Relevance of staff work

The topic of crisis management remains very relevant. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine turns the international legal order upside down. This creates endless suffering for the people affected and also poses fundamental challenges for many companies. In this situation, at a large event in Heidelberg with students from the Baltic States and Germany, I had the opportunity to experience one of Russia’s special connoisseurs, RĂ¼diger von Fritsch, in an intensive exchange. To understand the current situation, I would highly recommend his new book.

In another round of discussions with responsible persons from the crisis teams of large companies, we were able to identify, among others, the following four key points:

  1. The challenges for crisis management during the Ukraine crisis are much more complex than during the Corona crisis
  2. Without the experience gained during the Corona crisis, the challenges posed by the Ukraine crisis would have hit companies much harder
  3. The status of crisis management in companies has improved significantly as a result of current experience
  4. The importance of a structuring methodology has become more prevalent and the importance of methodical staff work has increased.

A paper entitled “Thesen zur Zukunft der Stabsarbeit” (Theses on the future of staff work), of which I am one of the signatories, also goes in this direction. The theses include, for example, the formulation “In the future, the demands on staffs will increase” (thesis 2), “People bear the responsibility in staff work and are accordingly the focus” (thesis 3) or “The further development of staff work must be systematized” (thesis 7). In the case of Thesis 8 “The leadership system of the German Fire Service Directive 100 (FwDV 100) requires targeted further development in line with future requirements”, reference is made to the fact that the flood disaster in July 2021 showed that one of the causes for the deficiencies identified in leadership performance is seen in the different interpretations of the FwDV 100.

At this point, I would like to refer to ISO 22361 on crisis management. The text of the standard has meanwhile been finalized as DIS by the responsible working group and can be ordered on the ISO site. Soon it should be published as FDIS. The main contents of the new ISO 22361 include in particular the “Personal requirements for leadership” (chap. 6) and the “Requirements for strategic decision-making” (chap. 7). Despite the occasional appearance of reservations about ISO standards, in my view ISO 22361 will fill the requirements for a methodological framework concept for crisis management with content and thus set the necessary “guard rails”, especially for companies that operate internationally. I will be happy to present the essential content of the new standard to an interested audience during a webinar or public lecture. You can download the basic presentation from our homepage. ISO 22361 is also suitable for use as a benchmark when evaluating an existing crisis management system. We are looking forward to your inquiries.

We wish all of us a peaceful development in Ukraine, a nice summer and relaxing vacations. Stay healthy.

Klaus Bockslaff and team