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What’s in a Circle? MMwit Mentoring

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How do you define a circle?  One of the definitions according to Merriam Webster notes a circle as a “group of persons sharing a common interest or revolving about a common center.”  Our mentoring circle consisted of just that and so much more.  Seven amazing women at Modernizing Medicine participated in an innovative peer-to-peer mentoring circle through the company’s Modernizing Medicine Women in Innovation and Technology (MMwit) initiative. The purpose of this group was to develop professionals and leaders through interactive “hands on” learning around a specific business theme of “Setting and Achieving Goals.” The mentoring circle’s objectives supported cross company team building, improved skills and continued to nurture the company’s innovative culture while retaining and attracting top talent.

The mentoring circle’s theme enabled circle participants to learn approaches and best practices for defining their vision and goals. Goal setting techniques such as WISE (written, integrated, synergistic and expansive) and SMART (specific, measurable, action-oriented, relevant and time-bound) were introduced giving the participants proven tools to successfully define a vision with clearly stated goals and accountability. Participants utilized multiple learning tools such as videos, industry articles, hands-on exercises, facilitated discussions (and yes, homework) to bring the topic to life in real business situations. The circle’s learnings were designed to be very focused to balance the participants workload and business needs. The group met for four months with formal meetings in the office as well as informal gatherings at local juice bars and cafes for team sharing and discussion. Each participant also selected a “buddy” to partner with in sharing their goal setting experience as well as to serve as the person who will hold them accountable as they execute their goals.

The feedback and results of the mentoring circle have been extraordinary with the women giving it a positive 100 NPS (net promoter score), meaning they’d most likely recommend the circle to others.  All participants highly rated the impact of working together with others in the company, developing their professionals skills, retaining and attracting talent and cultivating a culture of innovation.

One participant in the survey said “…my goals feel real now that they are public and I feel accountable not only to myself but to the group at large.”  For another participant the most valuable aspect was “…collaborating, listening and learning from co-workers in various departments and becoming more connected both at a personal and professional level.” Yet another said “…it forced me (in a good way) to focus on myself and my goals, and gave a helpful framework with which to do so.” As the facilitator of the mentoring circle and Innovation Culture Advisor for Modernizing Medicine,  I feel that we all need mentors, since individuals as well since organizations reap the benefits of effective mentoring approaches such as this one.

What’s in a circle you say? It’s an empowered group of participants (in this case women but applicable to all), who have learned to craft their visions and goals to grow as professionals and individuals. It’s all about growth for the seven women who participated but also for Modernizing Medicine, a growing company and equally committed to the the growth of its most valuable asset – its people.

Want to learn more about how MMwit is part of our culture here?

Learn how this group has been involved with eMerge and more about it’s MMfit program with meditation and salsa lessons. And follow the group on LinkedIn.

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The Author

Maria Hernandez
Innovation Culture Advisor

Maria Hernandez is an experienced executive, coach and mentor who has led innovation and global growth strategies across a broad spectrum of industries, including the notable Fortune 500 company, IBM, where she served as Chief Innovation Officer. A visionary leader, Maria has been an evangelist and culture strategist for mentoring, innovation, and leadership development.   She’s currently the founder and CEO of InnoGuía working with teams and individuals to unleash a culture of innovation in organizations resulting in growth, improved performance, talent retention and employee engagement.