Colorado Springs native Jason Hann sees potential everywhere he looks — in Colorado Springs, in local businesses, in networking groups. The 35-year-old consultant has started several groups designed to bring people together and create new possibilities.
Hann has a degree in business administration from Regis University and will finish his master’s degree in organizational leadership in a few months. He is also a graduate of the sustainability and leadership program at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business.
Hard-charging and always on the go, Hann loves sports and the outdoors.
“Colorado is the ideal place for me; I love team and extreme sports, riding my motorcycles, and anything outdoors really,” he says. “I’m a culture nut and enjoy the arts. … Together with another young professonal, Mike Beagley, we co-founded the No Name Community Outreach Group where we host a monthly happy hour, secret dinners, professional development lunch n’ learns, sponsored part of the Fountain Creek trail system, provide community engagement connections, and are partnering with SouthSide Johnny’s and McCabe’s to put on FIT events; all tons of fun.”
What made you choose your career field?
A diverse background and being engaged with the community led to being asked for help often, so I would say my career chose me. Strategic planning and organizational development seemed a natural fit for my ability to see the potential in everything and the path of how to get there. An organization told me, “You’re our idea and go-to guy. We know you’re going to make it happen.” So I think this is the right career path for me. Presenting, public speaking and training is an extension of sharing my experiences and engaging with people.
What’s the biggest challenge you face?
Understanding and trust. Most people and organizations don’t know what strategic planning and organizational development are. It is hard to see systemic challenges, the ideal vision, stimulate innovation, or create win-win situations; that is what I do best. That systemic view requires broad experiences and knowledge — something many organizations and executives doubt a young professional like myself can possess. I think that is something many YPs face, we have to prove our value add before many take us seriously. It is also hard for many to admit they need help and ask for it.
You’ve recently launched a group called the Regional Excellence Initiative. What’s that about?
After being involved in a multitude of regional efforts, I realized the region doesn’t lack talent or passion — it lacks vision, direction, communication, collaboration and leadership. Our plan is to look at what challenges and opportunities the region has, identify and collaborate with all the existing community resources, create the lacking dialogue among the various stakeholders, empower innovative solutions and act on them. This region has enough opportunity and potential that everyone can benefit without the public power struggles, infighting and segmented goals. The key is showing all the stakeholders what it looks like … that hasn’t been done, yet.
How do you plan to get more people involved in the process?
Right now we have a Facebook group, an email distribution list, relationships with several key groups and will announce our first public roundtable and forum soon; a website is soon to follow. We believe the more transparent the process is, the more the community will not only appreciate it but also embrace the end results. We know we can’t please everyone but we can certainly have the right dialogues so the community voice is heard and we build collaborative community — not cliques. We aren’t reinventing the wheel or wanting to step on anyone’s toes; we want to create synergy, communication and direction for what currently exists.
If you could change something about Colorado Springs, what would it be?
Colorado Springs needs transparent and servant-oriented leadership, innovative vision and action that will stimulate community and collaboration. We should also take a more active role in our future as a community; we hope this is a start.
How do you get young professionals more engaged in the community?
Generation X, Y and Millennials have very different mindsets and motivations, but the first step is to create culture and action. There is a large movement within the YP community and a variety of things taking place to build collaboration across groups and industries. YPs aren’t a silo and we need to be active within our respective industries.
We have a Statewide YP Summit that will be hosted here in the Springs. We are creating a collaborative culture among the YPs that shares, supports and lifts the entire community instead of creating “territories” or ownership. Our overarching message is that we aren’t just a socializing generation; we mean business, have a voice, possess valuable knowledge and care about our community.