Coach Vici is ready to conquer the corporate world

Coach Vici is ready to conquer the corporate world

Coach Vici is ready to conquer the corporate world

Life as we know it is a bit upside down and overwhelming nowadays. Extroverts have become introverts, working from home has become the rule, and disruption is no longer just referring to your children being home from school. A virus that is changing shape and effect caused the world as we know it to stop turning in the usual direction, and suddenly you hear how more people are struggling with depression, anxiety and finding a purpose to live.

A group of innovators, developers, business and political leaders, researchers, and activists' response to the question of what life will be like in 2025 in the wake of the pandemic was that people's relationship with technology would deepen significantly. People will (and are already) rely more on digital connections for work, education, health care, daily commercial transactions, social interactions and even life and business coaching.

Talking to Prof Nicky Terblanche, lecturer, and researcher in Leadership Coaching at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, you soon realise that in this "tele-everything world", his new chatbot coach for goal attainment, Coach Vici, is just what business today need. Coach Vici is Prof Terblanche's response to utilising Artificial Intelligence for life coaching.


As human as you can get

The use of chatbots has increased substantially in recent years. They impact users in various settings, including education, entertainment, retail, and the helping professions, such as physical, mental health, and behavioural change.

Coach Vici is not your everyday chatbot. He was created out of intelligence found from various research studies at Stellenbosch University and using the AI Coaching (DAIC) framework that was published in an international peer reviewed journal .

Coach Vici came out on par when measured against human coaches for helping people to reach their goals. In fact, Coach Vici can help people reach their goals at double the rate of people not using a coach. "Our research has shown that Coach Vici is as efficient a coach as any human being for goal attainment,” says Prof Terblanche.

"Human coaches are at this stage still better than Vici at some aspects of coaching, such as lowering stress, improving resilience, and increasing psychological wellbeing," says Prof Terblanche. This might change soon, as some of his current PhD students are testing Coach Vici for coaching in new virtual environments for their studies.

In line with his dream to make coaching available and affordable to most people, Prof Terblanche has made Coach Vici available to users 24 hours a day, seven days a week on Facebook messenger or the Telegram messenger app.

From Julius Ceasar's Latin phrase of Veni, Vidi, Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered), Coach Vici is ready to conquer the business world by providing affordable goal attainment coaching to staff of small, medium and large corporations. “Coach Vici is ideal for business coaching, as it can be customised for any business and align company goals to those goals staff set for themselves. By asking explicit questions, people are guided to set realistic goals, commit themselves to reach them, and even break them down in short-term and long-term goals."

Terblanche recorded a 55% increase in goal attainment for those who used Vici, while people going it alone as a control group saw a 24% increase in getting to where they wanted to be. The more often people talked to Vici, the more they increased their goal attainment, and that momentum could still be seen three months after they stopped using the chatbot.

Prof Terblanche says once you start your goal attainment process with Coach Vici, you can come back time and again to reassess your goals, set new ones and monitor your progress.


About the creator

After completing his degree in electronic engineering at SU, Prof Terblanche worked in IT and software programming until his curiosity about the human mind led him to complete his MPhil in executive and management coaching (cum laude). He received the top student award in 2013. He then embarked on his Ph.D. studies which he completed in 2017.

Being passionate about coaching, technology, and research to helping people, Prof Terblanche has also been running a private coaching practice since 2009. His dream is to make the benefits of coaching available to a many people as possible, especially those who can't afford it, or don't have access to it. He believes AI Coaching can play an important role in democratising coaching as not all people can afford to pay for a human coach.

Incubated and developed by Innovus, Stellenbosch University’s innovation and commercialisation company, Coach Vici is currently getting ready to go to market. Innovus’s multidisciplinary team of advisors, industry experts, technology transfer guru’s and project managers are building a brand for the company to become a star competitor in AI coaching industry, where it will have to compete on the virtual world stage.

Businesses and corporates that are interested to have Coach Vici customised to and aligned with your business goals, contact Prof Terblanche at Read Prof Terblanche’s latest seminal paper on Vici’s efficacy here