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April 26, 2019


Alexander Savruk - Candidate of Economic Sciences, Dean of kmbs. He specializes in strategic management, business philosophy, change management. He is also a member of the Ukrainian Association of Management Consultants, the Board of Directors of the Swiss-Ukrainian Chamber of Industry and has worked as an advisor to the Minister of Economy on microeconomic issues.


- People who already own or manage successful businesses come to you to study. What is their motivation? Why can you teach them?


- Everything is changing. If I am successful in something today, it does not guarantee that I will be just as successful tomorrow. And what is changing is new. It is necessary to understand it. Moreover, you need to deal not just with the external environment, but with yourself in the new environment.

This is reflexive: you need to realize who I am, whether I need to change, whether I need to introduce someone new to my system. This requires a dynamic effort - both on yourself and on the environment.

Although we are traditionally called a "business school", we are actually dealing with management issues. And management is a much broader concept than business. Management can be in a museum, at school, in the state, in the company. Even alone with yourself - a creative person needs to somehow manage themselves, and it's not always easy.


In the context of management, our task is to help people (wherever they are today, at what level or in what status) to find their maximum potential to influence the environment. For all those systems that it can "pull up" to its capabilities. It can be a holding or a cluster, a city or a country. And, finally, a person can make the qualitative leap he is capable of in his context.

- But how does it happen that an entrepreneur who is already on the market does not realize who he is and what to do in a new environment, and you know it?

- Everyone has a role. The entrepreneur needs to do operational things, strategic, current. And our task is to monitor and understand what is happening in this environment in principle. Plus we allow you to transfer best practices and better logic from one area of activity to another. If a person is open, he comes and takes.

- What skills does a modern entrepreneur need?

- Turners and millers work with skills. Middle managers work with competencies. In the case of the top managers we work with, it's worth talking about capabilities. This is fundamentally different than skills or competencies. There are leadership skills. There are creative. There are capabilities to synthesize business models and so on.

Skills are executive logic. We work with skills to a lesser extent, we are not a vocational school.

- Can you remember specific examples: when a person came to you, learned, and came out completely different, with a different vision and ambitions?

- It happens all the time. We even notice that some business owners are wary of educating their subordinates. They are afraid that they will "jump over" their role. Although, in fact, the owners just need such large-scale partners.

If we talk about specific cases, then among our graduates - Deputy Prime Minister Gennady Zubko. This is a colossal example when a person began to work on the transformation of a fairly large system, in particular on the reform of decentralization.

Alexander Starodubtsev, one of the developers of the Prozorro e-trading system, is also our graduate.

In total, we have more than a thousand graduates, and every time I am happy to find them in China with their own business, in the United Arab Emirates, in the management of our country, in environmental, IT and energy projects.

Our participants and graduates, not knowing each other, very quickly converge and create joint business projects.

I must say that the people who come to us are already successful in terms of "normal" success: they are far from "not hungry", they have enough to live and not long for the standards of the day before yesterday. But these are well-ambitious people who are looking for opportunities to influence the developing environment. And I think that's what attracts our new members. Often they see people they knew before change, and they want to develop in the same way.

- That is, the main source from which your future participants learn about the school is "sarafan radio"?

- To a large extent. After all, it is very difficult to explain what the most important thing you get when studying at kmbs. This is the state of a person that allows him to go to another level - with a different horizon, different methodologies, a different vision of the world, a different level of self-assessment: what am I doing, why am I doing it, who am I going to do it with?

With whom it is very important. It is interesting that our participants and graduates, not knowing each other, very quickly converge and create joint business projects.

- In kmbs they talk about management decisions based on the logic of open systems. What is it and how does it work?

- The logic of closed systems is a mechanical logic, subject-object. When there is a boss who gives instructions, and the subordinate follows them and acts as an object in this system.

An open system is an association of subjects. If we are interested, we unite and do something, create a product. Uninteresting - I go out, interesting - I go. By this logic, most of the world works today. There are no top-down instructions here, instead there is a common field of meaning, the ability to set the rules of the game, see "one's own", realize one's identity and respect another identity in action for the sake of a common idea.

- What is the economic effect of working in open systems?

- This is the effect of growth by one or two orders of magnitude. In the study, we look at the case of General Welch's Jack Welch, who from the 1980s to the end of the century saw his company's key performance indicators (such as stock price or earnings) increase by two orders of magnitude through a change in logic.

An open system is an association of subjects. There are no top-down instructions here, instead there is a common field of meaning

- How do you see the role of kmbs graduates in the school?

- We do not expect anything from them, except proactive subjectivity, - and they know about it. And they are already standing next to us, uniting. Graduates understand very well what we are doing and take on the same responsibility - in the regions, in culture, in business, in the state. It becomes interesting for us to create some projects together.

This is done by people who want to do more than just run their current business. And we are close by, helping them with elements of infrastructure. And often we ourselves receive help from graduates in certain infrastructure projects - for example, when we go to study in the regions.

- And what can be the synergy if we unite graduates on one platform, which kmbs Alumni is now preparing to launch with Mind?

- This will increase the opportunities for joint projects. You can find out where, to whom, what is happening. Get information about your offer faster. Respond faster.

I must say that the deans of business schools often communicate with each other, including how graduates work with schools. The way our alumni community develops has no analogues in the world. If their interaction is implemented through such a platform - it will be just the type of unique solution where the community is self-organizing and operates exactly in the logic in which we dreamed it would work. It is a dynamic process, it depends on the context and many other moments, but we are moving in the right direction.

One of the tasks of the platform is to raise funds for campus development for the school. Campus is a part of our product for participants and graduates, which provides an atmosphere, an opportunity to communicate and work with promising solutions. When foreigners come to us, they say, "You have such a full atmosphere, how do you do that?" So we want to expand, we have little space, but we try to keep this atmosphere.



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