En.odmev 021: New Technologies Still Too Focused on Promoting Higher Consumption
Date: March 5th 2021
Author: Peter Palčec
“Most innovations in the field of digitalisation are still too focused on the end-user market and on promoting higher consumption of energy and in general. For this reason we need to invest more resources in new technologies that focus on the issue of reducing energy consumption while also addressing other environmental and social issues,” said Medeja Lončar, the CEO of Siemens Slovenia and Siemens Croatia and the President of the Managers’ Association of Slovenia at this year’s virtual En.odmev 021.According to Medeja Lončar, digitalisation and the energy transition will be the driving force for new business models and innovation in energy demand side and supply side alike. “Digitalisation is the new normal also in terms of the energy transition, as investments in software and digital solutions have increased immensely,” said Lončar.
She further noted that the UN has defined 17 sustainable development goals or key challenges for the planet by 2030, but she believes that the progress we are seeing right now is not enough to realise these goals. She also mentioned that managers and leaders were already used to being constantly involved in change.
“Uncertainty is our reality. Nevertheless, the pandemic has added a new dimension to the uncertainty we know. We need to move from hoping and discussing to innovating and leading. Digital technologies can be part of the solution, but what we really need are responsible leaders with a different approach to leadership – people who will chart the right course, because we cannot do things today the way we used to,” underlined Lončar.
In her opinion, today’s leaders need to recognise the limits of their knowledge. “Leaders need to adapt, develop new business models, and be aware of changes in consumer behaviour and of working environments. At this point, we can say with great certainty that in most areas, we will never go back to the ways we knew before this moment,” she noted.
Another important responsibility of the leaders is to look beyond their own backyard and see what is good for a larger community and what is important for long-term development. “That is the real meaning of sustainable management, which is a new trend in successful leadership. Sustainable management requires responsible behaviour at all levels: economic, social, environmental, and personal, but also a shift from ‘I’ to ‘we’, thinking and acting systematically, and engaging rather than managing stakeholders,” underlined Lončar.
Slovenian energy industry sometimes too unambitious
Siemens has been focusing on digital transformation and management through digital transformation for several years. “We have restructured our company strategically and organisationally, but transforming the mindset and acquiring new competences for the needs of the future are two major challenges that we are still overcoming,” said the first lady of Siemens Slovenia and Siemens Croatia.
This year’s En.odmev 021 was supported by Slovenia’s Petrol, Plinovodi, GEN energija, HSE, Siemens, Elektro Ljubljana, SODO, Resalta, BSP, the Slovenian Association for Energy Economics (SAEE), and the Slovenian Energy Association.
This article is available also in Slovene.