HR Innovation: the contribution of neuroscience to soft skills by Open Mind Innovation

By Philippe Guerrier | the | talent management

The director of Open Mind Innovation discusses HR issues and the contours of the “neurotechnology platform for human development” which has benefited from 5 years of R&D.

VivaTech 2022: Clarisse Pamiès, CEO Open Mind Innovation (centre), with her team – © DR

Develop soft skills through neurotechnology and data mining. This is the credo ofOpenMind Innovation.

This technology company was created near Caen in 2016 by Guillaume Victor-Thomas. This former soldier “having served in operations” has become a digital entrepreneur. He oversaw most of the R&D work, which resulted in the Open Mind Neurotechnologies solution marketed since 2020.

A period during which Clarisse Pamies succeeds Guillaume Victor-Thomas at the operational helm of the Norman technology company which operates the “neurotechnology platform for human development” and which explores more particularly the potential of transversal skills.

During the 2022 edition of VivaTech organized in June in Paris, The Adecco Group welcomed its partner OpenMind Innovation who offered a virtual reality game on site to assess his resilience and agility at work.

Special “work in the future” meeting with CEO Clarisse Pamiès.

Through what technological prism did you take a position on soft skills?

Clarisse Pamiès, CEO Open Mind Innovation - © DR
Clarisse Pamiès, CEO Open Mind Innovation – © DR

We rely on a scientific method to develop soft skills in business in an accelerated way thanks to neuroscience and technology.

Since 2016, we have carried out 5 years of R&D in this field with academic laboratories and the Armed Forces Biomedical Research Institute.

We have taken as scientific reference that used by the WHO. Our method is based on 12 Future of Work soft skills grouped into 3 skill families:

  • emotional,
  • cognitive,
  • social.

By addressing companies, we want to clarify and simplify the scientific approach and offer a suite of soft skills assessment solutions to be used according to several use cases: taking up a position, growing in maturity on the managerial posture …

This translates into the provision of online or virtual reality micro-games accessible by VR headsets in situations outside of work but which reproduce adaptation contexts to assess stress management and flexibility capacities.

We have about ten evaluation modules with sessions in virtual reality or by mobile application to carry out the exercises remotely in complete autonomy.

What is different in our approach is the double effect of experience and awareness:

  • the experience is innovative and fun,
  • deep awareness of its modes of operation is enabled by sensors that measure behaviors and physiological reactions during scenarios.

Thus, of the 12 soft skills, we are able to train 70% directly through our solutions and 30% indirectly by acting on its environment, for example through concentration.

How do you address your market?

We have 3 operating modes for our “go to market”:

  • provision of our tools through a distribution network 150 professionals (coaches, soft skills trainers, service providers for skills assessments, etc.) certified or in the process of being certified by us,
  • use of custom engineering for key account customers such as The Adecco Group (two ongoing projects) or Pôle Emploi service providers such as Tingari,
  • programs that follow our four-step method that we bring to businesses. We work with 40 client companies such as Accenture, BearingPoint, Arkema or Naturalia to feed their L&D programs, universities for young managers or their LMS. We can offer them either the remote gaming approach or on-site virtual reality testing.

For geographic expansion, what are the next steps?

Our activities are currently focused on France but we are starting to have certified professionals in Belgium and Switzerland.

Given the profile of our clients like Accenture, we are already deploying programs internationally, such as in Spain, North Africa and Benelux. And we are currently looking at international opportunities such as the United States.

Among the use cases, can Open Mind’s technology be used to detect the best manager based on the qualities of a position to be filled?

If the approach respects our ethical charter [accessible en version PDF sur le site Internet d’Open Mind Innovation] which we have just updated, it is possible but in the form of a watered-down summary integrating results on a few key skills.

With Open Mind, we prefer to emphasize the evaluation approach to go beyond in the direction of developing skills to aim for positions with higher responsibilities.

  • The data is anonymized in compliance with the GDPR framework.
  • We have also set limits. For example, we never share data from a report of a group below 7 people.

In terms of soft skills, do companies come to you to support managers in managing employees’ remote work?

Yes, especially to support young managers or young recruits to sharpen their emotional or empathy antennae. Companies perceive the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on management methods.

How do you exploit data through artificial intelligence?

The use of machine learning is part of Open Mind’s developments. We already perform complex data processing in multi-modal and real time with signals that come from different sources: physiologies, behaviors, questionnaires…

Through a dedicated R&D project, we explore the recommendations by integrating a predictive dimension: for a person’s profile, what would be the most appropriate soft skills training? We have three data scientists working on the subject. We should release an algorithm by the end of 2022.

Fundraising in progress

“• In 2018, we raised 2.6 million euros from family offices and business angels.
• We are currently closing a fundraiser.
• The financing of DeepTech projects remains complicated in France, despite a certain political will. It is a real challenge because the boxes for this type of financing are very standardized”
says Clarisse Pamiès.

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HR Innovation: the contribution of neuroscience to soft skills by Open Mind Innovation

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