Managers in crisis

A comment by Dr.-Ing. Ralf Feierabend, ConMoto’s founder and Managing Director

In the memory of us elders, THE crisis manager was former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. He gained an unforgettable reputation during the flood disaster in Hamburg. Rightly so! With Gerhard Schroeder, also a former German Chancellor, the rubber boots were enough to give this impression.

What type of manager is in demand today? Trump or Merkel, Winterkorn or Denner? Deciding under pressure and uncertainty requires not only a quick response, it also requires the ability and willingness to revise decisions immediately when a new database requires it.

If Donald Trump points to his head and his guts when asked about the basis of his decisions, mankind really must be scared. All known investigations clearly and consistently show that diversified teams are superior to the decisions of mere experts. And I did not say that Donald Trump was an expert.

What do we have to learn from this – and how do we apply this newly gained knowledge as quickly as possible? ALL experiences and competences are in demand when it comes to finding the right way out of the crisis. And no organization can do this totally on its own.  External expertise helps, at least if it is independent. If external expertise also yields methods and broad experience, it is all the more valuable.

Corona will not disappear suddenly from our lives and from our economy. We must learn to live with it. We can only live with it if our economy is back to sufficient levels in all sectors. No one can turn a blind eye to the necessity of saving lives. But the collateral damage must not be worse than the damage caused by the pandemic itself.

We need solutions for the retailers with a shop area larger than 800 square meters. And we need them now! This is utterly feasible – we will shortly be presenting very concrete proposals here. Re-opening stores is a clear example, but in principle this applies to all sectors of the economy.

We still do have a chance to prevent mass unemployment and mass insolvencies of large and small businesses. But there is not much time left. Foremost, we need facts and key figures to be able to control the impact of decisions. Based on these, control loops must be established.

Each car driver adjusts their speed to the current traffic situation. If the goal is to keep the reproduction rate (of an infected person transmitting the disease to others) at 1.0, that is a comprehensible and understandable goal. When this rate has gone down to 0.7, the corresponding measures – in this case a relaxation of restrictions – must be derived! Anything else makes no sense and cannot be explained to people.

Leadership is in demand! Leadership by responsible and balanced people who seek advice from diversified bodies.