The 2019-2020 edition of the AmCham Mentorship Program had its closing meeting at Janssen’s Oslo headquarters. The meeting was kicked off by presentations from Janssen Nordic Commercial Director Angelique Fjeldstad and Catalysts Founder & CEO Lisa Cooper, who highlighted takeaways from their own mentoring experiences, effective strategies for building structured mentorship relationships, and reverse mentoring strategies.
Initiated in May 2019, this fourth edition of the popular AmCham program included participants from AIG, Bristol-Myers Squibb, British American Tobacco, Coca-Cola, Gambit Hill+Knowlton, Janssen, Jotun, KPMG, MSD, Philip Morris International, Pfizer, Radisson, Roche, and the US Embassy.
All participants were paired across industries, based upon their personal interests and goals, in order to facilitate leadership dialogue, share best practices, and learn from one other through the nine-month curriculum.
Janssen’s Nordic Commercial Director Angelique Fjeldstad provided tips and skills to work on for professional and personal development. Fjeldstad reflected on strategies that have helped her reach success while maintaining work-life balance, strategies that she has shared with her mentees through her participation in the AmCham program over the past two years.
Noting the increased demands and distractions of a working world where no one is ever truly out of reach, Fjeldstad suggested two things for the mentors and mentees to adapt into their routines. First, the need to be present during all of your workplace and personal interactions, even if that means disconnecting in order to focus on the specific task at hand or disconnecting to provide colleagues with focus and respect. Second, the need to go slow in order to go fast – the importance of taking time to reflect and slow down in order to think clearly about the task at hand and to achieve an optimal outcome.
Catalysts Founder & CEO Lisa Cooper shared her experience of moving to Norway 30 years ago and developing what was once a pilot mentoring program with four mentors and four mentees promoting diversity into Catalysts, which is now one of the leading mentoring programs in Norway is a part of the Nordic Mentoring Summit and the Nordic Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring.
Cooper then focused on reverse mentoring, a powerful tool popularized in 1999 by former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, consisting of interaction between younger and more seasoned employees to bridge the skill gap and learn from each other. Lisa suggested that success in the future of work will rely on being prepared for changing workforce and market demographics, giving examples of how reverse mentoring has worked exceptionally well and positively influenced workplace culture.
The session ended with mentors and mentees providing feedback on the program. They shared what they had learned from their time together and the value of their mentoring relationships, in addition to highlighting how the unique cross-industry pairings at the core of the AmCham Mentoring Program enable an exciting flow of knowledge, perspectives, and ideas between our Patron member companies.
Planning for the next edition of AmCham’s Mentorship Program 2020-2021 is underway, with many of our previous mentors returning to the program. A call for participants will commence from March, with our initial meeting in May. Mentors will select talented and aspiring colleagues from within their own companies to participate as mentees. Program participants will then be paired by AmCham across industries to facilitate the nine-month leadership dialogue.
The Mentorship program is available to Patron-level members of AmCham Norway. For further information and interest in the program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
With its unique cross-industry orientation and global approach, the AmCham Mentorship Program offers a dynamic, internationally-minded arena for leadership development.
The program pairs emerging business talent with seasoned executives from Patron-level AmCham member companies. The result: a collaborative arena that fosters innovation, prepares developing and seasoned leaders for the challenges of today’s international business environment, and forges strong bonds between AmCham member companies. The Mentorship Program is available to AmCham Norway’s Patron level members.
With thirty-four mentor and mentee representatives from fifteen different companies and organizations, including AmCham– the 2019-2020 cycle is the largest participation to date.