Peter Škodný from the company Accenture has been elected new president of the Business Leaders Forum
What can responsible entrepreneurship bring Slovakia and what are the priorities of the newly elected president of the Business Leaders Forum?
In January 2016, Peter Škodný, country managing director of Accenture Slovakia, became the new president of the Business Leaders Forum (BLF), the association of responsible companies. This two-year tenure post was previously held by Magdaléna Dobišová, director general of the company Skanska Slovakia, who led the association from 2014 to 2015.
Peter Škodný has been working in the Slovak branch of the company Accenture since its foundation in Slovakia. In the last 16 years, he has succeeded in expanding a small branch into a stable and prosperous firm, which currently has more than 1600 employees. For the year 2014, the company received the prestigious Via Bona Slovakia award in two categories – Responsible Large Corporation and Excellent Employer. Peter Škodný also holds the function of regional director responsible for Accenture’s branches in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania.
Transparency, law enforcement and diversity are the keys priorities of the new president.
The new president of the BLF is known for hisuncompromising attitudes in the field of business ethics. These also have an influence on Peter Škodný’s main priorities for his presidential tenure for years 2016 and 2017. His priorities not only include business ethics and transparency, but also law enforcement and diversity. As he points out: “To make companies work ethically, good legislation and law enforcement are crucial. In addition, in order to make Slovakia a successful country, it is necessary to promote not only gender diversity, as we have our limits in this area as well, but also a cultural diversity.”
We conducted a short interview with the new president of the BLF:
In your opinion, what characterizes a responsible company?
There are many definitions of a responsible company. The one I use is perhaps slightly non-standard. For me a responsible company is one, of which its employees and owners or shareholders can be proud and where they do not have to be worried that the media might publish something bad about it. It is a company which is popular among the people in the area where it operates because it leaves avisible positive trail in society.
What does an honest business bring companies and how can Slovakia profit from responsible firms?
For a company to have long-term success on the market while at the same time doing business in an honest way represents a certain challenge. This is because carrying out business fairly in Slovakia is difficult. On the other hand, it is a chance to achieve considerable success not only on the local, but also on the unpredictable (international) markets, which can appreciate real value and quality for a reasonable price.
How is a responsible approach reflected in the company Accenture, which you have been leading for 16 years already?
I believe it is visible in the way I described in the answer to the first question. J
Which areas do you want to focus on as the new president of the association of responsible companies, the Business Leaders Forum?
Concerning my priorities, I would like to concentrate on three areas: Business Ethics, Compliance with the Law – good legislation and law enforcement and Diversity in the Workplace. If I had to pick just one topic, I would possibly choose the predictability and stability of the business environment. As a result, we would have a clear vision of what Slovakia is attempting to attain and in what kind of business environment this should be achieved.
The Accenture Way
The company Accenture provides professional services in management consulting, ICT and outsourcing. It is also well-known for its active approach in promoting corporate social responsibility in Slovakia. Its corporate citizenship strategy is built on five pillars – company management, support and investment in education, protection of the environment, employees and suppliers.
Conduct integrity and combating corruption are what counts among the company’s principles. Accenture’s Code of Business Ethics applies to both employees and suppliers. Through the Skills to Succeed programme, the company improves people’s skills in order to enable them to succeed in the labour market. With the aim of reducing their ecological footprint, Accenture makes maximum use of computer technology, searches for alternative forms of travelling, and supports the sustainable development of their suppliers as well.
Employees are considered to be Accenture’s most valuable asset and the company creates conditions for a balanced working and personal life for them. Accenture works on developing corporate “donorship” and volunteering. In 2014, the company supported 90 organisations. In cooperation with the organisation Aptech Europe, it trained 41 unemployed people, of which 22 managed to find a job by the end of the year.