Jonathan started his first company, Avanta Media Corp. in 1994 after seeing a website browser for the first time and deciding to apply his experience in adult education to innovations in online learning. Jonathan was guided by a mission to keep the learning real and grounded in people's experiences, as the number of clients, employees and investors grew during those early dot-com years, Jonathan recalled that it began to feel like I had a rocket strapped to my back and at any time I could crash into a canyon wall."
A breakthrough took place when one of his clients asked to evaluate the effectiveness of training based on financial impact, not just educational outcomes. Measuring the business value of training using an analytics approach was born and Jonathan refocused his company into New Course Analytics. "We were challenging every myth about measuring training-that you can accurately calculate training ROI," says Jonathan. "We also learned that not everyone is ready for the answer." Desiring to expand his horizons in measuring business impact, Jonathan formed a partnership with Zemo Trevathan who shared many of the same values for business and excitement about empowering leaders to realize their potential and optimize their decision making.
A compelling and insightful writer and popular keynote speaker, Jonathan has presented the concepts and trends of online learning and measuring and communicating business value, in a variety of conferences and publications. This has led Jonathan to working throughout the US and internationally in corporations, healthcare, finance, universities, and state and federal government. A key highlight of the past few years has been working with TheraSim, Inc., a Durham, NC company that is contributing to treatment of HIV by delivering simulation-based training and measurement to the developing world. In all the settings he works, clients are excited about realizing their worth and discovering new ways to demonstrate their value to stakeholders.
Other projects that stand out as highlights of Jonathan's career include: Helping a healthcare provider reduce overall costs training deliver while increasing the quality and relevance of the training to their job competencies; measuring the training impact for sales reps in a seed company and translating the results into a complete rewrite of the company's training strategy with a demonstrated ROI of over 1$M; and utilizing an analytics approach over the course of several years with a state agency to ensure greater returns on their marketing and educational investments.
Jonathan describes his mission as "Finding a way to help people see their value with tools and approaches that have greater validity than the typical 'spray and pray' approach so often relied upon. Whether the result is 'good' or 'bad', it's actually all good. At least now you have the information you need to make a better strategic decision, as well as accurate data to help communicate that decision."
"And I still feel like I have that rocket strapped to my back, but now there's nothing but open sky!"