We Live in a Time of an Accelerating Change, States Milan Zelený
- Digital Factory
Were you unable to attend September’s Trends in Automotive Logistics (TAL) conference? Or perhaps you attended the event and want a refresher on the fundamental ideas expressed there? Read the most important observations from the most-cited Czech economist, professor Milan Zelený. We have prepared a summary of them based on his presentation. Zelený has taken a liking to the John F. Kennedy quote that states: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future”.
We live in a time of ever-faster, accelerating change. Digitalisation is being replaced with quantum calculations, which will be several times faster. Zelený offers for our consideration the interesting phenomenon in which digital information travels at the speed of light, and yet the logistics of physical objects remain more expensive, unreliable and ineffective. Today’s world is undergoing a striking transformation. Agricultural employment has fallen, industry is on the retreat and services are in a slump, with negatives related to unemployment, government interventions and welfare issues. A space has opened up for new employment possibilities, and the question here is: what opportunities will it bring? It is thus important to support constant education and individuals’ entrepreneurial tendencies.
Integrated production environments
To support the environment in which we live, the introduction of new technologies and approaches is essential. There is a need to create an integrated production environment. All technologies, tools and machines, as well as each individual production component, are an essential part of a comprehensive production environment, which forms a single whole. The Czechoslovak industrial magnate Tomáš Baťa promoted a highly integrated production environment; he created “industrial cities” as far back as the 1930s, building them worldwide and as close to his customers as possible. He manufactured his products using resources available from the local environment.
Technological changes are becoming so rapid that no company is capable of keeping pace with the newest, most advanced technologies through its own efforts alone. The sharing of knowledge and skills is thus needed. Sharing is understood here as being not only on the level of employees, students and entrepreneurs, who can all learn from each other, but also on the level of individual firms, which could cooperate rather than compete. What is in question here are shared technological laboratories. Also highly desirable is support for innovation-based startups. Enterprises must constantly look towards the future; they will transform into self-renewing enterprises. A company must be divided into multiple autonomous parts. Into a section dealing with the products sold yesterday and today, and one dealing with the development of products intended for the markets of tomorrow. This is the only way that companies can hold firm on the market during accelerating changes.
One question that arises for the proper functioning of today’s environment is how to handle conflict situations, which are constantly growing in number and intensity. For now we resolve them through compromises – where there is always one side that must give something up. In the future, the resolution of conflicts via the WIN-WIN method, with corresponding results, should be promoted more strongly.
Education from a young age is the foundation
Cultivating entrepreneurial tendencies in adults is cultivating them too late. A much earlier start is needed – creating an awareness of entrepreneurial values in children starting as early as primary school, and guiding them towards founding businesses in the future. The term youth entrepreneur campcomes into play. Another idea of which Zelený spoke is the entrepreneurial university. People learn to do business exclusively via “learning by doing”. Universities should therefore interlink schools much more with the entrepreneurial environment.
If this topic has gained your interest, you can read an interview with Milan Zelený in Reflex magazine.