I.T. channel management is a complex and fast-changing business. By translation, channel leaders face tough challenges as they determine new strategies, navigate their day-to-day business, and focus on career paths, and effective professional development choices. Channel managers and leaders can now look to the Canadian Channel Chiefs Council (C4) for support.
C4, the voice of technology channel professionals in Canada, is adding a new and innovative mentorship program for its members who are the I.T. vendors, solution providers, and distributors on the front lines of solving major I.T. business challenges.
C4 MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
Mentoring has long been leveraged as a top strategy for professional development and as a way to test out new ideas and approaches before deployment. Having the opportunity to work with someone more experienced, who has weathered the many and varied changes seen in the technology industry, accelerates one’s career success. In fact, studies show that 80% of learning takes place between mentors and mentees. Capitalizing on the power of mentoring relationships, C4’s mentorship program seeks to grow the next generation of highly-qualified Channel Chiefs. Through cross-company, one-to-one partnerships between experienced Channel Chiefs and managers aspiring to one of these senior leadership positions, C4 aims to make a difference by focusing on four main areas of development that are critical to the success of channel professionals:
- Career Development
Mentorship is a proven career development approach that facilitates learning, increases retention, and improves job satisfaction for both mentors and mentees.
- Competency Building
Learning from mentors’ experiences, mentees will have the opportunity to build competence in strategy, channel building, finance, marketing, operations, and leadership. At the same time, mentors will get to sharpen their own leadership skills as they work to help their mentees develop.
- Channel Ecosystem Knowledge
By bringing different points of view to the programs, mentors and mentees will have an opportunity to discuss and consider the evolution of the channel ecosystem and the contributions the Channel Chief role makes to it.
- Cross-Company Connections
This one-of-a-kind program matches Channel Chiefs and mentees from different companies with different capabilities, enhancing the opportunity to collaborate and learn something new.
Corinne Sharp, President of C4, views the launch of the new mentorship program as both a way to benefit members and to strengthen the industry. According to Corinne, “Channel Chiefs and their mentees will have an opportunity to get advice on current business issues, test strategies before implementation, understand the leadership requirements and learn from each other by sharing their perspectives on the challenges and the evolution of the channel ecosystem. With the pace of change in our industry, real-time guidance is critical to success”.
The tendency is to think about the benefits of mentorship primarily in terms of what it provides the mentee: learning, guidance, career advice, and industry knowledge. The reality, however, is that mentorship is a two-way street that can be equally beneficial to the mentors. Recent studies show that 75% of private sector executives cite playing the role of mentor was a valuable investment in their future, helping them to develop their own careers. Those who have mentored point to the value received from having had to reflect on their own leadership style and compelling events that have shaped their careers as they prepared to engage with and guide their mentees. Moreover, a mentorship study conducted at a large, worldwide technology organization over a period of five years indicated that mentors accelerate their careers and as a result, bring home bigger paychecks than those who do not take the time to mentor.
C4 is changing the game when it comes to developing channel professionals through mentorship. If you are a channel leader looking for best practices as you build or optimize your channel strategies or a Channel Chief who wants to support the advancement of others as a mentor, please visit the C4 Mentorship page for more information.