> posted by   on July 21st 2014

Today Fantasy, Tomorrow Reality

Today, globalisation is about profit and shareholders satisfaction. What about people, what about emotion and investments in local communities? Where are the leaders from the past?  Leaders that were at the cradle of our industry. In my work I am constantly searching for inspiration. Inspiration can come from books, newspapers, movie, lectures, and expositions as well as from daily life. But, to be inspired by somebody’s personality, power and leadership skills…… hm?… it is very difficult to find such a person. Not so long ago, everybody was in love with Steve Job. He was the new guru. We built him altars, read his biography and absorbed it like a holy bible.

This year, during my summer holiday I visited Czech Republic. I was cruising through this beautiful country and visited amazing places, castles, natural phenomena …. But the one thing I wanted to see the most was the city of Zlin.

Probably you’ve never heard about it …..it is the city built by Bata. Who is Bata? Shame on you!


Thomas Bata is my new hero! My new guru and my new leader!

Bata’s footwear is not well known among fashionistas and fanciers of designer shoes by Manolo Blahnik or fans of the latest sneakers from Nike. It is a brand from the past that has survived many brands and will also survive all today’s fancy brands.

In the 1920s, the shoe manufacturer Tomas Bata built a modern industrial town in Zlín in Czech Moravia. It is one of the few examples of a ‘Functional City’ still in existence. Every aspect of the city was geared towards the efficient production of shoes: the organisation of the factory, the corporate structure, the architecture and the spatial design as well as the accommodation, leisure activities and control of the workforce. Tomas Bata is viewed as a Central European Henry Ford. As a ‘good capitalist’, Bata pursued the interaction of economic rationalisation, technological progress, social engineering and a visionary architecture

“Vision without action is just a dream. Action without vision merely passes time. Vision with action can change the world.” – Tomas Bata

The Bata Institute is located in a post-industrial, renovated, modernistic building. Inside visitors can enjoy the exhibition ‘BATA PRINCIPLE – Today Fantasy, Tomorrow Reality’. It recounts the history of Bata’s company, his unique shoe collection and many interesting anagogies.

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Tomas Baťa is also widely regarded as a businessman with an acute sense of social consciousness. He is quoted by many as one of the first pioneers of employee welfare and social advancement programs. Tomáš Baťa stated:

“Let’s bear in mind that the chances to multiply wealth are unlimited. All people can become rich. There is an error in our understandings – that all people cannot become equally rich. Wealth can not exist where the people are busy with mutual cheating, have no time for creating values and wealth. It is remarkable that we can find the greatest number of wealthy tradesmen and a population on a high standard of living in countries with a high level of business morality. On the other hand, we can find poor tradesmen and entrepreneurs and an impoverished population in countries with a low standard of business morality. This is natural because these people concentrate on cheating one another instead of trying to create value.

    We are granting you the profit share not because we feel a need to give money to the people just out of the goodness of the heart. No, we are aiming at other goals by this step. By this measure we want to reach a further decrease of production costs. We want to reach the situation that the shoes are cheaper and workers earn even more. We think that our products are still too expensive and worker’s salary too low”

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“In the old days, people were looking much more toward being of a certain town or village or even a small country,” he said. “Today, the global outlook is permeating the whole population of the world.”

“At Bata, we see a sale as the beginning of a relationship ”





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