Where passion meets purpose
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” - Steve Jobs
M-Brain recognises that enabling its people to explore their passions and express creativity is key to innovation. The benefits are twofold: M-Brain’s people get to inject a little bit of what they love into their work, while clients benefit from innovative solutions and services that are created with genuine enthusiasm and draw on unique talents.
From hobby to innovation
Many M-Brainers across the world have a flair for photography, as evidenced by the entries to M-Brain’s internal photography competition back in 2017. Elaine Lim Yee Leng from M-Brain Malaysia, who was crowned winner of the competition, is still passionate about photography. Elaine comments that one of the benefits of getting to apply this passion on the job is that it enables her to “see things from different angles”, tune in, and discover alternative approaches and solutions.
A recent project provided the perfect opportunity to match the gifts of M-Brain’s photography enthusiasts with an innovate client service. The client in question was particularly interested in identifying trends related to sustainability.
M-Brain’s Toronto, Helsinki and Kuala Lumpur offices set about collaborating to meet this need by compiling a photo-based trend report. The report would gather photographs depicting trends related to sustainability in each of the three regions.
M-Brain’s local amateur photographers got to work on identifying suitable subjects and applying their skills to capture the best possible images of these subjects. Food trends (such as zero-waste consumption, plant-based diets and speciality coffees), plastics, energy, transport and the circular economy were just some of the topics that provided a source of inspiration under the sustainability theme.
The perks of being a bookworm
M-Brain also has many avid readers across its offices, and the insights gained from this passion have often been a boon to M-Brain’s clients. This recently proved to be the case when Nora Kärkkäinen, VP of Business Development at M-Brain Finland, found inspiration from the book ‘Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days’ (Jake Knapp with John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz, Simon & Schuster, 2016).
The book offers a tested method for developing new business, solving problems and testing new ideas in a structured way within a very limited timeframe (a ‘sprint’ of five working days). The idea is that by the end of the sprint, the team will have created a working prototype that can be used as the basis for concrete action.
Nora was keen to put the theory into practice during the development process for a new M-Brain service concept. She shared the key points of the sprint method with her colleagues prior to starting the process and guided them through each day of the sprint with the help of supporting materials.
The result: The Smart MI service concept
Smart MI, a six-week collaborative consultancy project, is all about working smarter, not harder. It helps clients to fully benefit from the digitalisation of Market Intelligence — unlocking human potential and empowering better decision-making. With Smart MI, M-Brain can help clients to rethink their entire market intelligence ecosystem, providing answers to the difficult questions of what to digitalise and how to do it.
A webinar was also rolled out to ensure that the Smart MI service concept was openly shared with colleagues across the office network as quickly as possible.
The case proves Nora’s claim that “reading is one of the best ways to learn and evolve”. She adds “I mostly read non-fiction, and loosely or very tightly related to my work — thus the topics vary a lot! I read around 30 books in 2018, and the themes included business strategy, business development, management & leadership, technology, market & data analysis, and decision making.”
A win-win situation
M-Brain is always ready to embrace new ideas and apply new innovative approaches to client services and solutions as well as internal processes. One way to generate fresh ideas is by letting M-Brainers do what they do best — and what they are most passionate about. The result is a win-win situation for M-Brain’s people and its clients.
Main image: Elaine Lim Yee Leng
Book cover image: www.thesprintbook.com
Lineart image: Nora Kärkkäinen