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Blogging, Learning, Profexor.com and Social Responsibility

February 27, 2011 1 comment

Read this article in Spanish

“One attribute of true learning is a sense of curiosity and wonder. A second is an experience of openness to new possibilities. A third is that the process of searching for an answer is more important that having an answer. Finally, it is necessary to have an approach to one’s environment characterized by experimentation: accessing information, analyzing that information, and looking for connection and relationships.”- John W. Thompson

Blogging and Online Learning

Why do you maintain a blog? You seem to spend so much time making sure that there is a continuous flow of relevant contents- what do you get from it? These are common questions friends and colleagues ask me.  For me, writing is all about sharing knowledge (even the little that I know in my profession) and learning in the process by interacting with my readers. We learn in all kinds of ways, whether through conversation, reading books, attending formal training, and even writing. By doing those things we are taking in and processing new ideas. If you are an Internet user who is accessing websites for your regular news, using social media to interact with friends, reading Wikipedia, doing routine searches– you are bombarded with tons of information. Whether you like it or not, you are already absorbing a lot of information online. You are learning in one way or another.  Come to think of it, the jump to more formal learning – using online teaching platform with the latest computer applications – is not such a big leap. We are already familiar with finding, sharing and processing information online. 

My former boss, mentor and friend Tony Molares – who recently joined Profexor.com, an online learning platform, as their CEO – talks passionately about his amazing opportunity, to lead a company that leverages technology to provide knowledge through web platforms.  He explained to me that online learning tools, because they are so accessible and affordable now, eliminate barriers to learning. They improve the knowledge and competitiveness of people who use them. In the long run they contribute to a better learning society. Providing learning opportunities is the most important mission of Profexor.com — a company providing online training programs. The website caters to the Spanish-speaking market. Profexor.com brings together the knowledge of many professionals worldwide, including experts in computer media applications, process engineers, editors, web designers, marketers, and researchers. Profexor.com is current developing learning contents related to self improvements, leadership, and other competencies that will enable professionals to be competitive in the business environment. It is the company’s goal to offer via this alternative online educational platform an ongoing, rewarding personal experience that fosters growth, self improvement and innovation.

Social Responsibility by Providing Learning Platform

What’s so noteworthy about Profexor.com is its target audience—the Spanish-speaking market. I know most, if not all of the courses in Profexor.com are delivered in Spanish. I remember when Tony showed me the website; the first thing I asked him was, why not offer the courses in English as well? I thought that for sure they will have a wider reach and much larger customer segment. When Tony explained to me that one of the company’s purposes is to bring more learning opportunities to Spanish-speaking people and provide them access to information and more contents (otherwise available only in English), I understood right there that the company has a deeper mission. The individual’s ability to learn and innovate is a direct driver of his capability to compete and succeed. Tony is right, there are countless websites offering online courses in English but only handful that provide the same level of quality of content in Spanish and competitiveness in pricing as Profexor.com. I think it is very inspiring and remarkable for a start-up company to have that sense of social responsibility from the beginning. 

Just as the world has changed, so too has the platform for learning. I am not saying online learning tools like Profexor.com replaces the traditional and formal education provided in schools and universities. Also, I am not saying that blogs and other forms of online clutter should replace the traditional forms of knowledge media like journals, magazines and books. Both platforms: old and new, traditional and modern, are applicable to the learning process of today’s world. The great parallelism that I see between Profexor.com’s mission (be it the platform of learning for Spanish speakers) and my personal purpose for blogging (sharing knowledge) are the acts that benefit society at large—call it “Social Responsibility“.

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See Youtube video about Profexor.com.

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Los Blogs, el Aprendizaje, Profexor.com y la Responsabilidad Social

February 27, 2011 2 comments

Traducido al español por Alicia Palmero

“Una de las cualidades de un verdadero aprendizaje es provocar curiosidad y propiciar asombro; otra cualidad es abrir la puerta a nuevas posibilidades y una tercera es mostrar que el proceso para encontrar una respuesta es más importante que la respuesta en sí. Finalmente, se requiere disponer de un enfoque hacia el propio ambiente caracterizado por la experimentación y que conlleve a tener acceso a la información, analizarla y buscar posibles conexiones y relaciones.”- John W. Thompson

 

Los blogs y el aprendizaje en línea 

¿Para qué mantener un blog? Parece que se dedicara demasiado tiempo en asegurar un flujo constante de contenido adecuado pero, ¿qué se obtiene a cambio? Son preguntas que con frecuencia me hacen amigos y colegas. Para mí, escribir es compartir conocimiento (incluso lo poco que conozco en mi profesión) y aprender en el proceso mientras interactúo con mis lectores. Nosotros aprendemos de muchas maneras: conversando, leyendo libros, participando en cursos formales de capacitación e, incluso, escribiendo. A través de todas esas actividades, tomamos y procesamos nuevas ideas. Un usuario de Internet, que entra en una página para enterarse de las noticias, interactuar con sus amigos en las redes sociales, leer Wikipedia o hacer búsquedas de rutina, es bombardeado con toneladas de información. Le guste o no, está absorbiendo ya una enorme cantidad de información en línea, y aprendiendo de una u otra forma. Si nos ponemos a pensar, de ahí a un aprendizaje más formal –por la vía de una plataforma de enseñanza en línea que haga uso de las más recientes aplicaciones tecnológicas– no hablamos de un salto muy grande. Por otra parte, ya estamos familiarizados buscando, compartiendo y procesando información en línea. 

Mi ex jefe, mentor y amigo, Tony Molares, quien desde fecha reciente ocupa el puesto de CEO de Profexor.com, una plataforma de aprendizaje en línea, habla con genuino entusiasmo sobre la increíble oportunidad que tiene de dirigir esta compañía, la cual utiliza la tecnología para ofrecer conocimiento a través de plataformas en la red. Él me explicó que estas herramientas en línea han eliminado muchas barreras en el aprendizaje por el fácil acceso y bajo costo que tienen ahora; dichas herramientas incrementan, además, el conocimiento y la competitividad de la gente que hace uso de ellas, contribuyendo en el largo plazo a una sociedad con un nivel mucho más elevado de educación. La misión más importante de Profexor.com es brindar nuevas oportunidades de aprendizaje, para lo cual ofrece programas de capacitación en línea.  Profexor.com sirve al público hispanoparlante y reúne el conocimiento de un gran número de profesionales de todo el mundo, incluyendo expertos en aplicaciones de computación, ingenieros en procesos, editores, diseñadores de sitios de Internet, especialistas en mercadeo e investigadores. Hoy en día, Profexor.com está desarrollando contenidos de aprendizaje relacionados con mejoramiento personal, liderazgo y otras destrezas que capacitan a los profesionales para ser competitivos en el ambiente de negocios. El objetivo de la compañía es ofrecer, a través de esta plataforma alternativa de educación en línea, una experiencia continua y gratificante que fomente el crecimiento, el mejoramiento personal y la innovación. 

La responsabilidad social a través de una plataforma de aprendizaje

Lo que cabe destacar respecto a Profexor.com es la audiencia en la que se ha enfocado: el mercado hispanoparlante. Tengo entendido que la mayoría, si no la totalidad, de los cursos disponibles en Profexor.com están en español. Recuerdo que cuando Tony me enseñó la página en Internet, lo primero que pregunté fue por qué no ofrecían también los cursos en inglés; pensé que así seguramente tendrían un mayor alcance y un segmento de mercado más amplio. Cuando me explicó que uno de los propósitos de la compañía es ofrecer más oportunidades de aprendizaje al público hispanoparlante, dando acceso a mayores contenidos de información –que, de otro modo, sólo estarían disponibles en inglés–, de inmediato entendí que la compañía tenía una misión más profunda. La capacidad individual para aprender e innovar es un impulsor directo de la capacidad para competir y ser exitoso. Tony tiene razón en afirmar que hay innumerables sitios en Internet que ofrecen cursos en línea en inglés pero sólo unos pocos que brinden el nivel de calidad en contenidos en español y los precios competitivos de Profexor.com. Es especialmente inspirador y digno de mencionar que una compañía tenga desde sus inicios tal sentido de responsabilidad social. 

Igual que el mundo ha cambiado, así ha cambiado la plataforma para aprender. No estoy diciendo que las herramientas de aprendizaje en línea como Profexor.com puedan reemplazar la educación tradicional y formal impartida en escuelas y universidades. Tampoco estoy afirmando que los blogs y otras fuentes de información en línea deberían sustituir las formas tradicionales de difusión del conocimiento, como son las revistas y los libros. Ambas plataformas, las antiguas y  las nuevas, las tradicionales y las modernas, pueden ser utilizadas hoy en día en el proceso de aprendizaje. El gran paralelismo que veo entre la misión de Profexor.com –ser la plataforma de aprendizaje para el público hispanoparlante– y el propósito que personalmente me motiva a mantener mi blog –que es compartir conocimiento– es que ambas son acciones que benefician a la sociedad  en general; en otras palabras, hablamos de “Responsabilidad Social”.  

Lea el artículo en Inglés.  

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Business Lesson 2: If You Don’t Know, Say “I Don’t Know”

February 22, 2011 7 comments

in collaboration with Ira Fialkow and Ivy Remoreras

Is there a secret formula for success in business – and in your career?  Probably not. But I believe it makes sense to learn from the people I respect and who have been successful themselves.

Case in point: Ira Fialkow was the Executive Vice President for Shared Services at CEMEX, until recently. His career spans 25 years and he is a highly respected leader in his field. This series marks the culmination of 25 business lessons documented and developed by Ira over the past 25 years of his career. Ira used to distribute these lessons to the team every year. In this series, I will endeavor to share the 25 business lessons that I’ve learned from Ira and our shared services team.

This is part two of the series: 25 Lessons for Work (and Life!) – 3-Minute Coaching Sessions

Business Lesson 2: If You Don’t Know, Say “I Don’t Know”.

Ira once told me, “This isn’t a school test where, if you don’t know the correct answer, you take a guess based on what you think is the best answer. If you don’t know the answer, then simply say ‘I don’t know.’ The worst thing that can happen is that decisions will be made and actions taken based on wrong or incomplete information.” Admitting that you don’t know something is taking responsibility and having accountability. 

This second lesson is about attitude. I once overheard Ira telling someone, “You’re lucky you KNOW that you don’t know. You now have an open mind and the opportunity to learn something new and find a real solution!”  This is simple and yet so difficult for many people to practice. In this article, we will look at two perspectives of this essential lesson – (a) learning to say “I don’t know” per se; and (b) openness to learning through the humble attitude of genuinely “not-knowing.”

Saying, “I Don’t Know”

The fact of the matter is, it is so difficult for people to say, “I don’t know.” Of course, it’s normal that you would always want to project yourself as knowledgeable to others; showing that you know (all the time!) is one of the best ways to look good. Most of us don’t like it when we ask subordinates at work to explain what went wrong, and instead of getting facts we are met with three little words: “I don’t know.” It’s frustrating, isn’t it? It’s worse, though, when you get “answers” composed of hardly verified truths and opinions. What happens when you take what you are told as fact and respond accordingly – for example, a customer complaint – and later find out that something completely different happened? By then, conflict has been created and it has further complicated the problem.

Of course, you can’t expect somebody to know everything. Here are two simple ways to say “I don’t know” and still be accountable:

  • The obvious – say: “I don’t know.” You can include an action or commitment, though, so say “I don’t know, but I’ll take responsibility to find the facts, or answers, for you and I’ll suggest a solution.”
  • If you have some knowledge to begin with, but you need to verify it, you may say, “I’m not as informed as I would like to be but this is what I think, based on the information I have. I will look into this further and get back to you right away.” Here you are being honest about the fact that what you think you know may not necessarily be accurate. So, if you are asked to speak out, your audience knows that it’s an opinion.

We grow up afraid of our own ignorance and terrified that it may show. I admire people who have the ability to admit, “I don’t know.” There are many ways to say this, but the most important thing is to be honest, concise and responsible about what you say.

“Not Knowing” as a Powerful Openness to Learn

Think about going to a meeting, seminar or training with the arrogant attitude that there is absolutely nothing new to be learned. Surely, you will arrive disinterested and full of your own perception of the subject matter. Chances are, you won’t learn anything new. The advantage of not knowing is the opportunity to experience learning. Genuine “not-knowing” is a sign of humility and openness that precedes the leap into finding true meaning. We question not only whether we’ll find answers to questions, but also how to learn new things. How many times have you gone to similar work sessions or training programs but learned something new every time? Maybe it’s from hearing someone else’s perspective and how they applied the knowledge. Maybe it’s an insight that helps you link multiple ideas together and come up with a new way of applying the knowledge to a problem. Or maybe it’s an open attitude that allowed you to listen in a new way.

Being open to new ideas shows a willingness to transcend what you know, to look beyond the conventional and obvious view, and to come up with new insights and use these to find solutions.

When people talk about innovation – this is what they are talking about!

Business Lesson 2 Takeaways:

  • Acknowledging that you don’t know something is akin to taking responsibility and having accountability.
  • People should not be discouraged from saying “I don’t know” in a company.
  • There are many ways to say, “I don’t know,” but the most important thing is to be honest, concise and responsible about what you say.
  • The positive side of not knowing is the opportunity it provides to experience learning, gain insights, and come up with a better solution.  
  • Genuine not-knowing is a sign of humility and openness that can lead to expanding one’s knowledge.

Link to Lesson 1: Have a mentor (even if they don’t know it). Be a mentor (someone is watching you).


About the collaborators:

Ira Fialkow is the SVP of Member Services at Peeriosity. Peeriosity is a confidential network of leading companies from across the world committed to collaborating openly with each other in a completely secure environment with interactions free of consultants and vendors. Prior to Peeriosity, Ira was EVP of Shared Services at CEMEX and Rinker Group (acquired by CEMEX is 2007) from 1990 through joining Peeriosity in October 2010. Rinker Group was the initial recipient of the Best Mature Shared Services Award in 2003. Ira lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and has been the champion of his fantasy football league in three of the past five years.

Glenn Remoreras is an IT Manager at CEMEX. He brings over 12 years of experience as an IT director, business processes manager, project leader, and consultant. He has focused on enabling business solutions through the use of IT capabilities. Glenn has been involved with various post merger integration projects. 
 
Ivy Remoreras is a marketing professional with eight years of extensive experience, particularly in product management, communications and promotions as a manager, university instructor and consultant. She believes in constant learning and has a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA). Having resided in Europe, Asia and North America, she speaks four languages.

The Helpdesk Model – What It Means to Put Helpdesk to Work and Improve

February 14, 2011 6 comments

Have you considered the impact your IT helpdesk has on the business you support? Think about your company’s reliance on technology and IT applications— when service interruptions happen, they impact processes and cause business disruption. The IT Helpdesk is much more than answering the phone and helping users solve their IT problems. Helpdesk has a direct impact on running the business, providing quality customer services and ensuring business profitability. If you are implementing an IT helpdesk in your company or in the process of improving your existing one, this article is for you. First, let’s discuss the IT Helpdesk Model. The diagram model shows the eight components of the IT Helpdesk Model. Each is briefly described below.  

Eight Components of the IT Helpdesk Model 

  1. IT Helpdesk Organization – This component represents the managers, staff, functions and supporting groups that comprise the IT helpdesk organization.
  2. Enablers – Enablers are tangible and intangible components needed to operate the IT helpdesk. This includes technology, tools, communication channels and analytics. Other important enablers are the required competencies of the individual staff working at the helpdesk and the group’s combined capabilities. 
  3. Service Review Board – The  Service Review Board is the steering committee or sponsor of the IT helpdesk organization. The group is composed of key IT managers, business/customer representatives and (if necessary) external consultants. They are responsible for providing strategic guidance, support, resources, and feedback to the group. 
  4. Business / Customers – This represents the customers that receive the IT helpdesk services. Your customers are everyone in the company; not just everyone who has computers, but everyone who has access to one that uses it as part of his / her function. It is important for IT helpdesk to know its customers and be able to identify and segment them. 
  5. Mission – The mission statement is the declaration of purpose, values, direction and tactics. It governs how the IT helpdesk will run its service delivery to its customers and guide every interaction it has with the users. 
  6. Service Offer – Your service offer represents the scope of your services to your customers. The services that your IT helpdesk provide are determined by business or customer needs. A good service offer is composed of service elements that are manageable and provide the best value to the business. 
  7. Performance – It is critical for part of the IT helpdesk function to be tied up with performance measures.  Performance should be measured periodically if the service offers are attained in a satisfactory manner. This component represents performance indicators that have to be defined and tracked. Performance also includes how the IT Helpdesk receives and handles feedback from surveys and customer focus groups.  
  8. Continuous Improvement – This component is tied up with performance measures. Your IT helpdesk will have to adjust services regularly — as business changes and as your customers demand more. Continuous improvement includes working on actionable items from performance monitoring or data analysis. 

Five Ways to Improve Your IT Helpdesk

1. Understand your Purpose, Involve your Customers and Set the Right Expectations  – Understand what senior management and your internal customers expect. Have focus group discussions with business leaders and key customers. Listen to feedback—positive and negative. Understand their concerns and identify opportunities. Invite your key customers to join and participate in your Service Review Board. When you and your customers communicate and understand what your service offers are, it easier for you to keep them satisfied because you have set the right expectations for your services. 

2. Establish a Clear Mission Statement  – Your mission statement is your declaration of purpose and values. This will set the direction of the group on how to interact with customers. It governs every interaction that deals with a call, request or problem. Putting together a mission statement must be a collaborative process. Let key members of the helpdesk and internal stakeholders participate in putting together a mission statement. A sample mission statement could read, “Focus on the needs of the business and support the customer in making the best use of technology in business.”  A sample value statement would read, “We aim to minimize downtime by restoring service as fast as we can. We solve problems, not symptoms, and work to resolve the root causes.”

3. Develop Needed Competencies and Roles. – To have an effective helpdesk organization, there needs to be clearly defined roles and an effective way of performing them. The major competencies and roles within helpdesk are: stakeholders, problem solver or experts, data analyst, communicator, and the customer service liaison. Stakeholders are represented in the IT Helpdesk Model as the Service Review Board. This group is established to provide sponsorship, guidance and support to the IT helpdesk organization. Problem solver and experts are senior members (level two or higher) of the helpdesk whose task is to solve escalated problems and find solutions to recurring incidents. Data analysts consistently mine helpdesk databases for trend analysis. The Communicator is responsible for the continuous improvement of helpdesk communication and customer service competencies. They are also responsible for call quality assurance. Customer Service Liaisons are members of the helpdesk who manage customer relationship and gather feedback from the customer through surveys and focus group discussions. 

4. Develop Your Service Offer – Your service offer should be tied up with your mission, customer need, budget and internal capabilities. Focus on providing services that give the best value to the business. Eliminate non-value creating services from your portfolio. If you provide too many services on a broad range of domains, you are setting your helpdesk group up for failure. Avoid situations where your resources are thinly spread and customers with important needs are forced to wait while you attend to a service that does not create value. Services are manageable, supportive of the business needs, well defined and well understood. After defining your service offer, communicate and market services to your customers. Remember that the service offer needs to be adjusted on a regular basis in order cope with changes in business needs, budget and customer expectations. An example of service offers are: “Provide support between 6am to 7pm daily. Allow customer channels such as email, call, voice mail, chat, and intranet site. Provide consulting on software recommendations. Broadcast information about system availability and planned maintenance. etc.” 

5.Have a Culture of Continuous Improvement – Most existing IT Helpdesks have massive amounts of data at their disposal—yet fail to utilize it in any meaningful way. Running an IT Helpdesk means gathering a lot of data for the purpose of evaluating service performance and resolving problems. Use data effectively to discover valuable insights and evaluate performance versus set target and objectives. Use data to conduct trend analysis on recurring issues so as to implement proactive measures in reducing the number of calls and incidents. Have a culture of continuous improvement. Don’t settle for mediocre performance. Always challenge your IT Helpdesk to continuous improvement in every aspect of the service it provides.

Please share with us your experiences in implementing and managing your IT Helpdesk. What were the challenges and key learnings? You can also post your questions about the topic so that I and readers can respond to them. Thank you.

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25 lessons for work (and life)! — 3-minute coaching sessions

in collaboration with Ira Fialkow and Ivy Remoreras

” You can have as many mentors as you need – people that excel in different disciplines and that exemplify different values. In my career, I’ve learned that mentoring is a process of engagement and inspiration, in as much as it’s a process of learning from someone. Truly successful people raise others up. They don’t feel threatened. Instead, they find reward in seeing others succeed. “

Is there a secret formula for success in business – and in your career?  Probably not. But I believe it makes sense to learn from the people I respect and who have been successful themselves.

Case in point: Ira Fialkow was the Executive Vice President for Shared Services at CEMEX, until recently. His career spans 25 years and he is a highly respected leader in his field. I consider myself fortunate in having had the opportunity to work in his organization. Our collaboration continues, even today. I continue to learn from Ira, and he says he continues to learn from me! I believe that people thrive best, and succeed, when they have the opportunity to develop under the tutelage of those who precede them.

This series marks the culmination of 25 business lessons documented and developed by Ira over the past 25 years of his career. They were learned the hard way: through experience. Ira used to distribute these lessons to the team every year. The lessons changed slightly, over time, as new ideas emerged and new learnings were incorporated. In this series of 25 short articles, I will endeavor to share the 25 business lessons that I’ve learned from Ira and our shared services team.

The series is split across five sections.

  • Section 1 is about continuous self-improvement. In any endeavor, change begins with oneself. You cannot create a successful organization, nor be successful yourself, without the drive to do better and be better.
  • Section 2 is about creating a better work environment, and leads on from Section 1: Improving oneself means improving one’s professional atmosphere; no real change can be achieved without this.
  • Section 3 is about customer service: Every business unit has a customer, whether internal or external. And just because you don’t have direct dealings with the company’s external customers doesn’t mean you don’t have customers of your own. If you work for the payroll department of a large fast-food company, your customers are the employees in the payroll, and you need to know how to provide good customer service.
  • Section 4 relates to improving productivity. This includes eliminating bureaucracy and other things that hamper good service delivery. Let’s say you have great products and can provide good service. If it’s not affordable, easy to use, and timely to the customer, then it just doesn’t matter. 
  • Section 5 involves competitive advantage.  Much has already been written about competitive advantage, I know. But you’ll be surprised at some of the simple things you can do.

Section 1: Become addicted to constant and never-ending self-improvement

Each journey begins with a single step. In terms of change, this means starting with oneself. The six business lessons in this section suggest that everyone, irrespective of the successes already achieved, benefits from continuous self-improvement.

  

Business Lesson 1 : Have a mentor (even if they don’t know it). Be a mentor (someone is watching you).

 

Have a mentor (even if they don’t know it)

Most guides to mentoring start with advice on how to find the right mentor. This generally takes the following approach: (1) you have to look for a mentor with broad knowledge about the industry as well as expertise in the area you specialize in; (2) you have to find a mentor who is successful and on whom you can model your career; and (3) you have to formalize the relationship between mentor and mentee to make it long lasting and successful.

Given all that – how can you have a mentor(s), and they don’t know it?

Ira explains his philosophy: “Formal mentoring programs are great but why wait for one to come around? Mentoring is about  behavior. It’s about doing the right things in the workplace, because first and foremost, it’s about personal integrity and character – as well as the fact that someone is watching you, and will emulate your behavior. I was extremely lucky, early in my career, when I was able to work with some great co-workers and supervisors who had a solid set of personal values coupled with results-oriented work disciplines. I emulated many of these behaviors and they helped shaped my leadership style.”

What you do in the office is observed by the people you work with. Positive behavior creates positive impressions, which people will emulate. On the other hand, consistently below-par behavior can cause problems in the organization by creating dysfunctional teams.

Having a mentor means finding someone to emulate and learn from (even if they don’t know it). You can have as many mentors as you need – people that excel in different disciplines and that exemplify different values. In my career, I’ve learned that mentoring is a process of engagement and inspiration, in as much as it’s a process of learning from someone.

At its very core, mentoring (whether mentor or mentee) is about wanting to improve yourself, in alignment with your goals.

Be a mentor (someone is watching you)

The shared services organization that Ira established and led for many years was the first recipient of the SSON’s “Best Mature Shared Services” Award in 2003. How did the organization earn this prestigious award? Ira has always attributed success in shared services to excellence in providing service to customers at an overall value that is better than other options. We have a very strong customer service culture within the organization, and this culture actively encourages mentorship.

Ira explains: “If you choose a positive attitude, show respect towards your customers, and treat them as if they are the reason for your organization’s existence (which they are!), this behavior develops into norms and values and permeates your culture, subsequently becoming the core of your service culture.

“But creating an excellent service culture requires that you practice the positive behaviors that will govern the value system of all the members of the organization. Mission and values statements are all well and good, but it’s the consistent behaviors that are emulated and put into practice, that become the values of the organization.”

This lesson reminds me that I can become a mentor simply by doing the right thing. And I can do this in every aspect of my life, wherever I interact with people – in the office and at home. Mentoring is two-way, or multi-way, each individual learning from the other. However, if I want to be a mentor, I need to understand myself first. I have to work hard in pursuit of excellence and integrity, and I have to be generous in sharing my knowledge.

Douglas Lawson describes it well: “We exist temporarily through what we take, but we live forever through what we give.”  I believe truly successful people raise others up. They don’t feel threatened. Instead, they find reward in seeing others succeed.

Being a mentor means inspiring commitment, building insights and motivating people to focus on the goals and behaviors that matter.

Business Lesson 1 Takeaways:

  • Mentoring is about behavior and doing the right things in the workplace; not just because it’s right, but because someone is watching you and will copy your behavior. It becomes the norm, and the norm underpins the values of the organization.
  • Positive behaviors create positive impressions and people emulate them. Consistently observed poor behavior, on the other hand, could spell problems in the organization and create dysfunctional teams.
  • Creating an excellent service culture requires that you practice the positive behaviors of the organization’s value system. “Customers” are the reason you are there! 
  • At its core, mentoring (or having a mentor) is about seeking inspiration to improve yourself in alignment with your goals. Mentoring is two-way or multi-way, each individual learning from another.
  • Whether you know it or not, you are a mentor to someone right now.

 We encourage you to write (as comments in the post) your own thoughts and experiences about mentoring (in business and life). This will enrich the topic and discussion for all the readers. Thank you.

 


About the collaborators:

Ira Fialkow is the SVP of Member Services at Peeriosity. Peeriosity is a confidential network of leading companies from across the world committed to collaborating openly with each other in a completely secure environment with interactions free of consultants and vendors. Prior to Peeriosity, Ira was EVP of Shared Services at CEMEX and Rinker Group (acquired by CEMEX is 2007) from 1990 through joining Peeriosity in October 2010. Rinker Group was the initial recipient of the Best Mature Shared Services Award in 2003. Ira lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and has been the champion of his fantasy football league in three of the past five years.

Glenn Remoreras is an IT Manager at CEMEX. He brings over 12 years of experience as an IT director, business processes manager, project leader, and consultant. He has focused on enabling business solutions through the use of IT capabilities. Glenn has been involved with various post merger integration projects. 
 
Ivy Remoreras is a marketing professional with eight years of extensive experience, particularly in product management, communications and promotions as a manager, university instructor and consultant. She believes in constant learning and has a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA). Having resided in Europe, Asia and North America, she speaks four languages.

Photos courtesy of www.ssonetwork.com.

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