Change and volatility have marked the business environment in the recent decades. The COVID pandemic, the war in Ukraine and financial crisis combined with rapid technological progress have increased the sense of uncertainty. How to cope with such circumstances? How to manage business and human relations? These questions were addressed during the European Economic Congress (EEC) 2023 in Katowice by, among others: Krzysztof Domarecki, the main shareholder of Selena Group.
Adapting to the changing world
Agile methods, until recently playing a major role in business planning and execution, were introduced at organizations quite fast, as managers saw them as an opportunity to increase team performance and to speed up time-to-market of higher quality products. However, faster operations and technological development are only some of the factors that drive change in business and the world around us. The pandemic, war and economic issues have caused companies, even agile ones, along with all humanity, to fall into the VUCA world, which has become the new normal. The environment of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) puts us in the center of chaos, fluctuation and complexity.
These are the challenges facing the business and other sectors today. During the European Economic Congress, Krzysztof Domarecki, participating in the “Leaders for difficult times” debate, emphasized that currently the key task of managers is to understand the world around them. The main shareholder of Selena Group noted that the turbulences we experience today in many aspects of life can be seen as happening on three levels. The first one is the above-mentioned technological progress, which applies to almost every field, including IT, production, logistics or transport, but also such spheres as health care, nutrition and education. The second is generational shift, related to expectations that young generations have of world and that differ from the expectations that their peers had 50 years ago – which can be attributed to the increasing wealth of a large part of the world. The third level is geopolitical change: the decline of the economic importance of Western Europe, the wobbling position of the United States as hegemony, and the relatively growing importance of Asia.
– Technological progress, generational shift and geopolitical changes are three overlapping levels that give shape to the current volatile and turbulent world. This applies to everyone, including companies that are struggling today to cope with this volatility. For a manager, it is critical to first understand what’s happening around, and then define business goals and strategies. You must have a strategy in place, but you need to be able to adapt it very quickly to changing conditions – emphasized Krzysztof Domarecki, Selena’s main shareholder.
Responsible and empathetic leaders
The participants of the debate discussed the features that the manager should have to be able to effectively manage the organization, internally and externally, in the VUCA world. No matter how complicated issues leaders must tackle today, the panelists emphasized the importance of empathy in the changing reality, understanding employees and customers, their needs, problems and expectations, as well as the awareness that the approach to company management is still evolving.
Krzysztof Domarecki, also pointed out that it is not enough to talk about the characteristics of leaders today and that now is the time to focus on their actions. – I believe that the time has come in Europe for business leaders to take joint responsibility and share it with the political class. Business and industry must influence the ideology-driven world of politics, paying attention to how Europe is run and what is its relative strength on a global scale. In addition, the responsibility of our leaders should include focus on the real problems of Poles, where we are, what challenges our country is facing. By addressing our own problems, we will move closer to a stronger Europe – Domarecki noted.
Also participating in the “Leaders for difficult times” panel were: Magdalena Bogucka, CEO of Pharmaceutical Plant AMARA Sp. z o.o., Zofia Dzik, CEO of the Humanites Institute – Man and Technology, Agnieszka Leszczyńska, CEO of Angelini Pharma Polska Sp. z o.o., Mariusz Łukaszewicz, CEO of BNP Paribas Faktoring, Wojciech Wolny, CEO of Euvic SA and Marek Kamiński, Polar explorer, founder of the Life Plan Academy and Kamiński Academy.
Summarizing the panel, Domarecki pointed to the potential of business leaders who not only have the responsibility but also the ability to make good change happen in the world. – By creating new medications or products that make life easier, entrepreneurs and companies are the driving force behind changes and are building a better world – Krzysztof Domarecki said.