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Global Technology and Ukraine's Future Business Leaders
by Andrij Wowk

Members of the UESA, the Ukrainian-American Professionals and Businesspersons Association (UAPBA) of New York and New Jersey, and the community received a glimpse of Ukraine's potential future business leaders during an informative and entertaining presentation by UESA NJ chapter member Dr. Karl Zaininger, held on March 27, 2004 at the Hanover Ramada Inn and Conference Center in East Hanover, NJ.

Titled "Lecturing in Kyiv on Global Technology Management", and co-sponsored by the UESA New Jersey Chapter and the UAPBA, the lecture drew an audience of close to 30 people.

In his presentation, Dr. Zaininger described his experiences in the fall of 2003 while teaching a short course on business management at two schools in Kyiv, Ukraine: the Kyiv Mohyla Academy Business School, and Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. The second part of his presentation dealt with the topic of global technology management itself, and its importance to ensuring the competitiveness of U.S.-based and other global businesses.

Dr. Zaininger, an expert on management strategies and the CEO of Global Technology Management Partnerships in Princeton, NJ, explained that he volunteered to present the lectures to the students in Kyiv because he wanted to "give something from his professional experience back to the young people of Ukraine". He noted that during the first few days of his lectures (which were conducted in English), the students in his classes tended to be formal and somewhat disinterested.

As he spent more time with them, however, the classes became much more energetic, and students began to take initiative and to appreciate the opportunity they were being presented.

The packed room of attendees intently follow Dr. Zaininger's presentation. Dr. Zaininger noted that there was a major difference between the atmosphere he encountered at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy Business School, which is privately operated and whose students had a generally bright outlook, and the state-funded Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, where students tended to be older and less receptive to the topics he presented.

He said has been invited to return to Kyiv to present additional lectures in the future, and plans to do so.

In the second part of his presentation Dr. Zaininger focused on the actual topic he presented to the students in Kyiv, titled "Business Process Optimization Global Competitiveness". This part of the evening's presentation highlighted the importance of managing change within any company, in response to changes in the outside world. Dr. Zaininger illustrated this point with a quote from former GE chairman Jack Welch: "When the rate of change inside the company is exceeded by the rate of change outside the company - the end is near."

Dr. Zaininger noted that for any company to be considered "world-class" today, it must have an efficient and responsive process for managing change. He explained that globalization and the onset of digital communications and technologies have fundamentally changed the playing field for U.S. businesses.

In the years after World War II, the U.S. economy did not face many, if any, challenges from foreign competitors; starting the early 1980s, however, it became apparent that U.S. businesses had to change their processes to improve quality and efficiency in response to overseas competitors, and this continues to drive many business strategies today.

P's & B's member Oles Pidwerbetsky (left) and P's and B's Prsident Levko Mazur discuss the evening's activities. The speaker ended his presentation by taking questions from the audience. Andrij Wowk, representing the UESA New Jersey Chapter and the National Board, thanked Dr. Zaininger and the attendees for their attention.

Dr. Bohdan Vitvitsky, vice-president of the UAPBA, concluded with remarks about the Friends of Columbia University Ukrainian Studies Fund II (FOCUUS II) gala banquet in New York City on May 8, 2004, whose aim is to raise money for establishment of a formal Ukrainian Studies Program at Columbia University.

Attendees concluded the evening with refreshments and an opportunity to mingle and network among each other.

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