Saturday, October 24, 2009

The 360 of Mentoring: Me in the Media

The 360 of Mentoring: Me in the Media:


Yay or Nay - Number Targets??

Its one of those days when i have the time to reflect and restate my thoughts. The recent weeks have seen me have a different target- increasing my participant count of mentors and mentees in MindTree for the MentorMe program. I keep mulling- is this focus contradictory to having smaller number of effective participants? Well, i have discovered another solid reason to focus on numbers:- having a sizable population to project and potray to the rest of the organization. What this means is having say 3-5% of minds ( in MindTree, employees are addressed as " MindTree Minds" in the program can actually see a trajectory that enables a faster move towards our core objective of the program, which is establishing a "Connect" across minds in the organization and ensuring that there is a "one on one, focused, experiential learning " for participants. With increase in numbers, it translates to increased word of mouth branding, networking, richer experiences, greater group learning, increased program momentum- not to forget the "Testimonials"

So, it brings back thoughts of - Should Corporate Mentoring Program Administrators have Number targets and the answer is " Of course YES"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Me in the Media

This is a small snippet of the program i manage

Mentoring Crests ot troughs?

To realise that i have not blogged for one whole year! Oh migosh was my first thought. Coming to think of it, there has been so much happening in the Mentoring space. There have been three media interviews, a jump northward in the participation numbers of the mentoring program that i manage at MindTree, a seemingly 50% increase in a month..and so much branding and reinforcement of the program that i forgot to blog:)

Well, it has been a nice toss and turn the last year. A series of crests and troughs in my learning, sharing and reflecting stints. What i realise is that mentoring is all about execution as much as strategy. Its more diploblastic and certainly has two covers. Did i get lost in the exoderm- i have no clue but realise that internal systems and processes have a long strong role to play in a mentoring program's success.

What i also realise is that mentoring is all about " mindset" Once the threshold level is accesible and visible for the participants, then garnering that extra steam seems a cake walk. But tell me about it, it has taken a year to get people to accept mentoring as a mainstream way of learning!
As much as one realises that nothing can compare to a one on one, face to face interaction with your mentor, sharing your apprehensions, seeking a direction, looking for options, bettering yourself at decisions, looking beyond the immediate, turning into a child again with all inquisitiveness, and eventually growing wings and flying away like a butterfly -content and happy to have had a mentor and most of all, mentoring moments and mentoring experiences.

Where have i come one year hence? Far far away from the start, the journey filled with immense challenges, bounces and bumps- an enjoyable success at the end of it all.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My article has been published...

I am happy today that my article has been published in the International Mentoring Association's November Newsletter .. It is fun to be seeing it in black and white :) and gives me a lot of joy that it has reached a wider audience... The article is titled" How mentors can increase the engagement of mentees"

The link here takes you to the article

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Every little step counts...

How relevant is designing a good Mentoring program? Though there are several angles to this, Two critical questions to consider are:

1. Is an organization mature for a Mentoring program?
2. How relevant is Mentoring as a people development practice?

There are several angles to look at when we consider the first question. I believe that Mentoring cannot be an isolated event in the workplace. Inputs for the program need should come from Managers, potential participants and from inhouse development programs. This reiterates the fact that Mangers must be willing to don the "MENTOR CAPS" as a way of life in organizations.To ensure participation, the program design and outputs become a key point to consider. The Program design has to encompass People, Process and systems. Lets not forget that an organization is a wonderfully designed system akin to the Human Body. Creation of any new program/process/system can cause an "equilibrium wobble".My friend, Muralidharan Raghupathy rightly says, "mentoring is done to improve the attributes of the person.If we have to consider improving the attributes of a person, then the mentoring program has to be deep, targeted and highly customised for individual needs at the end of the day". It also then becomes an imperative that mentoring is "one on one" and has a 360 degree focus on the mentee from the mentor and the organization. To enable this 360 degree focus, the mentoring program has to have a framework and at the same time,ensure flexibility, what i call " Flexible Framework".

To focus on the second question Relevance of Mentoring as a People Development practice- the sub question would be: Do we have too little or too many related practices? How do we differentiate Mentoring from the rest?
I still remember when we had the preliminary discussion regarding the Mentoring Program in MindTree, many of these questions were debated across many colleagues. I also know that to finally freeze on a specific approach took us close to three weeks and i truly believe those deciding days were crucial for the success of the program.
In reality, people in organizations are in a hurry all the time. It is more a mindset to set time apart and enable a willing mentee to develop holistically. In that sense, the program design should be aligned to appropriate recognition systems that encourage participants and appreciates their time and selfless efforts towards contributing to the growth of a fellow employee and overall contribution to the organization's people development plan. All said and done, mentoring is a selfless activity but lets remember "Encouraged people achieve the best; dominated people achieve second best; neglected people achieve the least"
I hear an "echo" - program design is crucial to the outputs of every mentoring program...
A staircase composed of very small steps can reach just as high as a staircase made of large steps, and the climb is much more manageable. Every little step counts.
Doing just a little is infinitely more rewarding than doing nothing. And just a little can quickly lead to just a little more.
Five minutes a day adds up to two and a half hours a month, and thirty hours over the course of a year. If you spend those five minutes each day making minor improvements, they can steadily bring about major accomplishments.
Offer one small gesture of kindness each day and multiply it over the course of a lifetime. You’ll find your world filled with rich, rewarding and genuine relationships.
Every little step counts, because the little steps are usually the ones that actually get taken. There’s virtually no risk, and yet the rewards, over time, can be enormous.
What one little step would make life better for you this very day? Get in the habit of taking small positive steps, and you’ll create big, lasting success.
-Author Unknown

Nature, Wisdom and Learning

The Tables Turned

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;Or surely you'll grow double:Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;Why all this toil and trouble?
The sun above the mountain's head,A freshening lustre mellowThrough all the long green fields has spread,His first sweet evening yellow.
Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:Come, hear the woodland linnet,How sweet his music! on my life,There's more of wisdom in it.
And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!He, too, is no mean preacher:Come forth into the light of things,Let Nature be your teacher.
She has a world of ready wealth,Our minds and hearts to bless--Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,Truth breathed by cheerfulness.
One impulse from a vernal woodMay teach you more of man,Of moral evil and of good,Than all the sages can.
Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;Our meddling intellectMis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:--We murder to dissect.
Enough of Science and of Art;Close up those barren leaves;Come forth, and bring with you a heartThat watches and receives.

- William Wordsworth