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As a part of the Best of the Best program 2016, AmCham Slovenia has been discovering, supporting and awarding those that have made positive change in the Slovenian business environment. This year’s winner for best practice is Danfoss Trata with the project 24Idea.

The winner was declared at the AmCham Business Breakfast: Ignite Your Brain and Heart for Leading Change. The best of the three finalists was chosen by votes on Facebook, the Hal mBills application as well as by the audience at the event. The winners in each category were:

★Innovation: 24Idea, Danfoss Trata,

★Motivation: Nadgradnja projekta Mladi upi, Zavarovalnica Triglav,

★Openness: Premium Business Club – HUB, Steklarna Hrastnik.

»All stories are an inspiration by making positive changes in our business environment and that is precisely what we strive for in AmCham Slovenia, including the Best of the Best program. These changes are only possible through mutual cooperation and by spreading positive values, which is reflected in all final projects; that is why everyone is a winner in our eyes«, said Ajša Vodnik, MSc, Executive Director of AmCham Slovenia.

The project 24Idea persuaded the voters by combining the elements of innovation, motivation, openness, creativity, enthusiasm, fresh ideas and a desire to share knowledge. Mateja Panjan of Danfoss Trata and a member of the winning team emphasized: »On our way to winning, we were supported by our management and we had a favorable environment, provided by Danfoss Trata, which enabled us to develop the project to such a high level. This motivates us and encourages the employees to make positive change together.«

Voting for the winner had an additional charitable element. The winners of the Best of the Best 2016 dedicated the money raised to Društvo staršev otrok z rakom, Jonatan Prijatelj as they want to support their coworker and his daughter, who has been fighting cancer for the past two years. By the time the winner was declared, they had collected more than EUR 1,500.00, and donations are still coming in. You can still donate until December 20, 2016. Read more HERE.

Last year’s winner, Primož Zupan from Halcom, explained what it means to be the best of the best: »To win is much more than just to receive this prestigious title. Over the last year, we have invited eight new students from Ljubljana and Belgrade to share their passion for innovation with us. This year, even more students from different countries will join us. The partnerships that we have formed have made it possible for us to host the European Congress for Engineering Students’ in Ljubljana.«

Along with the best practice title, the winner received free membership to the AmCham Slovenia Patron category for 2017 as well as a weekend getaway in New York and training for the entire project team.

24Idea project is an internal 24-hours Danfoss event that is introducing start-up activities into the organizational structure. Fresh and newly-generated ideas and the motivation of the employees were the grounds for the creation of this pilot project in which enthusiastic employees had the opportunity to show their skills and to bring new energy into the work process.

In June 2015, 80 employees focused for 24 hours on improving the Commercial Controls business area, which is a part of the Danfoss Heating segment. The event took place simultaneously in Danfoss’s locations in Ljubljana and China, the exchange of opinions between coworkers took place virtually at both locations. After the event, 8 teams got the opportunity to dedicate 20% of their work time to develop an idea and their own potential. The 24Idea event was so successful that it was used at the corporate level and in January this year, the first such event was launched in Denmark for all Danfoss’s segments.

The guests of today’s AmCham Business Breakfast also discussed the topic of how to ignite one’s brains to lead change.

Nikolaos Dimitriadis, PhD, MBA, Development Director of the University of Sheffield International Faculty, CITY College, emphasized: »We all wish for change and we all hope for the innovations that large corporations with their typical structure can often make impossible. We have to modernize traditional business management, but mainly, we must use our brain and start thinking on the high level, spread values, work with passion and embrace imminent and constructive criticism.«

Aleksander Zalaznik, General Manager of Danfoss Trata highlighted that people are key to change: »If we want change to happen, we must create the environment that will facilitate such change; we have to communicate openly among ourselves and allow the employees to experiment. That is what we try to do at Danfoss Trata.«

Andrej Božič, General Manager of Steklarna Hrastnik acknowledged: »Changes in an environment of 750 employees are not always easy but we try to encourage everyone to contribute and enjoy the benefits of it afterwards. We are putting our faith in young spirits and in learning from own mistakes.«

Tadej Čoroli, Member of the Management Board of Zavarovalnica Triglav compares change in a company to nature: »Turbulent times mean bad things for nature and for the company, but every cloud has a silver lining. Business should be a game, an experiment, a source of optimism and a way to bring good to people.«

Below you can see short presentation videos of all final projects:

★Innovation: 24Idea, Danfoss Trata

★Motivation: Nadgradnja projekta Mladi upi, Zavarovalnica Triglav

★Openness: Premium Business Club- HUB, Steklarna Hrastnik

You can check the photo gallery HERE.

Read more about the project HERE.

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