Tag Archives: Mentorship Program

AmCham Mentorship Program – Group Gathering 3, 2022

AmCham Mentorship Program - 3rd Group Gathering

Leaders’ commitment to sustainability and employee wellbeing were on the agenda as participants of the 2022-2023 edition of the AmCham Mentorship Program attended their third group gathering at BCG’s Oslo office. There, presentations featured AmCham members BCG and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Norway (CCEP).

Robert Hjorth

Partner

Carl Lescroart

Vice President & Country Director

Martine Bjørnstad Malterud

Assistant Director Strategy & Insight

Happiness in Focus

As one of the leading consumer goods companies in the world, with 33,000 employees across 29 markets, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners has made it their priority to map employee engagement locally whilst maintaining high awareness of their global impact. While the world was “set on pause,” with many unknowns emerging from the pandemic, more credence was lent to questioning happiness, as explained by Carl Lescroart, Vice President & Country Director Norway.

“When I will have died, there is no one who will say: he increased the market share of Dove.”

Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever

To support the individual’s wellbeing as an integrated strategy, Martine Bjørnstad Malterud, Head of Strategic Planning/ Assistant Director Strategy & Insight, showed guests how they have implemented concrete steps within the organization, including regular questionnaires. Moreover, conveying a sense of purpose, duty and service ultimately engages employees at a fundamental level. Lescroart elaborated, explaining that empathy and courage displayed in leadership will in turn encourage employees to raise their voice. The importance of purpose was illustrated by the following quote by Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever. “When I will have died, there is no one who will say: he increased the market share of Dove.”

The Biggest Challenge

Arguably, there is no larger leadership challenge facing both current and future leaders than steering towards sustainability pledges set by the international community. Partner Robert Hjorth leads BCG’s climate and sustainability work in Norway and outlined the current state of greenhouse gas emission’s effect on global warming, and the path towards net zero emissions by 2050. At the current trajectory, and without drastic action, the world will not reach the goal of 1.5°C by 2050, nor well below 2°C.

The corporate agenda for climate action can be broken down into: commit, act, and engage. In addition to proactive investments and innovations, all must actively seek opportunities to collaborate in order to move forward, together.

Hjorth then gave a synopsis of Norway’s situation and projected development of emission targets through 2050. BCG’s roadmap shows that a feasible and affordable pathway to net zero (and beyond) for Norway does exist, if a holistic approach to climate action, prioritization and capital allocation is taken.

As illustrated by both presentations, implementing ambitious sustainability targets is imperative to the goal of retaining talent within the organization, as it demands a purpose-led strategy, as well as stakeholders who are aware of the necessity of sustainable action in order to operate competitively.

 

Photos: BCG Norway

Participating Companies 2022-23:

About the AmCham Mentorship Program

With its unique cross-industry orientation, the AmCham Mentorship Program offers a dynamic, internationally minded arena for leadership development.

The program pairs emerging corporate talent with seasoned executives from AmCham Patron-level member companies. The result: a collaborative arena that fosters improvement and reflection, prepares young leaders for the challenges of the international marketplace, and forges bonds between AmCham member companies.

The Mentorship program is available to Patron-level members of AmCham Norway. For further information and interest in the program, please contact Margrethe.Harboe@amcham.no.

Past Mentorship Program Events

AmCham Mentorship Program – Group Gathering 2, 2022

AmCham Mentorship Program - 2nd Group Gathering

Participants of the 2022-2023 edition of the AmCham Mentorship Program attended their second group gathering at EY’s Oslo Barcode office, featuring presentations by Christin E. Bøsterud, Managing Partner at EY Norway and Alisdair Munro, Senior Client Partner at Korn Ferry.

Christin E. Bøsterud

Managing Partner

Alisdair Munro

Senior Client Partner

“Leadership changes everything.”

Alisdair Munro

Welcomed by EY Partner Marius Leivestad, the program kicked off with Alisdair Munro who is part of Korn Ferry’s Technology and CEO & Board Practices in EMEA. Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm, advising organizations on human capital. With a 30-year leadership and executive career, Munro draws from experience spanning the air transport industry, telecommunications/ICT and industry politics. For the diverse group of participants representing over 10 different industries, he presented Return on Leadership & Enterprise Leadership. Referencing findings from Korn Ferry’s recent report on enterprise leadership,  Munro explained how “leadership changes everything”, and how today’s enterprise leaders must embody change and change the business, as opposed to merely running the business. Munro also introduced the concept of ROL (return on leadership), as a key concept for enhanced business performance.

To follow, Christin E. Bøsterud, who is also EY’s Nordic Chief Sustainability Officer, presented Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Walking the Talk et EY. A lawyer with a PhD in ethics and committed to diversity and inclusion at all levels – including leadership – Bøsterud is a Nordic sponsor of EY’s Women. Fast Forward program. Motivated on personal and professional level, Bøsterud approaches diversity beyond “typical” discrimination as it pertains to gender, and considers cultural and professional background, age, disabilities and other differences. As for equity, it’s “not just new shoes, but making sure they fit”, ensuring that the tools and systems deployed for fair and impartial treatment ultimately work. Inclusion starts in the hiring process and is upheld by creating an environment where individuals, of any “rank”, dare to contribute to the solutions and raise challenges. In addition, Bøsterud explained the importance of not just role models, but relatable role models; ones that represent characteristics beyond the scope of the so-called norm.

Participating Companies 2022-23:

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Program participants

About the AmCham Mentorship Program

With its unique cross-industry orientation, the AmCham Mentorship Program offers a dynamic, internationally minded arena for leadership development.

The program pairs emerging corporate talent with seasoned executives from AmCham Patron-level member companies. The result: a collaborative arena that fosters improvement and reflection, prepares young leaders for the challenges of the international marketplace, and forges bonds between AmCham member companies.

The Mentorship program is available to Patron-level members of AmCham Norway. For further information and interest in the program, please contact Margrethe.Harboe@amcham.no.

Past Mentorship Program Events

AmCham Mentorship Program Kickoff: Harnessing a Growth Mindset

AmCham Mentorship Program Kickoff 2022-2023 - Harnessing a 'Growth Mindset'

The 2022-2023 edition of the AmCham Mentorship Program kicked off at BI Norwegian Business School’s Oslo campus, representing 62 program participants from 26 companies across 10 industries and cementing the unique, cross-industry design of the program. The group spanned from those who have no prior experience with a mentoring relationship to continuing participants of the program.

The program, entering its seventh year, welcomed coveted guest presenter Whitney Johnson, who presented Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company live from the US East Coast. Ranked in eighth place on the 50 leading business thinkers in the world as named by Thinkers50, Whitney is an expert on smart growth leadership and is an award-winning author, world-class keynote speaker and frequent lecturer for Harvard Business School’s Corporate Learning.

Whitney Johnson

Addressing program participants, Whitney illustrated the concept of smart growth and the s-curve of learning, a process commencing with a launching point and concluding with mastery – a process that can prove challenging at times. However, “the slant is less steep when we are climbing the mountain together” Johnson noted, referencing the mutual support that is provided in a mentoring relationship.

“You’re not who you were, but you’re not quite who you’re going to be.”

Whitney Johnson

In the pursuit of growth, Johnson eloquently described the dichotomy of existing in a process where “You’re not who you were, but you’re not quite who you’re going to be,” as each participant will present and discuss their own sets of goals to be addressed over the next nine months.

The presentation was followed by the long-awaited announcement of mentor and mentee pairings, where many partook in a one-on-one introductory meeting – the first milestone in their respective mentoring relationships.

Participating Companies 2022-23:

IMG-3659
Participants at the 2022-23 Kickoff

About the AmCham Mentorship Program

With its unique cross-industry orientation, the AmCham Mentorship Program offers a dynamic, internationally minded arena for leadership development.

The program pairs emerging corporate talent with seasoned executives from AmCham Patron-level member companies. The result: a collaborative arena that fosters improvement and reflection, prepares young leaders for the challenges of the international marketplace, and forges bonds between AmCham member companies.

The Mentorship program is available to Patron-level members of AmCham Norway. For further information and interest in the program, please contact Margrethe.Harboe@amcham.no.

Past Mentorship Program Events

AmCham Mentorship Program Wrap-up & Next Edition!

AmCham Mentorship Program: 2021-2022 Season Wrap-up & Next Edition!

The 2021-2022 edition of the AmCham Mentorship Program convened for its final meeting in February. Presenting were Hydro’s Vice President of People, Communications and Sustainability, Erika Ahlqvist sharing her comparative leadership experiences working in the Nordics and the US, and Hudson Nordic’s CEO and Managing Director, Ola Lenes, who highlighted effective strategies for building and managing future mentorship relationships. Participants shared learnings and reflections gained from their respective mentee/mentor relations over the past nine months.

Erika Ahlqvist

Vice President of People, Communications and Sustainability

hydro_logo_vertical_aluminium

Ola Lenes

CEO and Managing Director

hudson logo

The sixth edition of the popular AmCham program included a record-breaking 74 participants from over 25 member companies and eight industries. It was kicked off virtually in April 2021 with Mentorship insights and tips from Tine Austvoll Jensen, Country Manager of Google Norway.

Program participants met with Yara’s President and CEO, Svein Tore Holsether, who shared his leadership experience before, during and after crisis. They also attended leadership presentations by Thommessen Managing Partner Sverre Tyrhaug and Mirha Sunagic, Associate Professor at USN School of Business.

All participants were paired across industries, based upon their personal interests and goals, to facilitate leadership dialogue, share best practices, and learn from one another through the nine-month curriculum. Throughout the program, one-on-one sessions focused on networking with intent, team leadership, communication skills, reverse mentoring, workplace motivation, and conflict resolution.

 

A New Season – Register Now!

With many of this season’s mentors already committing to the ’22-23 Mentorship Program, we are excited to be underway with planning and preparing for the next cohort of mentors and mentees, with a kick-off planned for Q2 2022.

The AmCham Mentorship Program offers a venue for delving more deeply into this mental exercise by offering both a sparring partner and thought-provoking group sessions. 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 Margrethe.Harboe@amcham.no.

About the AmCham Mentorship Program

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 corporate talent with seasoned executives from AmCham Patron-level member companies. The result: a collaborative arena that fosters improvement and reflection, prepares young leaders for the challenges of the international marketplace, and forges bonds between AmCham member companies.

Past Mentorship Program Events

AmCham Mentorship Program: Team Culture & Employee Voice

AmCham Mentorship Program: Team Culture & Employee Voice

AmCham Mentorship Program mentors and mentees recently convened at the newly opened Oslo House for leadership presentations by Thommessen Managing Partner Sverre Tyrhaug and Mirha Sunagic, Associate Professor at USN School of Business.

Speaker

Sverre Tyrhaug

Speaker

Mirha Sunagic

From a Team of All Stars to an All-Star Team

Sverre Tyrhaug, who has led the law practice Thommessen for the past eight years, has methodically worked towards building a team-centric culture as opposed to solely recognizing individual performance. One reason for a renewed focus on the team, Sverre explained, is that “the world is multi-disciplinary, and to thrive you must be able to collaborate.” To illustrate this point, he used an analogy that resonated well with Norwegians; “we cannot be individual cross-country skiers.  Instead, we must collaborate in teams.” Across his team, Sverre is instilling a sense of concern for the success of fellow colleagues in order for the team to perform well – as a unit. Besides the function of preforming well, teams offer the opportunity to share successes and celebrate victories together.

 

Within the competitive field of law, the industry standard has long been, and to a strong degree still is, to promote individual achievements – “the cost of changing nothing has not been high enough.” High profits have acted as a barrier to the introduction of a shift in culture, though that sentiment is changing as Thommessen is ensuring the culture is promoted from the leadership level, which in turn affects the team, ultimately creating a firm wide change in the culture. By designing a team that prioritizes trust, support and open discussions, the firm corrects dysfunctions before they disrupt. Serre’s last piece of advice was to ask colleagues new questions, as they will lead to new conversations with unexpected and useful gains.

 

Breaking the Barriers to Reach a Positive Voice Climate

How does one create a low threshold, or stor takhøyde, to voice opinions within an organization? This is one of the questions Mirha Suangic, PhD in leadership and organizations, addressed in her presentation. In simple terms, the answer is psychological safety. Voice climate is defined as the shared beliefs within a group about consequences. If an employee does not feel safe to voice their opinions, it is because they fear exclusion and negative future consequences. Another term that was introduced to participants was voice advocacy. This refers to the weight that a person’s opinion or suggestion holds. Feeling a strong degree of psychological safety results in a lower barrier to voice opinions. A negative voice climate can lead to a fear for punishment and consequences, silencing the person who, in reality, holds valid and valuable insights.

Mirha also addressed the distinction between internal organization employee voice versus externally oriented whistleblowing. The benefits of a positive voice culture that welcomes employee engagement does, through her research, improve workplace performance. Moreover, a positive voice climate will contribute to ethics being upheld within the workplace. Mirha concluded with underscoring the strong effects of leadership style in the quest of a positive voice climate, echoed by Sverre’s reflections on his role in defining the company’s culture.

About the AmCham Mentorship Program

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 corporate talent with seasoned executives from AmCham Patron-level member companies. The result: a collaborative arena that fosters improvement and reflection, prepares young leaders for the challenges of the international marketplace, and forges bonds between AmCham member companies.

If you are interested in participating in the mentorship program, please contact Madeleine Brekke at madeleine.brekke@amcham.no for more information.

Past Mentorship Program Events

Yara Mentorship Meeting

AmCham Mentorship Program: Crisis Leadership and the New Role of Business

AmCham Mentorship Program: Crisis Leadership and the New Role of Business

Emerging corporate talent and seasoned executives from 12 industries gathered on August 23rd to meet with President and CEO of Yara International, Svein Tore Holsether. Proving to be an uplifting and endless treasure trove of information, the discussion centered around a particularly timely topic – leadership before, during, and after a crisis.

Initially established in 1905 as Norsk Hydro, Yara was the world’s first producer of mineral nitrogen fertilizers –a disruptive technology at the time. Their intent was to increase food production to satiate the growing population and combat famine. A study in crisis response and innovation, the company grew to 13 000 employees in over 50 countries, decoupling from Hydro into Yara International in 2004.

Holsether joined as the CEO of Yara in 2015, allowing him to witness first-hand the Paris Agreement, discuss globally the important role of food production in combating climate change, and ultimately catalyze an internally driven redefinition of their mission statement: Responsibly Feed the World and Protect the Planet.

“I am ready to challenge any company out there in the world on our employees' ability to say what the mission is."

Svein Tore Holsether

Respect and Trust

The ability to explain every accident experienced by the company in the last year (80% lower than the average comparable organization, Holsether comments proudly), from memory, is a respect Holsether asserts he owes to all employees. This respect and sense of responsibility seem to radiate through the organization, being echoed by the strong culture of safety, and employee’s recognition of the gravity of their products in the global marketplace.

Speaker

Svein Tore Holsether

From the first reports of the Covid virus in Wuhan, where Yara operates, to the vast shutdowns in Italy, program participants were guided through the sense of urgency and uncertainty that permeated the Yara offices. “We fully understood the potential magnitude of this, and how essential our products are to farmers. If our products do not get to the farmer, yields drop. In the case of wheat, by 50%,” Holsether commented, “our organization felt the pressures of surviving a health pandemic and responsibility of preventing a hunger pandemic.”

Knowing immediately the importance of maintaining operational control and protecting the health of employees, the Yara management team pulled together a panel of their most experienced operators. Leaning away from the traditional reaction of setting in place massive reporting structures and strict demands, Holsether asserts that his team knew they could rely on their colleagues globally because of three primary characteristics: a strong sense of mission, an unflappable safety program, and solid company culture.

Holsether noted that when he approached the board to tell them of their decision to give full regional control, they received full support. He empowered the organization to make decisions regionally, and prescribed three priorities:

  1. Look after the health and safety of Yara’s employees and contractors
  2. Support local governments in limiting the spread of the virus
  3. Get the product produced and out to the customers

Loyalty and Lasting Change

When the production numbers started rolling in, the company knew they had made the right decision. Regionally, teams were fighting for their rights to produce, meeting their goals, and ensuring that farmers globally were receiving their products. With this feedback, and knowing that the pandemic would be lasting, Holsether and his team set to work on how to reduce fear in their organization, and thereby allow for deeper focus. Yara put into place income security for all employees and contractors globally, in the case they should need to shut down. They initiated sick pay in areas with no formal regulation, and later, global parental paid leave.

“These past 18 months have been life changing for many of us and it has definitely, for me as a CEO, changed the way I lead the company and my productivity.”

Svein Tore Holsether

The past 18 months, the urgency, the reduction in travel, the need for regional understanding, has all impacted Holsether as a leader and brought him closer to Yara as a whole. Taking this time to connect with employees, he has made himself available by email and through town halls, answering every email he receives. His respect for, and dedication to, the mission of the company, the role of the employee, and the importance of global responsibility shone through in every aspect of his presentation.

Svein Tore recently accepted a new for as the president of NHO, a role that requires much dedication, which has left a lot of people wondering how on earth he has the time to allocate. His response to that is “how do I not have time?”. He suggested that participants reflect on how much time they spend on internal communication versus external communication. “It is about collaboration and SDG goal # 17: Cooperation and Partnership. That is where NHO comes in. “

Achieving goals with farmers is only possible if their retailers help set the agenda on how the food is grown – ensuring farmer livelihood and a healthy climate.

“Business will not prosper in a society that does not prosper."

Svein Tore Holsether

Leaving mentees with lasting and thought-provoking advice, Holsether highlighted how participants can choose work sustainably. “Do something that gives energy rather than extracts energy – it’s the only way for work to be sustainable.”

About the AmCham Mentorship Program

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 corporate talent with seasoned executives from AmCham Patron-level member companies. The result: a collaborative arena that fosters improvement and reflection, prepares young leaders for the challenges of the international marketplace, and forges bonds between AmCham member companies.

If you are interested in participating in the mentorship program, please contact Madeleine Brekke at madeleine.brekke@amcham.no for more information.

Past Mentorship Program Events

AmCham Mentorship Program: 2021-2022 Program Kick-Off

AmCham Mentorship Program: 2021-2022 Program Kick-Off

The sixth edition of AmCham’s popular nine-month program kicked off virtually with a leadership presentation from Tine Austvoll Jensen, Country Manager of Google Norway

Austvoll Jensen began by commending participants for their “wise decision” to join the program, noting that she herself is both a mentor and a mentee. To get the most out of this opportunity, she advised participants to give their mentor or mentee concrete examples to work on together in order to achieve tangible results.

She encouraged those present to be open to, and aware of, networking opportunities that will ultimately expand and accelerate their professional circles. She also recommended daring to be vulnerable in order to establish and foster trust and connection in their mentoring relationships. 

Speaker

Tine Austvoll Jensen

Leading Through Transitions

Austvoll Jensen recently joined Google Norway from her previous position as CEO and Editor in Chief at Discovery Norway, where she, throughout her tenure, held roles as CFO and COO in the Nordic organization. She noted that transitioning between companies was much more challenging than moving internally, where she was already ingrained in the culture. Her solution? “Being prepared is half the battle,” she insisted, emphasizing the need to be agile and adjusting your skillset to face a new role or company.

“What got you here, won’t get you there.”

Tine Austvoll Jensen

Not only did Austvoll Jensen touch on leadership transition between roles and companies, but also translating working methods. Transitioning during the pandemic, Austvoll Jensen relied on building relationships and leading people remotely from her home office over the course of the past year, a challenge that presented new issues of balance, communication, and a work culture of intent.

Austvoll Jensen concluded by highlighting the importance of daring to ask “stupid questions”, being open to feedback and advice, taking time for self-reflection and remembering to be yourself.

“The mechanics of doing the role is set, and they know you are able to do the job, but a big part of getting the role is that you are you – always remember that!”

Tine Austvoll Jensen

The timely leadership insights openly shared by Austvoll Jensen resonated well with program participants, who expressed their enthusiasm for similar reflective dialogues over the coming months.

2021-2022 Pairings Announced

After the inspiring presentation, and based upon background input from all program participants, AmCham’s Madeleine Brekke announced the cross-industry mentorship pairings handpicked for the 2021-22 program cycle. Including 74 participant from 29 different organizations, representing 12 industries, it is the largest program group to date.

Cross-industry pairs of executive leaders and up-and-coming talents were hand-selected from participating AmCham Patron companies, including 3M, Abbvie, AIG, Amgen, Avinor, AWS, BAT, Bristol Myers Squibb, Citi, Coca-Cola, DNB, DNV, US Embassy, Gambit H+K, GSK, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Janssen-Cilag, KPMG, Merck, Microsoft, MSD, Pfizer, PMI, Roche, Sanofi, SAS Institute, Tailormade Consulting and Thommessen, with the US Embassy also participating.

For the last portion of the meeting, mentees were invited to make the first call to their mentor, introduce themselves and set up their first 1:1 meeting.

About the AmCham Mentorship Program

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 corporate talent with seasoned executives from AmCham Patron-level member companies. The result: a collaborative arena that fosters improvement and reflection, prepares young leaders for the challenges of the international marketplace, and forges bonds between AmCham member companies.

If you are interested in participating in the mentorship program, please contact Madeleine Brekke at madeleine.brekke@amcham.no for more information.

Past Mentorship Program Events

AmCham Mentorship Program: Season Finale & Starting Anew!

AmCham Mentorship Program: Season Finale & Starting Anew!

“The capability to rapidly change strategy” has been crucial for Benedikte Sørensen’s team during the pandemic. As Regional Sales Director at Radisson Hotel Group, Benedikte has responsibility for 16 hotels across the country. Hard booking data are what she and her team thrive upon these days, preferring to leave virtual teambuilding “fun stuff” exercises for later.

Joined by fellow Mentorship Program participants, representing a record 24 participating AmCham Patron member companies, Benedikte was the first leader to candidly present during the recent program finale.

Mentorship News Bulletin

Presenters

Benedikte Sørensen – Regional Sales Director

Geir Westgaard – Vice President of Political and Public Affairs

A Virtual Experience

This, the fifth iteration of AmCham’s popular nine-month program, kicked off virtually in April with leadership presentations from Aksel Reksten of GE Healthcare and Anette Fuglesang of RiskPoint. The program’s midway meeting took place, incredibly, off screen and in person with DNV’s Thomas Vogth-Eriksen and Abbvie’s Kirsti Nyhus sharing their leadership perspectives.

Throughout the program, one-on-one sessions have focused upon networking with intent, team leadership, communication skills, reverse mentoring, workplace motivation, and conflict resolution. Based off of feedback from our mentees, and the unprecedented circumstances of 2020, we invited representatives from Radisson Hotel Group and Equinor to join us in our contemplation of leadership through challenging times.

Shaping Policy Outcomes

Equinor’s Vice President of Political and Public Affairs, Geir Westgaard, spoke to both his many years with Equinor, as well as to his mid-career pivot from government. Spanning Norway, the US, the UK, and Brussels, his story was one of the importance of intellectual curiosity and cultivating a strong network.

Speaking to the duality of networking as both a learned skill and a natural talent, Westgaard highlighted the value of communication. “Never underestimate the power of communication. It is not what you know but how you effectively communicate it that matters.”

A New Season – Register Now!

With many of this season’s mentors already committing to the ’21-22 Mentorship Program, we are excited to be underway in planning and preparing for the next cohort of mentors and mentees, with a kick-off planned for April 2021.

If the ‘20-21 program taught us one thing, it is the importance of thoughtful strategy at all stages of a career. The AmCham Mentorship Program offers a venue for delving more deeply into this mental exercise by offering both a sparring partner and thought-provoking group sessions. If you are interested in joining the ’21-22 Mentorship Program, we would be happy to have you. Please keep in mind that only Patron Member companies nominating both a mentor and a mentee may participate.

About the AmCham Mentorship Program

With its unique cross-industry orientation and global approach, the AmCham Mentorship Program offers a dynamic, internationally-minded arena for leadership development. The program, now in its fifth year, pairs emerging corporate talent with seasoned executives from AmCham Patron-level member companies. The result: a collaborative arena that fosters improvement and reflection, prepares young leaders for the challenges of the international marketplace, and forges bonds between AmCham member companies.

Mentorship Midway Meeting 2020

Mentorship Midway Meeting 2020

“When working with competent colleagues, be prepared that their solutions will be different than what yours would have been. If it is done with ambition and inspiration within the frameworks, that is leadership.”

So declared guest leadership presenter Thomas Vogth-Eriksen, DNV GL’s Global Director of Certifications, during AmCham’s latest Mentorship Program gathering at Hotel Bristol. For the mid-point of the 2020 program, participants met in person – and in socially distanced fashion – to absorb leadership tips from Vogth-Eriksen, AbbVie Norway Country Lead Kirsti Nyhus, and one another.

Presenters

Thomas Vogth-Eriksen – Global Director of Certifications

Kirsti Nyhus – Norway Country Lead

Focusing strongly on the importance of both career planning and communication with colleagues at varying levels, he highlighted the need for flexibility and personal challenges. As is unique to someone in Vogth-Eriksen’s position, he was able to provide insights into topics applicable to both program mentors and mentees as they navigate their careers.

The baton of career development was swiftly picked up by Nyhus, who is at the helm of a company regularly top-ranked as a Great Place to Work in Norway. 

“Of primary importance to our employees, and to us as employers, is pride in what we are doing, and where we are working,” she noted.

Contributing to that pride are AbbVie’s five elements of talent philosophy: Performance, Behaviors, Differentiation, Accountability and Transparency. Nyhus illustrated the importance and implementation of each element, demonstrating how such a strong focus on company culture and personal growth has yielded such positive results.

After both presentations, mentors and mentees discussed a range of related issues including family onboarding for overseas postings, volunteering for new and challenging tasks, and how to sort out communication challenges amongst team members. The discussions represented the very best of the AmCham Mentorship Program – a cross-industry arena in which enthusiastic professionals hone leadership skills through collaboration!

About the AmCham Mentorship Program

With its unique cross-industry orientation and global approach, the AmCham Mentorship Program offers a dynamic, internationally-minded arena for leadership development. The program, now in its fifth year, pairs emerging corporate talent with seasoned executives from AmCham Patron-level member companies. The result: a collaborative arena that fosters improvement and reflection, prepares young leaders for the challenges of the international marketplace, and forges bonds between AmCham member companies.

Mentorship Program Kickoff!

Mentorship Program Kickoff!

With social distancing measures squarely in place, 50 AmCham Mentorship Program participants gathered virtually last Friday to launch a new season of the popular Patron-level program. With clear guidance from AmCham’s Katja Dahl Murphy on how to make the most of their mentor-mentee relationships, program participants were eager to find out who they would be paired with for the next nine months.

Leading Through Transition

According to meeting guest presenter Aksel Reksten, General Manager at GE Healthcare’s 900-employee -strong subsidiary in Norway, “leadership programs, like AmCham’s Mentorship Program, are absolutely critical to developing the skills needed for an often very lonely position.”

Going on to detail his organization’s past production efficiency and global competition challenges, Reksten underscored that at GE, “every time we look for opportunities to improve upon business procedures, there is something that can be done. It is a never-ending process,” adding that “your team needs to be empowered to make changes.” These leadership lessons are especially poignant in addressing today’s unprecedented marketplace shifts.

In closing, Reksten noted especially for the program’s expat mentors that “there is no better place for return on technology investment than in Norway. It offers a highly qualified workforce, a stable, straightforward environment and solid relationships with all major international marketplaces.”

"Leadership programs, like AmCham’s Mentorship Program, are absolutely critical to developing the skills needed for an often very lonely position.”
Aksel Reksten
General Manager, GE Healthcare

Not an Option!

RiskPoint Managing Director and Partner Anette Fuglesang went on to specifically challenge program mentees during her guest presentation, stating, “To up-and-coming leaders, I say this: have the guts to take on challenging leadership roles!”

Such was the case for Fuglesang when, ten years ago, she received a call – out of the blue – from a former colleague to open a new subsidiary for RiskPoint in Norway. “My gut reaction was to say ‘no’ due to lack of skills and start-up experience.”

“But before I even opened my mouth, he said, ‘I don’t think you have the guts to do it.’ Then, my immediate reaction to his obvious challenge was ‘Just watch me!’ Today, we are 25 employees in Oslo and Bergen, writing a number of specialty lines of business. Failure was never an option!”

Given the abrupt changes for all businesses during the past several weeks, Fuglesang further noted, “Crisis reaction is all about people. Your first priority as a leader is to address employee uncertainty. Share your organization’s financials with your team – they deserve to understand your company’s position.”

The timely leadership insights openly shared by Reksten and Fuglesang resonated well with program participants, who expressed their enthusiasm for similar reflective dialogues over the coming nine months.

Pairings Announced

After the inspiring presentations, and based upon background input from all program participants, AmCham announced the cross-industry mentorship pairings for the 2020-21 program session. Including 50 representatives from 21 different organizations, it is the largest program group to date.

About the AmCham Mentorship Program

With its unique cross-industry orientation and global approach, the AmCham Mentorship Program offers a dynamic, internationally-minded arena for leadership development. The program, now in its fifth year, pairs emerging corporate talent with seasoned executives from AmCham Patron-level member companies. The result: a collaborative arena that fosters improvement and reflection, prepares young leaders for the challenges of the international marketplace, and forges bonds between AmCham member companies.