Peninsula Hotels and Hugo Boss in the APAC region, illustrating how developing a culture of shared values and mission can lead to the development of strong and committed teams even in a diverse cultural setting and a fast-evolving environment such as the luxury brands market. Diana Au Yeung has over 19 years of HR management, talent development, regional training, and consultancy experience across sectors in banking, hospitality, luxury retail, energy, construction, and property industries. She lives in Hong Kong and worked in Beijing and Shanghai.

Read more about Diana Au Yeung’s Executive Talks here:

Managing Change Peninsula Hotels

Managing Change Hugo Boss

 

Executive Talk on Entrepreneurial Municipalities

“In the upcoming decade, the entrepreneurial municipality of Cluj-Napoca should not only be actively supporting the creation of a research and development ecosystem which connects the academic and the IT & C sector but should also be contributing the development of mechanisms and instruments that would enable the community to become resilient and adaptive in front of the climate changes that will change the world as we know it.” - Cornel Ban, Associate Professor of International Political Economy at the Copenhagen Business School. For more information about entrepreneurial municipalities read Cornel Ban’s article on dependent development

 

Executive Talk on Storytelling

In this talk David Collins, Professor in Management at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle and the founder and Managing Director of Gain Insight Ltd, argues that the accounts of organizational culture prepared for managers offer a limited appreciation of the ways in which people think, feel and act, and suggests storytelling as a means of redeeming our understanding of all cultural matters. His most recent publication - The Organizational Storytelling Workbook will enrich managers and professionals with interactive features to walk practically through the process of improving their storytelling skills, including practical exercises, contemplative questions, and space to respond creatively to the state-of-the art ideas of storytelling. This Executive Talk has been a start to anyone who wants to practice and learn these skills and this workbook is the perfect companion to any executive or postgraduate course in storytelling as well as a useful and enjoyable companion to any individual manager that wishes to improve their ability and capacity for meaningful storytelling.

For more information watch the recording of the Executive Talk on our youtube channel.

 

Executive Talk on Talent Acquisition in the Digital Age

“Automation and digitalization already have an impact on the HR industry and the Talent Acquisition processes. Algorithms are transforming the recruitment processes through personality and ability tests, social media screening, gamification incorporated in various assessments, and AI tools – indicating the trends and the processes that will become the new norm in this domain.” - Radu Panait, Group HR Director @E-INFRA. For more information about the Talent Acquisition in the Digital Age watch the recording of the Executive Talk on youtube.

 

Executive Talk on DAC6

“DAC6 will have a significant impact on the field of taxation in the EU member countries and their economic partners. Romania makes no exception and will have to adapt its legislation and norms to this new directive which regulates the mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation in relation to reportable cross-border arrangements.” - Andrada Goriță, Tax Manager within the Financial Services department, and Ionuț Măstăcăneanu, the leader of the Financial Services Team within the Tax department at KPMG. For more information about DAC6 watch the recording of the Executive Talk on youtube. 

 

Executive Talk on Charisma

“Charisma can function as a great force for good, but it also possesses a dark side. Companies led by charismatic CEO's consistently underperformed those that are led by their non-charismatic counterparts. Applying theory to current business scenarios and encouraging employees to evaluate the presence and value of the charismatic forces that surround them can prevent companies from downslide towards a destructive corporate culture.” – Elesa Zehndorfer, PhD., Research Officer for British Mensa and writer.

For more information about the typologies of charisma and the tools employed to analyse it watch the recording of the Executive Talk on our youtube channel. 

 

Executive Talk on Improving Business Performance – Operations and Supply Chain Drivers

“Efficiency and productivity should not be driven simply out of cost reduction and maximizing output but rather from intelligently and carefully designed operations and supply chain processes. In this sense, the adoption of 4.0 industry features can help companies build a safer and more inspiring working environment, attain productivity growth, develop a more flexible and environmentally friendly production process, and achieve better business performances. These changes and transformations should not be seen as threats but rather as opportunities. And Romania can drive enormous benefits from automation and digitization that would change the way businesses capture and produce value and the position where Romanian companies sit in the global business architecture.” - Bogdan Sterescu, QHSE Director FCV Europe, at Emerson and Executive MBA University of Hull alumnus.

The recording of the presentation is available on our youtube channel. 

 

 

 

Talent Acquisition in the Digital Era – Facts and Myths

Talent Acquisition in the Digital Era – Facts and Myths

Radu Panait, HR director of E-Infra Group, has delivered an Executive Talk on “Talent Acquisition in the Digital Era – Facts and Myths” on the 7th of October, bringing to the online audience arguments and examples about the changes in the Human Resources Industry and future trends in talent acquisition.

As a provider of executive education, we consider it is highly relevant to discuss talent acquisition and the transformations in the Human Resources Management industry, especially in these uncertain times generated by the Covid-19 pandemic. With more than 20 years of experience in human resources, in Romania and abroad, in companies like IBM, UTI, SAB Miller, and Ursus, Radu Panait offered a clear overview of the transformations that shaped the Human Resources Industry in the last decades and addressed the nowadays trends of digitalization in the recruitment process. Moreover, he offered an analysis of the role of social media platforms and their relevance in the talent acquisition process and how AI will transform this area of activity.

Radu brought to the forefront clear examples from the industry practices – personality and ability tests, social media screening, gamification incorporated in various assessments, and AI tools – indicating the processes that will become the new norm. For more information please find the presentation here and watch the recording with the fruitful discussions on our Youtube channel.

 

About us:
We are Transilvania Executive Education. In partnership with Hull University, we aim to connect the companies and entrepreneurs in the region with the opportunities of international business and promote connected and critical thinking amongst the future leaders and professionals of the Romanian business community. We provide the Hull University Executive MBA delivered by the Hull University Business School, which is the only genuine British EMBA from the Transylvania area. The program is certified by AMBA & AACSB accreditations and the modules are taught 100% by a fly-in faculty. The program was launched in 2015 and so far, has had more than 140 students and alumni enrolled in the program. A new class is scheduled to start in April 2021.

Shaping the Future - the newest book of the Exec. MBA business community

Shaping the Future - the newest book of the Exec. MBA business community

We started the Executive MBA programme in Romania with great enthusiasm and having two ideas in mind: to help the business environment thrive by creating a deeper understanding of the global business dynamics and nurture a responsible leadership that will build more sustainable and inclusive business models. While there is still much to be done and many challenges lay ahead of us, we believe that the Romanian business environment is changing and has achieved a great deal in the past years. We had reached here in Cluj the 7th group who started the EMBA and passed the threshold of over 130 participants who graduated the program. We launched new executive education programs, built a community, and stimulated the development of new business ideas. And because we have put ideas in dialogue and stimulated the interaction between the experience and talent of the local business community and the global academic world, we also endeavored in the last years to publish some of their research works and dissertation papers.   

The current volume is part of this endeavor and offers an insightful perspective into the transformation of the Romanian business environment, outlining the emergence of a new generation of business leaders able to drive change in their organization and explore new possibilities and marketplaces. All the authors that you will read in this new volume published by Presa Universitară Clujeană are Executive MBA graduates of the University of Hull (UK), who studied in the program delivered in Romania between 2017 to 2020, and all the papers included in this book represent dissertations, that have been awarded a “Distinction”. The book is meant to inspire those willing to make changes in their organizations or develop a new business model but also shed light on the current development of the Romanian business environment.  

This collection of case studies largely focuses on business operating in Romania and on the Romanian economic environment outlines not only the penetration of new business trends and the adoption of new processes and management procedures, but also the growth and transformation of the Romanian business community. The reader will see not only the transformation taking place across small, medium, and large size companies operating in Romania but also how managers and business leaders understand these transformations, how they approach new practices, how they address gender inequality and other stringent issues that hamper the development of sustainable business models and how they make sense of a fast-changing world where old models are disrupted, and new business architectures and ideas emerge. By reading these papers the reader will have access not only to fresh new data, ethnographic views on Romanian and multinational companies but also to the people driving and sustaining these changes.

The chapters in this book describe and analyze not only companies and various processes and transformations but are also giving a voice to the people that are writing these stories and drawing these roadmaps. Behind research designs, theories, data, and analysis we see the artisans of these processes. We see their views, assumptions, hopes and doubts about the current economic and growth model. We see what kind of change they would like to produce and how they envision their ideal workplace or working team. We see how they struggle day to day in their companies to produce better organizations with more capable people that can make a difference in the world and for their customers. In this sense, these papers and this volume represent a novel and unexpected piece of work from a Romanian context.

It is not only that these chapters help us understand how structures and processes adopted by businesses operating in Romania and Romanian companies work, but also how managers and business leaders approach these processes, how they interact with them, and how they implement them in their own company. We see both structures but also agency. Behind the data and the companies, we see people critically thinking and reflecting on business models and transformations. We see them purposefully seeking innovation and reflecting on transformations in their own companies. In this sense, the business leaders you will meet here are not simply passive adopters or reactive players in a game decided somewhere else, but inquisitive leaders and autonomous agents charting their own roadmaps and blueprints for the future.  

The volume explores these transformations across several business domains and organizational dimensions. These dimensions shaped the current structure of the book – which is organized around four main sections:

  1. Strategy and Change;
  2. People and Organizations;
  3. Technology and Entrepreneurship; and
  4. Innovation and Ethics.  

This book has been published in a conjoined team effort and has been coordinated by EMBA University of Hull alumnus Alin T. Băiescu and Transilvania Executive Education. 

Authors: Teodor Băbuț, Alin T. Băiescu, Dan Bizubac, Ovidiu Cernea, Florian‐Udvari Antal‐Arpad, Raluca Frîncu, Marius Cornel Moldovan, Victor Liviu Pop, Florina Popîrțac, Florian Sămărghițan, Daniela Secară, Gabriel Souca, Doru Șupeală, Mirela Târnovan, Olguța‐Dana Totolici, Cristinela Velicu, Cătălina Vescan.  

Editor: Ovidiu Oltean 

The book will be soon available for online orders and in the UBB university bookstore.  

 

Recession Survival Kit [updated version]

Recession Survival Kit [updated version]

Critical Thinking. Analytical Models. Descriptive examples

This represents an updated version of the one published on the 15th of April 2020. To download the document, please visit the homepage.

 

As SARS-COV-2 spreads throughout the world, businesses are gearing up to adapt. More than ever, we need to become skilled in creative problem-solving.

To try and do our bit to help, we have created a compact, practical, business survival toolkit which provides analytical tools to structure your thinking/planning and examples of organisations that have successfully adapted to rapidly changing external conditions, so that you can future-proof your business in the challenging weeks and months ahead.

We propose to you three main analytical models, that will help you navigate through the current challenging situations. To better understand these models, we selected for you several examples that illustrate how businesses can become resilient, innovative, and adaptive.

 

1. Ask the Right Questions and Adapt for Resilience

Double-Loop Learning

In contrast to single-loop learning (which is often used for predictable and stable environments), which asks people how to do things right, double-loop learning asks what the right things are. Double-Loop Learning is associated with a far more fundamental question, which invites us to reconsider our basic assumptions and think beyond acting within simple patterns.

 

 

 

Picture source: https://doublelooplearning.co.uk/about/

 

TIPS: Single-loop learning stands for optimisation and efficiency, while double-loop learning stands for adaptation and resilience.

Read more: Argyris C., ‘Teaching Smart People to Learn’, Harvard Business Review, May – June 1991

 

2. Identify Your Core Competencies

To become resilient, it is important to understand your core competencies. 

Core competencies are those things that you do for your customers better than your competitors. Knowing these allows you to ask yourselves how they could be transferred into new, more distant marketplaces. It is time to adapt, not optimise.

 

Core competencies have three primary characteristics:

“First, a core competence provides access to a wide variety of markets […] Second, a core competence should make a significant contribution to the perceived customer benefits of the product… Finally, core competence should be difficult for competitors to imitate.” Prahalad, C. K. & Hamel, G., 'The Core Competence of the Corporation', Harvard Business Review, May-June 1990

 

TIPS: Consider asking and involving your employees, customers, suppliers, etc. in identifying your core competencies. 

Read more: Prahalad, C. K. & Hamel, G., 'The Core Competence of the Corporation', Harvard Business Review, May-June, 1990

 

3. Use Associative Thinking 

Whilst managers are good at using a better understanding of their core competencies to identify opportunities that are cognitively close to their business, managers need to learn to recognise similar underlying patterns in distant markets and make the cognitive leap.

What core competencies do you have that are transferable to other markets? 

For example, FujiFilm applied the Ansoff Matrix to leverage their photographic film knowledge to enter new medical and telecom devices markets.

 

Picture source: https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/strategy/ansoff-matrix/

 

TIPS: check out the response from the defence and automotive industries in producing medical equipment for healthcare systems.  

Read more:  

Gavetti, G., ‘The New Psychology of Strategic Leadership’, Harvard Business Review, July-August 2011
HBR Video on The Explainer: Core Competence [link: https://hbr.org/video/5146717725001/the-explainer-core-competence]

 

4. Make sense of where you are and identify suitable practice

The Cynefin Framework 

It provides a framework for defining the nature of the problem, adding new dimensions for sense-making other than the usual tendency to simplify, standardize and create best practices. In a crisis, adopting a simple approach may push the business into a chaotic space, where recovery is very expensive.

 

TIPS: check out Dave Snowden’s video for how to use the framework. 

Read more: Cynefin St David’s Day 2019 articles on Cognitive Edge blog [picture source]

 

 

Becoming resilient beyond COVID-19 [examples]

 

  • Banca Transilvania has leveraged its powerful brand in a nationwide campaign meant to encourage customers to buy from local producers. The campaign #CumparaDeLangaTine/ #BuyFromProducersNearby in which bank employees talk about their favorite products and local shops promotes local businesses from bakers and flower shops to producers of handmade Christmas decorations.
  • Entrepreneurs with experience in the IT sector and multinational companies and returned migrants have created online and physical food hubs helping local producers – from vegetable farmers to craft beer producers – to sell their products online and deliver them directly to customers’ doors. Online and physical markets such as Legume Verzi, Made in Cluj, and Sat pentru Oraș reunite local producers from the surroundings of the two of the largest Romanian cities – Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca.
  • Romanian start-up from the MedTech sector XVision which uses AI algorithms to analyse lung X-rays offered its services pro bono to help speed up the diagnostic processes that assist radiologists in detecting medical afflictions created by the new coronavirus.
  • Fitbit has found new uses for its technology in the context of a decline of wearables by partnering with Stanford Innovation Lab to explore data points provide by its devices in order to help researchers detect and trace the spread of COVID-19.
  • The model of Kurzarbeit– promoted by business associations and companies in Germany has been adopted in Romania and other European countries consisting of a state-funded program that helps companies retain employees who can work reduced programs while part of their salary (up to 80%) is covered by state-funded schemes if certain conditions are met and companies benefiting from this program have seen their returns diminished during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Farmec Cluj has leveraged its core competence in Over The Counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals and FMCG healthcare products to launch hand sanitizer brands, supplying first-line health care workers and other public servants. Aware that this crisis presents an opportunity to familiarise customers with their products and embed new brands to grab market share. Cosmetic Plant and Dacia Plant have also launched new hand sanitizer brands.
  • Taparo, a Romanian group specialized in producing furniture, has adapted several production lines and has become a leader in the production of surgical face masks, answering to the national need of basic medical equipment.
  • In a time when airports and the aeronautic industry have registered financial losses, AirportLabs, an IT start-up (company) from Cluj-Napoca, has increased its revenues by digitalizing various European airports and make more efficient the existing processes and procedures.
  • Understanding their core competencies and using associative thinking, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies like Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna, have used their capacities and cutting-edge knowledge in treating other maladies for developing in a record-time highly efficient vaccines against Covid-19.
  • VentilaTM project is connecting medical professionals and academics using 3D technologies provided by a start-up based in Timisoara to produce ventilators.  Can somebody use this experience, beyond the COVID-19 crisis, to create value and enter new markets?

 

Early Learning from Corona situation 

  • The end of Retail? After huge growth in online shopping will we go back to the traditional shops?  Retailers will find innovative ways to leverage their core competencies or wither and die.
  • Property value. Do we need to be in the office, the gym, or the mall physically?  Gyms & trainers using online platforms to offer interactive classes and provide new services such as nutrition and well-being services e.g. 7 Card opened an online video hub for fitness and leisure activities. Companies like Emag are looking at office space more carefully, as remote working is having a positive impact on productivity for them. How many physical spaces will be replaced by Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, Signal, Hangouts, etc.? See how 8x8.vc are defining this crisis as an opportunity to create demand.
  • Try new things. Viziere.ro is a national platform aggregating competencies and resources for the production and distribution of face shields. Similarly, the University of Hull is working with a local moulding company to produce essential face shields to protect medical staff.  Can any of those involved use this experience, beyond the COVID-19 crisis, to create value and enter new markets?
  • Technology enables the associative leap. Giants like Apple and Google developing apps to trace the spread of infection, as a means of establishing credibility in new medical markets. Streaming is turbo-charging the convergence of tech & globalisation around media channels like TV.

 

Communicate with customers

  • Use online platforms in order to connect customers to better leverage the existing use of core competencies. Eg. online baking courses delivered by bakery shops, wine tasting courses, online cooking shows delivered by restaurants, online tours and materials promoting holiday destinations. Hatfield House Bar in Belfast started delivering draught beer directly to their customers’ front door, as have producers of bio/organic food.
  • Explore new types of products to keep your customers loyal. e.g. vouchers, membership cards, etc.
  • Ask Customers to help you identify core competencies and where associative product and market opportunities could be leveraged.
  • The commitment shown during the crisis represents an opportunity to reach beyond price if you can connect your brand(s) to customers' intrinsic needs, beyond any transactional value.
  • Give. If you are able to help customers in a time of need it is likely to be unusual and may be transformational.  Many will not forget….

 

 

How we can help you?

In this recession survival kit, we have shown how the use of 4 analytical models together can inform your decision making and enable you to thrive. 

Transilvania Executive Education encourages and enables interconnected thinking and nurtures responsible leadership. We help companies and businesses to employ models of critical and analytical thinking and apply them locally in order to become more resilient and adaptive in the face of complex challenges.

If you need help in using these models for your business, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We look forward to helping you.

TEE team [Andrew Taylor, Andreea Vornicu, Bianca Opris, Ovidiu Oltean]

 

Useful websites to continue the research:

Hull University Business School Special Webinar Series on COVID19 impact

The Economist

Financial Times

Harvard Business Review 

Ziarul Financiar 

Ministerul Finantelor Publice 

World Economic Forum

Deloitte Romania

 

 

 

Organisational Storytelling: Harnessing this powerful management and communication tool

Organisational Storytelling: Harnessing this powerful management and communication tool

We share with you some thoughts from our last Executive Talk where we discussed about storytelling. During this talk, we had the privilege and the pleasure to listen to our dear friend David Collins from Northumbria University, who also works as Managing Director for Gain Insight Ltd, a consulting company offering bespoke services on HRM, organizational change/ transformation, and the application of narratives to organizational problems.

David Collins has more than 30 years of experience working for some of the most renowned UK universities. He published extensively on topics such as organizational culture, management, and storytelling and conducted research and consulting work in various companies and organizations in the UK and across Europe, including Romania. David has recently published his sixth book - The Organizational Storytelling Workbook - a state of the art study which offers: (a) critical engagement with academic debates on organizational storytelling; and (b) a series of exercises designed to allow users to improve their capability as organizational storytellers.

During the talk, David managed to distill within a concentrated and short presentation some of the main theoretical underpinnings of management and cultural studies and some of the main findings of this book, showing us how storytelling can be used as a means of redeeming our understanding of all cultural matters and improve our management skills. David considers that storytelling can be used to harness cultural artifacts, stories, and narratives and contribute to the building of articulated and cohesive organizations. This Executive Talk can be seen as a start to anyone who wants to practice and learn these skills, while the storytelling workbook is the perfect companion to any executive or postgraduate course in storytelling as well as a useful and enjoyable companion to any individual manager that wishes to improve their ability and capacity for meaningful storytelling.

If you are interested in reading more about this, David Collins’ last book can be ordered here and you can listen to the recording of the Executive Talk on our youtube channel. 

 

About us:
We are Transilvania Executive Education. In partnership with Hull University, we aim to connect the companies and entrepreneurs in the region with the opportunities of international business and promote connected and critical thinking amongst the future leaders and professionals of the Romanian business community. We provide the Hull University Executive MBA delivered by the Hull University Business School, which is the only genuine British EMBA from the Transylvania area. The program is certified by AMBA & AACSB accreditations and the modules are taught 100% by a fly-in faculty. The program was launched in 2015 and so far, has had more than 140 students and alumni enrolled in the program. A new class is scheduled to start in April 2021.

More info: www.teecluj.ro

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Address

Regele Ferdinand 22-26, et. 3, Cluj Hub, 
Cluj-Napoca, România

Talk to us:

+40 747 752 825

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