Miodrag Kostic







Business education and consulting

Birthday selebration with my friends at KOGO on Danube river

I have celebrated my birthday at Kogo Lounge Bar on Danube river with my dearest friends.

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Celebrating birthday with my friends at Kogo Lounge Bar on Danube river

For the 3rd time in a row I have celebrated my birthday at Kogo Lounge Bar on Danube river.

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Celebrating my father’s 88th birthday together with my sister

My sister came to visit from Canada so we have celebrated my father’s 88th birthday together.

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Winter hiking experience at the end of 2010 at Kosutnjak forest park

Just few days ago it was 18 degrees centigrade and today December 31st is just -10 degrees. But the weather is very pleasant and I went hiking at Kosutnjak forest park (5 min from my home). Just few inches of snow made the hiking experience absolutely perfect.

kosutnjak

kosutnjak

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Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

I have just read a great book FREAKONOMICS. Looking at some very usual phenomenons in a very unusual way. A must read!!!!!

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Bicycling at ADA Belgrade after 3 months long “winter break”

It has been over 3 months since my last bicycle ride at ADA “More BeogrADA” (Belgrade sea). Finally spring is back and I am looking forward to spend many beautiful days at “ADA lake park” this year.

Key Account Management (KAM) training

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Beautiful autumn day at ADA lake park (ADA more Beograda)

I took my bicycle and photo camera to ADA today. It was just wonderful.

ada

ada

ada

ada

aleksandra & diane
Coffee at Sunset caffe with Aleksandra Hristov and Diane Cromer

www.businessknowledge.biz

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Visiting my sister in Canada

I am in Canada for the whole month of September. Here are some of the (couple of thousand) photos I have made.

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Bicycling with my nieces from Ada to Zemun

Today was a perfect day for bicycling. Let these pictures tell the story how much I enjoy my nieces (from Canada) vacation in Serbia.

Links to my new websites

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Telenor internet – enjoying true 3G remote access

Few days ago I was able to try a new mobile gadget, Huawei Telenor mobile internet 3G modem. What can I say? Finally its worthy to have a laptop. Before it was dial-up, than it was wireless, now it is 3G freedom. No more looking for hot spots or cafes’ that offer free internet. And it works, all 3 Mbps of it, and remotely (and affordable). Finally we can fulfill our old dreams of working on the beach (or in the park, or in the woods, or wherever we like).

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Miloje Sekulic on the cover of Profit magazine No.3 – Knowledge and smile

I was so happy to see the cover of last Profit magazine (No.3). Under the title “Successful managers in Serbia” there was picture of my dear friend Miloje Sekulic, ePR director of McCann Erickson Public Relations company in Serbia, together with Ivana Kokalovic director of BS Prosesor IT company and Nikola Mircic sales manager of Microsoft Serbia. At the section “Profession Manager” there were three interviews with the title “Successful managers in Serbia”.

Miloje Sekulic - Profit magazine

The article was also titled “Knowledge and smile” and it read: Commonly in Serbia it is believed that it is more important who you know than how much you know. Excellent cause to tell the story about managers who succeeded exclusively on behalf of there own skills and knowledge.

Excellent article and interview by Profit magazine deputy editor in chief Darko Milosavljevic. The right choice of people, the right story, and the right timing. We are all feed up by stories about “transition heroes”, the Serbian businessman who made it in the nineties. Great story about young managers who are the future, not the past of Serbian business.

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Professor Mica Jovanovic dean of Megatrend University on learning

I was reading No. 2 issue of Profit magazine and in the article “What is produced by business schools” I have read the following statement from Professor Mica Jovanovic dean of Megatrend University in Belgrade:

Students in Serbia can get all the knowledge they need here in Serbia and they do not lag behind their colleagues in the west. One of our students went to USA on Fulbright scholarship . She called us from graduate specialist studies and said: “I don’t have anything to learn here. Everything that is offered here I have learned at my faculty in Belgrade. If nothing I am learning English language.” – said professor Jovanovic with pride.

Mica Jovanovic

Have you noticed the statement “I don’t have anything to learn in the USA!“. She is going to be PhD or, who knows, may be even professor at Megatrend University, and she doesn’t have anything to learn at graduate studies in the USA. Serbia’s “intellectual elite” has nothing to learn from the outside world, because they know everything there is to know. That’s why we are one of the last (worst) countries in Europe, in every respect.

I would only mention what Professor Isak Adizes has said about learning, that he learns every day, and he is always behind, considering all that is to be learned. When we compare the statement of Mr. Adizes with one from Mr. Jovanovic, we can see why education in Serbia is in such a sorry state. Its not the problem if you know that you don’t know, at least, that’s the first step towards knowledge. The worst is to have illusion of knowing everything, when you realy don’t know that you don’t know.

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Press trip to Kopaonik mountain with Uniqa insurance company

Here is a nice picture post from last weekend. I went to Kopaonik mountain on a press trip with 20 other journalists. We were invited by Uniqa Insurance company to cover FIS Ski Royal Cup opened by world famous skier Stephan Eberharter (Uniqa promoter).

kopaonik

ko

I have been to many mountains around the world skiing and hiking, but this was my first trip to Kopaonik, the highest mountain in Serbia. I am sure these picures would tell the story better than words.

kopaonik

kopaonik

kopaonik

All of these pictures were taken by my friend Vlado Vujsic director of Vibilia.co.yu
I have brought my own photo camera, but the moment I saw Vlada I knew I am not going to use it, since Vlada is a real pro.

New information + case studies + exercises = competency

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Remembering my visit to CEBIT fair in Hanover, Germany

At this moment in time in Serbia, when we are steadily moving away from European integrations, I remembered my visit to CEBIT fair in Hanover, Germany, few years ago. I was part of the press tour organized by Siemens.
Its not about me, I have spent most of my adult life in the west, but I feel said about Serbian youth. Unfortunately, all they would be able to do, for many years to come, is work as slaves for local clepto-cracy (tycoons) and keep voting for Vojislav Kostunica.

CEBIT

CEBIT

CEBIT

CEBIT

I can only hope these pictures are where Serbia will eventually look after. Hopefully we will leave the “elite club” of nations like Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan … and get back to our European roots.

The last picture is of Indian exhibition. You should have seen our neighbors, like Romania, Bulgaria … looking great. By the way, our exhibition booth looked like it was pulled out of a museum (of soc-realistic history).

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Article on “Active Learning” published in eMagazin No.58

eMagazin
In the last issue of eMagazin I have published an article on Active Learning. To summarize what is active learning I have used quotation from Benjamin Franklin (famous face looking at us today from $100 bill)

$100 bill

Tell me and I’ll forget,
Show me and I might remember,
Involve me and I’ll understand.

– Benjamin Franklin

My argument is simple: Active learning is not just education methodology, it is acquired state of mind change of the student, who is actively involved in the learning process.

The title says: State of mind change

eMagazin br.58

In the article I have quoted what Diane Cromer has said about Active learning in my interview in eMagazin No.55:

Our seminars are performed as interactive workshops. Forty percent of the training is in the form of giving formal information (hard facts, or as some call it – theoretical knowledge), and sixty percent is as active participation, where participants exercise or practice in teams. Learning has to be fun, for the people to get deeply involved in the learning process, they have to enjoy it.

New information + case studies + exercises = competency

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First Annual Serbian HR Conference`07 – HR at the crossroads

Serbian HR Association and Serbian Foreign Investors Council have very successfully organized the first Human Resources Conference “HR at the crossroads” on 3rd and 4th December 2007 in Hyatt Regency Hotel in Belgrade.

This was part of the news article I have written for Emagazin. Now, honestly, what can I tell you how it was? I can not wait for the next year conference to participate again. Everything, form conference events, content, speakers, participants, round tables to after conference events like networking banquet was extra ordinary. Impeccable organization. I had a strong feeling (deja-vu) I am back in the USA again (at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York).

The most valuable asset of conferences like this is meeting new exciting people. I was very lucky to meet Mr. John Cantwell co-founder of Dramatrix company from Budapest. John was born in the USA (Long Island) and has lived some time in Flushing, Queens (New York City) where I also lived from 1986 to 1990, so we were neighbors at that time. John has lived in Budapest for the last 15 years and currently resides there with his partner Anita, and their two young sons, Levente and Akos.

Dramatrix

You will have to see them to believe what they do. In short, they engage real actors as trainers to demonstrate (dramatize) communication (public presentation) techniques and styles. I hope we could work out some kind of partnership with them and offer our services together on Southeast European business training market.

Many thanks to Mr. Nebojsa Rako, my dear friend and organizer of this conference, HR manager of Holcim Serbia corporation and founder of Serbian HR Association, for the wonderful experience we all have had. It feels so good when you can have both of two different worlds, do good business networking, learn and hear good and useful things, and at the same time have so much fun.

HR conference

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Interview with Mr. Andrej Vizjak Managing Director of A.T. Kearney South East Europe for Emagazin

Yesterday in Sava Center “PR-Week Belgrade 2007” conference was opened. I was present at the opening ceremony and not counting little glitches with electrical power shortages it went very well. Before the opening I had interview with Mr. Andrej Vizjak Managing Director of A.T. Kearney South East Europe. He is internationally recognized consultant and teacher at Munich University.

As always there are good new things you can hear from people coming from abroad. Here in Serbia its like in a closed box, where you can only here the same old ideas over and over again. I enjoyed talking with Mr. Vizjak. I liked so much when he mentioned the importance of social competences when they choose candidates for consultants for A.T. Kearney Consulting company.

Unfortunately, these social (and many other) competences are what is missing from psychological profile of the average “Serbian businessmen”, competencies like emotional, spiritual, empathy and the will to do good for the whole society.

Anyway, I lived in the west long enough (17 years) to know that their “spiritual” competencies are far from perfect. But somehow, selfishness, greed and excessive egoism is not as obvious and aggressive as it is here in Serbia. I sincerely hope European integrations will bring some positive change to Serbian society soon. As professor Isac Adizes recently said in his interview: To change people (their state of mind), you must first change their environment.

AV
(picture from the interview in Sava Centar)

New information + case studies + exercises = competency

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Hochegger Srbija, without website, ‘leading’ our communication industry

Few days ago I have read an article on Hochegger Srbija in E-kapija web site:

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Leading world PR network in Serbia – signed agreement on joining and cooperation between “Burson Marsteller” and “Hochegger”

General manager Severin Heinisch said the goal of his company is to become leader in their field in Serbia by the end of the year, and most developed PR agency on Southeast European market.

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Watch out for the last sentence:

to become leader in their field in Serbia by the end of the year

I tried to find them on Google, and can you imagine, they do not exist. When you type in “Hochegger Srbija” keywords, one of the results is showing Serbian PR association, where you can read:

Društvo Srbije za odnose s javnošću, Resavska 31 11000 BeogradWeb: http://hochegger.co.yu; http://www.hochegger.com;. Godina osnivanja: Maj 2007. godine.When you type in their local web address www.hochegger.co.yu – NO WEB SITE. Can you imagine? They want to be a leader in the communication industry in Serbia and they don’t have a web site. They have posted the web address that doesn’t work. And the worst of all, it means their contact email address doesn’t work.

www.hochegger.co.yu

It means that Hochegger Srbija communication agenciy’s communication channel over the internet is closed. You can not even find a sign that says “Coming soon”. May be they will build their web site after they overtake the Serbian PR market.

Take a look at their mother company web site in Wienna. Now, can you tell me if their communication (message, visual sense, emotions it triggers …) goes along with our simple, local people in Serbia who drink “slivovitz” and eat garlic and bacon. Look at that foggy pictures in flash (upper right corner of the picture below), that are nervously moving around and look like blurred aquarium (yes, pictures are blurred on purpose).

Surrealism or clear and concise message?

I could understand if they are “creative” advertising agency, so everything is permitted to be foggy and un-clear. But I do believe essence of PR is clear and concise message, not to guess what the author wanted to say (like in Picasso paintings). By the way, it was spinning in my head, when I tried to decipher the message (if there is any message) looking at the pictures of two middle aged gentleman flying like ghosts over the screen.

I am not discriminating, I know Germans (Austrians) are top engineers, managers, scientists, even the best cooks or sweet makers, but I don’t believe they could be the masters for PR (communication) on our local Serbian Dragacevo-Guca-folk-music market. I am not actively involved with PR any more (we have moved to Business Knowledge), so I can say this openly. Who is willing to take a bet with me that this PR agency (I can not even pronounce their name) will be the leader on Serbian market by the end of this year?

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Interview with Isak Adizes for Emagazin

Few weeks ago I have interviewed professor Isak Adizes for Emagazin.
What can I say, when after a month I still feel I have had exceptional
experience. What is so special is his commanding presence, his
incredible energy. And on the other hand, he is so openhearted and
straightforward.

Not a trace of egocentrism and arrogance you would normally find in
our university professors here in Serbia. I have just heard he is the
consultant to the richest man in the world (Carlos Slim). As opposed to
our “great Serbian academic figures” professor Isak Adizes is so humble
in his appearance (like a child). Now I have seen how the real
greatness looks and feels like.

Isak Adizes

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This is my first blog post! Why so late?

Miodrag KosticI have been writing for various on-line and off-line publications and have used internet since 1989 (way before web). How come I am just now starting my blog, kind of late in my on-line career?

I don’t know. Probably because few weeks ago I have been at Professor Philip Kotler seminar and he said he is active on his blog (he is 76 years old). Than I was at the Jerry Weisman seminar and at the press conference afterwards, he said we can find everything we want at his blog (and he is in his sixties).

I have just turned 50 and since I am still feeling like 30, here is my personal blog.

Please enjoy it as much as I am enjoying writing it …

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