Careers: Interviews
Dr. William Gray: International Expert in the Field of Mentoring

This week, Stephen Ibaraki, DF/NPA, CNP, MVP, FCIPS, I.S.P., has an exclusive interview with Dr. William Gray, President of Corporate Mentoring Solutions Inc.

Dr. William GrayBill Gray earned his BA and MEd from the University of Virginia, and a PhD from the University of Texas. He immigrated to Canada in 1970 at the suggestion of his major professor and mentor, who was from British Columbia. For the next 15 years he taught at the University of British Columbia, where he first began developing mentoring programs.

Seeing the benefits that carefully planned mentoring produced for proteges, mentors and the sponsoring organization, he left academia in 1986 to establish The Mentoring Institute and to devote himself full-time to developing mentoring programs [along with his wife and business partner, Marilynne Miles Gray]. Together, they organized and sponsored the First International Conference on Mentoring (held in Vancouver, July 1986), and for the next six years published the only journal on mentoring - called Mentoring International.

He has trained over 20,000 mentors and proteges to work together, using Gray's Mentor-Protege Relationship Model� and materials they especially developed, such as the Mentoring Compatibility Indicator�, Mentoring Style Indicator�, Mentor Expertise Inventory� and Protege Needs Inventory�. Over 150 organizations have asked him to help them custom develop different kinds of mentoring programs for a wide variety of proteges and purposes; these organizations include medium to large companies, government agencies, colleges and universities, and school systems.

In 2000, they changed their company name to Corporate Mentoring Solutions Inc. with a focus on providing a multi-functional, web-based Mentoring Management System� called Colaboro�:

  • Colaboro� enhances any existing formal coordinated mentoring program for smaller targeted groups (e.g., orienting newer hires; developing future leaders). It reduces by 80% the time required of program coordinators to match compatible mentor-protege partners, track each protege's progress, and evaluate benefits gained by individual proteges and mentors.

  • Colaboro� facilitates Self-Directed Mentoring Initiatives� for everyone in an organization who wants to participate. Individual users can quickly find a compatible mentoring partner, access online training, create and implement Coaching Plans to learn new skills and Mentoring Action Plans to achieve more complex goals, track progress addressing goals, and evaluate benefits gained. All this and more can be done by users, without the need for high-cost coordination. In this way, Colaboro facilitates less expensive, Just-in-Time Mentoring� when it's most needed.

To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link

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Discussion: Dr. Bill Gray gives his valuable insights in the field of mentoring

Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

00:35:00 Bill describes his background in the field of mentoring. How he got into the field and his transition from mentoring solely within the education environment at an university to becoming a business owner and mentoring others in the business environment.

02:34: Why should organizations and businesses care about mentoring programs and how can mentoring enable business success, competitive advantage, differentiation and business values.

05:40:  Why mentoring programs are started and who are the beneficiaries. Mentoring programs are tools which support many initiatives, (such as youth, retaining freshmen, orienting new hires, career exploration, developing multi-level leaders) and includes already established programs such as diversity initiatives.

12:15: Addressing the declining enrollment in IT at universities and in the IT field and the potentially resulting skills shortage in 2010 and what is being done (in the school system, university level) to give people a realistic idea of what is out there and what are the possibilities and what they need to do as a student to prepare themselves to go into a field which matches who they are and what they want to do.

15:49: Based on his 28 years experience and after developing over 150 different mentoring programs, Bill gives the key and absolutely essential components of a successful mentoring program.

23:06: Reasons why some mentoring programs fail.

31:34: 5-stage MP Maturity Model in creating an Mentoring Culture in an organization.

37:59: Bill explains his concepts of mentoring.

41:58: How and where mentoring will evolve in the future.


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