The Adapter’s Advantage: Ryan Thompson on Driving Diversity & Fueling Growth
Welcome to The Adapter’s Advantage: Breakthrough Moments that Lead to Success.
In our 50th episode, Medtronic global training executive and proud member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Ryan Thompson describes bringing his whole self to work, how to fuel growth through world-class training, and the power of driving inclusion and diversity across the organization.
Knowledge is power. And the more you understand about someone or something different than you, the more you can connect with them.
Ryan Thompson, Senior Director, Global Sales Training at Medtronic, has 22 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. He is a seasoned executive and people leader of international teams and large-scale change initiatives.
Currently, Ryan leads the Surgical Innovations global learning innovations team that focuses on identifying, piloting, and implementing the latest technologies used in the learning and development space.
Ryan is a proud member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and in 2019 founded the Medtronic American Indian Employee Resource Group, driving inclusion and diversity across the organization.
Ryan is also a co-founder of the VTA: Ventilator Training Alliance, which created a transformational ventilator training solution during the pandemic. The VTA app provides a free multi-vendor library of training and product materials for medical professionals. As a result of this work, Ryan received a 2020 Global IT Award, 2020 International Stevie Award and the 2021 Medtronic Star of Excellence Award.
Listen as Ryan discusses the importance of having a diverse and inclusive workforce, the power of peer learning, the future of work, and why agility is critical in today’s business climate.
Episode 50: Driving Diversity & Fueling Growth | Ryan Thompson
From This Episode
Host Mark Magnacca: “How valuable has peer learning been in your career and how do you use it at Medtronic?”
Ryan Thompson: “Learning is not a destination. It’s a journey that you’re always on. But we know that only about 10% of what we learn is through the classroom and didactic type of learning. And we learn roughly 70% through experience.
“You can gain that experience on your own over time, but it takes a while to become an expert, to build trust with your customers so you can become a partner and more of a consultant than a sales rep.
“Peer learning can help accelerate that knowledge transfer by [allowing you to learn] from others’ experiences. From a business perspective, it’s critical we leverage the vast experience of all of our peers who have gone through those challenges and faced those things that [others] are going to face.
“It’s also important to leverage technology to increase those experiences. … Video is critical to this. [Learning] becomes more relevant and more real with that type of approach than just hearing someone’s voice.
“And with the recording capabilities available, you can watch the video over and over. It’s not just a one-time conference call where you hear your peer tell their story and you have to take really good notes because that’s probably the last time you’re going to hear it. With video, you can always refer back to it when you need to.”
About The Adapter’s Advantage
Our podcast features leaders from sales, training, and industry who share their personal journeys of transformation and how they are adapting to an ever-changing environment. As your host, I’ll introduce you to some of the most interesting and inspiring people I’ve met over the last 20 years.
The conversations dive into the ups and downs of their journey. Our guests focus on inflection points—the aha moments that, in retrospect, had a critical impact on their success. These interviews will leave you with practical, real-world advice that you can apply to your life.