Dr. Peter Berends

Dr. Peter Berends holds degrees from Nyenrode University and Maastricht University. Additionally, he is trained in solution focused systemic work (Hellinger Instituut (NL), and LiSA (D)). Peter has more than twenty years of experience in training, teaching and researching in the fields of management and leadership. He has educated and worked with professional teams and executives from large multinational corporations, the United Nations, NGOs, educational institutions, and public organisations.


Peter is involved in the Leadership development trajectory of MaastrichtMBA. He also trains systemic therapists and is active as management coach/trainer. His fields of expertise are leadership and team development, organisational learning and change.


Peter lives in Würzburg (D) with his wife and his eleven year old son. In his spare time, he enjoys dancing the Argentinian Tango with his wife, listening to music, reading and spending time with family and friends. Peter likes good food and wine; that is why living in Unterfranken – a Burgundian German wine area – suits him well.

What is your connection with Maastricht?

Peter Berends did his PhD research at Maastricht University and received most of his academic training there.


“For me, Maastricht University was a fertile growing environment, because they allowed me to explore the direction in which I wanted to go. My then leading professor’s adage was to ‘let thousand flowers grow’, and I certainly developed my main outlook on business and education during that time. The university has always been a great and generous sponsor and I am truly grateful for that.”

What motivated you to become a professor?

After working as an assistant professor at Maastricht University’s School of Business and Economics (SBE), Peter was contracted by UMIO in 2012 as an executive coach and trainer in the field of leadership development.


“It is my life purpose to develop people and teams to perform and live in a personally fulfilling way. As a professor and coach, I get to work with people closely, supporting them in their own professional and personal life journey.”

What is your role within the MaastrichtMBA programme?

Peter is involved in the Leading Strategic Change module of the MaastrichtMBA programme. This module contributes to answering how to deal with questions of increasing complexity, changing worldviews and an emancipating workforce in organisations.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your lectures in the programme?

“As such, my colleague Jeroen Duijsens and I are in line with LaLoux’ Reinventing Organisations, Robertson’s Holacracy, and Scharmer’s From Ego to Eco. We humans are very much conditioned in old command control structures – even if we are unaware of that – which stifle most attempts at successful change. Firstly, our course in the MBA programme aims at uncovering different aspects of this conditioning: (embodied) somatic markers, inner attitude, skills and action. Then, we offer different methods to train and develop insight, attitude and skills to give more fulfilment in a rapidly changing world. Scharmer’s Theory U forms the basis for the work we do during the Leading Strategic Change module.”


“I’m very proud that ten years ago UMIO had the courage – and still has the courage – to offer a container in which we can develop the Leading Strategic Change module”, Peter concludes. “Since then, it has grown with the insights from the participants and it has been a personal source of inspiration.”

Dr. Peter Berends
Organisational Change and Development
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