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Munich Management Colloquium

For around 30 years, the con­sulting firm TCW has been organ­izing the “Mu­nich Man­age­ment Col­loqui­um” (MMK), Ger­many's larg­est busi­ness con­gress, in coop­era­tion with the Tech­nical Uni­versi­ty of Mu­nich. The Elite Net­work of Ba­varia ena­bled a total of ten mem­bers to partic­ipate free of charge in this top-class event, which took place from 5 to 6 March 2024 in the Au­dimax of the Tech­nical Uni­versi­ty of Mu­nich. Michael Soutschek, Max Weber Program alumnus, shares his experiences.

As a biologist, the MMK gave me the unique opportunity to listen to nu­mer­ous board mem­bers and man­aging direc­tors of DAX com­panies and SMEs give their as­sess­ment of the eco­nomic situa­tion in Ger­many and in their com­pa­nies.The motto of this year's con­fer­ence was "Strong to­gether - resili­ence through net­work­ing and col­la­bora­tion". For two days, mem­bers of the man­age­ment level of com­panies from a wide range of indus­tries (au­tomo­tive, avia­tion, life sci­ence, robot­ics, chem­icals, ener­gy and many more) dealt with this over­arch­ing topic in presenta­tions and panel dis­cussions on two stag­es. In gen­eral, the im­portance of coop­era­tion through long-term part­ner­ships was em­phasized in order to ma­noeuvre com­panies through the nu­mer­ous crises in the cur­rent diffi­cult eco­nomic envi­ron­ment. It was point­ed out that the cur­rent com­plex prob­lems (such as the trans­for­mation to great­er sus­taina­bility or the ongo­ing need for digi­taliza­tion) re­quire equal­ly com­plex an­swers, which small­er com­panies in par­ticular can only come up with through coop­era­tion. At the same time, it was noted that many board mem­bers see Ger­many's eco­nomic poten­tial as very posi­tive and would like to see a return of opti­mism in the eco­nomic out­look.

Within the com­pa­nies, the main focus con­tinues to be on the new AI mod­els and ways of using them. For ex­am­ple, two speakers showed vid­eos in which they were able to say sen­tences in nu­mer­ous lan­guages at native speaker level in their own voice and with cor­rect lip movements, made possi­ble by AI. Sev­eral ex­am­ples and stud­ies were also cited that showed the enor­mous in­crease in productivity in inter­nal com­pany pro­cesses through artifi­cial intel­li­gence (the in­crease in productivity when using AI in com­panies ac­cord­ing to the stud­ies was at least 12%).

In addi­tion to the lec­tures, there were also work­shops in which CEOs, among oth­ers, gave inter­ested stu­dents in­for­mation about their pro­fes­sional ca­reers and eve­ryday work­ing life. For ex­am­ple, I was able to learn from Dr. Bernd Mon­tag, CEO of Sie­mens Healthineers, his rec­om­men­da­tions to sci­ence grad­uates who want to take on a man­age­ment posi­tion in a large corpo­ration: he advis­es them to re­main au­then­tic whilst taking on man­age­ment re­spon­sibil­ity and to apply for jobs with a wide range of tasks at an early stage.

First-class cater­ing pro­vided culi­nary re­freshments dur­ing the breaks. All in all, I prof­ited great­ly from the event and I was de­light­ed to have the op­por­tunity to visit the MMK.

Text: Mi­chael Soutscheck