Opatija, October 5, 2023 - Who will manage companies in the future – managers or artificial intelligence? Is artificial intelligence (AI) a useful tool or a threat? What should the leaders of the future be like, and how can we achieve work-life balance in modern leadership? These are just some of the questions discussed at the Managers' Congress 2023, titled "Leaders of the Future," held in Opatija, Croatia.
The event brought together prominent business figures from Croatia and the region, representatives from academia, and numerous other experts and distinguished leaders. It was organized by the Croatian Managers' & Entrepreneurs' Association (CROMA).
Our very own Stjepan Orešković, the majority owner of Mplus and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of IEDC – Bled School of Management, participated in the second panel discussion, "The Future of Managerial Education - Generation Z." This panel focused on understanding Generation Z, and how to motivate, educate, and adapt business systems to their entirely different way of thinking and functioning.
As Orešković pointed out: "In 1979, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd sang, 'We don't need no education. We don't need no thought control.' Those words went unheard by peers from their own Silent Generation, the Baby Boomer Generation, Gen X, and Gen Y. But what about Gen Z? The system has remained the same, but the generations have evolved. Generation Z, born from 1996 onwards, is gearing up to manage processes, people, technologies, companies, institutions, and the world. What should the future of educating Generation Z managers look like? What are they like? What problems will they solve? Finding serious answers to these questions will be challenging on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Yet, we are in search of and in need of more creative, innovative, and future-oriented education for Gen Z managers."
During the event's opening, Ana Soldo, the President of the Croatian Association of Managers and Entrepreneurs CROMA, emphasized the necessity for future leaders to swiftly adapt to technological developments, market changes, and new organizational models.
Soldo highlighted that members of Generation Z are known for their impatience and fast-paced nature, strong sense of social justice, respect for diversity, commitment to environmental care, and a desire to make a positive impact on the world.
Josip Zaher, an advisor to the President of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, asserted that the post-crisis period presents new opportunities for growth. He mentioned that the Croatian economy has become considerably more resilient, effectively utilizing European Union (EU) membership to increase exports and improve investment conditions. He also emphasized the need to harness the country's renewable energy potential and identified the workforce as one of the most significant challenges.
Irena Weber, the CEO of the Croatian Employers' Association, emphasized the resilience displayed by Croatian entrepreneurs in recent times. She stressed the importance of providing further tax relief for labor and adapting to the demands of Generation Z.
The third panel, "Balancing Top Management and Health," featured Zlatko Dalić, the Croatian national football team coach, who emphasized the significance of physical and mental fitness in management.
The Congress concluded with closing remarks from Danijela Milić, the General Manager of HUM - CROMA, who thanked all the participants, especially the panelists and sponsors, for their valuable contributions.