Dr Hamad with Nicolai after the signing of the NIIT-SSG agreement

Dr Hamad with Nicolai after the signing of the NIIT-SSG agreement

SSG gets institute boost

There is a skills gap in specialised segments of the workplace and SSG is stepping into the breach

August 2015

Bahrain management consulting firm SteppingStone Global (SSG) has over the past seven years worked with client business organisations to help optimise performance in management and non-management cadres.

Now the company has stepped on what could be its surest stepping stone to further engagement. SSG and Bahrain’s National Institute of Industrial Training (NIIT) have entered into collaboration that will help SSG execute leadership and management courses facilitated by the institute for the benefit of the business community.

The partnership and cooperation agreement between the two has already resulted in several new projects.

SSG has worked with high-profile business organisations and SMEs in and outside Bahrain. “Our aim is to be recognised as the best practice and highest quality consultancy, coaching and training service provider, improving people’s lives and their companies’ performance,” an SSG statement says.

Jean Nicolai, SSG president and founder, speaking about his company, said one of its popular courses was about creating synergy through people alignment and between departments.

“There’s a lack of alignment between people. They behave as if they’re exclusive of each other,” he says. “Helping create synergy is our leadership and management programme which covers strategy planning and execution.”

One of the companies SSG worked with was the aluminium rolling mill Garmco, which had 22 managers doing the course.

A partner and consultant coach at SSG is Mike Orlov, who served as chief performance officer for the business intelligence firm News Group International before assuming the chief executive’s role at Primedia International.

“We’re not a typical training company. Training is part of what we do – facilitating, coaching and creating sustainable change,” says Nicolai, who also serves as management consultant and coach.

“That’s why we have signed a cooperation agreement with NIIT; we are complementary. We operate on the side of leadership, motivation and behaviour while focusing on strengthening small and medium enterprises and their employees.

“In the last six years we coached more than 1,000 managers and held approximately 60 workshops.”
Bahrain companies that have availed themselves of SSG’s coaching include Gulf Hotel, the Al Zayani Group, YK Almoayyed, Capital Club and Banz, all of whom took the leadership course.

Nicolai speaking at a course for SGB Al Dabal staff

Nicolai speaking at a course for SGB Al Dabal staff

As well as synergy creation, SSG’s most popular courses are transformational leadership, strategy planning & execution and manager as coach. It lists 12 short-track programmes including effective multicultural management, priority-based time management, motivation, team building and future-orientated performance evaluation. To complement its tailor-made consulting, coaching and training programmes, the company offers open standalone workshops and in-company consulting, coaching and training modules.

“The way we work, all our interventions are customised training with consideration to the needs, objectives and people of an organisation. The sessions are interactive workshops resulting in action plans. We also do follow-up sessions to secure execution of the action plans,” Nicolai says.

Outside Bahrain, SSG implemented courses for Primedia International and Reza Hygiene in the UAE, Qatar and Oman; Petrofac and Qatalum in Qatar, and Binzagr, SGB Al Dabal and the Zamil, Kanoo, Tamimi and Mashco groups in Saudi Arabia.

Many of the Saudi companies who completed the leadership programme will follow it up with a customer-oriented sales course.

SSG consulting could lead to structural changes in management as happened at Reza Hygiene. Banz held SSG’s business development course which embraced both consulting and coaching.

Under the pact with NIIT, SSG will first align its sales officers who will then introduce SSG courses to their clients.

Dr Adel Hamad, chief executive officer, NIIT, said: “SteppingStone Global has a superb reputation for delivery of leadership and management consulting, coaching and training. They understand the needs of the Bahrain business community and are proven and successful world-class service providers. We are delighted to ensure our clients at NIIT benefit from SSG’s professionalism.”

Nicolai responded: “NIIT is not only committed to their clients’ industrial training needs, but is driven to deliver the highest levels of leadership and management consulting, coaching and training. We are delighted NIIT has chosen SSG as its preferred provider for these vital services”.
 SSG has an availability pool of 10 experts who work as consultants and coaches.

“Our trainers are coaches. All have a professional background in organisation and people management. The main reason why the NIIT opted to work with us is we have international standards of counselling and training by people who live and work in the region,” says Nicolai.

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