The Corporation as an Incubator
If a formal mentoring program is not part of the corporate culture, rethink it
Takeaways to Consider
- When Peggy and I took over Target Marketing, a program was in place to take on interns from the Temple University publishing program. Their course work included real-world experience. Not only were these hard working young women—whom I was privileged to mentor closely—but also on graduation they joined the staff full time and became wonderful writers, reporters and editors.
- Conversely, some of the editors hired from the outside were disappointments. They were either too proud—or ashamed—to ask questions and, as a result, tried to fake stuff. I remember several times saying that I did not understand a sentence or a paragraph. "I don't understand it either," the editor would answer, "but that's what the guy told me in the interview." One editor said, "I figured you'd catch it and make it right."
- Are the people you work with familiar with all aspects of your business? Or is their experience one-dimensional and their knowledge confined to the job they were hired to fill?
- Doesn't it make sense to send a person in the accounting office along on a sales call, learn about production and scheduling and spend a couple of days in the marketing department to engender familiarity with what their colleagues in other areas do?
- Over the years I have broached the question of mentoring and familiarizing new employees with the overall business model and corporate culture. This gambit almost always triggers a conversation about Procter & Gamble—the gold standard in grooming employees. From the P&G website:
Built from within
P&G people are the Company's most important asset and source of competitive advantage. Our success depends entirely on the strength of our talent pipeline, which we build from within and manage with a disciplined process led by the CEO and the senior leadership team.
Our approach to developing leaders at P&G is elegantly simple. We take the same rigorous and disciplined approach to developing leaders at P&G around the world in every business and at every level.
- Also from the 2011 Procter & Gamble website:
Get an inside look at P&G!
Procter & Gamble is offering the experience of a lifetime. During the months of July & August 2011, P&G will host five different programs at our Global headquarters in Cincinnati, OH. These workshops are designed to give top diverse students the chance to learn about various functions throughout P&G, as well as provide an early opportunity to interview for internship roles in 2012. Additionally, ALL EXPENSES ARE PAID!
- If a formal mentoring program is not part of your corporate culture, rethink it. Your future depends on it.