SSON Podcast: Peter Csucska, Lexmark



Seth Adler
02/27/2018

"Many companies still have not fully unleashed the potential of shared services."

Peter Csucska

 Péter Csucska, Managing Director & General Manager at Lexmark Budapest Competence Center

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Peter Cszuka, the General Manager Business Services Lexmark, joins us from SSOW where he shares that his top priority is "challenging the way we work.” He’s pretty confident that the organization’s GBS model is robust. When it works well though, a level of comfort drifts in and so Peter says at points “we got too comfortable” – which has led him to ensure that every 3-4 years the team evaluates the shared services strategy, revises that strategy and moves forward.

Past performance is of course, not a guarantee for future performance. Understanding that, however, over the past decade Peter and the team have established a service center plus.

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Or read the transcript below...

Seth Adler:

Peter Cszuka joins us. First, some supporters to thank, and thank you for listening.

 

Male:

 

 

 

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Seth Adler:

 

 

 

Peter Cszuka, the general manager of business services for Lexmark joins us from SSOW where he shares that is top priority is "Challenging the way we work." He's pretty confident that the organization's GBS model is robust when it works well though, a level of comfort drifts in and so Peter says at points, "We got too comfortable," which has led him to ensure that every three to four years, the team evaluates the shared services strategy, revises that strategy and moves forward. Past performances, of course, not a guarantee for future performance understanding that. However, over the past decade, Peter and the team have established a service center plus.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to SSON on B2Biq. I'm your host, Seth Adler. Download episodes on ssonetwork.com or through our app in iTunes within the iTunes Podcast App in Google Play or wherever you currently get your podcasts. Peter Cszuka.

 

Peter Cszuka:

In Budapest.

 

Seth Adler:

In Budapest. Why did you say Budapest and not Budapesht?

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

 

Well, that's a very good question. Very few people realized it. We are understanding that you are not local, and try to make you feel at home and not make you feel awkward that you didn't pronounce it right. Actually, the way as much international Budapest event, it's as much Budapest now as Budapesht. It's the most international city I ever lived it.

 

Seth Adler:

You've been living here the whole time?

 

Peter Cszuka:

No. I moved cities, but I came from a smaller one. I'd love to say a small village in Ukraine, but it's actually a small town. Small village would have sounded so much better.

 

Seth Adler:

Yeah. Sure.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

And moved around. I lived in Japan. I moved to many countries, but Budapest is I think right sized international city.

 

Seth Adler:

Right sized. What do you mean by that?

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

 

 

 

It's still a livable one. You get a vibrant nightlife, really expat students. All my friends love it. At the same time, let's say, I'm crazy enough to live in downtown with three small kids and my family and it's still livable. That's what I mean by that right side. You can use public transport. You are not suffocated by the size of the city, but it's big enough for you to blend in and have that vibe that you'd expect.

 

Seth Adler:

You've got the river that runs straight through Buda and Pest, right?

 

Peter Cszuka:

That's the one.

 

Seth Adler:

It's the Danube River. Is that how you pronounce it?

 

Peter Cszuka:

You really did your homework.

 

Seth Adler:

Yeah. Of course. Well, I also looked at a map, right? Are you on the Buda side or the Pest side?

 

Peter Cszuka:

Right now, we're on the Pest side.

 

Seth Adler:

No. We are. Yes. We're at SSOW Eastern Europe, which is wonderful, and you're speaking here, so we'll get into what you're talking about here and what you're doing generally. Do you live on the Buda side or the Pest side?

 

Peter Cszuka:

I live on the Pest side, but barely. Stone thrown from the river.

 

Seth Adler:

Okay. Good. That's obviously nice views for you, and your kids who outnumber the parents, of course, right?

 

Peter Cszuka:

We are doing our best. Honestly, talent shortages is one of the buzz words and hot topics on all of the conferences. I'm doing my part.

 

Seth Adler:

Oh, yeah. You're doing your part?

 

Peter Cszuka:

I'm doing my part to augment that.

 

 

Seth Adler:

 

With more and more kids, is what we're saying. All right. As far as you and your desk, general manager of Lexmark, what are you most concerned with? What is most on the top of your list?

 

Peter Cszuka:

Challenging the way we work because I think we have a robust model, pretty close to other participants in the conference would call the GBS.

 

Seth Adler:

Sure.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

Global business services. I think we always run. When it works well, we run at the risk of getting too comfortable and I just got to feel that we got too comfortable. I think it's good for us to ... Every three to four years, we really look at our shared service centers, try to revise it and now it is the time to do that.

 

Seth Adler:

Okay. Good. You ...

 

Peter Cszuka:

So far, so good. It worked well. What worked, past performance is not necessarily a guarantee for future performance.

 

Seth Adler:

 

Let's make sure that we understand though the kind of journey to today. Over the past three years, you've gotten to a place where you are comfortable, which is in one way, a nice thing and in another way, as you just said, concerning because we've got to make sure that we're continuing to improve. What was the journey though over the past three years? What were the major tent pole events that brought you to where you are?

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'll start a bit earlier. Last nine years. We started here nine years ago and already at that time, it was pretty revolutionary idea and, "Let's not do a shared service center. Let's do competency center or a center of excellence," or many people call it many different ways but something like shared service center plus. We had the luxury of having a transactional shared service center in the Philippines at that time, so it was a rather easy combing exercise. Anything, can we do it in Philippines? In English, from remote off shore, we should do it there. Yeah. The cost advantage is so much greater. Can we not do it in Philippines, but we would still benefit from some cost saving and standardization and centralization? That came to Budapest. This is how we got started, and as many other companies, we've been started small, 120, moved in to rather advance activities, but we're not challenging ourselves as much as possible and over the course of the years, well, our stakeholders figured out that these guys don't ride horses to work and don't shoot arrows at each other.

 

Seth Adler:

Right.

 

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

 

 

 

 

There wasn't any adapt that people here can read and write, and they are good ones, but the level of skill and the level of jobs that could be done here, that understanding came only slower. Now, we are starting to having one of a kind jobs, something like other people would call it secondary headquarters type of jobs, not shared service center jobs by any stretch of imagination. Another interesting trend that we started doing that in the last three years, and I think is going to be big in the next three ones that we kept adding people, adding people, adding people. Everybody is happy. Colleagues are very happy. Office is expanding. Government is opening champagne because we're adding jobs in Hungary, but in reality, I think no companies want just a great job. They want to get stuff done.

 

Seth Adler:

Yeah.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our contribution to this is that we shouldn't necessarily be expanding on quantities of people working for us. The talent we have, they are hungry for more and we can tackle that by having much more complex activities, automizing and outsourcing or offshoring to Philippines whatever can be done at the current level of knowledge there and focusing on more high value added activities to be done. That doesn't necessarily drive increasing in number of people working for us. It clearly drives an increase in the level of skill that is needed. That's what people want. They want better, faster, smarter. They want to grow in their [inaudible 00:08:33] and all of us is going to lose our people because it's so easy to find a job in Budapest nowadays in the shared service center. If somebody gets an opportunity, they will make an easy work to the next glass cubicle with a different logo in front of it.

 

Seth Adler:

Sure.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

If you provide those opportunities internally, we have a very good chance of taming that. We do that, but the level of hierarchical grow that is available, it has its own limit to other flat organizations all of us is trying to have as flat as possible. Some new thing that, I can't call it to trendies that we started having more professional jobs, subject mentor expert jobs, really high level jobs that could carry a five to 10 years of dedicated focused industry experience. This is a very far cry from having a bunch of fresher ideas from a college.

 

Seth Adler:

Exactly.

 

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

As the stereotype about shared service centers is.

 

Seth Adler:

I wonder ... Let me make sure that I understand the relationship between the Philippines and Budapest. The Philippines was happening, and was an operational center before Budapest opened. Correct?

 

Peter Cszuka:

Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:

 

 

What was it? I know that you shared at least a little bit and we're here in the Corinthia Hotel, which is fantastic and also has a lot of inside space, so you can hear folks moving around with glasses and things. What did the Philippines not have that Budapest brought to the table? In other words, why go to Budapest with what we went to Budapest with?

 

Peter Cszuka:

Well, I'd say the primary driver for Budapest was we'd like to think it was skill, but at that time, it wasn't the primary consideration. The primary consideration was languages.

 

Seth Adler:

It was languages.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

You can have any possible language you can imagine and some other ones, you will have a hard time imagining if you really need to in Budapest. We support about a dozen of language officially and maybe a similar number semi-officially may not providing full service, but partial service. I know about other companies, our peers like [inaudible 00:10:44], these guys have 20, 30 languages. We support Mandarin, Chinese out of Budapest, believe it or not.

 

Seth Adler:

Out of Budapest?

 

Peter Cszuka:

Not in Lexmark, but with our industry.

 

Seth Adler:

Yeah. Sure.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

You can get any language you want, and the decision makers at the time that Lexmark was looking for European center, they already knew that languages are easy to come by and that was a major reason why it came by. Why we stayed and evolved, I think now is taken as an expectation. It's not an extra, and what to us more of a ... Not maybe a big surprise, but a pleasant surprise perhaps on top of the expected high level of skills is that first of all, the skills, I already said that, but also the business awareness and business argument of people.

 

Seth Adler:

Yeah. What did the other presentations mentioned it as a commercial hub? It's just an understanding that is here in Hungary.

 

Peter Cszuka:

Yes. If you support the business in the countries in sales, you can do a very different level of support and the very different level of process engineering, whether you understand why are you doing this? If you locked people in the room and deprive them with the outputs and deprive them the knowledge of what the output is going to be used at, you have a sub-optimized process that is self centered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a luxury of being relatively close to the business, countries and sales folks and customary events happen at our own center because again, it's not something that most shared service centers have because we'd like to show our operations and we are transparent, but also this is an opportunity for us to learn about the business. Every day, people who support the different countries of Europe, Middle East and Africa out of here, they talk to their counterparts. They try to press, smell and feel the business and this is something that is not that anger and people or the population in Hungary is any better than in Philippines. It's just very difficult to do from far away. Speaking of Philippines also, we have very talented people over there.

 

Seth Adler:

Sure.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

 

Some of them lack the business knowledge of when's a mission critical? We do have it in Philippines. Multiple times, I had assignments and brought people over and we had them staying here. Let's imagine an example of business analyst for a supply chain. Very smart person grew of Excel, everybody's jaws drops when she works, but she had never ever been to warehouse. How can you possibly imagine someone's running inventory reports and doing very smart automation of big data that drives our supply chain without understanding how it works? We had her going to the warehouse, visiting a customer. Seeing the elephant.

 

Seth Adler:

Yeah.

 

Peter Cszuka:

This is something that we can do with selected few from overseas, and we can easily get by and just naturally hire people from all walks of life. I'm coming originally from manufacturing background. You don't need to explain to people of this profile how a factory looks like and how it works. This is something that we have here in Budapest and it's very, very hard to get offshore.

 

Seth Adler:

 

Focusing then in on Budapest, you've mentioned that it's certainly not a salary arbitrage play here. We're talking about skilled folks that work in the center, and we have just realized the actual kind of possibilities that are in front of us. How much of that is Lexmark's specific? How much of that is the industry of GBS taking the next step from, "You know what? It's beyond just cutting cost. It's actually providing value. It's taking that next step." How much of that is Lexmark? How much of that is GBS as an industry?

 

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

I think industry in Lexmark are pretty much in sync here. I don't think it's a big surprise. First of all, let me say liberal arbitrage alone is a bad reason to bring things to Central Eastern Europe.

 

Seth Adler:

Go some place else.

 

Peter Cszuka:

One of the presenters were saying, "You should not stop and go further east."

 

Seth Adler:

There you go.

 

Peter Cszuka:

"Don't stop until you get in to Asia." On a very, very high level, a headcount in the Philippines cost about roughly three times less than a headcount in Central Eastern Europe. However, let's also be honest, a headcount in Central Eastern Europe still cost two to three times less than in Western Europe, and I haven't heard anybody complaining about it. This is something that we see it's still a driver, but it's not the primary driver and not the only one.

 

Seth Adler:

There you go. Okay. That's the industry. Now, let's dive into Lexmark. As far as your workshop, talk about what you're sharing in your workshop and what you've learned through maybe even putting together the workshop?

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's always an honor to be asked to speak or to moderate the workshop, but I'm selfish. Every time I'm learning so much more than I think I'm passing to my audience. We had a lovely workshop with about less than 20 people. Right size. You can have a discussion and you can have a diverse industry's levels of maturities and backgrounds. Our topic was customer centricity and service level. They're interesting discussions. I'm lazy. I'm crowdsourcing my questions because the two hours we spend locked up in a room, I want to be spending on stuff people care about and not something [inaudible 00:16:24] I care about or Lexmark cares about. I crowdsource most of my questions and the top one was, "How to move from a transactional based logic to service based logic, customer focused logic?" Very interesting discussion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can talk about it for hours, I'm sure you're going to run out of memory. However, just to summarize the key points. First of all, all of us feel we are customer centric, but most of the people when I had the voting and people were submitting their question on the poll, I could see that everybody feels that majority of the people in the room felt that they are not spending enough resources, be it running people a time on customer centricity. It's especially a bigger challenge for captive centers, because BPOs must compete. They must win the customer. Captive centers may only not need to compete. That's going to come at one point in time. Somebody's going to ask, "Can we do it cheaper, better, faster with better level of service?" The smart ones already start to understand this, and the really good ones already have a level of customer focus that differentiates highly advanced centers versus transactional ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a very interesting discussions where the common points are that we have to measure the voice of our customer. If they are internal, it's still as important or even more important than with external ones. Listen to their feedback and go above and beyond to the level of service and on that one, we had also interesting discussions. What is the right size? At the end of the day, depending what type of service. Are you providing a commodity or are you providing a highly bespoke type of service? Whether we like to not commoditize type of services and the typical example that comes to my mind is call center is something where price is a key driver. You need a certain level of service that meets the mark and there is no direct return on investment increasing that to incredible levels as long as it's really good. A good rule of thumb, there are industry associations like [CUPCU 00:18:45] to give you guidance like be it best 25% or that upper court LFU market, then they are good.

 

Seth Adler:

Yeah. Stay there. No reason to spend more.

 

Peter Cszuka:

If it's going to cost you more to provide high level of services, it's increasing that likely someone is going to pay for that.

 

Seth Adler:

Where is the kind of line though? What we're saying is it needs to be an investment to get that kind of the voice of the customer. Make sure that you know that you are hearing that voice of the customer, but at the same time, you're saying, "Well, but don't spend too much."

 

Peter Cszuka:

Well, we spend the entire two hours discussing where is the too much? I'm sure you're familiar with that fairytale of Goldilocks.

 

Seth Adler:

Indeed.

 

Peter Cszuka:

Having this Goldilocks sweet spot, not too hot, not too cold, just right. The way you see this, this is a three pronged discussion. Business needs and strategy of the company. Are we in the premium segment? Are we in the commodity segment? Are we in between which is most of the companies are?

 

Seth Adler:

Most. Right.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

 

Because we may not call it that way. It's the business, then there is the cost. What can we afford? Whether we like it or not, the guy who does the PNL has to consider that. Then, we have the customer focused, the folks who deal with the customer who hear the voice of the customer who know it, and these three need to balance out. What is the right balance is different for different organizations and even within one organization, it could be very, very different for different functions.

 

Seth Adler:

Yeah. Different for finance than call center, for instance.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

Very different. Again, as we are speaking about evolving shared service center, center effects and GBS, and you pick your favorite buzzword you like, but the common theme is the level of complexity's increasing, the level of skill's increasing, but also level of service should be increasing.

 

Seth Adler:

Indeed.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

 

We are getting more and more bespoke headquarter like quality driven, like when you want to pay your electricity bill, all you care about is the price? The kilowatt is the same that comes out of the wire, right? If you pick your neurosurgeon, how do you shop? Do you look for the cheapest one?

 

Seth Adler:

No.

 

Peter Cszuka:

I'm not so sure. You want the best one that you can afford.

 

Seth Adler:

That's right.

 

Peter Cszuka:

This is how we should understand our services, which bucketed feeling and do well for that segment.

 

Seth Adler:

 

 

Which brings us to the panel that you're on, which is where are we going. Right? As you and I talk in this conversation, this is where we are and also where we're going. What haven't we uncovered in this conversation on where we're going with GBS?

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

 

 

When we listen to each other as peers discuss, there are multiple strategies for GBS, and there is not a single one. One way is to do even more. Many companies still haven't fully unleashed the potential of shared service center, even the shared service center. I'm not talking about GBS. There is more to do. There is much more centralization that can happen. On the other hand, I think we are entering into ... The word was a number of games. I had a shared service under 100, now in 300, now five. Wow. We're going to get to 1,000. That's not cool anymore, I think.

 

Seth Adler:

Because that brings us back to your earlier point that it's not about headcount.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

It's not about headcount especially many countries are complaining one of the top three challenges here from my peers is that it's hard to come by, which is the availability of talent. Talent is good. There are not enough of them.

 

Seth Adler:

Right.

 

Peter Cszuka:

In this environment, increasing headcount should not be a priority in general and especially in this environment, it doesn't help. Robots, this is something that is very hype and made it over hyped, but it's there. It's coming. It's really coming.

 

Seth Adler:

 

My sense and one of the speakers mentioned that his personal opinion was that RPA is not that big of a deal, because it's really everything that we've been doing with Pivot Tables and Macros anyway. It's just a new kind of charm and in some ways, that of course makes sense. However, when we do get to that next step of cognitive ability with robotics and true automation, is that hype as well or what are your thoughts on that?

 

Peter Cszuka:

Okay. Two parts, first of all, you refer to keynote speak by [Danish 00:23:27]. Deep in my heart, I agree with him.

 

Seth Adler:

Right.

 

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's not such a big deal, but we have still been ignoring it too much. The technology could have been available even 20 years ago to do a simple robot, and the smart people did that, but there is more opportunity to it. Is it like, "Wow," in rocket science? No. It's not rocket science by any stretch of imagination. Did we really do our homework? I think there are still opportunities, so no, it's nothing super special and yes, I think there is more to do there and clearly, there's potential for every single company I know of including ours.

 

Seth Adler:

Right.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, about Cognitive One. I have a unique insight about it because at one point of time, Lexmark used to own some of their top players of the enterprise software company. We had a lot of acquisitions in their enterprise software business. We sold the business earlier this year, but being married to a very different type of company inside the corporation, we had some unique benefits of seeing it from inside. One of them, robots. Well, it's not even robots. It's really cognitive softwares that we use intelligent capture. Really, touching their job there. You know this kind of science fiction type of robots. Imagine this is not the robot that automates the clicks on the desktop. We are talking about a bunch of orders coming from customers. These orders come in all shapes, forms and colors and smells. They can be one page. It can be five pages. They can be in German. They can be in French. They can be in English. They can have the PO number on the left. They can have it on right or they can have a forgotten PO number.

 

Seth Adler:

Right.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

We don't know what's the content. Automating invoices that's coming from the suppliers has at least a chance of ... By the way, we did that as well with cognitive intelligence but that's an easier one, but at least you are supposed to know what's going to come because you have a purchase order. Then, eventually an invoice might show up and you can match those.

 

Seth Adler:

Right. You can anticipate it.

 

Peter Cszuka:

There is a customer order coming. You have no idea what they're going to order.

 

Seth Adler:

Right.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

In best case, you have the customer already set up but that's all you know. This was a traditional job that was complete to believe that cannot be done by robots because you need the human intelligence to distinguish this order is like nothing I have ever seen before, but it looks similar. There is a pattern to it. There's somewhere should be an order number. There should be part numbers. There should be a price.

 

Seth Adler:

Let me find it.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

There should be somewhere telling me, "Let me find it." The automation we use for this is like a baby, you teach it. You show it thousands of orders that you know the content of. It learns. The baby first makes first steps, stumbles, you help to stand up, then you hold it with the baby's hand that eventually you'll let it go and it worked on its own. That's what we achieved. It took like a year to do, but now, we have a big part of our incoming orders still coming in an unstructured way because of our dispersed customer based. The big ones, you put on EDI and that is probably the best and the cheapest and the smartest way to do it.

 

Seth Adler:

Sure.

 

Peter Cszuka:

The small ones, you have no way to implement it.

 

Seth Adler:

But you've been doing that for 15, 20 years, right?

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

 

 

Yeah. That's not new, but the bunch of disorganized pieces of papers, faxes and smoke signals that you get in as disguises orders, that is a really tough nut to crack. We could do that. Still, the best combination is if you see the movie "Terminator," I think that tagline was that human flesh on metal carcass. That's what we do. They have the artificial intelligence that recognizes the orders. [inaudible 00:27:31] that they got it, okay, so they have some fields that they didn't get it or are not sure. The risk is too high, then it prompts a human to take a look at and the human basically looks at the PDF of the order or whatever format it is, and confirms or changes. The machine learns from the mistakes. This is stuff that is already happening today. This is not something ... We are not talking about future.

 

Seth Adler:

Indeed. Was that software that was internal and now isn't, but you kept it, it sounds like?

 

Peter Cszuka:

Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:

Is there a brand name for what you're talking about or is this internal now technology that is just yours?

 

Peter Cszuka:

No, no, no. It's not internal. It's now owned by somebody else. It's used to be called Lexmark Intelligent Capture, and it was coming from a company that in the beginning ... Before Lexmark, [inaudible 00:28:21] was called Brainware and I have no idea how was it called now.

 

Seth Adler:

Okay.

 

Peter Cszuka:

All I care about that it works.

 

 

Seth Adler:

 

It works for you. Exactly. All right. Fantastic. We could go on, but there isn't time. I have three final questions for you. I'll tell you what they are and ask you them in order. What does most surprise you at work along the way of your career? By the way, we did not talk about your background at all, but it's because you're a loquacious person and you say a lot, which is nice. The second question is what does most surprise you in life? The third question is on the soundtrack of your life. One track, one song and that's got to be on. First things first though. Your history. You said you're from Ukraine. Yeah?

 

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

It's a very difficult question to answer where I'm from. Yes. I was born in a country that's called Soviet Union. It fell apart and then it became Ukraine, then I moved to Hungary and I moved places. It's a very long story to tell. It's easier to say I'm from Hungary.

 

Seth Adler:

Okay. You're from Hungary and how long have you been with Lexmark?

 

Peter Cszuka:

Nine years.

 

Seth Adler:

Okay. Before that, where were you?

 

Peter Cszuka:

My background is in ... Mostly manufacturing electronic mass production. I must tell you a story.

 

Seth Adler:

Okay. Please.

 

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm educated as a chemist. I have a diploma with owners and all the bells and whistles and they were working in chemical industry. First job I got was in electronic industry. They were hiring. They put a piece of paper that was a schematic diagram for a power supply saying, "What is this?" I looked at that lower right corner, which is the data table and said, "Well, it looks like a power supply. Actually, a switch mark power supply." "Oh, great. We don't have electrical engineers now, so you're hired." You had to learn on the go how to go because you couldn't pass for in electrical for too long, and that's how I became a quality engineer. This is a little bit how most of my career [inaudible 00:30:09]. I always lived on that heritage long since having the background of quality operational [inaudible 00:30:15], all this kind of stuff but I was opportunistically jumped on different kind of things that were the hot topic of the day and benefited from and really to learn quickly, [inaudible 00:30:27] stuff that didn't exist yesterday.

 

 

I think in this environment that we have today, this is a skill that is needed because some of the jobs we do today, they didn't exist 10 years ago. I don't know what kind of business school you went to, but my guess would be that there is very little reason to believe that this will get any better and it will be accelerating.

 

Seth Adler:

Absolutely.

 

Peter Cszuka:

I ended up in Lexmark after a vastly different career in manufacturing with [Gee 00:30:54], with [Saniel 00:30:55], with [Deebold 00:30:57].

 

Seth Adler:

Big good companies.

 

]

Peter Cszuka:

 

Big manufacturers. Big good companies, and Lexmark was setting up [inaudible 00:31:02] center and I showed up and I said, "I want to do something different."

 

Seth Adler:

You want to do something different? That seems to be the theme of your career as you mentioned. That self improvement, that self innovation that you are saying into the microphone suggesting to your colleagues, "Please do the same."

 

Peter Cszuka:

Yes.

 

Seth Adler:

 

As far as the ... Just us as humans here on the globe, how much of the way that we educate ourselves needs to change to go along with that? In order words, if you're talking to executive level people, yes, they understand what you're saying. What about for the general masses? Doesn't it need to be all of us that does that?

 

Peter Cszuka:

As part of the volunteering, I do a lot of talks to teenagers. First of all, educating myself how to deal with teenagers when my kids are going to grow up.

 

Seth Adler:

Sure. Right.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

There is a selfish interest in there, but I get that question a lot. I stay flexible. Very, very flexible, learned languages. I don't envision the future where speaking different kind of languages won't be helpful. Learn social skills, I think they take you much further away than the certain technical skill and ...

 

Seth Adler:

Sure. How old are your kids?

 

Peter Cszuka:

I need to remember a new number every year, but right now they are 11, 7 and 5.

 

Seth Adler:

Okay. How are the social skills because you remember when you were 11. How does your 11-year old's social skills compare with yours because ...

 

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have no idea. Probably my view is very biased, but I think I was much more shy and much more introverted. You couldn't tell right now probably, but I used to be very introverted as a kid. What we do is the kitchen table discussion with kids, what happened we're analyzing situations, why is it like that? Why somebody behaves like this? Explaining, asking questions and understanding how stuff works from EQ point of view. I think this is a skill that everybody will need even more than now.

 

Seth Adler:

Absolutely. They're not tied to a screen? They're not sitting at the dinner table with the phone in the hand, right?

 

Peter Cszuka:

Well, we're working with that, but better off than some of our peers, if I may say.

 

Seth Adler:

I see. I see. I see. All right. Fantastic. Now, understanding that. Right? What does most surprised you at work along the way? You said GE and [Deebold 00:33:24] and all of this. You were a ...

 

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

When you move into a new area, either it's because [inaudible 00:33:32] for you or is it because it's brand new and nobody ever did it before? I must tell you very often in the past, I've had an imposter like, "I don't belong here."

 

Seth Adler:

Sure.

 

Peter Cszuka:

All these guys, they know their stuff.

 

Seth Adler:

Yep.

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

No. No. Just grab the opportunity if it's there. There is no reason to believe the other guy knows any better, and this is something that surprised me that how well it works. You fake it and you'll make it.

 

Seth Adler:

That's it. Fake it until you make it. The imposter syndrome. Beware of having imposter syndrome yourself as everyone else in the room probably has it as well as your point, I think.

 

Peter Cszuka:

Yeah. Of course, this plays more in the earlier stage of the career and the person didn't build yet enough self confidence, but this would be my advice to young people that don't be afraid to ... Don't think you don't belong.

 

Seth Adler:

Excellent. All right. What does most surprise you in life?

 

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

How important is family? Maybe that sounds like a very cliché thing and no brainer, but I had to [inaudible 00:34:42] in the course of the last, maybe 20 years.

 

Seth Adler:

Well, with your kids, of course.

 

Peter Cszuka:

Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:

What about the rest of your family? Are your folks ... Did they stay in Ukraine or did they travel as well?

 

Peter Cszuka:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, if you look at my extended family, some of them are in Hungary, some of them are still in Ukraine. If you look at my close childhood friends, all of them are somewhere else. This is, I think the new normal, but one thing ... People smarter than me probably knew it. From the beginning, I have to learn on my own that what project did you do and what method did you achieve? Anybody remember that 10 years from now. I always do the 10-year test. It will be something really bad and difficult or challenging, I always ask, "Will anybody remember have you chose or what would you do 10 years from now?" Probably it's not the end of the world. They're going to solve it, and the family usually doesn't pass this 10-year old test. "Yes, I will remember. Other people will remember." Having a reasonable work life balance is also a trendy topic now, but I really believe it and if you can do it in the executive level, you can do it at any level.

 

Seth Adler:

There you go. Excellent. This is a good lesson. I appreciate that. On the sound track of your life, one track, one song that's going to be on there?

 

Peter Cszuka:

Does Thunderstruck resonate with you from AC/DC?

 

Seth Adler:

 

 

Of course. Thunder, right? Peter, thank you so much. I appreciate the fact that you are a thinking person and you continued to think about what's happening now, what has happened as well as what's happening next. Is that a fair assumption on my part that that's what's happening in your mind?

 

Peter Cszuka:

What could I say to such flattening words? Of course, you are right.

 

Seth Adler:

 

 

 

 

There you have it, Peter Cszuka. In reality, no companies just want to add jobs. They want to get stuff done, and focusing on higher value jobs drives an increase in skill that is needed and many companies still have not fully unleashed the potential of shared services. Very much appreciate Peter's time. Very much appreciate yours. Stay tuned.