The Corona crisis has brought numerous new terms not only into everyday language but also into management language – “The New Normal”, for example. Or: “drive on sight”. This crisis is a defining event for many careers. It can be an opportunity or a stepping stone, it can mean a change or a turning point, sometimes a break or an abrupt end.
“In this crisis, executives get to know each other completely new”, said Guido Happe, founder of the Board Academy, a network for supervisory boards and executives, in the new episode of the podcast “Die Stunden Null” (Personal-Financial.com, n-tv, Stern). “The employees are becoming more sensitive, the choice of words is becoming more important, you have to be careful what you say, the communication becomes more delicate.” Managing directors and board members would have to be much more open and communicate more details, not only define goals, but always new assumptions and scenarios. That is the challenge.
Guido Happe is a personnel consultant, sits on several supervisory boards and has numerous insights into companies and industries through his network. “I got to know a lot of managing directors, they don’t even know the crisis,” he said. A decade of upswing lies behind the German economy. “Many managers may have been more lucky than they thought.”
The Board Academy was founded in 2009 in order to professionalize the work in the committees, to better fill supervisory boards and to improve the exchange between board members and supervisors. In the spring, Happe had criticized that many managers “hide behind the Corona crisis” and use it as a “tactical door”. It is now important to question the entire organization, not just the processes – and whether the right employees are really in the right place.
In many companies, on supervisory boards, executive boards, but also among the shareholders, Happe still observes “a great deal of tension”. “In the first quarter of the coming year, I expect a lot more companies to hit the wall,” he said. “Too many companies are not yet working with scenarios, but with the hope that it will all be over soon – and are trying to make ends meet financially.”
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