Clever Hybrids with GabyV

S4E2: So That Everyone Feels Better | Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne from Wisdenn the makers of Wiz Coach | Bilingual Mexican Psychologist in Nuevo Leon

Episode Summary

Ana and her colleagues at Wisdenn are making executive coaching more accessible to everyone with their AI psychology bot Wiz Coach, the purple octopus, that gives you advice in Spanish. Hear all about how they're using this new tool to help everyone, not just those in the C suite, have access to high-quality mental health sessions in their mother tongue!

Episode Notes

Ana and her colleagues at Wisdenn are making executive coaching more accessible to everyone with their AI psychology bot Wiz Coach, the purple octopus, that gives you advice in Spanish. Hear all about how they're using this new tool to help everyone, not just those in the C suite, have access to high-quality mental health sessions in their mother tongue!


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Episode Transcription

GabyV: Hey everybody. So this one is going to be super silly. I'm here with Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne. Is that how you pronounce it?

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Yeah. Well, it's supposed to be German, Duhne but I don't know how to say it in German. So I say it in Spanish.

GabyV: Okay. You're the second Latina that I interviewed that has a German background. We had Maria Schiebengraf from Argentina last season. I don't know. Even me, I grew up around Latinos, but it's nice to see how there are so many different ethnic groups within LATAM.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: That's right. All together you never know what you're going to get. It's like a box of chocolates.

GabyV: So, Anna, do you want to explain why Carlos is with us today? We had a bit of a time mix up. So you were nice enough to be like, 

'Yeah, I'm doing my hair, but I'll still do the interview anyway.' 

I was like, 'Are you sure?'

You said 'Okay. Yeah, it's fine.'


Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Well, my friend, Carlos, he's a very nice hairdresser and he's the best in Mexico. That's why we get along very well. Very smart person.

GabyV: That's nice. Right at home service too. Very fancy.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Very fancy. He offered to help you, if you want too.

GabyV: Okay. It might be kinda hard 'cause I have locs. Do how to do that, Carlos?

Yeah, this is going to be interesting. You've been working with Wisdenn for almost 30 years now. Congratulations.

But in that time, you've been the innovation director, but you've also been an external consultant to a lot of international companies.

How did you balance those two?

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: It's kind of like the same thing. Wisdenn is a consulting firm and I'm a consultant. So from the firm, we go to different companies. Especially CEOs and plant managers that need to enhance their leadership skills or they need to make their team be more aligned to the vision, but they need to plan stuff. Executive coaching. That's what we do. We ask a lot of questions to make people think about what they're doing and in the question, there's some information. 

Like say you are lost in the city and you phoned me and I'm asking you questions like, 

'Well, what streets do you see?'

' And what buildings do you see?' 

'And do you see this and that?'

Sometimes when we're lost, talking about leadership or how to manage our emotions, some questions are really important. Once you hear the question you start thinking, 

'What am I doing about this?'

But that wasn't there before the question was asked.

So that's why this executive coaching is... is key to improving the outcome of a whole company. So anyway, I've been doing that with 25 other people for over 29 years. And just recently four years ago, we decided to have this digital transformation and I'm in charge of getting everything into the digital world.

And now we went into Wiz that's the greatest breakthrough that we've made trying to make an artificial intelligence bot that can give you coaching. So we've got all this data inside. There's like more than 400 dialogues you can have with this, virtual assistant and it's growing everyday.

GabyV: Yeah, Wiz.Coach is really cool too because I like the fact that it's in Spanish. So there's a lot of Latinos that they're like, 

'I need training and there's so much training information in English, but...'

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: yes.

GabyV: It's nice to have it in your own language, but I noticed that Wiz.Coach, the actual logo of the mascot, is it an octopus? Why did you choose that?

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Oh, because when we were deciding about this chat bot, we thought, 

'You know, it would be very nice to like look at your coach.'

But if we put a face, then you get into genders and then you get into race. very problematic.

So we went into 

'Let's do an animal -a smart animal.'

And we thought about dolphins. Well, there's tons of dolphins. And then we thought about the owls, but there's tons of owls.  So we thought 

'What is another smart animal?'

And then I came across the octopus. You know, octopus can recognize a human. If they see a person and then they see it again and they have a good relationship, they will keep it.

So there's so many things that I said, 

'You know what? That's a good idea.'

Through Wiz, we can help people with their leadership, with how to give feedback, how to manage conflict.

We can even help them plan their objectives. 

and that's how we went into the octopus thing. Now we just love the octopus and the purple color.

GabyV: Yeah, that's a good idea. Once you explain it, like I'm like, oh, okay. That makes sense.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: And something else,  octopus live [at] the bottom of the ocean. So what you talk to your coach [about], especially if it's a bot, you can talk about anything that is down deep in your heart and it's going to be okay. And it's totally private. Nobody will see that.

GabyV: Hmm, a lot of symbolism there, nice. So how can a company work with the Wiz.Coach? Does it have to be something they get one-on-one or do the company leadership need to ask for it?

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Right now, we're working with a big bank in Mexico and we are serving, at this moment, 750 managers at the same time. Imagine having 750 people on Monday have their coaching session that lasts between 10 and 15 minutes and they learn about leadership. So we give them a program what to do with Wiz.

So one day they'll think about how to influence people on your same league [or level] let's say. [The] next day the challenge would be, how do we improve your leadership when you have people under your responsibility and the next day would be how to focus on the relationship with your client. So every day, if you have a to-do thing that is to develop your own skills, personal and professional skills.

We just tell them 

'This is what is recommended for your development, but hey, if you want to talk about how to be a better mom or have a better relationship with your sister, welcome. You can have as many conversations as you want.

Everything is confidential, but we have data [about] what kind of emotions they have, 'cause it's very different to be stressed because you have anxiety or stressed because you have tons of work today. And also what are they fixing with that coaching conversation? We can tell the company what they have in mind, what people have in mind when they're working with Wiz. Did I answer your question?

GabyV: Yeah, that's a good compromise between being private and still having some data to work on. I like that.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Yes exactly.

GabyV: Okay. So is it mostly clients in Nuevo Leon that you're working with or all over Mexico?

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: They're all over but not just Mexico. with this organization, Familia Vicentina, this institution started, I think it was in France some 200 years ago. This is a religious organization that helps the poor and they're all over. And we are helping through Wiz [on] the [American] continent and Africa. Every day, we have more people working with it. So even if you [only get the] freemium, it's really good because it has how to deal with your stress and how to deal with a loss when you lose a person or you lose your work or something.

How do you make closure. That's there. How to, forgive others or maybe forgive yourself or ask for forgiveness. That's really big. In all companies, there are little things that add up. So in order to be really free and happy, we need to deal with these things inside of you.

So that's also there, it's available for everyone. It started in Spanish as you said. So Latinos all over the world can use it, but we're already coordinating with a company that is going to translate and like English from England is different than the English from Australia, you know? So we want to have the right translation for each place. So we're working on that already. 

GabyV: That's awesome. Well, from your experience, since you've been in Monterrey for a long time, and you're working with the Latino community, how do most Latinos feel about mental health? Especially this newer generation that's starting to work now, how do they feel about it?

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: I think it's the new normal. Everyone is checking about their mental health or going to check with a psychologist. They [have several sessions]. They [have it on] the internet. It's something that everyone talks about now. 

And in Mexico, I don't know if you know about this but there's a new norm. It's Norm 035. All companies are supposed to have this integrated [into] their everyday life and that's to [insure] that there's no social, psychological risks. So last year, all Mexicans needed to make this evaluation about how stressed do you feel at work?

And if there's like leadership issues or other kinds of issues that make people stressed, they need to fix it otherwise they're going to get fined. If there's a company with 10,000 people, how do you manage? How can you help them have mental health and also physical health? So that's where technology really helps.

We didn't know this is what's going to happen two years and a half ago, but I'm glad we started this project because now it's really necessary to use it. So that everyone feels better. We found that with 10 to 15 minutes, that all people [who] used Wiz, stress decreased [by] 30%. That's really good! 

GabyV: Just in time, especially with this pandemic, everybody's been super stressed out.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Yeah.

GabyV: Whether you're working from home or you're an essential worker, there's a lot going on. So it was perfect timing. Wow.

Oh, my goodness. I don't know. That's amazing that you started planning this and then it all fits together afterwards. 

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Right. Yeah, it's working very nice. If you want to use it right now, you just have to go to Then you can go there and experience it. Well, just the ones that really can speak Spanish.

GabyV: Okay. I'll put that. That's most of our gente here for the Clever Hybrids tribe, most of them are Latinos. So they will check out.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Oh, that's wonderful. 

That's wonderful. I- you know what? I grew up 'til I was five in England.

GabyV: Really?!

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Yeah.

GabyV: Okay.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: At the age of five, I came to Mexico and then my parents kept talking a little bit of English to me, but it went away. So it's good that I learned when I was like really small, because I didn't have to "learn" or go to school kind of thing. But again, like you just saw my English, I don't know all the words, but I get along.

GabyV: Yeah, it's good. Sometimes new words come from use. So then you're like,

'I don't know that word. I need to look it up.' 

But how... what were you guys doing in England?

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Oh, my dad was doing his PhD in physics.

GabyV: Hm.


Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: So he stayed there like four years and a half and the family came with 

GabyV: Okay. That's nice. You got to go with him. Were you guys in London or another city? 

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Up north, in Loughborough.

GabyV: Okay, cool.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Yes, close to Manchester.

GabyV: Very nice.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Yeah.

GabyV: Do you remember anything from those years of it being cold or what do you remember?

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Well, the worms... I used to play with the worms. Have you ever played with worms?

GabyV: Yeah, worms. They're wiggly and you poke them.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: You know, it rained every day. It was moisture all the time. It was wonderful. My mom said that one day with clear skies at night was the first time I saw the stars and I kept saying, 

'Look at the...Look at the lights! Look at the lights!' 

'cause it's always, cloudy, right? So I guess I was like three or four the first time I saw the stars

And I liked the weather and I remember it was a small town around the university. So I do remember going like to the parks and playing [on] the swings. That was very nice and going to school and having like a quarter of milk for lunchtime. That was wonderful. 

GabyV: Nice. Nice memories. Did you have anything that really stressed you out or 'Ahh!' once you moved back to Mexico? Was there anything that was hard for you?

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Well, obviously I noticed money was different. The paper was different. and also about the culture. Over there in England, we went to the town's pool all women showered together. And in Mexico, you're not supposed to shower in front of another person. So it's a cultural thing. I'm like, 

'What's wrong here?'

People said 'Oh, cover yourself.'

I'm like, 'Why?'. course, I was five but I didn't get it.


GabyV: different culture.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Culture things.

GabyV: That's a funny one that you mentioned that one. Okay.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Yeah and like peanut butter. People didn't use to eat peanut butter 40 years ago, 45 years.


Monterrey least it was unknown. And I love peanut butter.

GabyV: Hmm. You're like, 'What?! You don't know about this?' 

They're like, 'What is that?!' Man, And so you've been a clever hybrid from the beginning. That was you.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Yes, very hybrid.

GabyV: Oh my goodness. So what is it about Monterrey that's so special? We always hear about in the news, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Aguas Calientes. But Monterrey, outside of Mexico city, it's the highest GDP per capita and there's a lot of stuff going on there. There's a lot of maqiladoras, a lot of industry happening. What is it that makes Nuevo Leon [and] Monterrey so special?

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Since the beginning, people came to Monterrey because they were getting away from something, most of them Jewish that needed some space to practice their faith, and, most of them like really hard workers. That work culture has been alive since then.

That's what we're proud of. What are you doing? Who are you helping? It's close to the States [USA]. That is the biggest market. So that's also good. We just appreciate good business.

GabyV: Ok. Would you say that because - like these maqiladoras, they do export a lot to the US and other countries- would you say that a lot of managers speak English well because of that? Or where's their English level?

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Well, wait a second here, maquiladoras got here, I would say 20 years ago. They're more popular now. They didn't start it in Monterrey like something really big. It started more over [in] Ciudad Juarez. That's a border with El Paso, Texas. That's where I first went to a maquiladora. I was in high school. 

When I came back, I was already 16 coming back to Monterrey, and some maquilas were already [in] Monterrey, but that's not the main industry here. Before maquilas, all these big companies were already established here by locals. Just recently, all this international money's flowing in. 

In a way maquilas are good because the labor used to be basic labor, but now every time it's getting higher, like most engineers are working in the maqilas because everything is like all this robotics and high tech stuff. It's not just cheap labor. Now it's [points to head]. You gotta to develop stuff to work in one of those big companies and now they're my clients. So I have clients, maquilas, like Corning that they have 16,000 people working there. That's a lot of people! That's up north in Reynosa. That's two hour drive from here. that's very pretty! Whoo.

GabyV: We're running out of time! Oh no! 

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: (both laugh) You were asking about the English. I don't think it's about the companies being here from abroad that we speak English. Most schools were already teaching English here. That's why most of us speak English and because of the movies and because Texas is really close. So we just drive there. 

GabyV: Yeah, that makes sense. It's like right next to each other,

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: I heard.

GabyV: but I left you guys behind. Sorry everybody. Could you explain Ana what is a maquila?

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Maquila Oh yeah.

GabyV: What is a maquila? Maybe people don't know.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: What is it? It's a company that imports raw material. Put it together in this country and export 100% back to the other company. So a maquiladora from [the] United States that is placed in Mexico will get all the supplies from the states or wherever the company has its vendors and just assemble everything here and [send] it back. You can't sell it here.

They pay [fewer] taxes. So they have this benefit for establishing their business here. Like for example, from Denmark we have here Danfoss and Lego. Lego has the biggest factory here in Monterrey. It's very important to speak English and other languages too, depending on the company. Like right now here in Monterrey there's Kia and 20 [other] Korean companies. So there's lots of people learning Korean now.

GabyV: Wow. Was not expect  expecting that. Ok.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Yeah. Big time. And you see Korean people everywhere. 

GabyV: very cool. So now you have the AI, you have people who are learning so many languages. I will let you get under the dryer. This is the last question.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: oh, let me tell everyone. This is the first time in my life I'm dying my hair. So I have no idea how it's going to turn [out]. Okay. Anyways, shooting the question.

GabyV: Okay. Now I have to remember what the question was.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Oh, I'm so sorry.

GabyV: Okay. Um, 

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: I have to stay like this [for] 30 minutes.

GabyV: Okay. Stay like this for 30 minutes. I will be quick. So this last question. We have the AI with Wisdenn. We have people who are trying to learn so many languages at these large companies. Is individual coaching, still something that you do on a regular basis or not as often?

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Yeah, I do that a lot.

GabyV: And why is it still valuable?

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: It's always going to be valuable and always going to be needed, especially at the leadership level, the C level. It's always good that someone is asking you questions because big companies, like the [Fortune] 500 kind of companies, they're expecting to double their size in five years. So if they were able to do that today, they would. But they're not able why? Because they're lacking skills. 

It's not about money. It's about skills. We need to accelerate the development of some key people. And that's been the way it's done for so many years. And that's right. And that's going to continue. But now with AI, we can give let's say 90% of that coaching that CEOs are having at the moment, we can give it to all supervisors, even the entry level. We can give the Wiz.Coach to everyone. So they are going to be talking in the same language. They're going to have the same insights. Wouldn't that help the whole company?

So it's not that we're putting an AI bot like Wiz.Coach to do the job of coaches or psychologists. No, we're just allowing everyone to be able to have these benefits.

GabyV: Yeah. More access. I like that. That's amazing. So, Anna, I'm going to let you go ahead and chill out, but could you say again for the audio record, where can people find out more about Wisdenn and Wiz.Coach? Where are you on social media? What's the website? Please tell us that.


Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Well, you can find Wisdenn. That's W I S D E N and Wisdenn consulting. You can find it [on] LinkedIn and Facebook and Instagram. Wiz.Coach Is one of the products. You can use it every day, all the time you want, if you leave it there and you don't [look at] it for three hours, it's still going to be there. But at 12 o'clock at night, it will erase all the conversation. Only your learnings and your commitments will stay there.Everything that you talked about your friends and your boss... everything will erase.

I also invite you to listen to el podcast de Wisdenn. That's how you will find it.

El podcast de Wisdenn.

It's also in the Wiz Coach. 

GabyV: Very cool. And what do you guys talk about on the podcast?

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Oh, it's like that to do things like you want to learn how to public speak, or if you want to learn how to give feedback. 'How To...' there's more than 90 different episodes. How to do something in around six to 12 minutes, we'll tell you how.

GabyV: Okay. And that's in Spanish, right?

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Yeah, totally everything Spanish.

GabyV: Very cool. Well, this is Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne. The very cool psychologist, probably the coolest psychologist in the world. Maybe the first to do an interview while getting her hair done.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: For the first time in my life.

GabyV: This was not staged everybody. This was a coincidence just so you know.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Wonderful. I love coincidences. Thank you very much, Gaby. Thank you. Thank you for having me. I'm so grateful. and happy that [I had a] chance to meet you. Something like that.

GabyV: Well, thank you and welcome to the Clever Hybrids Tribe.

Ana Maria Quintanilla Duhne: Thank you.