The ZET Foundation

Professor of management systems and the most cited Czech economist Milan Zeleny
has decided to establish the ZET Foundation. The ZET Foundation will be founded
in order to develop the national and international entrepreneurship with the goal of developing national, regional and local ownership, decision making, autonomy and self-sufficiency in order to increase the competitiveness of Czech and Czech-related companies as well as companies in USA, China, and other transforming economies.

The economist Milan Zeleny is preparing
the ZET Foundation, for the development of national and international entrepreneurship in transforming economies


The ZET Foundation invites association of mutually beneficial cooperation with kindred companies, educational institutions and local and regional self-government, cities and communities. The purpose of an effective working association and sharing is to bring benefit and strength to all participating parties: the more successful is the individual, institution or region, the stronger becomes the ZET Foundation and its support and assistance
in entrepreneurial, educational and socio-cultural flourishing of local
and regional the world over.
The purposes of the Foundation, which will be established in conformity with the public benefits are:
1. The development of projects aimed at the renewal of national entrepreneurship, creating innovative business culture and the development of original products, services, and complex business models in all areas of business.

2. The development of regions via active cooperation of regional enterprises, local governments and universities with the aim of achieving their synergy, autonomy and independence.

3. The development of Czech enterprises and entrepreneurs in the area of complex systems of corporate governance, decision making and strategic thinking, in terms of the principles of the Bata Management System, i.e. autonomy and self-sufficiency in order to increase global and local competitiveness.

4. The development of schools and their educational programs in the areas of regional development, corporate management and effective self-government, rooted in the principles of the Bata Management System.

5. The development of Entrepreneurial university through the innovative strategy of the region, which is directly involved in the formation of new companies as the basic „carriers“ and users of entrepreneurial knowledge. The network of entrepreneurial universities is directly involved in the generation of employment, knowledge and development of the region. Such universities not only teach, but also actively do business themselves and produce not only the graduates, but also the firms, in which the graduates remain active.

6. The development of students through the study of educational programs and practical realization of original world-class business plans.
The ZET Foundation will be registered in the Czech Republic. Through direct branches or collaborative associations with local groups, companies and institutions, the Foundation is building up its presence also in the USA, China, Brazil, India, Japan, Singapore, and others.

Why do you want to establish the Foundation?
While our world is changing fundamentally and fast, our thinking, behavior and decision making remain the same, uninformed and backward oriented. Especially in entrepreneurship, management and economics could such myopia become self-destructive. It is therefore necessary to generate new knowledge, experience and practical approaches which would be useful today and in the future, not only in the past. It is necessary to develop talent, instruct companies and formulate theories and methodologies corresponding to the world of qualitative transformation and metamorphosis. The main and fundamental goal of the Foundation is to turn our sights forward, on the road ahead, and not just continue managing our key institutions with eyes fixed in the rear-view mirror.

What are the goals of the Foundation?
Specific objectives are many, but the list of six key purposes is to be found in the table. This list will be expanded or narrowed down, according to the changing needs. We are entering the Age of mass entrepreneurship and innovation; our economies should be flourishing, not just growing; we are shifting from globalization to active localization and regionalism. New technologies stimulate new ways of production and consumption, as well as new orders of democratic self-government. The world is leaning away from speculative finances, shares, bonds and dividends towards the real products, services and innovations. That is why we need entrepreneurial universities, and must redirect our education from form to contents, from information to knowledge, and from the description of action to the action itself. This is not a small task and in the end it will require cooperation of many foundations, thousands of companies, and hundred thousands of entrepreneurs. In addition, we have to overcome the active resistance of the state, traditional business and monopolistic corporate giants.

Is there a similar foundation elsewhere in the world?
I am sure there isn´t; we would not try to introduce or copy something that already existed. It is apparent that the level of thinking - in China, USA, Japan, and in a slew of smaller economies (Singapore, Taiwan, etc.) - is already progressing in the outlined directions. Even the Czech Republic can participate, especially through the inspirational heritage of Comenius, the Bata brothers and Karel Capek. This is of course conditional on the ability of its entrepreneurial community to free itself from the dependency on the political center, state business and foreign domination - in search of its own path, as it used to be in the pre-war years. Entrepreneurship is not the same as support for entrepreneurship; innovation is quite different from the institution of supporting innovation. One is production, the other consumption of resources.

With whom will the Foundation cooperate?
Cooperation is extended to all modern businesses of the new era, innovative entrepreneurs, and independent, self-motivated entrepreneurial talent from all over the world. Although the focus will be on China and the USA, the Foundation will be registered in the Czech Republic, where we shall seek out the best Czech entrepreneurs and enterprises. We also hope that a number of companies, entrepreneurs and sponsors will identify themselves - and become active drivers of transformation and metamorphosis of the world, regional and local economy. We shall not actively support traditional political sphere according to time-tested spirit of “Let´s do it our way”. We of course fully support foundations of authentic democracy, i.e., the autonomous and party-free local self-government. All economic and social flourish always starts in a locality or region, never at the central ministry office.

What will be the purpose of concrete activities of the Foundation?
Both purpose and contents will be evolving and become specified over time. Our basic strategic sequence is 1. Understand what is going on and why? 2. Adapt our action to the changes and circumstances, and 3. Recognize and exploit new opportunities for enterprise, products and services in the interest of flourishing regions or localities.
So, first we understand, adapt and identify opportunities to be exploited. To pass through this U-A-I sequence would represent success for all: individual, enterprise, region and the Foundation. Another key principle is the strategy of the “First step”. Our world is changing so fast that we cannot expect to foresee or predict all the consequences. But we must still take the first step and keep continually adjusting the next ones. Strategy is not just a description of action – it is the action itself. Strategy is not what you say, but what you do. Our goal is not long-term sustainability of action, but its demonstrated self-sustainability. The Foundation cannot encourage long-term dependency on the state support, charity or redistribution of resources. We aim not just to give fish, but teach how to farm or catch fish.