(re)Defining Your Purpose: A journey to a human-centric approach



How to (re)invent your business and (re)discover your fundamental value proposition?


Look beyond the corporate profit motive and discover your business purpose. What makes you tick?

Mindpearl wanted to go from market-leader to industry disruptor – this meant reassessing their fundamental value proposition. When Mindpearl approached BMI, they were struggling to communicate with their customers and the team exactly who they were and what they did. It was the first time in 15 years that Mindpearl had decided to review their purpose and reposition the business.

Stripping back all the unnecessary noise, the corporate speak and the reactive nature of a team in a rapidly changing world (the VUCA world), the Mindpearl leadership team set out to uncover vital information about the organisational culture and the business model, which led to the (re)design of the Mindpearl business model itself, the brand positioning and identity design.

The driving force behind the overhaul, General Manager Karin Dale explains how Mindpearl, having started in 1999 following the management buyout from a consortium of 11 European airlines headed by Swissair, got entangled in corporate speak over the years and slowly lost touch with its true identity. “We had over-complicated our business – both online and in our own heads”, she says. “All the executives were passionate about what we do, but there was no universal way of articulating that to ourselves, let alone to our customers.”

Cutting back the noise

When we approached BMI, the biggest tangible problem we could point to was our online interface. Customers and potential customers visiting the webpage had no idea who we were. The whole thing was full of the industry slang that was expected in that market at the time, but we had to admit it wasn’t actually getting through to our industry partners. BMI helped us to strip back all the noise on the website, but it went further than that. Noise isn’t just volume, it’s a jungle of words and objectives that don’t need to be there.

A navigable, easily-updated website – with better content and a simpler structure – was only the first outcome. Now we’re realising that digital media isn’t just about jumping on the bandwagon – we need to invest in strategy. We’d rather start using it intelligently than focus on keeping up an airtight posting frequency. Social media is not our core service provision, so we’ve invested in a couple of very gifted people consummate with social media to strategise with us.

Being human-centric

We’re developing a trust in our own expertise to lead our clients instead of chasing them. We fast-track things, develop things for them, and create a very active exchange from the frontline experience.

We now have a much more aligned approach between what we do for our employees and what our people do for our customers. Suddenly we were attracting clients who held customer service as a core value, and we realised we could be more selective about choosing to only work with the clients for whom this was a shared core purpose.

Business model innovation

Business model innovation is empowering and refreshing because it helps you focus on your core proposition. It allows you to cut through industry jargon and market conventions to tell a story that will carry throughout the organisation. BMI pushed us to strip back everything, and underneath it all we discovered what we really do, and found that it wasn’t a complicated thing to articulate at all. It was very simple.

The idea of inviting external collaborators in at such a deep level was a roadblock for some of our executives initially. It wasn’t insurmountable though: it was overcome over time with persistent explanation and collaboration.

Comfortable with the uncomfortable

We so often had to remind ourselves that it was ok to be uncomfortable: How long will this process last? What will it entail? Where will we be at the end? Individual expectations, cost, net results? All these things had to be managed without knowing where we would arrive to at the end, but the enthusiasm of all the participants in each of the strategy re-design meetings allowed us to become comfortable with that discomfort.

Better and faster

We expanded into Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in 2016 and Germany in 2017. Previously people had laughed at us when we said we wanted to start up an operation in Fiji – what with the nuances of the Bula lifestyle and the distractions of tropical island sunshine – but our Fiji centre is going wonderfully, with 1200 employees supporting a 24/7 operation.

We’ve leapt to the challenge of opening up in new locations in tight time-frames while making it all look effortless. Finding ourselves equal to these challenges has shifted the mindset of governance, and now we’re asking ourselves – what else could we do better and faster?

Mindpearl started in 1999 as a captive contact centre where the lifeblood and entire basis of the offering was to provide seamless 24/7 customer support in multiple languages to the customers and passengers of a consortium of 11 European airlines. Fast forward to 2017 and Mindpearl has successfully diversified to support many non-airline brands. Today Mindpearl provides contact centre solutions for global names in the aviation, telecommunications, retail and weight management industries, offering multilingual services around the globe on a 24/7 basis, as required.

[Ref] This project was delivered in partnership with global design and branding specialist Kevin Finn (TheSumOf).

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