Influental Serbian weekly magazin Novi Magazin published my article

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on August 30th, 2023 under Uncategorized | No Comments »

All good management consultants share the common foundation of their knowledge

In crisis, during major reforms, and due to abrupt growth of the economy or the particular sector,  managers need the advice and new forms of knowledge to achieve their goals. The job of management consultants is to give that advice, to transmit the knowledge, recognize the root of the problem, and therefore offer the appropriate solutions that are in the best interest of their clients.

Every management consultant has some specific personal area of expertise that he/she may be particularly good at. However, all respectable management consultants share the unique set of shared knowledge and experience. These include the analytical and interpersonal skills, coupled with the formidable base of recorded acquired skills of other colleague Therefore, management consultants can address the most complex problems at both the private and public sectors.

The first question that every management consultant should ask a new client is: “What are your business or organizational goals, and how can I best help you?

At the starting stages of working with a new client, when the initial analysis has begun, this is  usually the best time to understand exactly what the most important factor to the receiver of your service is.

If the consultant promptly realizes at the beginning stage of the analysis that what is expected would be more effectively provided by someone else the management consultant is obliged by our rules to immediately transmit that thought to the client, and if possible, recommend the best expert in that area.

After the analysis, and based on best practices, the management consultant makes the recommendations to the client. In all circumstances the client is always and invariably the one who makes the final decision and choose on which path to take and according to which  suggested actions.

Also, the management consultant can take part in the implementation of the project itself. At every stage of the consulting process various techniques and tools can be used. These include questionnaires, interviews, workshops, meetings, trainings, etc. Everything must be custom tailored to fit the specific client.

Such individuals with the already proven integrity record and their companies are accepted into the full membership of our Management Consultants Association of Serbia (UPKS) which since the year 2019 Is a full member of the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI). UPKS is the only organization duly authorised by the ICMCI to, in line with the international standard, issue the coveted CMC (Certified Management Consultant) certificate to individuals in the Republic of Serbia. CMC stamp is the badge of honor given only to those who went through the entire certification process that is compliant with the international standards.

UPKS is registered in Serbia as an NGO, and all our members are engaged in professional management consulting. The Association was formed in 2009 as the answer to the growing need of the industries in Serbia to more easily identify credible qualified consultants  who can lead them through the fast-changing new business environment. The members of UPKS work for companies, organizations, and State institutional entities. All UPKS consultants come from the private sector to assure their independence, impartiality, and neutrality, to be able to act in accordance with our strict Ethical Code of Conduct in every situation.

According to the UPKS rules, every member has the chance to attain the prestigious CMC designation. First it is necessary to pass the training process plus provide past client engagement summaries, all this must be done while being mentored by another colleague who is already a designated CMC. The whole procedure ends with the final exam in the form of an interview with three previously certified members. This exam includes subject matters related to strategic management, managing change, consulting process, and last but not least, ethics.

The candidates must demonstrate knowledge, and competence in client handling. In the coming mid-term period, our association plans to introduce the introductory training to all those interested in management consulting regardless if they have any existing consulting experience.

The ICMCI is an international membership organisation and a network of the management advisory and consultancy associations and institutes worldwide, who have a common purpose and shared values and goals. The ICMCI, established in 1987, now includes 48 national institutes that cover more than 70 counties, and a Global Institute that services the rest of the world.

The vision of the organization is To be a leader in the development of management consulting as a global profession that drives social and economic success The mission of the organization is to build the profile, recognition and influence of the profession and its practitioners globally..

ICMCI is stimulating and supporting the national institutes in the process of their establishment through ongoing cooperation. This activity had significantly contributed to accelerating the adoption of the ICMCI Competence Framework and the related CMC rules and guidelines as the premier professional standard for management consulting worldwide. Consequently, the CMC designation gradually became the only globally recognized brand for individual management consultants.

The CMC designation is exclusively given to those management consultants that satisfy the highest criteria of competence and professionalism in advising clients while being faithful to the  standard Code of Ethics.

ICMCI, also known as CMC-Global, is very proud to hold the Special Consultative Status by the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)


Management consultants often hold a very powerful role in helping governments around the World, being habitually included in bringing the important economic decisions. However, consequently, the clients constantly have raised the bar of their expectations, demanding steep rules for innovation, efficiency, and ethical behavior while requiring the concrete proofs of advantages of using such a service.

As part of their role as a self-regulating entity, ICMCI has without doubt overtaken the leading role in establishing the ISO 20700:2017 standard. This success is the result of a proven track record of promoting invention, best practice, ethics, and excellence over a long period of time. The focus is always on the client, on full transparency, and interpersonal relationships also remain a very important part of the mission statement.

In general, almost everyone is an expert in the area of their own interest. However, the independent, direct, honest, and open management consultant has managed to bring the substantial value to the client more than once. The consultant’s main advantage is often in the fact that he/she has no outside motives and is almost guaranteed to very often bring new vantage point to the matter at hand.

As a matter of fact, it may be appropriate to use this opportunity to once more remind the reader of the primordial importance of always abiding by the ethical standards as the main root of all true and significant business and personal success in this demanding and difficult profession that mandates strength, courage, and experience.

Short biography of Aleksandra Hristov

Ms. Aleksandra Hristov is an attorney at law with bar exam, and internationally certified business management consultant (CMC). In the past she had success

fully completed the studies for the trainer in accordance to ICMCI standards, and ISO 20700 for management consulting.

Graduated the Program for Executive Managers in Government at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., USA.

Member of the Association of Management Consultants of Serbia since established in 2009.

In the field of communication, she spent more than thirty (30) years. Ms. Aleksandra had worked as a journalist and editor at independent media during the ninety nineties (1990-s). After the first post-Milosevic democratic government of the new Serbian prime minister Mr. Zoran Djindjic was formed, she was the chief of staff for the minister of education and sport, and of the director of the Center for the strategic communication of that same Government.

Since 2003 works as advisor to the top management of the leading corporations, organizations, the Government on projects related to creating and implementing the organizational and various business objectives. Starting in 2007 she is the owner and the director of the consulting company for the strategic communication Hristov Consulting d.o.o. that has the portfolio with EU, USAID projects, EBRD BAS, institutions and companies domestic and from the region. Hristov Consulting is the only consulting company in Serbia certified both for the communication strategies and the education in that area.

Ms. Aleksandra has been the advisor for communications and crisis PR to institutions, government ministries, NGOs and the companies such as Public Policy Research Centre, Youth with disabilities forum, IN Center, Mineco Group, SAT-TRAKT, Milenium insurance, UNIQA insurance, British Airways, OMV, Nuclear facilities of Serbia, Notary Chamber of Serbia, IK Eduka, Multipartner system, Metinvest SMC,  Anitex, Job d.o.o, Ministry of Ministry of Defense Republic of Serbia, Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs etc. She is also a trainer in the field of the strategic communication, change management, public affairs and lobbying, and stakeholder handling. She also completed the training for lobbying and mediation in the Republic of Serbia.

Aleksandra Hristov appointed to the Board of directors of the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes ICMCI

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on August 10th, 2023 under Uncategorized | No Comments »

The Board of directors of the International Council of the Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland has unanimously decided to appoint Ms. Aleksandra Hristov, (currently the President of the Management Board of the Association of Management Consultants of Serbia), as the new member of the Board of directors of ICMCI, the organization that includes the most prominent associations of the management consultants in the world.
“This is the big recognition for Serbia,  the members of our Association and for myself.  As I am from the Association of Management Consultants of Serbia, it is an honor to now  became a member of the Board of directors of the premier international organization such as ICMCI. I shall be in charge of the marketing and advocacy. Thanks to this appointment I shall have  give an opportunity to the members of our Association to gain more presence on international scene, all through this very organization that gathers the associations of business consultants from fifty (50) countries, all with the goal of furthering the professional standards and criteria for any individual management consultant anywhere. As in my work in Serbia, at this new position at ICMCI, I shall always insist that all the consulting jobs are done according to the highest ethical standards and professional integrity”, says Hristov.
The International Council of the Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) awarding the CMC certificates that are the only internationally recognized brand for the individual business advisors. This CMC Certificate is given to those business consultants who satisfy the highest criteria of competence and professionalism in advising the client’s management while being faithful to the ethical codex of the profession. The Association of Management Consultants of Serbia (UPKS) is recognized as the full member of ICMCI since the year 2019. UPKS is the only organization that has the authorization to issue the CMC certificate according to the international standards to the business consultants in the Republic of Serbia.

Article about campaign “I am a bot” for daily newspaper Danas

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on August 1st, 2023 under Uncategorized | No Comments »

Article about campaign “I am a bot” of the SNS (ruling Serbian progressive party) for daily newspaper Danas:

The SNS (ruling Serbian Progressive Party) “I am a bot” campaign is a direct response to the recent leak of the names of almost 14,000 of their own bots.
Hovewer, their reaction in this matter can not be classified and defined as proper crisis PR.
They are actually trying to do “cover up” the facts by involving everybody and everything including even the pinnacle of the official and real power in Serbia.
Therefore, this “I am a bot” PR drive is more of a desparate attempt to “save the face”, that for the lack of anything better, has to declare obviosly irregular and even sometimes marginally criminal activity as something acceptable and legitimate.
By doing such convoluted campaign its creators unintentionally produced the counter effect of making their client’s already sevearly damaged public image even more vulnerable.
It can be safely said that this unfortunate crisis management attempt is one more item in an already long list of similar mistakes that the Serbian ruling political party did since May 3 Belgrade school tragic shooting.
The overwelming detrimental effect to their public standing could be immediately detected on social networks and oposition leaning media.
As a reminder, it may be added that the “bot” is someone who is using the fake identity to, in conjunction with the third party order or agreement, humiliate and dishonour on social media platforms the prominent and other public figures, events and organizations.
It should be reiterrated that the abovementioned campaign can not be called a crisis management but a deliberate malicious plan to further enforce the fake reality and chaos already created in a Serbian society with the ultimate goal to render out any meaning of political change based on obvious facts and the idea of truthfulness.
Forunately, like laws of physics, tennants and axioms of crisis management can not be ignored or these shall come back to hount you. One of these is that the promotion of lies as a value system if not supported by the immediate use of the brute force, starts to desintegrate very soon in a public arena and produces the opposite of intended effect.
The general population of Serbia, due to official’s repeated similar errors in a short time span is getting more sofisticated in taking note of these failed contraptions by the day.
All this generates the spiral of increasing citizen frustration in a currently notoriosly politically divided Serbia, and can add oil on smoldering fire in this society by additionaly proving that the state institutions used to do the bot’s job on state budget are not deeply disfunctional and corrupt but possibly damaged beyond repair in any normal political procedures circumstances.

My interview on Slavko Curuvija in IFJ Blog

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on April 4th, 2023 under Articles | No Comments »

Excerpt from my interview for IFJ Blog
Who was Slavko Ćuruvija?
“Slavko Ćuruvija is a symbol of brave and independent journalism and must remain written in history as such. I am honored to have worked in his team. In “Dnevni Telegraf” and “Evropljanin”, he brought together some of the best journalists and editors of that time. Slavko stuck to his principles until the end. And when his newspaper was banned and when it was dangerous to criticize the then ruling regime, he did not agree to remain silent. That’s why he was killed. For Slavko, like for everyone else who has been labeled a spy and traitor, that has never been proven in any court process,” emphasizes Aleksandra Hristov, who worked as a journalist for “Dnevni Telegraf” in the 1990s.


Student protests 26 years ago in Belgrade

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on January 30th, 2023 under Events | No Comments »

Twenty six years ago I was part of the student protests  in Belgrade as a reaction to theft in local elections in Serbia, during Slobodan Milosevic rule. As a young reporter for Dnevni Telegraf (at that time not yet banned by SPS, SPS, SRS and Jul) in Kolarceva street. Reuters photo. Milosevic was forced to bring the Lex Specialis only after 3 months of demonstrations and the EU’s reaction to that theft.

Now it has been twenty two years since the formation of the first democratic post-October 5 Government in which Dr. Zoran Đinđić was elected as Prime Minister. Even today, I am proud that I was part of that idea. After two years in the Dnevni Telegraf  independent newspaper, my law professor Gaso Knezevic invited me to be his chief of staff in the Ministry of Higher Education in the Transitional Government, and later in the Ministry of Education and Sports. In September 2002, at the invitation of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, I went to his cabinet as the director of the Center for Strategic Communications of the Government. After two months of conflict with Beba Popovic, I returned to the Ministry of Education and worked in the ministry until May 2003.

Euro for knowledge: Thank you Certificate presented to Aleksandra Hristov

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on December 29th, 2022 under Events | No Comments »

On occasion of ten years anniversary of the foundation “Euro for knowledge”, the president of the governing board Mr. Milenko Vasovic has presented the Foundation’s “Thank you Certificate for connecting good ideas and good people” to Ms. Aleksandra Hristov, CEO of Hristov Consulting, Belgrade, Serbia.

“It is a great honor to receive this Thank you Certificate from the credible people, who for the past ten years have been getting together the organizations and individuals that are eager to invest in knowledge by giving grants to high school and university students. Hristov Consulting as community responsible company, always supports education of the young individuals, and remains available to help anyone whose purpose includes these same goals. I use this opportunity to thank again the Foundation for being consistent in the effort of wholeheartedly investing in education of the younger generation in Serbia, and for recognizing us and our clients as partners in achieving their mission”, said Aleksandra Hristov

Hristov consulting marks 15 years in business

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on December 15th, 2022 under Events | No Comments »

Ethical professional codex, improvement of the team members, services quality advancement, the basis for continuous development

Hristov consulting d.o.o., is the consulting company for the strategic communication and management consulting that offers services of representing, positioning, and risk control in Serbia and the region, has just marked 15 years since establishment.
In line with the practice of adhering to the highest ethical work habits, all members of our team are implementing the Code of Ethics and the principles of professional values as defined by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and Serbian trade associations.
“We believe that the professional values such as respecting the public interest, truthfulness in representing clients, expertise in work, independence in providing objective advice to whomever we represent is vital for maintaining the integrity of our profession. According to the Code of Ethics we are loyal to those we represent with the obligation to serve the public interest, while having the honest relationship towards the clients and the media”, says Ms. Aleksandra Hristov, CEO
Hristov consulting is the member of the Management Consultants Association of Serbia, and it is the only certified consulting company for the strategic communication and education in this area. Since its establishment in 2007. our firm worked for individuals, corporations, small and medium size companies from all business sectors, projects, political parties, associations, labor syndicates, public institutions, and organizations, while always avoiding any conflicts of interest.
Whereas, Hristov consulting has the “Chrystal plaque”, the internationally recognized brand of golden creditworthiness excellence, awarded based on results achieved within the past three years, and that provides the ranking among the most prestigious companies in the region. Over the last seven years our consulting firm had business with the best creditworthiness grades, and continuously has excellent results, financial stability and the trust of our business partners.
“Regardless if it is the individual or the large international institution, Hristov consulting approaches each client as the unique case, implementing the appropriate methodology in reference to particular needs. We always create the communication strategy that significantly contributes to achieving the business and organizational goals of the client, including the positioning, media relations, reputation management, public engagements, lobbying strategy, legal disputes, and crisis situations handling, all the areas where we are already well recognized player. Over these years Hristov consulting invested in improvement of its consultants while answering the requirements of the clients and the wider public with the aim to develop, within the law, communication among all the stakeholders for the benefit and understanding of all the interested parties. We shall remain devoted to these goals in the future”, adds Ms. Hristov.
From the beginning, Hristov Consulting continuously invests in the community where it does the business, helping the individuals and numerous organizations, including for persons with disabilities and student’s organizations, to whom our consultants transmitted the knowledge and experience.
We use this opportunity to thank you all for the trust and successful cooperation we had and developed over these past fifteen years. It is now our highest priority to maintain and further improve the quality of our service in the coming years.

Undermined reputation leads to monetary loss

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on January 23rd, 2022 under Articles | No Comments »

In her her column in a reputable Serbian daily newspaper Danas, Sunday addition, Ms. Aleksandra Hristov wrote the following article:



Novak Djokovic has landed in Belgrade, Serbia after his deportation from Australia. He avoided the journalists as he decided not to speak publicly about this, for the time being. This is a good policy from his PR team, I would have given the same advice. Very noticeably, at the airport there was no official welcome from the Serbian state officials. We could assume that these have been already noticed from Novak about his planned public silence. The State welcome came down to the light show on the two tallest Belgrade buildings, the night before his arrival. In the situation of a wide Novak support from the Serbian public, this indicates the lackluster governmental response to this event.

It is hard to ignore the impression that at the latest SCDC (Serbian Center for Disease Control) press conference, its member Mr. Zoran Gojkovic has distanced himself from Novak. In response to Reuters and CNN questions about the Covid-19 certificate issued by the government institute for public health “Dr Milan Jovanovic Batut”, he answered that Mr. Djokovic had gotten the absolutely valid Covid-19 document with the positive result in the evening hours of December 16, 2021. And he added that any further inquiry should be directed to the recipient. Furthermore, he augmented his statement by saying that in Serbia there are no sanctions for those breaching the Covid-19 self-isolation rules (!?).

In addition to the convoluted decisions by the Australian government, and consequent wider harassment of Novak, the described “Coup de Grace” hitting Novak from the home turf is the biggest assault on his reputation. From Mr. Gojkovic statement we must conclude that Novak was Covid-19 positive, and he made public appearances while he most probably knew he is putting others in unnecessary danger. Mr. Djokovic apologized for his social mingling after he was infected, but only as consequence of his Covid-19 test leaking into public first. That means he reacted too late. To make matters worse, Novak is still not vaccinated, a very untenable stance for public figure in these times of fighting the dangerous virus.

All this is destined be more detrimental to his reputation than all the courts in any jurisdiction. Lacoste corporation, one of his largest sponsors with the 30 million dollars per year contract has just announced: “We would like to talk to Novak in the coming days to discuss the aftermath of his recent presence in Australia”. At the same time, France decided that all Roland Garros tennis tournament participants must be vaccinated. According to Australian press, as direct consequence of “Novak Djokovic” case, there is increase in number of spectators requesting the tournament tickets refund. It is estimated that these refunds may reach 25% mark. Therefore, both Australia and Novak are at loss. We are now waiting to see how these actors, Australia and Novak, navigate their damaged reputation management.


The “Firm” as the Brits colloquially call the royal family, masterfully manages the reputational risks and prevents the beginning of the reputational crisis. This is the current case of the Prince Andrew (61), the younger son of the British monarch.
The Queen Elizabeth II, for the sake of saving the monarchy “renounces” her own son. She decided to strip him of all the official public engagements duties, the royal and all the military titles, the state annual salary of 342,000 US dollars for the royal household working members. This is all in reference to civil law suit against him put in motion recently by the New York City judge that accuses HRH Andrew for involvement in sexual trafficking of Ms. Virginia Giuffre twenty years ago when she was a teenager. After this latest decision by the Queen, Mr. Andrew is going to have to defend himself as the common citizen.

The Royal biographers had already noticed that this son is commonly perceived as his mother’s favorite. However, the 95-year old monarch during her long reign has always insisted that the duty, office, honor, and preservation of monarchy are the highest priorities.
Obviously in sharp contrast to the Balkans, where the family members of the politicians and public figures are habitually defended in spite of their involvement in the scandals while being adults, the British monarch, irrespective of anyone liking her or not, does everything in her power to ensure the smooth continuity of her society and state. This is one of the elements why the Great Britain has been one of the most respected and powerful countries in the world for centuries.


Just a few days ago, after quite some time, the SCDC has re-emerged with its presumed own decisions about the pandemic. My well respected colleague is jocularly suggesting that we should start calling SCDC by the name of just “Desk” because of their loss of credibility and ability to influence the public opinion. The management of the pandemic crisis in Serbia became self-parody of what this process is supposed to be. We cannot even safely qualify this as the wrong communication in crisis, since there are intermittently semblances of some strategy attempts, however displaced. The problem is that it is finally clear that the “Desk” is lacking the true power, as it is micromanaged from elsewhere, similar to any other public and crisis communication, pertaining invariably to every governmental institution in Serbia.

The goal here is not to antagonize the majority of the voters, and of course, to gain the most votes in the coming general elections this Spring. The sincere communication and the honest approach to health issues are of secondary importance. This is going to come back for payment. In my opinion, for this kind of resolution we should not wait for long. It is likely that I would have a different prognosis if our Serbian government and the “Desk” went public, and like the Israel officials said: “Our aim is to allow mass infection of the entire society and therefore create the collective immunity”. That would be the correct approach towards own citizens. However, it did not go that way, the professional part of the “Desk” wants tougher measures, its political part is against this. In the meantime, the Serbian public is rapidly getting medically sicker by the day.

The days of my own isolation and healing from Corona-19 virus are going by, this is my second such infection since the pandemic beginning. My illness diagnosis was correctly guessed even before the test by my physician from the City Tuberculosis Hospital, one of the unsung female heroes of this global health calamity. She was able to estimate “Omicron” based just on my SMS list of symptoms. It was Omicron indeed, the quick-test done at the private laboratory finally confirmed. Although still feeling relatively feeble and recuperating, I nevertheless started seeking some answers to reasonably logical questions, the ones we were never able to get from the State and the “Desk”:

- Since I have tested at the private laboratory with the quick-test, is my positive result now part of the 13,693 number of officially infected on January 11, 2022? My colleague, the journalist who follows this subject says yes, I am not sure.
- Is my result now becoming part of the State count, necessary as the basis for renewing my green travel certificate? The same colleague says no!?
- Tomorrow, should I go to the state health field ambulance, wait there for couple of hours to be recorded by the official system, hoping both that I am still positive, and that I shall not infect anyone along the way?
This is evidently illogical and inhumane to the citizens of Serbia.
How is it possible that these private ambulances got the State accreditation, but that same State does not recognize them as relevant? Perhaps there is some higher interest, maybe charging of the tests kept in the closed circle between the manufacturers and the State?
What am I and my compatriots supposed to do?

After this, I cannot get for some time the third vaccine shot, and my green certificate shall expire soon so I shall inevitably enter the “grey zone” for traveling and moving around. This is also irresponsible from the State.

The physicians employed by the State are at the end of their line. They should be commended on their effort, courage, and patience, whereas as a private entrepreneur I do not mind paying them. Why the State does not recognize the results from the private sector that must be paid to obtain? For example, the necessary DDimer category of results is not offered by the State, those have to be obtained at the private establishments.

Concurrently, the chronically ill patients are unable to be serviced by the public health system. Most of their scheduled regular checkups are cancelled due to the overcrowding during the past two years. The patients with deeper pockets are going to private medical doctors. This leaves me, the member of the private business community, to regularly pay my obligatory health, pension expenses, and taxes in order to fill the public funds for all the citizens, and maintain the bloated government bureaucracy while forced to still pay the private medical checkups for my family. This is the classic case of senseless and inhumane treatment of the citizens.

Based on these examples, it is no wonder that we have every right to continue to refer to SCDC as the “Desk”. The management of the crisis situations by issuing the contradictory messages always produces the loss of integrity, reputation, and leads to diminishing of any meaningful influence.

Online Lecture “Crisis Communications”

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on January 16th, 2022 under Events | No Comments »

Ms. Aleksandra Hristov, director of the consulting firm “Hristov Consulting”, certified for the strategic communications and education, held the online lecture “Crisis CommunicationS” at the invitation from the professor Ms. Milica Slijepcevic, Metropolitan University, Belgrade, Serbia.

The students have been introduced to the latest trends in strategic communications and crisis management, the field with the increasing importance for the public institutions, companies, and other organizations.

To review the whole lecture on Serbian language follow the link:

MET TALKS / MENADŽMENT WEBINAR – Krizne komunikacije

Discussion on “Educating for democracy” Harvard Graduate School of Education

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on December 14th, 2021 under Events | No Comments »

Aleksandra Hristov, director of Hristov consulting, as the member of Harvard Club of Serbia participated in discussion on “Educating for democracy” with Professor Meira Levinson (Harvard Graduate School of Education) with Harvard Alumni from Central and Southeastern Europe.

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