How new leaders in medical technology manage crisis situations
Blackout. war in Europe. The aftershocks of the pandemic. Some crises are acute, others are still an imagined horror scenario. In recent years, there has been a greater awareness of threats that endanger the security and supply of the population. The main concern is a possible collapse of important supply chains where human lives are at stake.
Firstly, it turns out differently and secondly, differently than one thinks and plans - a Black Swan event, rare and unforeseeable, the greatest possible crisis, comes along like an unlucky bird in the great "pond" of possibilities. It is unknown and little is known about its species behavior. There is no textbook about him. And yet his behavior is more predictable if you prepare well for his appearance.
Black Swan as a wake up call
"You can't prevent a black swan, but you can mitigate it through prevention"Michaela Bender, Business Manager Healthcare
Medical technology made in Germany is a world leader in exports. It is research-oriented and innovative, and the healthcare manufacturing industry as a whole is growing and thriving. Global crises and unforeseen events of the kind that have occurred in recent years, some of which have not yet been overcome, have never been of such magnitude.
The long-familiar planning security was sensitively torpedoed. A wake-up call, as can be seen now. Because in order to be able to manage precisely such unannounced crisis situations and their wide-ranging special effects in a more targeted and acute manner in the future, medtech companies in Germany are setting up preventive crisis management teams or expanding existing ones with experienced crisis managers.
Company-relevant crisis compass
Every crisis situation is a serious test. Well-organized crisis management is needed to be able to react quickly to problems. These powerful teams are guided by a company-relevant crisis compass; knowledge of the aspects, the course and finally the possible dynamics of a crisis is decisive for success.
Better known are essentially similar strategies from the military field; Adapted to the needs of civil industrial companies, these are now also being used more and more in system-relevant sectors. It is important to remember that prevention is the key. If a black swan event occurs, companies with their own permanent crisis management team are better prepared and can initiate appropriate measures earlier. In short: active action instead of chaos caused by reacting too late or - in the worst case - passive maneuvering with enormous financial losses.
Crisis-resistant leaders in uncertain times
Today and in the future, medtech players, who are much more dependent than other industries on stable supply chains and bear responsibility towards the state and the population for this, need pragmatic personalities who can and do make decisions under high pressure and temporary peak loads. In other words, crisis-proof leaders, even below the board level, who can recognize resources in the company in an emergency, mobilize them quickly and get them over with.
If not a crisis management team, then competent experts who, as leaders, lead courageously through an acute emergency and keep the organizational processes in the company as stable as possible. So far, crisis management teams have rarely been entrusted with this task on a permanent basis, but this is changing as companies plan greater resources for prevention. The fact that successful crisis management also strengthens employee loyalty and the brand itself should only be mentioned in passing.
Building diverse teams
There is no classic requirement profile for such a crisis-proof leader in medical technology. It takes a lot of experience, the best diagnostic tools and, in particular, in-depth knowledge of the industry to attract the right personalities for this task. HAGER knows the key competencies and references that are necessary very well. Anyone who, for example, hides himself in a "war room" in a crisis that is threatening the company, an actual or imaginary space, is not the right person. After all, experience shows that communication is the most important tool for effective internal and external damage limitation in a crisis. First and foremost, this is the communication in the crisis team itself, which should include the CEO, CFO, CIO (all genders), the production manager and those responsible for purchasing, supply chains and logistics.
In addition, a specialist with proven expertise in crisis communication is essential. Crisis managers have to orchestrate this team and the tasks, and present facts in the situation center in a comprehensive and target group-oriented manner. They are also able to solve problems outside of their own area of competence - with all compliance with the rules and a critical attitude. HAGER expressly recommends various teams here, because it has been shown that women often have a calmer hand and act more prudently in real crises.
The need for crisis managers who work on a daily basis is increasing noticeably. Uncertain times call for sure prevention. Because new crises are coming. Guaranteed. The only question is when.
Crisis teams have so far had the reputation of a purely state-run around-the-clock disaster response. But now, against the background of a world in multi-crisis mode, every medtech company should independently and promptly check its potential and the resources for the necessary crisis management team work on the basis of a risk analysis - and draw the right conclusions for the selection of personnel.
"There is no classic requirement profile for crisis managers, but key skills such as courage, a sense of responsibility and quick decision-making under high pressure."Dr. Markus Neumann, Business Unit Manager life sciences & Healthcare