Jon Mott, PhD

CEO & Founder

Decades on the front lines of online learning and educational technology might make one jaded, or at least a bit pessimistic about the potential for transformational change. But, as my LinkedIn profile tagline declares, I’m still a “learning dreamer and troublemaker.” I believe passionately in the ability of learning to change lives. And I will continue to agitate at the edges of what is possible to bring better, more focused, effective learning opportunities to more people. That is what inspired the creation of Aspire Ability.


After earning my BA from Brigham Young University and Ph.D  from the University of Oklahoma (both in political science), I embarked on a bit of an unorthodox career. I’ve spent significant time in both academic and corporate roles—starting at Brigham Young University, moving on to TD Ameritrade, and then Learning Objects (which was later acquired by Cengage).


At these organizations, I developed academic technology strategy, designed and implemented innovative learning technologies, led teams of learning science and engineering professionals, and created personalized, competency-based learning and development programs.


The common thread through it all has been this: Learning is the great socioeconomic equalizer. I believe in human potential. I believe that anyone can learn anything given the right opportunities, time, and resources.


Unfortunately, there is a tragic disconnect between that potential and the opportunities afforded to individuals in today’s job market. Employers need the right talent for their companies to succeed. And countless individuals would love to have those jobs. The current process of matching these two parties is inefficient, ad hoc, and leaves far too many talented, high-potential individuals out of the opportunities they want and need. And it deprives companies of amazing people that could help them thrive.  




Because companies focus on finding “perfect” candidates (or at least those they believe are perfect), making all-or-nothing hiring decisions. Either a candidate has substantially all of the necessary competencies today or they’re not hired. That means numerous high-potential, “almost ready” candidates don’t get a shot, to the detriment of both employers and potential employees. 


That’s where Aspire Ability comes in. One of the biggest obstacles to a better talent model is the sorry state of job descriptions. They’re uniformly awful. They’re vague, sometimes contradictory, and missing things that should be included while including things that don’t belong. And the subsequent interview processes are haphazard and inaccurate talent filters. Aspire Ability helps companies minimize—and potentially eliminate—this ambiguity and inaccuracy by creating detailed, accurate, company-specific competency maps for job roles. We pair these maps with valid assessments and interviewing processes to identify “ready now” candidates as well as those who are “almost ready.” Not only do we help companies identify both internal and external candidates who are within striking distance of a role, we specify the exact competencies each individual needs to become ready for a specific role. 


At Aspire Ability, we are creating a world in which the absence of a skill is not seen as a deficit, but rather as an opportunity. No one ever has all of the competencies they need for the jobs they want now or in the future. We make the process of identifying each individual’s specific competency opportunities and getting them into a competency attainment process simple, valid, and transparent. 


Talent doesn’t just happen. It’s created. Let us help you create the talent you need so your organization can prosper.

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