Cognician is an e-coaching software company that helps organizations of all kinds train new leadership. Cognician co-founder Barry Kayton was matched with an unexpected opportunity to collaborate for an improved customer experience.

If you want to change people’s behavior you need to change their thinking. And if you want to change their thinking, you need to change the questions they’re asking. This is the underlying principle that eventually inspired brothers Barry and Patrick Kayton to found the e-coaching company Cognician.

asking questions

It all started when Barry gave a seminar on creative thinking at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town. After one of the seminars a student approached Barry and said he’d taken a five-day program on creativity before, but it only helped him learn about creativity in general; by the fifth day of the program he was not thinking any more creatively than on the first. After Barry's seminar, however, the question-based methodology had the student thinking creatively – in just a few hours.

Leveraging Learning Methods through Technology

Barry and Patrick knew they were on to something. As it turned out, encouraging people to ask powerful questions led to highly positive learning outcomes. Excited by the success of their methodology, they decided to use software to help large numbers of people learn and train more effectively.

cognician logo

Along with their team they developed a platform for leveraging their question-based methods. Today Cognician’s customized e-coaching software solutions help build leaders within all kinds of organizations, including: banks, telecommunications companies, IT firms, manufacturers, schools and universities and management consultancies. Their offerings span performance improvement, academic courses, organizational and leadership development and change management.

Collaborating to Improve the Customer Experience

When Barry joined Powerlinx, an analyst realized that he might be interested in collaborating with another Powerlinx member, Dave Carter of Integrity Solutions, around opportunities for making his customers' experience even better. Integrity Solutions provides interaction-based consultancy services that emphasize organizational accountability, attitude, motives and values as key factors in improving both internal and external relationships.

cognician coaching guideCognician is primarily software-based while Integrity Solutions relies heavily on human interactions; it seemed that a strategic partnership between the two had the potential to lead to growth for both companies.

Once presented with the idea to be introduced by a Powerlinx analyst, both companies agreed that their potential synergies held interesting possibilities, and they arranged to meet. Their first talk proved positive, and they look forward to expanding on the opportunity for collaborating in the future. Barry said:

"We had a very successful first meeting where we all had the same response: there’s clearly an opportunity for our businesses to collaborate. Follow-up meetings with more of the Integrity Solutions team let us explore the opportunity further and we’re looking forward to the next steps on this journey."

Thinking Outside the Box

Powerlinx does more than help businesses further their pre-specified objectives. As the story of Cognician and Integrity Solutions shows, the Powerlinx matching engine learns from members as they use the platform in order to connect them with opportunities they have not yet considered. Barry said:

"Powerlinx did an impressive job at identifying an ideal business match for Cognician. Powerlinx saw the potential opportunity, connected our companies through a very professional introduction and delivered a business development service that few others have been able to match."

Learn more about the Powerlinx matching engine, or talk to an analyst about growth opportunities for your business today.

Cognician is currently seeking partnerships with coaching and L&D organizations and consultants who are looking for technological solutions to scale their human capital development practices. If you feel your business offerings would make a good match for Cognician, or if you would like Powerlinx to pursue a strategic objective of your own, consider signing up at

Images by David Wall and Roland O'Daniel