Client Spotlight: Black & White Engineering

Leadership Development Case Study with Black & White Engineering

Using leadership development to build capability for growth

Black & White Engineering (B&W) is a leading MEP design consultancy. Launched in the UAE in 2007, they became an independent company in 2014 and are now a global consultancy with offices worldwide.

Their ethos is simple: quick delivery of premium MEP services by experienced and talented engineers.

They have extensive experience in producing energy efficient, electrical & mechanical designs that are commercially feasible, robust and meet the exacting demands of the local conditions.

They pride themselves on delivering a level of engineering and service excellence that is unsurpassed in the industry.

360 Growth Partners provided leadership, management & team development support for Black & White (UK & EU) over a 2 year period, eventually assisting the team to recruit a permanent HR Director in 2021 and Learning and Development Specialist in 2022.

 

The challenge

Black and White’s managers at Associate Director level and above were well equipped as engineers and technical specialists, however, support was required to continue to develop and grow them as future managers and leaders of the business.

They knew that in order for the company to grow and maintain their culture, they would need to implement a management structure. This required some of their technical experts to become managers and leaders, by taking responsibility for leading and directing their teams.

 

Objectives

The aim was to help the cohort to develop and apply the management skills and necessary knowledge to lead their teams, with a focus on;

  1. Developing and enhancing the management skills of those leading both technical and functional teams
  2. Assisting managers with the development of their personal effectiveness

 

It was also intended that this activity would support the cohort in managing the Covid 19 pandemic, which included the challenges of home and remote working, which were adding a strain to project management and carrying out day to day activities.

 

The solution

Two streams of activity, business coaching and group leadership development sessions, were created to work in tandem. The group sessions adopted a behavioural approach to knowledge and skills development, and the coaching sessions offered participants an opportunity to reflect, in a safe space, and discuss the application of concepts and practical implementation of skills e.g., managing priorities and decision making.

The starting point for participants was to complete a DiSC Management Profile, which identifies how personality traits influence core management and team effectiveness. This was accompanied by an individual feedback session. The first coaching session built upon DiSC and was also used to identify development needs, taking into account transferable skills. The group sessions covered topics such as Delegation, Client Management, Running Effective PDR’s and Inspiring Change.

 

The impact

The business coaching and training programme developed management skills and ways of working. This in turn positively impacted overall team performance, improved retention, and aided promotion. We sought feedback frequently, with participants reporting how much they had learnt through the process and how much they valued the coaching support and development. The sessions weren’t mandatory but were actively protected by many of the attendees.

The group sessions had the added benefit of bringing colleagues together to reinforce a sense of team, align ways of working and behaviours and discuss and share experiences of managing in B&W and associated resources.

 

In summary

Many growing SME’s struggle to balance the delivery of business-critical activities with growing management development.

B&W recognised the importance of developing and growing further their valuable management resource as they continued to operate in a very competitive consulting engineering field, both UK and worldwide. They understood this investment in the future would help them attract and retain talented engineers in an equally competitive resource marketplace.

 

They said:

We were very aware we needed to support our engineering specialists to develop and further enhance their leadership and management skills as we continued to grow the business. All of the senior leadership team are primarily focused on our employees, client relationships and project responsibilities so it was great to find a partner who could provide ‘bite sized’ group development and targeted 121 coaching. We found this really helped our managers and leaders grow in confidence and become even more effective leaders to continue taking the business forward.”

Steve Horn, Director at Black & White Engineering (UK & EU)

 

We said:

“360 Growth Partners worked with Steve Horn, (UK & EU Director) to identify the development needs of the management team and create flexible, inclusive and targeted group and coaching sessions.
Using our mantra ‘Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day, teach a person to fish and you feed them for life’, we used the insights provided by DiSC and our training and coaching expertise to help individuals on their journey to becoming self sufficient leaders of the future.”

Alice Ackroyd, Leadership Development and HR Associate at 360 Growth Partners

We understand the challenges of running a growing business. You’re not alone.

If you would like to know more about 360 Growth Partners and how we could support your business, then please get in touch and let’s start the conversation