Home Artificial Intelligence Inside Impro.ai’s Innovative Performance Technology Platform

Inside Impro.ai’s Innovative Performance Technology Platform

Impro.ai, a high-tech company, is developing and pioneering a new technology category: performance technology. I see it as a game-changer in the business world, bridging the gap between coaching and performance while aiding both individuals and the organization.

Josh Blair, CEO and co-founder of Impro.ai, is at the forefront of this breakthrough. Using actual humans—called Impro performance strategists or IPS for short—alongside AI, the platform not only improves employees’ mindsets, behaviors, and habits but also provides actionable insights to executives. Impro.ai is not just enhancing individual capabilities but revolutionizing how organizations operate.

The Essence of Performance Technology

You might say that performance technology is designed to address a common frustration in organizations: the disconnect between acquiring new knowledge and changing mindsets, behaviors, and habits to improve performance. “Most corporate learning is a wonderful employee experience, a good engagement tool, and a retention tool,” Blair explains. “But the translation from new knowledge to better performance is minimal.” The need for a system that ensures employees apply new skills effectively in their daily tasks has never been greater.

The traditional corporate learning model often involves periodic training sessions that, while sometimes engaging, fail to instill lasting behavioral changes. This is where Impro.ai steps in, providing a continuous learning environment with actual human beings (those performance strategists) that integrate seamlessly into the daily work routines of a team member. By doing so, it ensures performance improvement is not just theoretical but practical and impactful.

Leveraging AI for Individual and Organizational Growth

Impro.ai combines the expertise of performance strategists with the power of AI to boost an individual’s performance. The AI monitors interactions on the Impro platform and identifies patterns, providing tailored guidance. Blair elaborates, “Our AI engine is looking for patterns, mapping those patterns to three broad categories: weaknesses, strengths, and biases.” This targeted approach addresses specific performance issues, which can then drive significant improvements.

For example, frontline managers might develop new habits with Impro’s daily guidance. Blair notes, “We ask people to spend five minutes a day on their Impro work. Tiny changes add up to bigger changes over time.” This method, rooted in the concept of atomic habits—also a fab book by author James Clear—emphasizes consistent, small efforts leading to substantial long-term results.

This daily interaction model is crucial for instilling new behaviors and habits. According to MIT research, repeated actions become automated in the brain, making habits profoundly ingrained. The study explains that when we repeat an action, our brain regions, such as the frontal lobe and basal ganglia, become more efficient, requiring fewer neurons to achieve the goal. This neurological basis underscores the effectiveness of Impro’s approach, where consistent small actions lead to significant and lasting behavioral changes.

Real-World Applications and Success Stories

The real-world impact of performance technology is evident through several success stories. One notable example is TELUS. Blair shares, “After our first year working with them, they invested $75,000 and saw a 20-times ROI, with $1.5 million in net new benefit.”

Another success story comes from software company Dye & Durham, where a pilot project in their operations area led to significant cost savings. “They spent under $5,000 with us over three months and saved $65,000, achieving a 17-times ROI,” Blair recounts.

Impro’s success isn’t limited to large enterprises. Blair also cites the example of a healthcare technology company, Markitech, which had plateaued at a certain revenue level. With Impro’s guidance, they identified strategic enablers that helped them break through their revenue ceiling, achieving a 50-times ROI.

These examples underscore how performance technology can drive financial benefits and enhance organizational efficiency.

The Role of Data-Driven Insights

A key advantage of performance technology is its ability to provide executives with actionable insights. As I’ve said in past Forbes columns, traditional employee engagement surveys often deliver superficial data. Blair highlights, “We bring real, meaningful, actionable insights to an executive team around their workforce.” This comprehensive data empowers leaders to make informed decisions that directly impact performance.

Blair also emphasizes the broader implications of these insights: “We see patterns across our platform and map those to organizational behavioral models, providing recommendations to executives.” This strategic approach enables companies to identify strengths and weaknesses, leading to more effective management practices.

Performance Technology as Part of the Future of Work

As businesses navigate the future, integrating performance technology will become increasingly vital. Blair underscores the importance of adaptability: “AI is going to materially disrupt the professional world, and individuals will need to retool themselves in ways they’ve never had to before.” Embracing these changes and leveraging performance technology will be crucial for organizations aiming to stay competitive.

Blair is also spot on with his AI forecast. According to a report by PwC, AI could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, highlighting its transformative potential.

Performance technology offers a powerful tool for businesses seeking to enhance individual and organizational performance. By combining human insights with AI-driven data, companies can unlock new levels of efficiency and effectiveness.

Blair’s work with Impro.ai demonstrates that the future of work lies in harnessing technology’s potential to drive meaningful, sustainable growth with its workforce. Those who adapt and innovate will lead the way, turning new everyday habits into extraordinary performance.

Watch the full interview with Josh Blair and Dan Pontefract on the Leadership NOW program below, or listen to it on your favorite podcast.

 

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