(New) management tests

Aleksander Zalaznik splet

We are in a period of economic growth and positive challenges that we face working as managers. The economic growth compared to the pre-2008 period is based, among other, on the entrepreneurial and managerial capacity of Slovenians, which has gained new momentum in recent years. We are happy about the climb in the IMD competitiveness ranking published recently, but we are still to face crucial moments which will decide on the direction in which Slovenia will go next. Yes, the elections.

The bulk of economic growth has been generated by SMEs, exporters. Large dispersion of companies in terms of sectors, size and points of sale gives a good basis for a long-term stability of the Slovenian economy. An important element of economic stability is also the country's economic policy.

Compared to the past, the pre-election debates are more focused on Slovenia's future and economic development, and the programmes of certain political parties are quite similar to the standpoints also supported by the Managers' Association, including:

- unburdening of salaries for a higher net value for all by introducing a development cap, possibility of a higher general tax relief or change in the income tax brackets by abolishing the 50% income tax rate;

- further reduction of tax on Christmas and performance bonuses,

- red tape reduction and elimination of excessively long administrative procedures,

- more flexible labour law and

- better organisation of the health sector.

We are glad that the creation of conditions for a higher profitability and growth of companies is finally the subject of pre-election debates; our wish is that the government would build on this idea to establish a more favourable environment for the Slovenian economy. Three years ago, the Managers' Association was the first to emphasise in public that profit is a condition for company growth and that it was not a bad thing, which is now finally supported by the leaders of most political parties.

In its recent reports, IMAD emphasised that productivity was one of the basic problems of the Slovenian economy and public sector. This is another element that we did not pay sufficient attention to in the past. An element that is not deeply rooted in the Slovenians and that we are still trying to learn. IMAD also highlighted unfavourable demographic trends. We know that growth and productivity require human resources. Demography is not the only problem in this. We should be worried that 15,000 and more Slovenians who leave Slovenia include almost 30 % of highly educated staff. One of the key conditions for the staff generating higher value added to return is to lower the tax burden on their income. Does this sound like a social cap? Perhaps you remember that the social cap initiative was made by our association some years ago, and it is good that now it is also supported by certain political parties and some other economic interest associations. Better late than never.

Let these words encourage you to reconsider who you will vote and and to vote for certain. Each vote counts. Managers recently listened to the analysis of the former Minister of Finance and Professor Dr Dušan Mramor about the effects of economic measures of the last six Slovenian governments at the seminar prepared together with the Centre for Business Excellence of the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana. The main messages and findings were also recently published in the newspaper Delo, and an interview in the newspaper Dnevnik. We recommend this reading also to those who did not attend the seminar.

And let them also be a starting point for thinking about the challenges of insufficient salaries and productivity, competitiveness and lack of staff in the summer time. For we will also encounter these topics at our Management Congress on 27 and 28 September 2018. 

As inspiration and relaxed socialising, we will meet next week at the Managers' Evening in Opera; the gala cultural spectacle and socialising will certainly lead to excellent ideas for the next cycle of development of the companies we manage.


Aleksander Zalaznik, President of Managers' Association of Slovenia and General Director of Danfoss Trata