Creation of methodology and consequent management of the “Leaders of Norilsk Nickel” modular corporate development program.

Area : Corporate training. Lean production. Involvement of staff.

Client profile

Norilsk Nickel is the leader of the mining and metallurgical industry in Russia, as well as the world’s largest producer of palladium and refined nickel. It is also one of the biggest suppliers of platinum and copper. On top of that, Nornickel produces cobalt, rhodium, silver, gold, iridium, ruthenium, selenium, tellurium and sulfur.

The main activities of the Nornickel group are the search, exploration, extraction, enrichment and processing of mineral sources alongside with production, marketing and distribution of non-ferrous and precious metals. Geographically, the product is supplied to more than three dozen countries.

The production units of the group are located in Russia: in the Norilsk industrial region, on the Kola Peninsula and in the Trans-Baikal Territory, as well as in Finland, Australia and South Africa. The company employs 82,000 people.


The customer has set the task to create a training program for the managers that would accomplish the following goals:

• Teach the managers (students of this program), the latest methods, approaches and best international and domestic practices of production management and operational efficiency.

• Develop participants’ project management skills. Form effective project teams.

• Prepare participants for the implementation of projects in the field of lean production.

• Encourage managers to initiate and implement positive changes in the company.


The International Productivity Academy team, together with the client, developed the methodology for the management development program. In September 2018, a modular, project-oriented development program “Leaders of Norilsk Nickel” was launched.

A unique and involving learning methodology was created - the integration of traditional and innovative methods, including full-time and distance learning, simulation games, group project work based on the action-learning method in real working conditions.

Content-wise, the program was built on the principle of alternating the acquirement of hard and soft skills. This training program provides a balance of personal and professional development.

The program includes four full-time modules, 3 days each, and there is some time in between the modules dedicated to studying additional materials and recommended literature. The program also includes taking part in a knowledge control test and carrying out group projects dedicated to mapping out processes according to the action-learning method in person-correspondence format (1.5 months)


At the present moment, program participants are preparing for the final presentations of their projects, but we can already say with great confidence that our goal of better management involvement has been accomplished.

It can be noticed that students are actively working towards finding and eliminating losses in the processes not only within the framework of their project work, but they also apply the same skills in the business units entrusted to them, generating proposals for changes and improvements. The students have also shown an emotional involvement in the work they perform towards imrprovement.

There is still a long way to go before the reproduction of the first experience of involvement training and before launching the Nornickel Production System. In the meantime, we are looking forward to a productive future together with the participants of the “Leaders of Norilsk Nickel” program, the drivers of change.


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