Your excellences, honourable guests, colleagues MBAs, PhD students, families and friends,
The phases, the steps, that many of you and us and myself went through with the IEDC and Danica in the last 25 years or so can be best described with some legendary quotes that have been frequently used and have marked different periods of the school.
»Take the best from the west and leave the rest« and »Only the best is good enough« marked the era of learning from others. »To teach is noble, but to inspire is divine«, marked, along with the focus on leadership, creativity and art, an aspiration of the IEDC for much more than just learning from others. »Create the new best and pass it to the rest«, to all, is the mode that we currently are in. It is an advanced mode of proactively creating new knowledge as a basis for building a better future world together.
Based on such type of thinking, I have addressed the BMI (Business Model Innovation) in my PhD and their relationship with TTI (Technical/Technological Innovation). Somewhat heretic against current economic wisdom, I have shown, that the BMI are not only the consequence of the TTI, do not only follow and escort them, but actually are becoming a leading innovation trigger by themselves and result in a much better performance on their own. Along I have developed the EBMI Framework and the TTI/BMI Capability Matrix as new tools for managers to boost the BMI in our companies. The book entitled »EBMI, Capabilities for the Coming Innovation Revolution«, is to be published as the first book in the new IEDC PhD Series in February, 2016, and will distribute and share this new knowledge.
None of that would be possible without an invaluable support of mentors, Dr. Robert Austin of Copenhagen Business School and Dr. Ian Southerland of IEDC- Bled School of Management, who had the courage to let me go into such unknown and risky territories and the courage to accept what was found there. Many thanks to Arnold, Jim, Nenad and others among the IEDC faculty for indispensable exchange of opinions. It would not be possible without a profound understanding and support of Mr. Edvard Svetlik, Chairman of Hidria, who knows, that the existing knowledge, due to accelerated creation of the new knowledge, is getting obsolete quicker than ever and that the only way to stay a step ahead is to create the break-through new knowledge. And big thanks to you, Nataša - facing immense complex cumulated challenges of last years which demanded the very best of us, and we managed to cope with all of that. This is our, not my PhD.
It is such endeavours that re-confirm, that we need to, as individuals, organizations and societies come, as soon as possible, to the point of profound understanding, that the best way to cope with uncertain future and avoid the fear of it is understanding, that the future is not at all there yet, that it all needs yet to be created. We need to be able to dream that better future for our civilisation and our planet, while developing the capabilities of converting these dreams into solid and clear visions, missions and strategies, and the capabilities required executing them.
To do that, a team effort is needed all along. We need to pass our dreams to others, inspire them and make sure they realize these dreams together with us. One star does not make much difference in the night sky, which in such case remains to be dark. A star accompanied with hundreds and thousands and millions of other stars yet illuminates the sky and makes a real difference.
On a personal note, this is exactly how I became the first IEDC PhD holder. While I had the dream of becoming an IEDC PhD, Danica had a more profound and a very specific dream that I was going to be the first one at the IEDC. She started sharing that dream in the early days of the PhD studies not only with me, which was fine, but also with many others at different occasions, even publically in front of a large number of people, like today here. Including family and friends. That, of course, created a mounting pressure. In order to avoid an embarrassment of not doing it, I actually at the end had no other choice than just to do it … And I am happy for that, since it is a great honour and privilege! Thank you, Danica!
On behalf of all of us Alumni, many thanks to each and every one at the IEDC, starting with Danica, for the inspiration and for dreaming these dreams together and making them true!
Speech from IEDC Graduation Ceremony by Iztok Seljak, president of the Management Board of Hidria