BND 2017 Investment in education is a strategic necessity for further survival

For two days, more than eighty top managers of prominent Czech and Slovak companies together with top representatives and university lecturers in economic and technical fields from both countries discussed the importance of education for the future of companies. According to the participants of the 2017 Business Navigation® Days (BND) conference, the time is coming when cooperation with universities, the quality preparation of students reflecting the needs of the market and the further education of managers will become almost an existential necessity for companies. BND was held under the auspices of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic and the Czech Chamber of Commerce at the Hotel Chateau Valeč near Hrotovice in Vysočina on 27–28 April.

BND 2017  Investment in education is a strategic necessity for further survival

“I was thinking of how to make sure that employees enjoy their work in the firm, consult with one another and come up with suggestions for improvement. And I have noticed that human action is driven by emotions,” said Zbyněk Frolík, Director General of LINET. In our firm, teams are made up of randomly selected employees from all the departments, which stimulates competitiveness and new ideas. “When a person desires something, they overcome all obstacles to obtain it. It is therefore important to motivate people to work with passion,” he said. This has enabled the company not only to reduce costs, but also to constantly improve its hospital beds to suit the needs of those health care providers that use them. What else did Zbyněk Frolík talk about in the Guest’s Chair? Take a look at the video.

Nowadays its own know-how is not enough for any firm in the long term – no matter how successful it is now. It is dependent on the environment in which it operates, its ability to continue to develop, learn and share new ideas amongst employees in the firm. According to Vít Kutnar, Chairman of the Board of the DEK group, it is necessary to constantly innovate, prepare for crises before they arise, and then use that as a competitive advantage in the future. However, as co-founder and Senior Managing Partner of M.L. Moran Václav Novák says, we are living in the best time of mankind’s economic history: “This is the first time ever that capital is offered to smart people, whether it happens to be of use to them. What is important, however, is whether you use your potential to be marketable and ensure sufficient added value.”

This is a time that is fast and full of constant changes. “Conditions have changed so much that at universities we cannot simply rest on our academic laurels and create theoretical research. We have to try to adapt to the market, i.e. the needs of businesses. Education supported by practice is unavoidable these days,” claimed Ferdinand Daňo, Rector of the University of Economics in Bratislava, adding that in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia there is a need to find more and more opportunities of engaging companies in the teaching process. He believes that theory is supposed to create an image for students, which can be confronted with reality.

The success of any project, be it business or our own personal objective, depends on people. In this respect, according to Ladislav Šimek, owner of SHIMEQ Air and DROPPER and former president of AERO Vodochody, we have to bear in mind that people are not perfect and that we ourselves are not perfect. “Let’s use those imperfections and mistakes of others and ourselves to achieve our goals. A very common argument against change is: We have always done it like this and have succeeded. But this can be turned around: We have always done it like this and, despite this, have succeeded. Support people in their mistakes and use their pride to overcome challenges. Do not set aggressive targets, but provoke employees to set them themselves – then they can't dodge them.”


A part of this year’s conference was a presentation of a pilot project that aims to combine the efforts of universities with companies that successfully do business in Slovakia and will be able to use the simulation to improve their performance parameters for a better market position or to back-up what they are deciding upon at the time. “Representatives of Czech universities and companies showed interest in cooperation with Slovak partners at the BND conference. There were preliminary talks about also setting up similar research and development centres at Czech universities, which would prepare dynamic simulation models through close cooperation between experts and students with businesses,” said Jan Hušek, Managing Director of INEKON SYSTEMS, which is involved in preparing the Slovak project.

Altogether, 17 speakers gave talks at the two-day Business Navigation® Days,. They included partners, CEOs, CFOs, the head of controlling, the rector and deans, as well as other luminaries from companies and universities such as Technistone, DEK Group, M.L. Moran, LINET, the University of Economics in Bratislava, Komerční banka, Československá obchodní banka, holding MEDIFINE, Tableau, Mondi Štětí, MP Krásno, CRIF, CAFIN, Controller Institut or INEKON SYSTEMS.

An annual part of the conference is awarding the prestigious Business Navigation prize. The DEK Group was awarded the Crystal Globe for its long-term contribution to Business Navigation and the prize was taken away by the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Vít Kutnar, and the CFO, Jan Bolek. The Blue Globe for Navigation Project of the Year went to Technistone, represented by IT Project Manager Martin Poláček. The awards were presented by the guru of strategic management, Zdeněk Souček, Martin Plachý, a board member of the Czech Chamber of Commerce, Kateřina Budínková, the Regional Manager of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic for the South Moravian Region and the Vysočina Region and the Executive Director of INEKON SYSTEMS, Václav Houser. As is traditional, the guests received a gift related to the conference’s theme - this time it was a laser pointer and a box of memory enhancement tablets from Walmark.

The thirteenth BND will be held from 26th to 27th April 2018 again in the hotel Chateau Valec u Hrotovic in the Vysočina Region and is entitled: How to Succeed in a Competitive World? Become an Object of Desire!


Have a look at previous years of the conference and the photo gallery:





BND 2017 patronage: