Benno van Aerssen
Benno van Aerssen Benno van Aerssen

Benno, what made you the man you are today? And what made you do what you do?

"As part of the 7th Generation of an old Ticino church painter family, art and innovation are in my blood – especially since all 6 preceding generations made their money with art and creativity. Creativity is my DNA. It belongs to me as much as the digital, highly dynamic IT business I was working in for many years. For all my life, I have been a "wanderer between the poles" – these two extreme poles – and that's what makes my work today so fascinating and valuable for business leaders of the 21st century.

"I develop the creative intelligence of change-willing persons and companies, for a life full of boundless imagination, passion and investiveres" – This is my mission. The cooperation with my customers follows this mission without exception and often costs the client much more than just the amount of fees on the invoice. In exchange, he also gets much more than just my entire expertise and attention. He and his company become a considerable part of my life and my dreams for a certain time.

Art goes IT – diving into the digital world
After my artistic school years (where I, the naturally left-handed, was forced to write right-handed) and the Abitur (German A-levels), I was absolutely fascinated by the new computers in the mid-80s, which was the start of my career in IT industry. I was to learn much later, that the forced right-handedness would almost cost me my life.

Still an apprentice in training, I made first entrepreneurial leadership experience as an authorized representative of a systems house.

In 1996, I started my own business and founded a web agency in the Lower Rhine region. Besides other projects, me and my team programmed the online version of the German „Who want’s to be a millionaire“ and my web agency finally became a software company. Only 11 years after its foundation, more than 70 employees work for me. A corporate partner is with boarded and our core business is to develop web-based learning environments for our customers, including global players like Volkswagen, Vodafone, eBay and Allianz insurances – to name just a few.

From left- to right-handedness and back
During this intensive time, my wife virtually raised our children alone. Hence, the classic image of an entrepreneur’s family. If I had the feeling, that projects would not be ready on time, I took them into my own hands. Although this meant extra work in endless night shifts. The main thing: a 100% result. And that the customer got the desired quality at the agreed time the next morning. All this hadn’t failed to leave its mark on me. One morning, my partner found me in the company lying on the ground. Later in hospital, the emergency doctors took three whole hours until I regained consciousness completely. Two days hemiplegia. Was it a stroke? An epileptic seizure? For a long time, I got no reliable diagnosis. But I got one thing for sure: a proper kick in the a.... I knew I had to change something.

This incident was followed by an intensive talk therapy and cause search. Briefly: The unconsciousness had to do with the fact that my left cerebral hemisphere was permanent overloaded by right-handed writing. A condition which had been built up within the last 40 years to a degree that my brain could no longer manage. So it simply said "stop".

During this time, I decided to leave my own company, be trained to write left-handed again and to follow the call of my DNA. A nice side effect is that today I have three handwritings: right-handed, left-handed and the left-hand mirror writing.

Back to painting. Back to arts. Back to creativity. I only wanted to dedicate myself to my imagination, my creativity and my enthusiasm and earn my money thereby. So in the same year, I started my »Studio for Ideas«.

Creating a visual understanding for innovation
My artistic DNA hence is an essential part of my person. What art has to do with business? Well, a lot, as I have experienced repeatedly in my work with people and companies. "A picture is worth a thousand words" is no accident. Or what do you think? Why were large pictures painted on church walls in earlier times? The answer is simple: Because the majority of the population wasn’t able to read in those times and nevertheless should understand all the details of the Bible "project" quickly and clearly. Therefore, it’s in my blood to pass on my knowledge in this particularly intense visual style. This is how I make the big innovation issue understandable. Reasonable. And with my way of working for people possible at all.

The interesting thing is: Art and business are so tightly interwoven with me – and complement each other in such a wonderful way – that I use this fact now actively and intensively with all my clients, for example in creating my InfoFrescos. However, the way there was a stony path, to keep saying it in church language.

The hidden potential behind the scenes

For 9 years now I have been looking behind the scenes of international companies and help, to increase their innovative capacity. And I can’t get enough of it. Everything is so fascinating, everything is exciting – it's my big "Discovery Channel". Everywhere lies a huge potential for innovation. To make this potential available for your business, you deserve at least 100% involvement and empathy from my side!

While working with my customers, mental images constantly appear in my mind. Through creative combinatorics they show undiscovered solutions and generate new potentials never seen before ..." – Benno van Aerssen 

I'll show you how to free yourself from the constraints and the apparent certainties of our world in order to create something new. Looking forward to meeting you!

Please find more information about my engagements on: - -

Mentor Mentor

What are you as a mentor doing for me, if I want to be more creative and innovative?

"Innovation is much more than crafts. Innovation is arts. Innovation can only succeed, if you are imaginative and open to everything new. If you trust in yourself and dare to be creative – and are never satisfied with it.

As a creatively inspiring mentor, I encourage my clients and particularly the corporate leaders to cross borders, to allow disruptive thinking, to find interesting ways and to create space for really new ideas.

With "Personal Creativity Performance", I offer an individual coaching for business leaders, managers, freelancers or anyone who longs for developing his creativity and innovative capacity to the highest level of excellence.

To do so, my clients make unlimited use of all my experience. And they quickly realize how this newly kindled fire pushes the innovative capacity of their company" – Benno van Aerssen

I look forward to evolve you and assist you with your "adventure of innovation" with all my mentor passion.

Please find more information about my engagements on: - -

Befähiger Befähiger

What are you doing if you are the possibilitor in an innovation process?

"Many people often lack the courage to think without limits, to create radical ideas, to make decisions for great change and to assume the responsibility for these. Not only individuals but also entire groups and teams.

In the role of the possibilitor, I actively face the challenge to move people from the inside and I also set examples to guide teams to their new territory.

In particular, if a team has to reach a radical result or make a considerable decision, I support this process. By using a structure or a process, the group is instructed to find a good decision– as cooperative and targeted as possible.

A solution is thus developed self-sufficiently. This brings up clarity, intrinsic motivation and scope for further creative action." – Benno van Aerssen

I look forward to encourage your group with tools and knowledge so they are able to develop valuable solutions on their own.

Please find more information about my engagements on: - -

Ideengeber Ideengeber

You are said to be an inspiring ideator – in which matters could you be of use for my company?

"Many may say of themselves, they are »masters of their craft. But even competitors have such masters. Nowadays, you gain the decisive lead only with really new ideas lying above the professional core expertise. With unique ideas. With ideas, which are sleeping everywhere in the company and just wait to be woken up and lifted to the surface.

Playing the ideator role, I always bring my own ideas into my customers’ challenges, too – without any taboos – and I am happy if the people around me take this as an inspiration and benchmark.

Now it is time to take challenges without any compromise – no matter how complex they are. To combine things that have never been combined before. To defeat the inner censor and to solve undiscovered problems that customers haven’t noticed yet." – Benno van Aerssen

You corporate leaders, use your imagination to keep your competitors on distance! I look forward to dream your challenges and to enrich the inventiveness of your company!

Please find more information about my engagements on: - -

Berater Berater

Consultant for innovation? What can you do for me in this field?

"Complexity and dynamics have increased greatly. Companies must constantly re-decide – and continuously adapt flexibly and creatively-agile. But that is not enough. You can only score points, if you clearly distinguish yourself from competitors and constantly find new ideas to serve the undiscovered needs of new customers intelligently.

Nowadays, innovation development is a key issue to every company. Innovation cannot be delegated, not even by corporate leaders.Innovation cannot be ordered – you have to capture and truly live innovation. Only then, you will discover new things and make yourself peerless.

In the role of consultant, I give my clients overview and insights into the universe of innovation from problem identification through inspiration, lateral thinking, creative mindset, creativity techniques, ideation, the enrichment of ideas, idea filtering, trends, digital transformation, Business Model Generation, design thinking, disruptive innovations, innovation management, implementation, innovation strategy, Open Innovation, innovation controlling, innovation coaching, Visual Facilitating to innovation culture." – Benno van Aerssen

You as a corporate leader, take my professional expertise to assess situations properly, to know about solution paths and to become sufficiently different.

I look forward to be your consultant and facilitator who knows the right tools and provides precise clarity.

Please find more information about my engagements on: - -

Begleiter Begleiter

Benno, why should you be my companion for innovation?

"Launching an innovation is always like a new and not yet mapped path. And from the very first idea to the adoption of an innovation strategy, many things can happen.

Especially corporate leaders need a companion at their side, walking with them through thick and thin, so I am their experienced fellow on time – always with a sympathetic ear and targeted advice. Engagements as a companion last for a few weeks up to several years.

From countless innovative projects during the past 9 years, I know many ways leading to the goal. Finding the most effective and suitable way for my clients, that’s our common goal."–Benno van Aerssen

I look forward to sail through your adventures of innovation and change – together with you.

Please find more information about my engagements on: - -

Bodyguard Bodyguard

In case I face resistors on the way to my innovation, your customers say you are some kind of bodyguard. In what way?

"Every innovation development process comes up with obstacles, threats and precarious situations. Therefore, it is important to recognize dangers and obstacles at an early stage and to deal with them skilfully. And additionally to know how to behave in dangerous situations, so they do not end up in a catastrophe.

If my customers wish to develop an innovation culture, they can rely on my sensitive perception. Many years of experience in international innovation projects enable me to look at things others wouldn’t pay any attention to.

If my customers wish to avoid the typical risks especially in the initial stage or even want to have someone who "throws himself into the line of fire" when the whole situation threatens to escalate, I like to take over the active part." – Benno van Aerssen

I look forward to strengthen you in your innovation projects and to be your vigilant partner.

Please find more information about my engagements on: - -

Kundenstimmen Kundenstimmen

What customers say, ...

... everybody loves to read. I know that. But I work in a field of experience, in which confidentiality and trust mean a great deal. Therefore, discretion is very important to me

As this certainly is in your interest, too, you will find only a few customer testimonials here. Thank you for your understanding.

When we first met Benno, we appreciated his enthusiasm to transmit his wide knowledge on innovation and his flexibility to adapt to our culture. It is nearly one year now that Benno has been working with us, and I can confirm all these qualities. These qualities are key to deploy a front-end innovation culture and to enhance the innovation skills of the teams. Teams really appreciate Benno’s Training sessions on Front-end Innovation culture and creativity tools. And they appreciate also very much the Front-End Innovation workshops, during which they learn by practicing, coached by Benno. On top, Benno has great artistic skills that make his presentations unique and so powerful.

Sylvie DUBOIS-DECOOL, Innovation and Change Management, Director at Vallourec

The one-day workshop "Innovation and Knowledge Management" was held within the information and knowledge management master’s program at the Hannover University of Applied Sciences. As a guest lecturer, Mr. Benno van Aerssen convinced both byscientifically sound theory and methodology on the topic as well as by many practical examples from his extensive consulting experience in business enterprises. He performed the all-day event in a perfectly student-centred way, varied by a good mix of theory and practice, a change of methods and the strategic use of creativity techniques. Thus, the workshop content and methods fully met the expectations of both the 12 participants as well as the head of the course of studies.

Prof. Dr. Gudrun Behm-Steidel Faculty III - Media, Information and Design, Department for Information and Communication, Hannover University of Applied Sciences

The style in which Benno van Aerssen gives advice, combined with the respectful, appreciative manner and the totally valuable feedback has helped me a great deal in developing ideas for my firm, thus helping us achieve greater success. Benno van Aerssen is an innovator, creative think-tank and motivator all at the same time.

Sebastian Hawkins, Hawkins Consulting

Benno van Aerssen is a masterful ͞tour guide͟who lives his personality and uses valuable tools to take along everybody into the ͞Land of Innovation͟. He always succeeds in picking up people (from the "daily grind") and to inspire them for something creative and thriving new.

Theo Bergauer, b.wirk!

.. many thanks for the wonderful day we spent with you on our Trainer Campus. You have inspired our training team with content and personality and hence made a significant contribution to the fact that all participants evaluated the Trainer Campus as particularly valuable and successful. This wasn’t the last workshop with you! :-)

Rainer Arlt, commax
Referenzen Referenzen

These references speak for themselves:

  • WILO SE - Dortmund
  • DATEV eG - Nuremberg
  • Microsoft Deutschland GmbH - Unterschleißheim
  • Vodafone GmbH - Dusseldorf
  • RWE AG - Essen, Dortmund, Swindon
  • Nemak Europe - Frankfurt
  • Allianz SE - Munich
  • DORMA GmbH - Ennepetal
  • Volkswagen AG - Wolfsburg
  • Vallourec - Düsseldorf - Houston - Paris - Valenciennes - Belo Horizonte
  • METRO AG - Dusseldorf
  • Baxter GmbH - Unterschleißheim
  • Germanwings GmbH - Cologne
  • Westermann Schulbuchverlage - Braunschweig
  • Continental Teves AG - Gifhorn
  • HORNBACH-Baumarkt-AG - Bornheim
  • Schoeller Technocell GmbH & Co.KG - Osnabrück
  • Sparda-Bank West eG - Dusseldorf
  • AGAPLESION AG - Frankfurt 
  • Accenture Technology Solutions - Kronberg
  • Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik - Berlin
  • Keller Grundbau - Offenbach
  • EWR AG - Worms
  • Hager Group SE - Blieskastel
  • Bertelsmann SE / Arvato AG - Gütersloh
  • StrategicInterCom - Munich
  • Landkreis Gifhorn - Gifhorn
  • K&T Kaufhold & Team GmbH - Balve
  • Sparkasse Gifhorn - Wolfsburg
  • BAVARIA Industriekapital AG - Munich
  • Bildungswerk der Baden-Württembergischen Wirtschaft
  • A1 - Telekom Austria- Vienna
  • Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung - Duisburg/Salzgitter
  • LBS Rheinland-Pfalz - Mainz
  • Akademie Deutscher Genossenschaften ADG e.V. - Montabauer
  • The Phone House Telecom GmbH - Münster
  • SAP AG - Walldorf
  • NORMA Group AG - Maintal
  • Sirona GmbH - Bensheim
  • Bassier, Bergmann & Kindler - Oberhausen
  • Commax Consulting - Grünberg near Munich
  • Fripa GmbH - Miltenberg
  • OBI Group Holding SE - Wermelskirchen
  • Henry Schein - Langen
  • Haniel AG - Duisburg
  • Drägerwerk AG & Co. KGaA - Lubeck
  • HSBC Trinkhaus - Dusseldorf
  • O2 Telefonica - Munich
  • Bauhaus Universität - Weimar
  • Fachhochschule Hannover - Hannover
  • Hochschule Rhein Waal - Kleve
  • Technische Universität Kaiserslautern - Kaiserslautern
  • Unternehmerinnen Forum Niederrhein - Kleve
  • Wuppermann AG - Leverkusen
  • Analytik Manager Zirkel e.V. - Idstein
  • Verein Münchner Franken e.V. - Munich
  • Ullstein Verlage - Berlin
  • Elten GmbH - Uedem
  • Goodyear Dunlop - Hanau
  • Bildungswerk Hessische Wirtschaft - Kassel
  • DU-IT Gmbh - Duisburg
  • Imperial Logistics - Duisburg
  • document1 - Goch
  • Panopa GmbH - Duisburg
  • SKZ das Kunststoff-Zentrum - Würzburg
  • SCA - Kaarst
  • Die Unternehmensentwickler - Kleve
  • Sparkassen Eberle-Butschkau-Stiftung - Bonn
  • educando human performance - Dusseldorf
  • KAO Chemicals - Emmerich
  • TLT Turbo GmbH - Zweibrücken
  • Voortmann GmbH - Issum
  • wirkungsvoll GmbH - Hamburg
  • Wystrach GmbH - Weeze
Kontakt Kontakt

Welcome to contact me!

Send me an email to or even a handwritten letter – completely individually, personally and straightforward, just as it comes to your mind. 

To make it easier for you, I thought about three little guiding questions:

  • Who are you, and what is your current job within your company?
  • What exactly is the situation or challenge that makes you write to me?
  • Imagine you had been working with me, what should have changed afterwards compared to today?

You can be sure I will answer and pay tribute to your mail in person. But in certain circumstances, please be patient for a day or two, because concentrating on my current projects has always first priority. If we start a collaboration, you of course have this priority, too.