When it comes to building learning programs that move individuals and organizations forward, today’s guest believes that we have to look beyond the obvious and take risks to make bold moves. According to Jon Peters, almost nothing is out of reach if we explore alternative paths.
Jon is the Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of AthenaOnline, an award-winning e-learning company that developed and released the first enterprise “microlearning” platform. He’s also a board member of the Institute for Management Studies (IMS), as well as a director and producer. Throughout his career, Jon has combined his passions for art and technology, running an award-winning technology-focused ad agency and working in computer marketing, corporate development, design, visual effects, and film.
In our conversation today, Jon shares his advice for leading your own organization and explains why innovation can’t take place in a vacuum, highlighting the importance of creativity, working backwards from your purpose, asking “what if?” and introducing diverse perspectives. Tune in today for an extremely insightful conversation with a truly innovative problem-solver and creator.
Key Highlights From This Episode:
- The importance of defining your purpose first and working backwards to implement it. [05:53]
- Advice for B2C companies about when to pivot and when to double down. [08:37]
- Why approaching problems head-on doesn’t work for innovative problem solvers. [14:36]
- The essential role of asking “what if?” and conducting the necessary research. [18:00]
- Jon’s take on diverse perspectives as an essential ingredient for innovation. [20:07]
- How you can benefit from avidly pursuing creativity, whatever form it takes. [24:14]
- What many organizations “get wrong” when it comes to adopting new innovations. [28:46]
- A closing anecdote about DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg that illustrates the value of embracing failure. [33:04]
For More Information:
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
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“It’s critical to define the purpose of what you’re doing because a lot of people get stuck in the how-to-make-it [stage]. ‘We’re going to build this because we can,’ but what is the reason behind it?” — Jon Peters [0:06:19]
“We’ve come out with things that were very innovative but we’ve had to let them go because either the market wasn’t ready for them or the technology wasn’t ready for them.” — Jon Peters [0:12:29]
“People don’t change unless there’s a pain point. They have to want to change.” — Jon Peters [0:13:59]
“Innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It is a collaborative effort – It’s not good for me to be with a lot of people [who are] exactly like me. I need people who are diverse thinkers.” — Jon Peters [0:20:40]
“Part of the problem with a lot of leaders is they want to feel like they’re the smartest person in the room – and that can cause some trouble. It will shut people down, they won’t share ideas, and you won’t get the best innovation.” — Jon Peters [0:23:23]
“Sometimes, you have to embrace failure.” — Jon Peters [0:33:27]
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