I have hired a robot. His name is Leo.

 

Meet Leo. Leo is our new colleague. Leo is a software robot, who automates one of the jobs as a leader: Investigating the happiness and well-being of your employees, and generating proposals for actions.

Leo does that by:

  • Gathering input and feedback from employees on wellbeing and engagement
  • Analysing the data
  • Comparing the data to big data in the global database
  • Presenting suggestions and recommendations to you

Technically, Leo is an application from OfficeVibe on a server somewhere. To us, Leo lives as an app in Slack, and hence Leo now is part of the Slack team. You cannot have a chat with him, though. Yet.

OfficeVibe has a huge database of questions, answers to compare your answers with, and trends in those big data. Based on the data you provide, Leo shows dashboards with your stats and with others in your peer segment, and provides input to you as a leader of a team or a company.

So, in that sense Leo is an assistant to the leader, and has taken over the mundane data gathering and presentation. Leo is in some way a helpful robo-boss.

Let’s look at what he provides:

 

Leo asks all employee, how they are

Every week at a randomised time Leo asks us, how we are. Leo has a list of opening questions, followed by 5-10 detailing questions.

This is the opening I got last week:

Leo 01

 

Some of the follow-up questions are related directly to the opening question, but some covers other areas, like recognition, purpose, compensation, motivation, sleep and physical workout (a sensitive topic in Denmark at the moment), etc. I have a feeling, that the questions cover a lot of ground.

The assessments are single choice, multiple choice, ratings, or sliders. Once in a while you are required to comment, too. Also, you as an admin can create customised polls or specific questions you need an answer to, like “Did the strategy seminar provide enough direction for you?”

The solution works well on both mobile and browser.

 

Leo analyses for us

Based on the input, Leo creates a dashboard. It contains many data, with two levels of drill-down, and (tada) with peer comparison. Leo matches the data to the big database with responses from peer organisations, thereby giving you a benchmark point.

Leo 02_2

When you drill down, you can see that the data model is build on some management theories and codification, for example, you can find Daniel Pinks Motivation Theory several places in the drill-down, where the data is split on autonomy, mastery, and purpose, eventhough no specific questions on that was asked.

It seems like the system is capable of constructing a model of your organisation, based on the few datapoints you provide. Based on that model, the system can extrapolate into other areas, both based on the model and on the big data references. Pretty neat!

 

Leo comes with suggestions and recommendations

Finally, Leo suggests ideas, activities, and reading based on your three lowest scoring areas.

Leo 03_2

The suggestions seem clearly based in the Future of Work philosophy, but might not fit all national cultures.

Non the less, it’s good input, and gives food for thought. It made me stop and think.

 

Classification of Leo in the robot spectrum

Looking at this spectrum of AI, Leo is a 2, 3 and 4. He notifies me with data. He recommends. He automates the data gathering and the dashboard.

@rwang0-Spectrum-of-Outcomes-for-AI-1440x800

The illustration is by @rwang0, from his blog post “Monday’s Musings: Understand The Spectrum Of Seven Artificial Intelligence Outcomes

It seems like Leo is a straight-forward rule-engine with some semi-advanced mathematical modelling in.

 

What do I think? Is it great?

Yes, I’m fascinated. It’s fun to fiddle with and it works smoothly.

I can clearly see the benefit:

  1. Leo handles the automation
  2. Leo creates nice dashboards
  3. Leo has a big database to compare with
  4. Leo provides suggestions for me, which I can ponder and evaluate. However, it makes me think, and this is the huge take-away.

Having Leo around has sparked some new discussions on how we design, manage, and run our organisation and work, and that alone is a tremendous benefit.

That being said, give us 6 months more, and we have more experience with it.

I think, this type of automation is here to stay. Soon, level 5, 6, and 7 will appear too. Our jobs are being automated. The dialogue and caring for the eachother is not. Don’t worry. Experiment with it.

/erik

 

About the author: Erik

Erik is an experienced leader, department manager, project/program manager. Master of Science from Technical University of Copenhagen. EBA in cross-cultural project management.

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