CGT: You’ve frequently expressed interest in the power of gamification and other “non-traditional” methods as teaching tools, and you have a passion for being a lifelong learner. What’s currently piquing your interest as a method or strategy for new learning and exploration?
Apert: I believe that if you want to learn, turn inward first and you’ll find a valuable teacher in yourself. To be successful, technologists engage in emergent learning — whether they fully realize or not. We self-reflect. We try to make sense of problems. We know bringing diverse voices to the table at the start will result in stronger outcomes at the end.
Cross-discipline learning can also unlock creativity and new perspectives. Amidst this pandemic, many people are channeling their anxieties and uncertainty into hobbies.
Personally, I’ve enjoyed spending more time playing guitar with my family. I read a great book about jazz music recently, because the art of improvisation fascinates me. There are many parallels between the arts, science, history and more that can change our ways of thinking about business.
CGT: Can you share any recent IT successes and their effects on the business? Are there any recent accomplishments, whether personally or by your team, that you’re especially proud of?
Apert: Here’s a real-time example. We recently announced Treat Town — an app-based digital experience for families to virtually trick or treat for real candy. The virtual Halloween portal will launch at the stroke of midnight on Oct. 1. We know our category can bring more smiles into the world, and that’s why we were compelled to reimagine what the Halloween season could look like for consumers this year.
I’m immensely proud of the way our Mars Wrigley teams developed Treat Town. Everything we’ve discussed — user centricity, creating value 100 times faster, emergent learning and diverse thinking — contributed to the launch of this seasonal app that enables our consumers to celebrate this historically traditional celebration, virtually.
The work won’t stop either; once it is live, you can bet we’ll be harnessing learnings for future moments that will make our consumers smile.