Showcase Projects

September 6, 2012
Jaap Hollander

Consultants, trainers and coaches use MindSonar to help organizations understand how key people think. They use that understanding for team building, organizational development and personal growth. Over the years they have done some inspiring projects with large organizations as well as with individual clients.

“Famous” Examples
In each of the following MindSonar projects, a MindSonar professional helps an organization solve problems and achieve goals

Helping Dutch Equestrians win Olympic Medals with MindSonar

In 2012 the Dutch equestrian sportspeople won 20% of all the Dutch Olympic medals in London.Three times silver and one bronze medal. MindSonar professionals worked with them on ‘being the best team possible’. As a brilliant rider, you are training every day to be in complete harmony with your horse and to achieve the perfect result in the Olympic Games. You have your private staff with an excellent trainer, groom, vet, farrier and so on. When you’re selected for the National team, especially for the Olympic Games, circumstances change drastically. Now you are a member of the Dutch Dressage Team. You have to deal with the other team members for about ten days. Your own staff is not at hand. In the Olympic village you share a room with another rider from your team. How do you deal with this? How do you stay focused? What kind of a team will make you feel at your best? What do you need from the other team members and what are you willing and or able to give? Using MindSonar helped the athletes gain insight in their criteria the thinking styles that were dominant or lacking. Not only for the riders, but also for the team captain, the manager and the vet. Talking about this produced new insights, understandings and agreements. Read more about this project.

Developing leadership in the Dutch military with MindSonar

When an officer in the Dutch military is being prepared for a high ranking position, they start a leadership development training of approximately one year. In this year they work on their communication, strategic, and leadership competencies. At the beginning of the course a MindSonar profile is made and the candidate defines their own strengths and weaknesses as a potential high ranking officer. Their MindSonar profile is related to the competencies they want to develop (they choose five from a list of twelve competencies defined by the military). The Meta Programs and criteria in their MindSonar profile are seen as a “lever” to better enable them to develop these competencies. An officer might, for instance, want to develop a thinking style that has stronger “towards,” “general,” people,” and “structure” Meta Programs, combined with more “yellow” criteria (personal development and systems overview). During the year the officer has several conversations with a coach. At the end of the course, another measurement is done to determine if the target competencies have indeed been developed.
>> Contact the MindSonar professionals who did this project

Selling luxury cars with MindSonar

MindSonar Measuring Meta Programs and valuesSelling automobiles in the top segment of the market usually involves several hours of personal contact between a sales person and the customer. In this segment personal relationships are an important factor influencing sales. All Dutch salespeople of one of the top automobile brands were profiled with MindSonar.Their meta-programs and criteria were related to the number of cars they sold per year. In this way, the desired profile for a salesperson—with this brand—was calculated. The desired profile—where different Meta Programs were given different weights—correlated highly with the number of cars sold. From then on, all candidates for sales positions were profiled with MindSonar. How similar their profile is to the desired profile partly determines whether or not they are hired. Also, in the current sales force, salespeople who diverted from the desired profile were offered a training course, tailored to develop their underdeveloped Meta Programs.
>> Contact the MindSonar professionals who did this project

Selecting jury members for freestyle horse riding with MindSonar

MindSonar Measuring Meta Programs and valuesThe Dutch Association for Horse Riding Sports wanted to develop an objective basis for the selection of jury members for their freestyle competitions (concours hippique). The monetary value of a horse depends on its score in this competition. So, for horse owners, there are both emotional and financial interests at stake. The score, unlike that in other competitions like barrier jumping, depends entirely upon the subjective evaluation of the jury. The association hired two MindSonar professionals who profiled twelve outstanding jury members. They calculated an average profile and formulated a psychological explanation of why this profile described the thinking of a good jury member. The excellent jury members recognized both the profile and the explanation. This resulted in a desired profile with relative weights for different Meta Programs. Since then, every year hundreds of people wanting to become freestyle jury members are profiled with MindSonar. The MindSonar professionals present the selecting committee with a matching percentage for each candidate and they specify the meta-programs on which the candidate matches or mismatches the desired profile. The committee then coordinates their impressions from interviews with the MindSonar results to decide.
>> Contact the MindSonar professionals who did this project

Helping pedagogy interns adapt to their professional environment with MindSonar

MindSonar Measuring Meta Programs and valuesBefore pedagogy students of a Dutch university start their internship, for instance in an educational institution, they are profiled with MindSonar. Their supervisor, knowing the culture of the institutions where the students do their internships, can express that culture in terms of Meta Programs and values. The supervisor, comparing the profile of the student with the culture of the institution, then predicts the kinds of obstacles that particular student is likely to encounter in that particular institution. Let’s say the institution’s culture is reactive, specific, and information-oriented and the student has a proactive, global, and activity-oriented profile. The supervisor can then predict that some people in the institution may experience the student as rash, uncontrollable, vague, and inaccurate. The supervisor discusses this with the student and also how the student can respond, should this problem occur. This has advantages both for students and for the institution. If the predicted problems occur, the student is ready to respond adequately and this tends to prevent escalation and drop-out.

Keeping people involved in a volunteer organization with MindSonar

MindSonar Measuring Meta Programs and valuesA Dutch volunteer organization, promoting inter-ethnic understanding in schools, was having trouble retaining volunteers. MindSonar professionals profiled both the volunteers and the people recruiting them. They noticed that the recruiters and the older volunteers, as well as the new volunteers, all scored high on the meta-program “together.” Recruiters often enlist people with meta-programs similar to their own. In and of itself this seemed like a good strategy because similarity tends to enhance rapport. Within the dynamics of this organization, however, it had a contrary effect. Older volunteers, valuing togetherness and having had the experience that new people would leave the organization rather quickly, did not invest in the new people socially. Precisely because of their preference for togetherness, it was an emotional strain for them to see people leave. So they would focus on their in-group of older volunteers and more or less neglect the newcomers for the first few months. The newcomers, on the other hand, did not feel welcomed. This was a major setback, precisely because they too had a strong preference for togetherness. Their response was to leave the organization, which in turn consolidated the belief of the older volunteers that there was no use in investing in newcomers. To break this vicious cycle, all the MindSonar professionals had to do was to explain this to the older volunteers. As soon as they started giving more attention to the newcomers, the problem gradually disappeared

Banking and entrepreneurial attitude with MindSonar

MindSonar Measuring Meta Programs and valuesA large Belgian insurance bank defined a new corporate strategy in which it was important for their insurance brokers to develop a more entrepreneurial attitude. A central factor in this development was the relationship between the insurance brokers and the local insurance agents in the community. The company defined a list of key competencies for their brokers related to dealing with these agents. All brokers were profiled by MindSonar professionals. Surprisingly, after a statistical analysis, it turned out that there was no significant relationship between thinking style, criteria, and key competencies on the one hand and sales volume on the other hand. Further analysis revealed that this had to do with the targets that were being set. Because targets were set at a relatively low level, their MindSonar profile did not make a lot of difference. It did not matter much how brokers thought, what they found important, and which competencies they had. The volume of sales was determined mostly by demand from the local insurance agents and the efforts of the brokers seemed to have little to do with it. This finding led the company to change the system of setting targets. After targets were adjusted, thinking style did make a difference. A training program was developed in which brokers were trained in those competencies that their MindSonar profile showed them to be lacking in. For this project the company won a prestigious training award.
>> Contact the MindSonar professionals who did this project

Training child care auditors with MindSonar

MindSonar: Meta Programs and spiral dynamicsIn the Netherlands, a specific set of quality criteria is used to evaluate child care organizations, like day care centres for instance. These criteria are being audited once a year by independent institutions. To improve quality, it is also important for the child care institutions themselves, to do audits internally with their own employees. So they wanted to know: what exactly does it take to be a good child care auditor? MindSonar professionals investigated two things: First of all, what are the Meta Programs of a good auditor? And secondly, how do these relate to those of a good child care worker? They asked several organizations to tell them who their best Internal auditors were. They profiled these auditors, constructing an ideal MindSonar profile for an internal auditor. Good auditors were found to score high on Meta Programs ‘Visual’ and ‘Information’. They want to see what information has been stored about processes. Good child care workers typically have high scores on Meta Programs ‘Kinesthetic’ and ‘People’. So they need to shift their focus (Meta Programs) to be good auditors. The MindSonar professionals then built a training program around these two Meta Programs and achieved good results when the child care workers started their auditing work.
>> Contact the MindSonar professionals who did this project

Did you do an interesting MindSonar project?
Mail us a short description and we may add you to the Famous Projects!

Which Meta Programs are being measured in MindSonar? Please click this link to learn more.

The MindSonar system is developed by the Institute for Eclectic Psychology in Holland.

About the author 

Jaap Hollander

Psychologist, living in the Netherlands. Founded MindSonar in 1995. Working as a trainer, coach and therapist as well as being director of the IEP, the Institute for Eclectic Psychology. Has written 10 books on NLP and Provocative Coaching. Most recent book: "Provocative Coaching" (English), fall 2012 (Crown House) available from Amazon.

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  1. used in the army itself??

    My goodness .. that is really A-W-E-S-O-M-E ..

    I was wondering if there are any takers .. my goodness .. I am now really impressed

  2. showcase project is very much helpfull,potensiol and a total picture for a group of people or a organisation. it helps them to do,actually what they have to do.

  3. Well, this COMPLETELY answered a question I had on a different post. ha ha. This is astounding…I had no idea that it was used in such a wide variety of fields! And to think MindSonar was used in the military itself is impressive. Not only that, but the WAY it factors into all these fields really shows that it’s about helping people, both on a personal level AND a global one. Kudos.

  4. Outstanding that Olympic teams and the military are using this MindSonar method to pinpoint strengths and help develop others within their groups. If they can use this, why can’t the rest of us? It sounds like it provides a pretty clear road map for individual success really.

    1. Hi Kale,
      Thanks for your comment! MindSonar helps people understand their own thinking ad that of others. Often this makes it possible – especially when combined with good life coaching or therapy – to overcome obstacles and enhance qualities. So in my mind it is not so much a road map, but rather something like a map making tool or a compass.

  5. I really enjoyed the example of the Olympic equestrian team. Of course the athletes could not be individually picked for their ability to support each other and magnify focus, but this MindSonar method really seemed to make it easier for them to work together while they lived at the games, and dealt with stresses of their own and each other’s as well.

    1. Yeah, I also like this example a lot, it’s one of my favorite examples, also because the two professionals who did this have such a clear story about how it worked….

  6. Hi Kimberly,
    A MindSonar possibility here could be: profile a few few women who do very well in the class and who have the right mindset and then teach the others to think alike!

  7. I enjoyed reading about the excerpt to help with car sales and influence, this is very interesting!

  8. This great article just goes on to prove the true power that this innovative technology can truly possess. When you look at all these examples, you’re just left wondering what other areas could this technology apply to. This program is just getting started!

  9. Jaap, what type of companies have used your product in the US? I’m interested in learning your biggest clients!

    1. We have just started in the US. In the US MindSonar has mostly been used by individual coaches I think. As far as I know there have not been any ‘famous projects’ in the US yet.

  10. Just as Helena mentioned, I am amazed to see that this technology translates into so many different fields. Beyond that, I now understand that it’s all about helping people better understand themselves and others. Wonderful article!

  11. I am a big advocate of personal growth. I especially love how MindSonar is being used to find the thinking patterns of top-performing employees. This could be the answer to increasing worldwide productivity among sales employees who struggle to connect with customers. Brilliant!

  12. It’s wonderful to be able to see people benefiting from this type of technology nowadays. It really could help change a lot of peoples’ lives for the better.

  13. Totally! Once you understand yourself, you can unlock so many other potential doors for yourself in this culture and environment nowadays. It truly is groundbreaking.

  14. Sarah,

    Jaap gives great advice like always! Use it and own it. Your aerobics class always has the potential to be so much more. I’m sure you’ll take it to the next level.

  15. I have volunteered all my life, with a special emphasis on lending a hand at animal shelters. I’m thrilled to see that this program is helping to unite volunteers, young and old, with their chosen organization. This is what technology is all about!

  16. I agree. Olympic teams and the military are willing to go the MindSonar way, so should the rest of us. I’m all about hard work and finding the best solution for the TEAM. Cheers to making that all happen! -k

  17. I think so too. If the military can find success with Mindsonar, so can we… I wonder why the military opted for the program, though. Jaap? Any insight?

    1. Hi Gary, In Holland the military uses MindSonar in their leadership program. Part of that progrtam is taught by a colleague of ours, who introduced MindSonar to them. First on an experimental basis. When they liked the results, they started using it more widely.

  18. Only time will tell when those BIG projects finally show up. I think the military is kind of a big deal. Just kind of. 😉

  19. I am the proud mommy of two beautiful baby girls, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to hear that MindSonar is used to screen childcare workers. Every parent wants their child to be in the safest, most nurturing environment possible.

  20. So this looks like it has many uses in the business and recreational world. I could use it to become better at what I do and maybe even more successful. I like that idea! 🙂

  21. I know what you mean, this has my mind reeling now as I think of the possibilities! It could be very helpful in soldiers returning from war and also in patients who have borderline psychiatric issues I would assume. Perhaps I am wrong though?

  22. Very interesting article. I work with a life/business coach that I referred this link to. I think he will find it interesting to see your point of view. Thanks Jaap!

  23. I also agree that its brilliant but the bottom line is that we still all need to work hard to achieve our personal goals.

  24. I share this link to many prospects since the projects and findings are outstanding and it gives even more credibility to the test. My expectations for this upcoming year 2015 is to present a similar leadership project to the USA military. I will keep you all posted.

  25. MS could be very useful to do Teambuilding Coaching in any kind of companies (big or small). My partner and I used MS to give Coaching to a team of executive assistants and we had a wonderful experience when we worked with them building the ideal profile for an Executive Assistant. We had very interesting findings that our clients agreed they should worked on and in a short term improve their performance !!!

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