Originally written by Matt Kirk for Spacecubed.
After running ‘Women in Leadership’ workshops face-to-face for sometime, Lucie Hammond soon realised that churning out a bunch of empowered and super savvy women through traditional training was only one part of the equation. Realising that a pursuit into the organisational side of change consultancy was necessary to establish real change in gender diversity, Lucie founded Diversifly
“Diversity, and in particular gender diversity at work is something I had always been passionate about,” Lucie said, “in-fact, it’s become somewhat of a movement in corporate Australia, Europe Asia and the ‘States, which include loads of buzzwords like diversity itself, inclusion, inclusive leadership and employer of choice,” she continued.
Deciding to try and make progress in the notoriously contentious and difficult area of people training, Lucie soon found that she needed a leading edge. This edge needed to be something innovative, a medium that delivered high impact and engagement and something that needed to be fun and hold the attention of millennials in particular, who will become the main drivers in this movement, and the leaders into our future.
This leading edge became Diversifly. A mobile solution that presented as an app on the smartphone of every employee, and could be inserted into a VR headset for on-demand, immersive learning.
Although early days for riding both the diversity training and emerging technology wave, market interest was obvious and initial pilots demonstrated increased employee engagement from more traditional techniques – and certainly a more memorable experience than a piece of a paper and a pen!
Fast forward two years and Diversifly has graduated from the Founders Institute program based out of Spacecubed, and re-branded to BeingVR with the intention of expanding content from cultural change to workforce optimisation and people performance more generally.
VR has huge potential for attitudinal and behavioural charge on a mass scale, and according to Lucie we are just at the beginning.
“This tech is new and exciting, and lends itself very well to people training and any ephemeral concept that requires more than a lecture to really ‘get it’ she says. “The virtual world provides a consequence-free reality for high risk scenarios (be they technical or behavioural) to try on, and fail forward faster”.
Differing from traditional workplace training methods, BeingVR uses VR to drive results by putting the trainee in the centre of the scenario – making the experience of gender bias, for example, very real for all employees, therefore catalysing change.
“The ability to interact with a scenario, and become the main character in the story, super charges the learning experiences by allowing the participant a multi-sensory experience, and the emotional responses to start building new neural pathways that strengthen desired workplace behaviour,” said Lucie.