Intelligence Augmentation

Augmenting Sales & Support experts to exponentially scale the value they deliver

An interview with Ryan Falkenberg, Co-founder and Co-CEO of CLEVVA

By Ton Dobbe – Chief Inspiration Officer, Value Inspiration

Every week I interview entrepreneurs and experts from around the world to share their big idea about new forms of value creation and the potential we can unlock when technology augments the unique strengths of people to deliver remarkable impact.

Boosting the differentiation factor of people

I got inspired by the big idea behind CLEVVA; hence I invited Co-CEO Ryan Falkenberg to my podcast. We explore how we can use technology to boost the differentiation factor of people. How we can relief them from the stress of making mistakes and the consequences that often has – and instead take the weight of their shoulders to let them truly focus what they love doing and where they add most value.

The thing that triggered me most from my interview with Ryan

It’s this quote that got me thinking

‘The volume of human resources that are underutilized is enormous”

Why did this trigger me? What’s the bigger value I see?

What could happen if we start utilizing people by bringing out the best they can be. How could this boost employee engagement? And how could this actually solve the war for talent that many organizations are challenged with?

Here’s some extra context from Ryan: “Human beings are currently trapped in the role of robots. Human beings are not differentiators. They’re actually a scale problem.”

His analysis: “In most companies, we give them flesh interfaces, but we ask them to be robots. We ask them to ask certain questions, based on certain answers. They need to do certain outcomes, based on compliance, based on rules.”

So, what if we’d free people from all these rules through the smart use of technology. How many people are effectively held hostage in their job because we still force them to do things they shouldn’t do in the first place?

Here’s a little story from CLEVVA to put this in perspective: “When our executives were interviewing sales consultant at one of our customers, one sale consultant actually started to cry in the interview, and we were all sitting there. It was a bit awkward. The executives were apologizing and saying, “We’re sorry, we didn’t mean to intimidate you, we’re just trying to understand.” This lady stopped them and said, “Actually, I’m not crying because I’m feeling intimidated. I’m crying because I’m feeling emotional. The reason I’m feeling emotional is because I’m a single mother. I’ve got two children and I actually really need this job. I’ve worked for your branch for the last three years and, every day I come in terrified that I’m going to make a mistake that you’re going to penalize me for, and I’m going to lose my job. What this has does for me is, it’s taken the weight off my shoulders. I no longer worry that I’m going to make a mistake. I can now do what I actually love and that is serving customers because that’s really what I joined your business to do. To have customer conversations that I can add value to.”

What’s the more significant question/opportunity that raises?

What if you take this further: How would a companies’ differentiation rise if their people simply could focus on being the best you that you can be?

As Ryan states correctly: “Too many companies focus on automating and streamlining ‘their formula’. Fact is, your formula is non-differentiating because, as soon as a competitor captures a similar formula, it can scale equally as quickly as you can”.

To me this is not about ‘just’ taking away the non-value adding repetitive tasks’. It should be about creating the optimal Human/Machine combinations. CLEVVA seem to have found the solution for that for Sales & Services Call Centre agents, where they see performance improvements of +50%. But that’s just the tip of the ice-berg.

So, what could do different to free your customers’ employees from their Robot status? What would that mean?

Listen to the big idea behind CLEVVA, and why it has the potential to transform the impact project-intensive organizations can make by augmenting their project managers in the right way.