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Bert Erlen

Bert Erlen

As a bank clerk by education I earned a Masters degree in business adminstration and business psychology at the University of Cologne. I am a Certified Management Coach (dvct).


After my business studies and professional experience in controlling and consulting I joined USW Schloss Gracht (now ESMT European School of Management and Technology) as Program Director. There I was responsible for marketing and implementing both open and company-specific executive education programs on all aspects of corporate and people management. Subsequently I managed executive programs and conferences in the Corporate University of the Haniel Group.

Since 2005 I work freelance as a management teacher and coach as well as a consultant for leadership development. My special dedication is focused on strategic management and business development, controlling, and accounting as well as team development, communication skills, and work-life-balance. My aim is to improve the interexchange between “hard skill” and “soft skill” needs in companies.

How I work

Learning needs personal interaction

In my seminars, the interaction is paramount. My interaction with you, the interaction among participants, and the close cooperation with the client company.

Learning needs experience

We discuss and share your experience. We undergo management decisions based on business case studies and management simulations. Your personal experience enriches the seminar discussion.

Learning needs time

The total duration of a program, the time structure of a seminar, an adequate number of spare time, opportunities for networking, etc. are important parameters for the sustainable enhancement of knowledge.

Learning needs new knowledge

My seminar contents are scientifically sound and verifiable. In close contact with management schools and universities I differentiate short-term trends from sustainable management theories.

Learning needs a variety of methods

Adapted to the need of the seminar group and the goal of the development program I combine classroom and virtual learning elements, and I design customized lectures, case studies, exercises, and management simulations.

Learning needs motivation

The largest motivator is your need for change and your personal development. The more you are focused on your issue the bigger your learning effect.

Learning needs a good surrounding

I pay attention to an acceptable venue and an adequate and focused atmosphere. As well as good catering and service. All of that is crucial for a sustainable learning environment.


Interviews in the target audience

Interviews with potential seminar participants give a strong guideline to design content and tools to the target audience. Usually these are structured conversations with selected persons.

Coordinating goals and content of the development program with the client

Every client has a goal for the development program. This goal may be focused in a workshop with the program sponsor, important stakeholders, and myself. An additional close coordination with the controlling department gives insight into the client’s respective KPI’s as well as the strategic and operational business situation. The basic success factor is: the better the customized preparation of program goal, content and methods, the better the learning experience and effect for the program participants.

Virtual learning, e-learning

E-learning seminars are a combination of web-based learning programs, tutoring via email, online and telephone conferences. A virtual internet-based classroom gives a meeting and communication possibility and contains information which can constantly be actualized in coordination with the participants´ needs. Virtual learning gives the participants the big advantage of learning and reflecting in their individual speed and environment which in the classroom can only be influenced in a very limited way. Additionally learning programs are truly multimedia and use a wider variety of learning channels.

Business simulations

Simulations and serious games are a unique and indispensable tool for experiential learning. They foster motivation, they transfer initiative and activity to the participants, they boost team management in a realistic setting. Serious games address all aspects of management and are simply fun. For further information, i.e. when to apply which simulation model and tool please refer to

Case studies for selected management decisions

The case study method is the classical transfer tool in executive education. The case describes a selected and focused decision challenge and participants work in teams on its solution. Case studies most often describe strategic management topics, leadership challenges, or topics around organizational development and company culture. Their solution is to show best practice behavior.

Blended learning

Blended learning combines presence learning in the classroom with virtual learning elements like web-based learning, virtual classroom meetings, and forum discussions dealing with current management topics in the moment they occur. The big advantage is the intermediate learning over a longer time frame and the possibility to match learning elements with everyday challenges.


BWL Kennzahlen

Business Ratios German – English

Business ratios are essential for successful leadership. They show performance and aggregate interrelationships in companies. They give the possibility to reveal complex affairs and map the true situation of any organization. They are therefore essential for analyzing and preparing management decisions. Business ratios clearly give path to deeper qualitative analysis.

The book explains the 100 most important ratios to assess a company´s performance. Each ratio is shown with an example calculation using the BMW reports. A brief and profound explanation gives theoretical and practical insights into the usage with both advantages and disbenefits of the term explained.

First Edition November 2014
14,99 Euro
280 pages
Softcover – Reference book
German ISBN 978-3-527-50757-3
Wiley-VCH, Weinheim

Der Controlling Berater

Business Development Controlling von strategischen Wachstumsinitiativen (Article)

Business Development: Bausteine eines Geschäftsmodells
Business Development: Entwicklung neuer Geschäftsfelder

The articles are about using the Business model Canvas for Business Development within corporate environments. Only available in German.