Finance training

Understanding numbers

Don´t believe the stats you did not fake yourself? Are controllers number crunchers? Even technology companies are nowadays managed by finance guys rather then engineers? It is true: Business numbers are increasingly important. But why?

Because nowadays within company returns are the only measure to assess business performance.

Therefore the knowledge about company planning and accounting, about annual reports and financial instruments as leadership tools is a crucial prerequisite for good leadership. And I will show you how. You learn that performance figures are still only an image of reality, not reality itself. You learn how to use the financial language. You experience that even number topics can be taught in a fun, informative, and humorous way. In both german and english language.

Example projects

The client is one of the biggest technology companies in Germany. Executives mostly have an engineering background. To understand the financial impact of their management decisions they are trained in a combination of presence learning and e-learning. The virtual seminar tools are an internet-based classroom, web-based learning programs, case studies, glossaries, and newspaper and journal articles. An eight-weeks elearning period is for reviewing content from the first seminar module, for preparing knowledge for the next seminar module, and for deepening the gained knowledge in everyday work. During the elearning phase the tutor is constantly accessible via web conferences, email, telephone, and forum chats.

The stock-quoted swiss-based financial group is among the biggest insurance companies worldwide. It offers the full range of general insurance and life insurance products to both private and corporate customers. The group is strong in its sustainable investment policy and was especially stable in the turbulent times of financial crisis.

The german, austrian, and swiss insurance markets suffer from extensive price wars since, as result of regulated markets until some years ago, insurance premiums are still the most important decision criteria for many customers. Differing insurance terms, good service, claims handling, financial strength are only slowly coming into focus as differenciation criteria. Especially important, after the financial crisis, is the effort to show the stable financial position in terms of core capital.

The client´s marketing and sales department offered a new pricing initiative to be released form the regular pricing volatility and to focus rather on qualitative product features.

The training therefore shows the sales people the impact of pricing decisions on the general performance and financial strength of the company. Additionally participants develop argumentation strategies to show each customer the uniqueness of the offered insurance products. As a result participants gain a deeper insight into the complex controlling set-up of the company, their pricing decisions impact on the profit and therefore the stock price of the corporation, and develop strategies for a more quality focused sales policy.

In cooperation with MDA Training.

www.mdatraining.com

The client is one of the leading airplane manufacturers worldwide. In a multi-modular development program executives receive the essential elements of good leadership: Understanding ones own personal strength and weaknesses, gaining sensibility for the personalities and resources of their team members, shaping leadership style and culture, resolving conflicts, etc. Additionally they are to be equipped with knowledge on markets and strategies, controlling and financial management, process and resource management.

Process management, resource handling, and team management are trained by applying a business simulation game: developing, building, and selling of ultra light weight airplanes. Participants market their airplane model independently in direct competition to their fellow seminar colleagues. Besides the intensive work on marketing strategies, efficient resource management, and decision making under time pressure there also is a lot of fun and activity in the seminar room – holistic learning.

In cooperation with Die Akademie für Führungskräfte der Wirtschaft.

www.die-akademie.de

The company is a utility group in a medium-sized german city and owned by the city government. With around 2200 employees and a leadership range of 220 executives it offers local and national energy and water supply as well as telecommunication, transportation, and recreation services. Due to dramatic changes on the energy markets in Germany and Europe the group faces big strategic challenges.

When a new planning and budgeting system was introduced into the company the first and second level executive managers were to be trained in realizing the impact of their management decision on the financial performance of the group. Managers were mainly of engineering background and were used to working in political rather than return-oriented environment.

The issue was trained by using the electronic business simulation MARGA. Participants are in direct competition amongst each other and compete on product sales, on staff, and on risk capital. They have to  increase their MARGA company value significantly. The simulated market scenario was aligned with the real company situation and was supposed to particularly challenge the participants.

The head of controlling of the utility group used the seminars for communicating the group strategy and for networking. Additionally the executive development department offered coaching in conflict management and decision making. As a result the development program could significantly increase planning quality and groupwide networking within the company. Nowadays managers often admit in planning sessions: “That´s just like we did in MARGA!”

In cooperation with MARGA Business Simulationswww.marga.de

The medium-size business sells building equipment to construction companies and small-size companies in whole Germany. Each business relation is monitored with qualitative and quantitative information about the customer using credit agencies. An important information element are annual reports and financial ratios.

Participants gained a good feeling and reliable set of tools for the analysis of financial statements. They are now able to interpret the reports and KPI´s published by the credit agencies and to complement them with their own customer information. Each sales director can now decide on his own if the customer´s financial strength is sufficient for a long-term partnership.

In cooperation with Haufe Akademie.

www.haufe-akademie.de

Within the stock-quoted swiss industry group about 13000 employees generate sales revenues of 3,5 billion swiss francs. The company offers cutting-edge technology in the fields of automotive supply, machine equipment, and piping systems with worldwide manufacturing sights.

The company´s international executives mainly have an engineering background. In order to equip them with the essential controlling knowledge every executive manager has to undergo a mandatory seminar training offered and delivered by the CFO and his finance team. As part of this training the simulation game MARGA ensures the knowledge transfer into practical management. The simulation scenario has a close link to the didactical setup of the program and  is closely linked to the company´s current market situations.

As a result participants are able to address the main management issues in their impact on the group´s financial performance: How is the group´s current situation mapped in the financial statements? How does the capital market judge the company´s situation and how fierce is financial pressure? How does the controlling system work? What is the impact of management decisions in product development, production, and sales on one´s own performance and on the group performance in general? What are the risks associated with each management decision? Participants gain a deep textual but also personal understanding for the finance issues of the group.

In cooperation with MARGA Business Simulations.

www.marga.de

Every board of directors constantly takes business decision with large impact – that applies to owner-oriented mid-size companies in the same way as for stock-quoted global company groups. Going along with large impact on employees, on customers, as well as on the long-term lifecycle of the company.

This responsibility, the ever-increasing time and innovation pressure, and the close corset of capital markets´ expectations lead to considerable pressure in the board team. A complex electronic business simulation can train decision making in a realistic but well-protected environment. Nevertheless the management challenges are very realistic and real, as well as the competitors. A matter of electronic simulation are only the markets for products, staff, and risk capital, not the competitive scope.

An experienced team coach watches each team, accompanies and, if necessary, directs the team process, and gives knowledge-input about decision making and fruitful team management.

Within the international testing and certification group 25000 employees generate sales revenues of 1.9 billion euro. Employees usually have an engineering and natural science education background. Within the framework of a management development program the high potential executives are trained in general management and financial controlling.

Following the motto „Be the Board“ their duty is to direct a company and lead it to increasing company value. Every board takes about 60 management decisions in sales and marketing, production and personnel, purchasing and investment, and finance and controlling each simulated fiscal year. The simulation scenario mirrows the participants´ current strategic and operating challenges. According to the evolution of the simulation participants receive input on management content, additionally they are supervised by an experienced executive coach.

The client is a consulting company with focus on IT management and process improvement. 200 consultants with IT, engineering, and social science background advise large financial firms in setting up IT systems for their business processes. The seminar program illustrates the general business model and basic value generation processes in the banking and insurance industry to give participants a better understanding of the specific needs and challenges of their clients.

Decisive didactical instrument for improving the consultants´ understanding of the interest structure of banking manager´s are several simulations dealing with banking services, with the functionality of securities exchange platforms, as well as with the management of an investment fund. By using the financial statement of a customer, a big german bank, the business processes, the value chain, and the risk structure of a typical global bank is analyzed.

In cooperation with MDA Training.

www.mdatraining.com

A chemical company: The core business is specialty chemicals, 13000 employees generate global sales revenues of 13 billion euros. For the global future leaders of the group the executive development department offers and conducts a trainee program which delivers the whole range of corporate and employee leadership applying training, coaching, meet the CEO sessions, and international expad programs.

The module on business administration offers the essential knowledge on value-based corporate management. Didactical means are interactive lectures, small simulations, and team work. The main purpose is to give insight on how to handle the three big stakeholder groups, the capitaol providers, the employees, and the customers. All relevant decision areas of strategic and operating company leadership are addressed; the purpose especially is to explain the capital markets´ interests and how the company´s controlling responds to that.

The client develops and accelerates innovative processes in personnel and executive development and even fosters implementation into operational practice. The sponsors of the institution are both companies and trade unions.

Addressing employee representatives and executive managers the institution offers seminars on controlling and financial accounting by using a business simulation board game. Participants very closely experience how a company´s money increases and is spent on either dividends, employees wages, the loan providers, the government, to suppliers, etc. The controlling seminar focuses on the steering needs a company faces to drive its performance, whereas the financial accounting seminar shows how the company´s performance is mapped in the financial statements.

In both cases the “easy” approach of a business simulation board game assures the transfer of the basic knowledge. Topicality and practice transfer are delivered in extensive discussions about example issues of the seminar participants.

Executives of a swiss-based chemical group pass a highly customized executive development program of the business school of St. Gallen universiy. The program is to equip them with state-of-the-art knowledge on sustainable value-based management. The ESMT European School of Management and Technology in Berlin conducts a fulltime MBA program for potential global leaders teaching them highest level corporate management knowledge.

Both executive development institutions are top-of-the-class business schools in Europe. And both make use of the electronic simulation tool MARGA to transfer the business administration knowledge into practice in a realistic competitive market situation.

Participants are split into board teams which have to decide on directing their company in any relevant field of management: marketing and sales, product development, production, investment and resource management, finance and controlling. After a few fiscal years that team wins the competition that was able to increase the company value the most.

Participants intensively deepen the gained knowledge, practice decision making in a team environment, and experience the practical impact of their management action.

In cooperation with MARGA Business Simulations

www.marga.de

Executive coaching

Your way to personal growth

Turning a company into success is all about people. Personal motivation, personal engagement, a vision of where to develop, being committed to what you do – developing that for yourself and give your people a developing chance is the ultimate precondition for personal growth and even economic profitability.

Training and consulting customers sometimes ask also for individual coaching support regarding their respective work and life situation. That can be the starting point for an intensive and inspiring personal growth process. The coachings deal with both personal and technical issues. The coaching content reaches from “How do I read the regular controlling reports?”, “Give me tools how to deal with conflict situations better!”, “Am I a good leader?”, or “How can I handover my business to the next generation?” I work with you on your personal growth!

Consulting

Improving management ressources

Executive and management development can only be successful if it is customized to the needs of the organization and the target group. Together with you I develop unique and specific solutions for your management team. My service ranges from conceptual design, to organizing and implementing as well as transfer of the gained insights into every-day working experience.

Executive development programs have to be comprehensively embracing all relevant issues of company management and leadership. Based on my network of management teachers and coaches as well as my expert experience I can design a development package exactly aligned to your target group.

Management conferences bring people together and offer the opportunity to share both technical and personal insights on current management challenges. I support you in conceptualisation as well as selection of relevant content and speakers.

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