The first international 365 Timing Economic Congress is over. Interesting formula of the conference – the idea to invite representatives of various environments, including science, business, business-related environment, local government administration and the media to participate in the discussion definitely proved itself in practice. As a result – during 2 debates and every single one of 12 panels – an interesting exchange of opinions between their participants looking at the discussed issues from different perspectives could be observed.
– Economic problems are widely discussed at various congresses, but rarely from the timing perspective, that is key moments in the course of time. It is unreasonable insofar as these days many issues are a matter of not only time, but even a moment in time – as Roman Młodkowski noticed in his opening speech.
Prof. dr hab. Andrzej Kaleta, Rector of the Wrocław University of Economics (organizer of the Congress) stressed that it is not enough to have a good concept and competence required for its implementation these days. One must also be able to implement it faster than one’s competitors.
Cezary Przybylski, Marshal of the Lower Silesia Province said that enhancing cooperation between the central government, local government, science and business is the key issue. He also indicated that the Lower Silesia is the best location for such a debate: – The report on innovation within individual regions drawn up by the European Commission shows that we have made considerable progress, but there is still room for improvement. We aim to reach innovation levels displayed by Norway, Sweden or Germany.
Data published by Eurostat show that the Lower Silesia can boast the first place among 276 EU regions in terms of creating new jobs. Marek Ignor, President of the Board of Dolnośląski Fundusz Rozwoju, co-organizer of the Congress recollected the year 1993. At that time he was setting up his first business at the age of 20.
– My experience enabled me to learn a lot about the hardships awaiting any young businessman. I know that novice entrepreneurs need support not only in terms of finance, but also in terms of knowledge. Timing is the sense of the right moment in time. It is seemingly immeasurable but it can determine notable benefits of a company.
Grzegorz Dzik, President of Impel SA, mentioned two examples of timing. When in 2000, six months before the dot-com bubble that led to bankruptcy of many start-ups at that time, he sold an Internet company for PLN 40 million. A few years after that he withheld sale of a medical business to sell it for a few times higher price after some time. That is why intuition is so crucial in business.
Representatives of science pointed out two opposing tendencies that must be combined in business. – On the one hand, pace of change in the market that must be stood with proper technological and human resources to gain competitive edge. On the other hand, long-term approach also matters since a product cannot be changed overnight – said professor Andrzej Kaleta, Rector of the Wrocław University of Economics.
Jarosław Skorulski, President of TFI BGŻ BNP Paribas presented an example of a dynamic change taking place in the financial industry. Until recently it seemed that regular face-to-face communication will be a standard. Now, many clients expects on-line access as well as a hotline. Sometimes, it is possible to go over certain stages in development. In Poland there was a very brief period when people used cheques, which were soon replaced by payment cards.
– Nowadays, we are about to experience another revolution – as Krzysztof Domarecki, founder of Selena emphasized. – Artificial intelligence will change the way states, families and individuals function. Within the entire system there has been only one cell durable enough to survive those changes and it is a family. It is founded upon basic physical and biological mechanisms that are more durable than technological changes, irrespective of the supported views.
Planning or intuition?
Participants in the Congress also debated on the more important aspect of a successful business: good planning or good timing?
Marek Ignor, President of DFR, declared to be an avid supporter of planning. Both, strategic and operational. – Most of all, plans enable us to determine our goals and eliminate randomness in the process of decision-making – explained Marek Ignor. – Intuition develops later on and is helpful in facing the market we operate on. Intuition, also known under common name of ‘being lucky in business’ is an important soft business skill which helps people to find themselves at the right time and in the right place.
Prof. dr hab. Andrzej Gospodarowicz from the Wrocław University of Economics said that one cannot operate without planning and mere spontaneity is not enough to achieve anything. Prof. dr hab. Czesław Zając from the Wrocław University of Economics expressed similar opinion.
– Timing is a truly critical factor in property development, especially with regard to investment planning – said dr Michał Muszyński, President of Domar-Interior Design Gallery. – In 2007, during real property market crisis in the USA that affected also our domestic market, we could observe how different companies were coping with the situation. It is a very sensitive market and numerous strategies are an absolute must. Sometimes one has to wait for the right moment to make it happen, and that is why these should be projects that can be implemented at any time. We can make plans for different scenarios but it is timing that gives us the right choice. Whether we want to focus on maximum rate of return on a one-off basis or rather try to survive and implement a project with a lower rate of return that would enable us to make it through hard times.
Agnieszka Han, Vice-President of Hasco Lek Wrocław emphasized the specificity of planning in the pharmaceutical industry. Since introducing a new medicine into the market takes many years, it requires an exceptional sense of timing. – We keep moving towards personalization for an individual patient. Every single patient is a unique case and combination of modern-age diseases. That is why personalization is of key importance for both, traditional medicine and new products that will gradually replace the previous, classical solutions.
“Time is priceless but it’s Free. You can’t own it, you can use it. You can spend it. But you can’t keep it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.” – with this quote from „The Time Traveller’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger prof. dr hab. Czesław Zając from the Wrocław University of Economics summed up one of the sessions.