Case Studies
  • Bouncing back

    The client challenge

    Our client from the investment banking industry takes a structured approach to both talent management and leadership development, understanding that both capabilities are important factors in ensuring high-quality client service and long-term business success.

    As the company emerge from the post-slump economy, they wanted to support the leadership, HR and Executive Development team in understanding how best to support key talent to build the business back to profitability.

    At the first glimmer of ‘hope’, the client engaged blackswan to support leaders in their personal development journey and to ensure the road to success was as fast as...

  • Systematic Innovation & TRIZ training amongst SME's in Hong Kong

    The client challenge

    Over the past 15 years, Systematic Innovation & TRIZ have been applied in many multi-national corporations. Highly innovative companies such as Samsung, Hitachi, Siemens and 3M have begun to report significant successes having applied blackswan’s Systematic Innovation methodologies to various parts of their business.

    The objectives of the project:

    To introduce and promote the Systematic Innovation & TRIZ methodologies and techniques to local industry in Hong Kong To strengthen the innovation potential of Hong Kong’s SMEs through training and mentoring in the use of structured problem analysis and methods for generating...
  • Coaching on a global scale

    The client challenge

    As an international business, our client from the extractive industries had a high number of local relationships with local suppliers for coaching and leadership development. There were a range of over-arching programmes co-ordinated centrally but it remained difficult, if not impossible, to have meaningful management reporting, investment assessments and leadership development communications in this multiple-contractor arrangement.

    The client needed a flexible, nimble, well-resourced partner not only to deliver the actual coaching but also to provide the programme management to report the return on investment, advise on coaching trends, ensure...

  • Harnessing the power of systematic innovation

    The client challenge

    A manufacturer of compressors for household refrigeration appliances, with 3 production plants strategically located in Europe and China. Up until 2002, prior to the use of blackswan’s Systematic Innovation framework and methodology, the company had struggled to continually innovate and improve on its Refrigerant Compressor product line with only 15 patents generated in the previous 20 years. With increasing competitive pressures and the need to take out cost, improve engineering design and overall product performance, the client embarked on using blackswan’s Systematic Innovation capabilities to help them to achieve these objectives.


  • Helicopter engine design using systematic innovation

    The client challenge

    During recent military operations, an engine-manufacturing client had increasingly found themselves and their military assets working in ever harsher terrain and operating environments. This project focused on solving the problems associated with improving the life, performance and availability of such critical assets in the form of many military operations’ strategic workhorse, the all important multi-role helicopter.

    Some of the problems of airborne contamination for helicopter engines relate specifically to issues such as:

    Compressor erosion Turbine blade glazing Turbine blade vibration & fatigue problems Blockage of...
  • High impact business change

    The client challenge

    Our client from the extractive industries a 55,000 employee strong organisation, identified that their global training budget exceeded $200m annually - a level 3 times higher than the industry benchmark practice for training spend.

    The corporate Learning & Development (L&D) function was perceived a ‘Corporate Ivory Tower’ with little operational knowledge of the business and unable to communicate in business language. As a result, the ‘business’ had simply gone and managed their own training themselves resulting in over 550 trainers within the business. Significant inefficiencies were evident due to the semi-autonomous operating units...

  • Developing difference

    The client challenge

    Our client from the hotel hospitality and leisure industry was looking for something completely different.

    All 19 senior managers have spent many hours working through management development and training programmes. They did not want the ordinary and the mundane and were keen to avoid the same approach that has been used internally.

    They challenged blackswan to transport their key Directors to a different level and for them to broaden their horizons. The objective was to create a session which was thought provoking, fast, furious and fun.

    With some key decisions to be made following the session it was critical to cover the key...

  • Building a leadership model

    The client challenge

    Senior leaders of our client, a European mining organisation, asked blackswan to:

    Facilitate a clear understanding of the requirements of leadership Develop world-class cross-cultural working relationships Enable effective action planning at all organisational levels Deliver a clear model of accountability and responsibility Address current issues and barriers to success Communicate the leadership model across all business functions Align all business teams to strategy Ensure and build team awareness through the use of team assessment tools

    The blackswan solution

    blackswan delivered a 3-year programme to the...

  • Creating effectiveness

    The client challenge

    The client, an NHS Primary Care Trust, presented blackswan with two challenges:

    Communications - how can 300 commissioning staff spread over 5 locations in County Durham be kept up to date on key issues and topics? This was a particular issue for staff as many felt they were missing out on information. The aim was to have an effective (or as effective as possible) system of keeping staff up to date and involved with what is going on in the organisation. How can the client reduce the amount of meetings? It was recognised that people spend a significant amount of their time in meetings and that their very committed staff were spending too much...
  • Weathering the storm

    The client challenge

    Our client, a major manufacturer, introduced a business wide “Weathering the Storm” programme due to the global market conditions. Life at the company was tough and there was a recognition that difficult market conditions prevail.

    Recent news meant that the business had to change the way in which it operated, and there was a recognition from the client that there were and will continue to be significant issues which they must face.

    They recognise that in order to “weather the storm” it needs to support its key staff and nurture the talent within the business.

    The blackswan solution

    blackswan work with a number of key...

  • Stepping up to the challenge

    The client challenge

    As the aluminium manufacturing and packaging business evolved to reflect the new realities in world markets, members of the senior management team were called upon to step up to the challenge by changing their work patterns. This involved deliberately moving away from the day to day tactical issues by delegating these to leaders within their respective teams. In so doing, the business would be better placed to deliver the customer development, marketing, contractual negotiations, service innovation, product evolution and internal supplier management that it needed to meet stakeholder expectations.

    Changing behaviours in this way required a root...

  • Delivering returns in China

    The client challenge

    This food retail group had invested £600m in China across 3 businesses. With thirty plants, a headcount of 10,000 and a turnover of RMB 4bn, China’s importance in the client’s global operations cannot be overstated. The client wants to develop its senior and middle management teams across three of its Chinese operations. By investing in this talent pool, the company is seeking to deliver an enhanced year on year performance and greater shareholder value.

    blackswan needed to ensure that its learning methods were in line with the Chinese culture and recognised this lends itself to the presentation of facts, to the demonstration of methods and...