Dr. Klaus Affholderbach is a speaker, expert in leadership and positive corporate culture.

He has worked at the Swiss air navigation service provider Skyguide since 2001, where he has been a member of the Executive Board since 2018, responsible for safety, quality and risk management.

Klaus is a former private pilot and holds a PhD in high-energy physics. He began his management career at Skyguide at the rock bottom in the company’s history – the day of the Überlingen midair collision near Lake Constance that killed 71 people.   The experiences he had back then still shape his guiding principle today: “Make mistakes in order to learn from them – long before disaster strikes.”

Klaus Affholderbach – Lecture topics

1. The human factor, game changer of the future  

  • Complex problems cannot be met with linear answers. There is no checklist for most situations in life.
  • Good decisions are made where the knowledge is the greatest
  • Successful companies need people who are allowed to speak up openly and act in a self-determined manner.

2. Make mistakes in order to learn. So that mistakes do not turn into disaster!

  • Mistakes are the basis of progress. Why do we keep forgetting that?
  • It’s about people. People who make mistakes, but who are much more often the solution.
  • In hindsight, everyone always knows better: breaking rules can make you a victim, a hero or a criminal.

Klaus Affholderbach is Chairman of the European Safety Directors Group of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization CANSO and a member of the Advisory Board for Applied Psychology at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland.

In addition to his work at Skyguide, Klaus Affholderbach is, among other things, a member of CC International, a network for executive coaching and consulting.

In more than two decades in aviation, Klaus Affholderbach has experienced a lot. His motivational keynote speeches give the audience goose bumps when he takes them behind the scenes and talks about what all went wrong on the night of Überlingen or how an aircraft hijacking almost turned into a catastrophe.

Klaus Affholderbach not only knows about the importance of a positive corporate culture – especially just culture – for the adaptability and thus the success of organizations and companies in the 21st century. He also knows from decades of practice what it takes to change the culture in companies sustainably and positively.  He speaks openly about the successes but also the difficulties and setbacks that need to be overcome when introducing such a culture in order to provide food for thought and assistance.