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Our Interview with Emerge’s CEO/Chief Creative Officer Jonathon Hensley on the M1 Podcast

Our Interview with Emerge’s CEO/Chief Creative Officer Jonathon Hensley on the M1 Podcast

  • Podcast /
  • Product Design /
  • Product Leadership /
  • Product Operations /
  • Product Strategy /

Mobile First Co-Founder & Executive Producer Celebrates A Full Year of Podcasting (Ep. 51)

Jonathon Hensley is CEO of Emerge Interactive, a digital experience company, where he works with clients to transform business strategies, user needs and new technologies into valuable products and experiences.

An accomplished writer and speaker, Jonathon has lectured on topics such as the connected consumer’s impact on business, creating value through data-driven experiences, and user-centric approaches to innovation. In 2012 he was recognized in the Portland Business Journal’s “40 under 40” as one of Portland’s emerging professional and community leaders.

Under Jonathon’s stewardship Emerge Interactive has committed to a simple philosophy: The relationship between Emerge and its clients should exist to create real and lasting value. To change the conversation. To move people to action. To inspire and motivate a team to focus on what matters.

How to get this week’s and past podcast episodes:

The Mobile First podcast is available for free on iTunes where you can easily download it straight to your computer or mobile device. We encourage you to subscribe to the Mobile First podcast on iTunes so you won’t miss an episode. If you are an Android user, you can also download the podcast for free through Stitcher. If you don’t have access through iTunes or your phone, you can download the podcast here or listen straight from the player below:

Key Insights from our Conversation

2:55 : Emerge Interactive is a digital experience company which focuses on high-value digital experience on new opportunities and solving high-value user experience challenges. A lot of companies are struggling with digital modernization and there is a void in the marketplace of firms with expertise and experience to solve these challenges—this is the void which Emerge Interactive fills. Mobile First is an extension of this as this podcast is a platform which aims to dig into what’s happening on this front.

4:52: With 20 years of experience in helping clients create digital experiences, the main friction area which Jonathon sees in not having a co-creative approach in companies is the fact that many businesses do not start as a digital business. The challenge is coming in with just one set of expertise and integrating digital to be part of the core.

6:00: Co-creation is the idea of going beyond collaboration. Instead of working as separate team, you have to work as a single team unified with a common purpose. Co-creation is a methodology to support this. You combine the expertise of people across the business and the experiences of your customers and bring these all to the forefront of the process to quickly and effectively get to the most important needs of the business.

8:43: Some of the Jonathon’s takeaways from our first 50 episodes are:

  • The spot-on idea that an employee experience is an enabler to the customer experience. Internal transformation can be very difficult but nothing can be more powerful in delivering an amazing customer experience.
  • The reaffirmation that ideas are powerful but what it really comes down to is the ability to execute. This is the make or break in an organization.
  • The ability to build great teams is fundamental to success. Get the right people on the right seats with the right expertise to get you where you need to be as a business.
  • The uniform understanding with our guests that it is critical for businesses to understand their data. Thinking of data as service—looking at how they move from upstream and downstream—through the organization is becoming essential.

14:41: Jonathon shares what we can expect from the show moving forward: guests bringing in perspective, best in class tactics, strategies which are taking place, and how they are driving change and innovation in their organization. Beyond sharing experiences and insights, we will unpack to everyone what co-creation is to solve all the problems out there which we are trying to solve.

20:14: Inspired by our guests’ reiteration of the importance of having a great vision and an actionable plan to get there, Jonathon shares that they are working on a product vision and planning checklist which listeners can use as a great resource. On top of this, they will also be releasing an eBook specific on how to make a business case for your mobile initiative in understanding what problems and friction points you are solving for and what kind of impact it will have in the organization.


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