“Expect a high ROI from your consulting investment, best quality results and efficient procedures.”
WOLF Management Consultancy
Strategic consulting, objective consulting and performance consulting for supervisory bodies and management levels
WOLF Managementberatung is the Management Board / Advisory Board Consulting Division of I.O. Group Wolf.
The team around the graduate economist and graduate psychologist Gunther Wolf provides highly professional consulting services for owners, board members and managing directors, for advisory boards and supervisory boards.
The WOLF Management Consultants advise supervisory boards and management levels of companies and non-profit organisations in the development, implementation and updating of strategies, strategic systems and the associated instruments.
Clients describe the outstanding characteristics of WOLF Management Consultants as the exceptional analysis competence, the professional solution competence as well as the methodical and social implementation competence.
WOLF Management Consultants take responsibility: We accompany the implementation of the developed procedures until the targeted project results are realized.
Success through value creation
The overriding goal of WOLF Management Consulting is the sustainable creation of value for the client. We ensure measurable improvements in performance, efficiency and effectiveness.
WOLF Management Consultants understand value creation as the realization of the highest possible and at the same time sustainable success for the customer. We consistently focus all activities on the implementation of the client’s strategic goals.
Innovation with experience
WOLF management consultants work in steps that are always coordinated. The client’s satisfaction with the project implementation and with the results achieved is for us the sole indicator of consulting success.
Our working methods are characterized by practical innovations and decades of experience. Expect a high ROI from your consulting investment, best quality results and efficient procedures in the provision of all services.
Whether management consulting, strategy consulting, target consulting, performance consulting or consulting on special topics in which we are among the leading experts: We support executive boards, managing directors, owners, shareholders, advisory and supervisory boards of companies and non-profit organizations in developing, updating and implementing strategies.
We will be happy to arrange a personal meeting to clarify any open questions.
We are aware of the high demands that are placed on us when advising managing directors, board members, owners, shareholders, advisory boards and supervisory boards. For this reason we always achieve the agreed results in five clearly defined steps. Expect a meaningful  analysis at the beginning of the project. Based on this, target-performance comparisons and statements about the prerequisites to be created serve as starting points for our neutral  advice to the management level.
In the course of consulting for managing directors or board members, we not only inform you about the analysis results. We also provide you with practical suggestions for  solutions and sensible procedures. During the  implementation you will benefit from the right mix of assertiveness and tact of the WOLF management consultants. You can expect experienced project management and a  results control oriented towards profitability. We avoid inefficiencies, optimise project results and thus ensure the positive ROI of your investment.
“Our customers expect highly professional services and innovative solutions for any company-related questions they may have. They also expect systems that work and practical tools that will give them a head start against their competitors.”
Results count. People matter.
Gunther Wolf is a certified corporate management and strategy planning consultant. With degrees in both economics and psychology, he has a great deal of business acumen. He works in Germany, across Europe and around the world. The German management consultant is also the author of several highly awarded management publications and is in great demand as a keynote speaker for current management topics.
Gunther Wolf studied business sciences at the Universities of Cologne (Economics) and Wuppertal in the 1980s, majoring in the fields of finance, controlling and business management. He also worked in Professor Schiller’s and Professor Heier’s departments.
Training and the interplay between economics and psychology
Alongside his major he also studied psychology at the Universities of Wuppertal and Trier. He has a degree in both economics and psychology. Gunther Wolf carries the German academic titles Diplom-Ökonom and Diplom-Psychologe.
Gunther Wolf began his career with sales and marketing training. He started out by designing outdoor adventure-oriented customer events and loyalty incentives for a food and beverages company. Gunther Wolf is considered to be the inventor of the loyalty card in credit card format, as it is still known today, which is how he established his reputation as a mastermind when it comes to fostering enthusiastic customer and employee loyalty.
Focusing on the sustainable creation of value
In order to create more active, memorable, and sustainable experiences, Gunther Wolf carried out his team and management training sessions in the wilderness in the middle of Sweden, amongst other places. That is how he became Germany’s – if not Europe’s – first outdoor management trainer. He wrote the first book ever about this training method. The book with the title “Indoor Outdoor Management Development” (all his books here) sold well in the USA but was not published in Germany because of a lack of interest on the part of German publishers. Being a forward thinking person, Gunther Wolf founded First European Outdoor Training Center in 1984, establishing sites in the Netherlands and Switzerland.
At the beginning of the 1990s, Gunther Wolf recognized that there was a huge potential for improvement in many of his customers’ businesses in the fields of goal and strategy-oriented human resources management. He used his experience in implementing human resources measures through practical means to establish demand-oriented concepts for his customers in the field of human resource development. These concepts were: systems for the agreement of objectives, potential analyses, competency models, succession planning, talent management systems and innovative selection processes. To develop these further, he took on highly successful individual interim management assignments in the fields of HR, sales and marketing.
Performance: Exploiting potential
It is no great surprise that Gunther Wolf’s next logical step was to dedicate himself to developing his consulting expertise in the field of performance management. From the mid 1990s onwards, the German management consultant successfully implemented several restructuring, merger, acquisition and divesture projects together with his customers that were all geared towards maximizing efficiency. These changes were accompanied by implementing effective change management and cogent measures from the field of post-merger integration. Gunther Wolf has been consulting company executives in the art of developing, implementing and updating company strategies, visions and goals since 2000. Together with his team, he ensures the implementation of strategic planning at successive management levels.
International recognition as a certified German management consultant came in 2004 after the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) granted their approval. Gunther Wolf also received certified recognition by the European Business School (EBS). Between 1995 and today, Wolf has created innovations in goal, measurement and incentive systems, among others. In addition, he gave a powerful impetus to the development of strategic performance management systems such as the balanced scorecard.
Innovation: Implementing strategies efficiently
Today, the idea of goal optimization as a development of conventional goal setting is gaining more and more importance. Gunther Wolf is not only a pioneer in this field; he is also a leading expert in the fields of online marketing, new media and e-commerce.
By 1984 he had already grasped and developed the notion of creating vouchers as gifts and turned this idea into a business model. Gunther Wolf realized the challenges that demographic change would bring early on. In 2005 the German management consultant developed the concept of individual employee loyalty, which remains an important issue for many companies today.
Thoroughbred german management consultant
Seemingly unsolvable challenges and new developments continue to stir up excitement in the thoroughbred German management consultant: “Our customers expect highly professional services and innovative solutions for any company-related questions they may have. They also expect systems that work and practical tools that will give them a head start against their competitors.” Gunther Wolf has experience in the functional fields of finance, controlling, marketing, sales and human resources and has know-how in strategic corporate planning and corporate management. On a national and international level, he is a valued management coach and management consultant for company owners and executives and to German mid-tier companies that operate on a global scale.
“If there is no solution, Gunther Wolf invents one.”
From innovation to solution
Innovations for company management and leadership
Gunther Wolf´s innovations from 1984 to today
Gunther Wolf and the team of WOLF Managementberatung are responsible for numerous groundbreaking innovations.
With his groundbreaking developments, Gunther Wolf revolutionizes thinking and acting in corporate and employee management.
Staff retention and recruitment
Gunther Wolf recognized the challenges of demographic change as early as 1997 and founded the Competence Center Employee Retention to intensify the transfer of practical theory. It is the first organization in the world to deal with concepts such as employee retention, employer brand or employer attractiveness.
SELIMAB integrates both the personnel portfolio (Potential-Performance-Portfolio) and the Function Portfolio (1998) which he had previously developed and which he initially referred to as the Availability-Relevance-Portfolio.
For Employer Branding, he developed the now most common approach, the 4-Step Method (2008). His ZED Formula (2014) – target group-specific, emotionalising, differentiating – characterises the most promising approach for all activities in the field of personnel marketing and employee retention.
He is also credited with the invention of the credit card-like customer card (1983). The customer card serves to improve the bond between consumers and the company. His invention was so successful that customer cards took on an inflationary character years ago.
A short time later, he developed the concept of adventure vouchers (1984). These are still very popular today as a gift idea, employee incentive and customer gift.
Gunther Wolf was the first trainer on this continent to conduct outdoor trainings (1984) for business executives. Based on his positive experience with outdoor customer loyalty and employee motivation events, he came up with the idea of conducting his team and leadership training not only in the seminar room.
Gunther Wolf conducted these in the wilderness of central Sweden, the Swiss Alps and the Netherlands, among other places. Outdoor trainings provide a high level of experience and action orientation for special sustainability of trainings.
Target agreement, variable remuneration
The concept of Objective Optimisation (1995) serves to link variable remuneration and target agreement systems in a meaningful way. For some time it was called VIVAnow! – Variable Interactive Compensation and Incentive System – for a while. With this, Gunther Wolf has set a revolutionary milestone in the development of truly sustainable, variable compensation and incentive systems.
With the If Then Combination (2002), he created the possibility of providing incentives in variable compensation systems for additional target achievement without requiring a bonus.
With the Wolf’s Onion (1999), later named after him, he ensured the differentiation between performance and result targets or performance and result indicators. Wolf’s Onion is used in practice to determine performance input and output indicators in controlling and to define strategic corporate goals.
To optimize processes and activities in marketing and sales, Wolf’s Onion is presented as a funnel in the funnel analysis. The Wolf’s Onion was further developed by Gunther Wolf himself for the differentiation of goals and measures in goal agreements and goal systems in the year to the Two Pillar Goal Agreement (2004).
His model, initially referred to as the Potential Performance Spiral (2006), illustrates interdependencies between the potential and performance of the company. In practice, it is used as a performance management spiral to manage corporate performance and the required potential as well as to visualize management tasks.
He extended this concept to the PEA System (2013). It serves the strategic control and optimization of potential, success (performance) and employer attractiveness of companies.
At the turn of the millennium Gunther Wolf developed the Change Spectral Analysis (2000). It provides valuable support for change management. Actual and target states can be determined from both a self-perception and an external perspective. It integrates standard strategies with recommendation character.
The change spectral analysis is considered indispensable for controlling the change and for generating the necessary commitment. It has found a further application for the concretization of qualitative goals and target states in the target agreement.
It is his customers and their trust to whom Gunther Wolf owes the opportunity to develop and implement all his innovations. Because at the core of his consulting is always about efficiency, effectiveness and performance. About visions, strategies and business goals. About entrepreneurial excellence, long-term earnings security and sustainable value creation.
“The strategy workshop with Gunther Wolf was a very special experience – and I mean that in a positive way. Very tight and yet entertaining, challenging and at the same time moderated in detail for everyone, extremely fruitful, many new insights and food for thought.” (Margit Moosbacher)
We’d like to thank all our customers for making our experience possible.
Management consulting references: Our customers
What customers, clients and participants say about Gunther Wolf and his team
References, customer opinions, client satisfaction and participant comments on consulting mandates, consulting projects, lectures, seminars and workshops are very important to Gunther Wolf and his team. WOLF Managementberatung has no sales department: we live exclusively from the many recommendations of our customers.
The clients of WOLF Managementberatung are primarily owners and proprietors, executive and managing directors, advisory and supervisory boards. They demand highly professional consulting services in the areas of corporate management, strategy development, strategy implementation as well as goal and performance consulting.
Clients expect from the graduate economist and psychologist Gunther Wolf and his team company-specific solutions for their business challenges.
They expect innovative systems, methods and instruments that have proven successful in practice. They expect expert advice, competent implementation, inspiring presentations and workshops with a strong impact.
Our customers are sacred to us
WOLF Managementberatung has consistently oriented itself towards its customers. Whether startup, foundation, micro-enterprise, SME, mid-sized company, large company, DAX company, group structure, public administration or non-profit organization: we know the particularities of all types of companies, stages of development and company sizes very well.
No industry is foreign to us. We focus on what makes economic sense and is actually feasible, with a focus on sustainable value creation for customers and clients. On the basis of our many years of structural and industry experience, we gear our procedures precisely to your requirements and profit targets.
Some management consulting references
What customers say about our projects, workshops and Gunther Wolf’s lectures
“Gunther Wolf gives numerous suggestions and practical examples of how employee retention can succeed.” (Christian Lindner MdB, Federal Chairman of the FDP)
“Mr. Wolf completely inspired our 300 participants! There is only one word that describes him: Grandiose.” (Elke Schmidt, employers’ associations)
“Very good, experienced and successful treatment of a difficult topic!” (Wolfgang Balmes, Member of the Board of Directors of the Dental Accounting Society AG)
“Gunther Wolf – very competent and yet very likeable. Very good presentation style. Absolute professional.” (Silvia Burgmaier, Head of Human Resources MR PLAN)
“The seminar with Gunther Wolf as speaker really inspired me! The form of the lecture was very well adapted, questions and problems of understanding were dealt with, very good thought-provoking impulses and – by the way – high entertainment value.” (Heinke Martina Andres, Managing Director EVG Landwege)
“Overall grade for speaker Gunther Wolf and the seminar: Very good. Especially good were the many practical examples and the high level of reference to practice, including real examples, as well as the attention to individual problems or topics.” (Thorsten Warnke, Managing Director IWP Engineers)
“The training ‘Target Agreements’ and the speaker Gunther Wolf inspired me! Practical, humorous, good participant retention, appreciative, the content is very well oriented towards the heterogeneous group, crisp and free of platitudes.” (Michael Haase, GPR chairman and internal trainer, Lower Saxony State Office for Social Affairs, Youth and Family)
“The feedback of the participants of the RKW AG “Finance and Accounting / Controlling” to the lecture of Gunther Wolf on Performance Management was very good. His strong focus on the practical applicability of the Performance Management System and instruments such as the Funnel Model or Wolf’s Onion should be emphasized.” (Dr. Ralf Wiebe, Technical Director of the working group “Finance and Accounting, Controlling” at RKW)
“Gunther Wolf has inspired me! Wolf is a competent expert with a lot of practical experience. He deals with problems and tasks individually.” (Gerhard Schneider, commercial management Suhrkamp Verlag AG)
“Mr Wolf, your professional competence and your personality have convinced me. I have never experienced so much knowledge combined with so much humour!” (Karin Römhild, Managing Director DELONGCARE)
“Practical experience paired with profound knowledge of the topic ’employees’, spiced up with a lot of humour. This sums up Mr. Wolf’s presentation style and content in a nutshell. The participants of the ‘Employee Retention’ event in Rüsselsheim went home satisfied, with many ideas in their pockets and a smile on their faces. The lecture was a real gain.” (Birgit Wiese, business development of the city of Rüsselsheim)
“Gunther Wolf is just the right person for our event series “Employee Retention: Apply. Inspire. Binding.” His specialist knowledge and experience, coupled with his pleasant and lively presentation style, involve the participants from the very first moment and offer real added value. This is underlined by the high number of participants, the positive feedback and the lively networking afterwards.” (Dorothee Reiser, Managing Director, Personalwerk Communications GmbH)
“Gunther Wolf was the keynote speaker at our Entrepreneur Forum. The many positive feedbacks of the guests confirm our positive impression of Mr. Wolf’s presentation.” (Peter Vogel, Chairman of the Management Board of Sparkasse Tauberfranken)
“A successful, entertaining event with lots, lots of input and plenty of “food for thought” for the coming days and weeks!” (Christiane Füllgraf, Head of Human Resources Thomas Philipps GmbH & Co. KG)
“A ‘very good’ for the seminar on target agreement and variable remuneration systems with Gunther Wolf! Particularly good: The practical examples, the individual approach to all questions, fun, very good visualization.” (Dirk Lehmkühler, Authorized signatory / Human Resources Manager TKM)
“A ‘very good’ for Gunther Wolf. Especially good: Practical applicability, interesting preparation, presentations with humour. I felt well picked up.” (Martina Heymer, Director Administrative Functions tesa Labtec GmbH)
“Pleasant and relaxed design of the training, very good integration of the current topics and cases of the participants!” (Robert Flügge, Managing Director advanto Software)
“Gunther Wolfs Outdoor Corporate Program exceeded our expectations. It is the best post merger integration tool.” (Carlos Perez, Division Manager General Motors)
“Reliable program management, clear communication, goals exceeded in the individual projects, overall time and cost budget undershot: Mr. Wolf and his team deserve a ‘very good with a star’!” (Matthias Bender, Management Becker GmbH & Co. KG)
“I really enjoyed the decision-makers’ workshop and Gunther Wolf as moderator. I would like to emphasize the way in which the moderation and the technical presentation were conducted, the understanding of the content and the creation of a good, results-oriented working atmosphere.” (Dr. Kai Marquardt, CFO Hytera Mobilfunk GmbH)
“Very good training – keep it up!” (Mark Poppeck, Managing Director advanto Software)
“Gunther Wolf has inspired me!” (Peter Koske, managing director of the service company at Klinikum Ernst von Bergmann)
“The strategy workshop with Gunther Wolf was a very special experience – and I mean that in a positive way. Very tight and yet entertaining, challenging and at the same time moderated in detail for everyone, extremely fruitful, many new insights and food for thought. High competence and sovereignty in the application of methods. High commitment, high dedication: in the end, everyone had the feeling that they were part of the process. The workshop took the cooperation of the management level to a new level. A big thank you from the entire Extended Management Board!” (Margit Moosbacher, Karl Müller GmbH)
“Gunther Wolf has inspired me a lot, because he manages the balancing act of a result-oriented and at the same time relaxed atmosphere. He has recognized the views and differences of the operating parties and on this basis has proposed solutions that bring both sides together. These were often better than the previous proposals – and this also applies to both sides. Management and works council have come a long way towards each other and a result is now tangible. Thank you, Mr Wolf! PS: Documents, presentation style, professional competence, practical relevance, etc.: Everything top!” (Armin Müller, Works Council)
“I am thrilled with Gunther Wolf and his leadership training! Especially by the flexible structure and the response to all individual questions of the participants.” (Peter Bruckmüller, Managing Director Spectra)
“Overall rating for the seminar and the trainer Gunther Wolf: very good. Lively, practical presentation style, high competence of the trainer.” (Christiane Doll, member of the management of Motor Press Stuttgart GmbH & Co. KG)
More management consulting references
We regard the highest level of satisfaction of customers and clients – with the project implementation and with the results achieved – as the basis for solid customer relationships. This applies to all our services. We do not only want to satisfy our clients, we want to inspire them.
For Gunther Wolf, it is above all the customers and their trust to whom WOLF Managementberatung owes the possibility of developing and implementing effective solutions for their strategic challenges.
We want to inspire you too!
Your cooperation with us is characterized by trust, a sense of responsibility and great commitment. For this reason, we will be happy to provide you with exactly the right references with contact persons and contact details after an initial meeting. Please make an appointment with the experts on strategies, goals and performance.
“Just call the people from I.O.! They have sufficient experience in training and consulting.”
Training and consulting experience
Three decades of experience, three decades of innovation, three decades of value creation
In 1984, Gunther Wolf and his two partners set up a company in the Netherlands. Its main focus was on management development, outdoor training, sales seminars, customer and marketing incentives, water sports and parachuting.
In 1984 we still called ourselves “Indoor Outdoor Management Development”, but the name appears to have been a bit too long for our customers’ liking: they simply called us “the people from I.O.”
“The people from I.O.”
The name stuck. We’re glad it did, for what could be better than having a name given to us by our own customers?
When we moved into Villa Engels and brought all management consulting and training activities together under one roof, the term “I.O. Group” was used for the first time. Today all business units belong to the I.O. Group Wolf.
Three decades of training and consultancy experience
1984 Indoor Outdoor Management Development founded in the Netherlands
1986 Training Institute subsidiary (training, facilitation, coaching, outdoor training courses und incentives) set up in Switzerland
1989/90 Head Office relocated to Wuppertal (Germany), consultancy (consulting, realization, interim management) founded
2000/01 Company incorporated into the I.O. GROUP with Head Office in the Villa Engels, part of Wuppertal’s historical centre
2007 Management and strategy consulting now operating under the WOLF brand name, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the I.O. GROUP
Today The I.O. Group Wolf (IOGW) has a strictly defined customer-oriented structure:
Whether management consulting, strategy consulting, target consulting, performance consulting: We support management levels and supervisory bodies of companies and non-profit organizations in updating strategies, strategic systems and the associated instruments. We put all our experience and innovative strength to work for you.
Use three decades of experience for your upcoming challenges. We are aware of the high demands that are placed on us when advising management boards, managing directors, owners, shareholders, advisory boards and supervisory boards.
For this reason we always achieve the agreed results in five clearly defined steps. Expect a meaningful analysis at the beginning of the project. Based on this analysis, target-performance comparisons and statements about the conditions to be created serve as starting points for your neutral and unbiased consulting.
In this course we inform you about the results of the analysis. You will also receive practical, often innovative suggestions for solutions and sensible procedures. During the implementation you benefit from our many years of experience.
The overriding goal is the sustainable creation of value for the client. We ensure measurable improvements in performance, efficiency and effectiveness.
We understand value creation as the realization of the highest possible and at the same time sustainable success for the client. We consistently focus all activities on the implementation of the client’s strategic goals.
Expect a positive ROI from your Management Consulting investment, best quality results and efficient procedures in the provision of all services.
Speech human resources, human resources strategy, human resources speaker | Gunther Wolf convinces as a human speaker through high flexibility. No speech is like the other. In all his speeches on human resources topics, questions and comments from the audience are always welcome. He skilfully integrates all the comments of the human resources managers and thus gives his speeches even more authenticity, life and practice.
Human resources strategy: Keynote on employer attractiveness | How can medium-sized companies also become attractive for applicants? The competition never sleeps, not even on the job market. What do medium-sized companies have to do to match the employer attractiveness of large companies? Gunther Wolf answered all these questions comprehensively, precisely, entertainingly and definitely also motivating in his keynote speech on employer attractiveness for medium-sized companies.
Keynote Leadership | The fact that employee retention and motivation are particularly closely related is undoubtedly part of the basic knowledge of every HR manager. But how exactly do these two corporate success factors depend on each other? And what are the mechanisms with which company management, personnel managers and executives can control both employee retention and motivation? In order to gain clarity, the entrepreneurs, who are organised as alumni of the Zürcher Kantonalbank, asked the expert Gunther Wolf for two things: On the one hand, he should be available as a keynote speaker for motivation and employee retention at the next alumni event. On the other hand, the Motivation Keynote Speaker was to write a practice-oriented white paper for ZKB Alumni on this topic.