Episode #46:

Humanizing Emerging technologies

GuestS: Lou Carbone, Craig Allan Ahrens, and Christoph Burkhardt

Like it or not, artificial intelligence, robots, and other emerging technologies keep business leaders on their toes as they try to figure out how to navigate a changing world. How can we stay a step ahead of these changes, and more importantly, how can we humanize the technology as it emerges? On this episode, we're diving into the role that emerging technologies play in creating experiences that keep people coming back with guests Lou Carbone (founder and CEO of Experience Engineering Inc), Craig Allan Ahrens (senior vice-president of growth and strategy at CareRev), and Christoph Burkhardt (CEO of OneLife and founder of TinyBox Academy).

About Shawn Nason

shawn@mofi.co | ShawnNason.com | @manonfiresocial

Shawn Nason, founder and CEO of MOFI, best-selling author, and former Walt Disney Imagineer, lives his life with a commitment to create radical relationships with everyone he meets. Armed with the gift of discernment, he has the uncanny ability to walk alongside people and organizations as they struggle to connect with their deepest passions and engage their most debilitating demons. He challenges the world around him to be fully present, get real, and lead with empathy.

Prior to launching MOFI, Shawn was the chief experience & transformation officer for Healthways and served as the chief innovation officer for Xavier University. He also spent six years at The Walt Disney Company in various capacities within Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Cruise Line. He’s an in-demand speaker and coach, the author of two books, Kiss Your Dragons: Radical Relationships, Bold Heartsets, & Changing the World (2021) and The Power of YES! in Innovation (2017), and the host of The Combustion Chronicles podcast.

About Lou Carbone

Founder and CEO of Experience Engineering Inc

Globally Recognized Pioneer, Innovator, Influencer, and Thought Leader in Experience Management and Design

Author, Keynote Speaker, and Podcast Host

About Craig Allan Ahrens

Senior Vice President of Growth and Strategy at CareRev

Healthcare Leader and Innovation Executive

About Christoph Burkhardt

CEO of OneLife and Founder of TinyBox Academy

Entrepreneur, Author, Award-Winning Speaker, and Facilitator

Ranked as a Top 50 Health Tech CEO in 2021

About mofi

A human-obsessed boutique design firm passionate about reimagining Experience Ecosystems™.

mofi.co | info@mofi.co | @mofisocial

Businesses are more than org charts, strategy documents, and mission statements. They’re living, breathing ecosystems filled with people and people-driven processes that make an impact on the world.

At MOFI, we refuse to look at one piece of the puzzle (customer service, employee experience, vendor relationships, leadership, culture, marketplace awareness, etc.) without engaging your entire Experience Ecosystem as we tackle the biggest and hairiest experience, innovation, and culture challenges that you can send our way. Why? Because we we’re more interested in long-term results than innovation theater.


Customer & Employee Experience—Increase your revenue and market share by aligning, equipping, and empowering the people in your Experience Ecosystem to create game-changing experiences.

Consumer-Centered Innovation—Move at the speed of your customers by harnessing the mindsets and processes of human-centered design to dream up, test, and launch fresh ideas into your business model.

Organizational Transformation—Position your organization for long-term sustainability by shifting the mindsets and heartsets of the people who represent your brand in the world.

Episode Takeaways

  • Clue-based experience design requires us to pay attention to the clues and signals that affect our emotions, which drive our behavior.
  • Technology is not an experience; technology is a tool. Unfortunately, most tools are built to look at the exhaust from experiences rather than the fuel that you put into the engine.
  • Three levels of experience design: 1) Basic human need, 2) cultural, and 3) individualization. Many organizations use technology to focus on individualization, but fail to connect with the basic human needs that drive people's decision making.
  • Designers need to focus less on being people-centric (understanding what people think about experiences) and focus more on being people-driven (understanding how people think about experiences).
  • Like in the case of CareRev, technology has the power to shift power to the humans who make up the workforce.
  • Healthcare can't exist without people and people need to feel like they're a part of something while they're working.
  • People want to feel like they have more control and agency in their work and want to have the sense that they are wanted.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the burnout and people shortage happening in the healthcare industry.
  • If you act, work, and think like a robot, then you will probably be replaced by one. People need to get used to being more human again.
  • Used as a tool to predict and recommend options to people, artificial intelligence has the opportunity to make people healthier and to protect people.
  • Artificial intelligence should be called "augmented intelligence" because it's really just our own intelligence applied to business settings as strategy.
  • Diversity is crucial to success because people overestimate how much we understand each other.

Overheard on the Podcast

Quotes from Lou Carbone

"And the way that I look at experiences is there are three levels of experience design. The first is basic human needs, second is cultural, and the third is individualization. And many organizations are using technology to get to individualization, but missing basic human needs that reside in our unconscious that really drive our decision making. We make decisions emotionally and then create intellectual alibis for those decisions."
"I even believe that segmentation is what's created the division in this country in terms of being able to message people, and this obsession with individualization and segmentation versus what are basic human needs. What we've created is fragmentation. And the other thing that we face is homogeneity of experience because everyone is doing the same thing. Everyone is looking at break-fix versus how do I begin to create distinctive economic value experientially?"
"When you look at the definition of experience, it's basically is, in its simplest form, an impression. And an impression takes place in our mental mind. And I think that what we spend too much time doing is looking at opinion versus what is it that really is happening in the maze of the mind of the customer, the maze of the mind of the employee, the maze of the mind of the patient, and understanding how they think about things versus what they think. And that's the distinction between being driven by customers.... But the critical key is getting into the mind of the customer and not just the opinions that customers express. So understanding how they think versus what they think becomes critical."

Overheard on the Podcast

Quotes from Craig Allan Ahrens

"Most professionals like flexibility and they like the ability to have agency or control over what they're doing, right? Whether or not they're a full-time or part-time or whatever model of employment that you have. And what healthcare has lost, in my opinion, being a former operator is we've lost sight of the fact that these professionals are people that get burnt-out. They want more opportunity. They want to feel like they're part of something grander and having more agency and more control and more ability to get more experience."
"That's why [healthcare systems are] leveraging our platform in order to engage people in the way that they want to work and in a way that is meaningful to them and it makes them more satisfied and happier so that those people are energized and they're fully engaged, and they're able to serve the patients better."

Overheard on the Podcast

Quotes from Christoph Burkhardt

"If you act and you work and you think like a robot, then you will probably be replaced by one."
"We also see [artificial intelligence] in health, and this is something I'm really interested in. This is, can you make recommendations based on data that you have about the environment, the experience ecosystem that people actually live in? So for us at OneLife is mostly their homes, their offices, whenever they're indoors. These are experience ecosystems and the products that we bring, they are all part of these ecosystems. And whatever recommendation we can make to make people healthier is something that is a use case that's valuable. And that's where I wanna see AI go. It's really to protect people."
"...Asking, 'How can we use and apply AI right now?' That's not a good question. The real question is, 'What can we do to make human lives better?' And then, 'What's a good application in that space for AI?' So the strategy really drives the use case, and then the use case asks for certain technologies to be deployed, and there certainly is space for AI everywhere."


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