Jeremy Hamel, CultureIQ’s former head of product, and Savina Perez, the company’s ex-vice president of marketing, have joined with fantasy-sports platform FanDuel’s co-founder Tom Griffiths to launch Hone, a management training solution that combines live facilitators and artificial intelligence.
In announcing the service, Griffiths said companies today are “struggling to find the right way to train” the Millennial-led next generation of leaders. “Current approaches don’t fit today’s busy schedules or distributed workforce, and training often gets forgotten once people leave the classroom,” he said. By combining the skills of executive coaches and psychologists with AI technology, Hone will attempt “to finally make leadership training convenient and effective for the millions of employees who take it every year.”
The company describes today’s $30 billion training and development industry as “wildly outdated.”
According to Hone, the average learner forgets 70 percent of what they’re taught within three days of a training session. The company will take a consumerized approach to “human-led” leadership training in a way that makes material “stick” over the long term.
Don’t confuse “human-led” with “standup,” however. Hone calls its approach “remote-first.” For example, its 12-week manager bootcamp program will consist of eight-person peer groups who meet live and online with a facilitator for “short weekly sessions.” These sessions are supplanted by chatbots and messaging with instructors. Hone describes the management bootcamp as its “flagship program” and says more programs are on the way.
The platform also includes “integrated assessments” to measure progress and effectiveness, as well as simple check-ins to track skills application.
Hone says several companies are piloting the platform and that it is has a “strong pipeline” of prospective customers.
Hone hasn’t released very much information about what it’s got going on under the hood, and how it intends to apply AI isn’t clear. The company says its remote-first approach will be attractive to companies with remote workers, and certainly, the integration of analytics and reporting functions will make it easier for learning departments to argue a business case for its use. The company hasn’t released pricing but says prospects will find it “pleasantly surprising.”
Still, we’re not quite sure what the secret sauce is here. We’ve spoken with other learning companies who’ve contemplated the same approach to executive coaching or small-business advice, though none on the scale Hone seems to have in mind.
The participation of CultureIQ’s (former) Hamel and Perez bode well for how the company will approach its use of measurement and analytics, but when it comes to funding it’s obvious that Griffiths’ track record will be the star attraction: Investors like startups led by people who’ve built $1.3 billion companies, which Griffiths did with FanDuel.
Probably, Hone will streamline management training so that it becomes more affordable, at least in terms of time, for smaller companies to better educate future leaders. It will be worth watching to see what kinds of customers it attracts.
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