Business Design Webinars

Business Design Webinars

The current crisis reveals that businesses are neither linear nor easy to predict. Moreover, this pandemic has disrupted global markets, pushing companies and entrepreneurs in situations that they have not experienced before. It is, therefore, important to understand how to transform your business and become more resilient.

We invite you to a series of two webinars on design thinking, business transformation, and strategies for resilience. 

To register, simply click here. 

Key Benefits:

  • Learn how to ask the right questions;
  • Locate alternative business strategies and learn about future business models that will make your company successful and resilient;
  • Identify the core competencies of your business;
  • Use three lenses of design thinking to light the innovation spark;
  • Learn how to connect: business, strategy, and design and develop your own path out of this crisis.


May 20th, 5 pm [1h]: Business Design Outline, delivered by Cristian Păun & Mitch Belsley

Cristian Paun is a change maker, an innovator with strong storytelling abilities that inspires growth mindset. He is an international speaker covering business design, business transformation, and technologies such as AI, RPA, IoT. A passionate Senior Executive from the Chemical / Private Equity / Insurance / FMCG / Banking / Telecommunications industry. He has focused on the connection between IT and successful business outcomes, both with bringing top-line growth as well as cost reduction programs. He has a significant track record in the delivery of technologies like RPA, AI, IoT to solve real business problems. Lead globally Innovation, M&A, integration, and separation programs. He crafted procurement and vendor strategies that allowed him to achieve multimillion EUR savings.

Topics covered during the webinar:

  • Business Design & Business Transformation:
    • Today (the model used today by most of the companies);
    • Tomorrow (the future model used by few and most successful companies);
    • How the firm of the future will look like;
    • Connecting Business, Strategy & Design;
  • How to Design a Smarter Business:
    • The Double Loop,
    • The 3 Lenses of Design Thinking;
    • Case Studies, reasons for change and business design;
  •  Presentation of The Experience Manager platform by Mitch Belsley
  • Q&A session 

May 21st, 5 pm: The Leaders approach - A Holistic approach to Operational Excellence, delivered by Cristian Matei & Mitch Belsley

Cristian Matei has served as Senior Leadership & Management Advisor, Coach, and Consultant having extensive experience in working on all continents with Boards & Executive Teams of Global rapid-growth companies requiring expert assistance with evaluating and managing the forces that drive organizational performance. Cristian has taught Leadership, Strategy Development & Deployment, Organizational (re)Design & Business Transformation, Business Process Reengineering and Management, Lean Six Sigma and Design for Lean Six Sigma in different Universities and Multinational Companies having more than 5000 top executives, managers, specialists, and quality & improvement experts trained, coached, mentored and certified all over the world. He is the Co-Founder and President of Advanced Thinking.

In difficult times, the difference between leaders and managers comes to light. Managers are just increasing the pressure by placing additional requirements on the existing non-performing organizations – countries, governments, companies of any kind - without any serious change in their minds. On the other hand, leaders have the courage to unlock the human potential to radically rethink the way we operate our organizations and finally our planet. Leaders realize that the root cause for which we are in this situation is the way we are (dis) organizing ourselves, while managers still thrive to prop up these existing systems that brought us to this situation.

Topics covered during the webinar:

  • The moment of truth: why the digitalization efforts fail? The digitalization trap.
  • Business Design, Business Execution, and Business Improvement – how are they synchronized? Zoom in on Business Improvement.
  • Human Capital Development – how to align it to Stakeholders' needs?
  • Presentation of The Experience Manager platform by Mitch Belsley
  • Q&A Session 

The presentation will include inserts from the Veolia Case Study - the Best Business Transformation Project in the world in 2019 (IQPC/PEX Awards, OPEX World Business Transformation Summit). The Book had just entered the list of the ”5 Business Books You Should Read on World Creativity & Innovation Day”

 “DARE! Behind the scenes of the best business transformation project in the world” describes the Veolia Apa Nova Bucharest Project that won the Best Business Transformation Project in the world title at PEX Awards 2019 and became in February 2020 the #1 Amazon Best Seller on Business Process Reengineering, Change Management and Project Management categories. More details

The two webinars will be moderated by Andrew Taylor, Managing Director at Transilvania Executive Education. Andrew is a business consultant with more than 20 years of experience and published co-author - People, Place, and Global Order; Foundations of a Networked Political Economy, Routledge, 2019. More details about TEE on our website. 

Recession Survival Kit

Recession Survival Kit

Critical Thinking. Analytical Models. Descriptive examples


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. In order 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 are the right things. 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:

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

In order 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 end 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.

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

Picture source:


Gavetti, G., ‘The New Psychology of Strategic Leadership’, Harvard Business Review, July-August 2011
HBR Video on 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]

  • 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.
  • Dyson (famous for their hand dryers) is using their innovative consumer engineering competencies to develop and manufacture new types of ventilators that will enable them to develop a footprint in the medical devices market.
  • Ventila TM 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?
  • Representatives from the Romanian automotive industry (Dacia Renault and Ford) are working on prototypes for mechanical ventilators, to make use of engineering competence and surplus production capacity. Can they make the cognitive leap beyond this crisis and establish new revenue streams?
  • An energy Co. from Targu-Mures was fast to design, test & certify a mechanical ventilator in partnership with the Targu-Mures University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Sciences and Technology (UMFST).


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 are defining this crisis as an opportunity to create demand.
  • Try new things. 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 molding 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. eg. 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 Această adresă de email este protejată contra spambots. Trebuie să activați JavaScript pentru a o vedea.. We look forward to helping you.

TEE team [Andy, Andreea, Bianca, Ovidiu]


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 


Week 2 of Special Webinar Series on COVID-19 by Hull University Business School

Week 2 of Special Webinar Series on COVID-19 by Hull University Business School

The University of Hull remains committed to its mission during this unprecedented time continuing the series of seminars dedicated to the understanding and analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on our societies, economy, health systems, and wellbeing. 

The lectures and contributions coming from scholars and experts in public health, sports, business and politics, accounting and management are aimed to help us understand the numerous implications that this current pandemic and associated economic slowdown has on our health, professional life, business, as well as our society and economic and political system.  

This time the webinars will tackle topics such as the implications that working from home might have on health, the impact of COVID-19 on the health care system and management, risk management and decision management aimed at building resilience in businesses. The webinars are free and open access and the link can be shared with friends and colleagues. 

Health & Wellbeing: Working from Home - 7th of April, 12 PM [RO time]

The first webinar of this week continues with the topic of health and wellbeing. It will explore the topic that every business is having to adapt to: working remotely. Join this one hour webinar as the University of Hull will bring colleagues from the Sports Science team at the University to discuss the importance of exercise and posture when working remotely. To register simply click here


Panel Session: Health Care Management & It’s Future Beyond COVID-19 - 8th of April, 3 pm [RO time] 

The second webinar will be on Wednesday and it will cover the topic of health care management and its future under COVID-19. It will take place as a Panel Session where academic and industry experts are invited to discuss the impact COVID-19 is having on the global health care system. The panel will be answering your questions on how to manage a national emergency, how to face challenges & obstacles and discuss the future outlook to this sector. To register simply click here.


Dr. Nicholas Snowden - the MBA Academic Director, who is teaching the Exec. MBA modules belonging to the Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources Management group of the Exec. MBA programme delivered in Cluj-Napoca.

Dr. Amanda Lee - Associate Dean (International), Faculty of Health & Social Care 

NHS: to be confirmed 


Resilience & Leadership - 9th of April, 2 PM [RO time]

This webinar will introduce the role of risk management and decision analytics in restoring normalcy and building resilience among businesses of all types during these periods of uncertainties. Companies are changing business priorities and being agile managing risks helps to allocated assets efficiently. The University of Hull business and management experts will be joined by the Director & CEO of OSL Risk Management Lt UK. To register simply click here.

Special guests: 

Dr Rexfored Attah-Boakye – Lecturer in Accounting 

Dr Elvis Hernandez-Perdomo – CEO OSL Risk Management


Together with our educational partners, the University of Hull, we will continue to keep you informed and up to date on all the learning and educational events we are organising throughout this period.  

Special Webinar Series on COVID-19 - Week 3 by HU Business School

Special Webinar Series on COVID-19 - Week 3 by HU Business School

The Hull University Business School continues the Special Webinar Series on COVID-19 for the 3rd week, bringing a new set of sessions with free and open access so you may share the link with colleagues and friends. If you missed the last weeks' webinars, check out this link with the recordings. 

Exercising from Home with Minimum Equipment - 15th of April, 12 PM [RO time]

The Sports & Fitness Centre at the University will be demonstrating and providing useful tips and activities to exercise when working remotely from home. They will be giving useful exercises that anyone can do, with minimum equipment. We strongly believe that physical wellbeing is important when working in an isolated environment and helps to provide a healthy, positive attitude for teams and employees. To register simply click here


Podcast: Innovation Through Forced Disruption - 16th of April, 3 pm [RO time]

The special guest of the podcast is Prof. Christopher Bovis, who will explore how organisations, societies, and governments are being forced to innovate in how they operate as a result of the global pandemic. When our environment changes beyond the geopolitical spheres of control, how do organisations adapt, which ones survive and which ones disappear.  Prof. Bovis is a Professor of International Business Law at the University of Hull. He is an internationally renowned specialist in public sector management, public procurement, and public-private partnerships. His fields of expertise cover international business, EU law, competition, energy, transport, and telecommunications. His research has influenced parliamentary debate, scrutiny and brought responsible change at government level. 

Please check out the Hull University Business School Linkedin page for the link to this podcast. 

Working From Home With Children - 17th April, 2 PM [Ro time] 

The last webinar this week will touch a challenge that many of our EMBA students and alumni are facing: working with children in the house. Many employees are having to handle dual roles, their professional ones, and that of teacher/educator/entertainer. The webinar will be delivered by the Deputy Director of the Business School, Dr Claire Hookham as she discusses some top tips and advice on how to work from home with children around. To register simply click here



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


+40 747 752 825

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