5-minute Contest: Mentorship and Onboarding

Mentor Me…

Here’s an easy contest to win!

In his article, “Mentoring and On-Boarding: Two Peas in a Pod,” Talent Management’s Frank Kalman makes a compelling case for mentorship as a game-changing onboarding tool. I’m going to take a leap by extending Kalman’s theory, and say that I believe that you (yes, you, dear reader) are an expert in onboarding mentorship. Curious? Read on…


You Are an Onboarding Expert

Since you’re reading this post, I’m guessing you’re interested in the topics of mentoring and onboarding (either that, or you’re my mom, who reads all my posts – because that’s what mentors do – invest in their peeps). No doubt you’ve been “onboarded” in an organization before – be it your workplace, your place of worship, or your neighborhood association. And I’m betting that somebody helped you with the ropes when you joined that organization. That mentee experience in itself gives you a certain amount of mentoring mavenship. You know what good (or not good) mentorship feels like.

Let’s now transform this expertise of yours into a reward. It’s time to get you published in the blogosphere!

Contest Guidelines

Take five minutes to participate in this Mini-Mentoring Contest and you could win a featured “Guest Author” spot on the Leadership and Learning Innovation site.  Here’s how:

  1. Take a quick read of Kalman’s brief article, Mentoring and On-Boarding: Two Peas in a Pod.
  2. Answer one or more of the following questions:
    • What role has mentorship played in your own onboarding experiences?
    • What kind of mentorship did/do you provide in helping others to onboard?
    • How can you “pay it forward” for future members of your organization?
  3. Submit your ideas/stories here.
  4. Submission Deadline: Tuesday, July 24th


Winning Entries

Compelling mini-stories, theories of mentorship, or even 3-word mantras on the secrets of onboarding mentorship will be considered for publication in the next Leadership & Learning Innovation article in this series, “There’s No Ship Like Mentorship.”

Create a Contest

Build Organizational Positivity: Run a Story Contest

Remember in school when you had to write an essay on “What I did this summer?” This was your teacher’s way of teaching you the art of storytelling. Well, who ever said the storytelling should stop just because we’re all grown up? 

Everyone Wins

Soliciting stories from members of your organization is a quadruple win:

  • Storytellers enjoy the chance to highlight a meaningful experience, a proud moment or an appreciated person
  • Leaders learn about positive things happening within the organization
  • Teams enjoy the chance to share important events, moments with each other
  • The organization gains a purposeful archive of the great efforts, triumphs and creativity of its individuals and teams

An effective technique for eliciting stories from the people in your organization or from your customers is to run a story contest with winners and prizes. It’s amazing how excited adults can get over sharing stories. So, how do you create a contest?

Run a Story Contest in 7 Easy Steps

1. Define your contest. What is the purpose? What kind of information do you hope to elicit? Do you want individual stories, workplace stories, or excellent customer service stories? Ask a question that excites your target audience’s imagination. Examples:

  • What do I like best about working here?
  • How has our product or service improved the quality of daily life?
  • What does the future looks like if we succeed?

2. Decide how you’ll use the stories. Will the stories appear in your magazine, your intranet site, your internet site, your management meeting, or maybe on a special wall in the building?

3. Determine the prize(s) you’ll use to incentivize people to participate. Make sure that they are appropriate for your organization, audience, and budget.

4. Establish your timeline and budget. Include the cost of prizes, translations, marketing, and time required. How long will your contest run? Build in time to market the contest, review the entries, and select a winner. Work backwards from your deadline.

5. Draw up the rules. Figure out how you will judge entries in advance – you’ll need to communicate this to participants.

6. Launch your contest. Develop and execute your marketing plan, including the who, what, where and when information on the contest. Monitor submissions, adjusting your marketing efforts as needed.

7. Select and announce your winner(s) and any runner-ups. Notify winners directly in advance before formal announcements are made.  Use winning entries in your communications, as planned.


Your turn: Have you ever participated in a contest? What type of contest would you like to run? Leave a comment here to share your ideas.

How do I save my video to my computer?

Here’s a Monday freebie for you…

A freeware program called KeepVid lets you save YouTube videos and other movie files to your computer.






Three easy steps to downloading videos:

1. Copy the URL of the video you want to download, then head to www.KeepVid.com, and paste it in the bar at the top.

2. Click “Download” to the right of that bar. Do not click the large green “Download” button.

 3. It will load for a few seconds, then you’ll have the option to download the video in FLV (Flash), MP4, or WebM format. If you don’t know which one to pick, go with MP4, as it has the greatest compatibility.

Here’s a nice tutorial on how to use KeepVid: http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57405342-285/how-to-download-videos-from-youtube-vimeo-and-more/

Of course, be sure to have the appropriate permissions when saving videos.

Freebie fun: Create word clouds with Wordle

Wordle is one of the coolest free toys I’ve seen in a while.  I’ll let author  Jonathan Feinberg‘s  description speak for itself and get out your way so you can read it then start Wordling…

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

Here’s one I made for my colleague, Susan Jacobs, as a birthday surprise for her office door:

Wordle Cloud

So, what words will you use to create your own Wordle cloud?

Free Learning Job Aid Toolkit

Are You On The Move! Yet?

The Move! toolkit contains over 50 ‘one page’ job-aids with involving methodologies in five distinct areas : Individual, Team and Organizational Development as well as Project Management and Instructional Design & Facilitation.  You can browse through all the tools here.  Tons of helpful resources, and best of all…they’re FREE.


Performance Management Process / Objective Setting SMARTT / Build-Up coaching session / GROW model for coaching / Coaching Styles / Constructive Feedback / Questioning & Listening / Behavior Wheel / ACHIEVE Model / Individual Development Plan / Checklist for effective coaching / Appraisal Interview /


Team Work Model (GRPI) / GRPI Questionnaire / Action Centered Leadership (Adair) / Intervision / Meeting Management / Multi Voting / Brainstorming / Mind Mapping /Effective Decisions / SWOT Analysis / New Leader Expectation Activity / SADIE problem solving / SORA problem solving / Intake Teamdevelopment


Consulting Process / Intervention Strategy / Business Needs Analysis / Stakeholder Analysis / Initial Customer Contact / Contracting Checklist / Force Field Analysis / Scenario Planning / SARAH coping with change / Change Loop / Balanced Scorecard / Community of Practice / Autonomous Motivation (Self-Determination Theory) / Confrontation Matrix / Environmental Scan


Project Process Map / Project Planning (GANTT) / Critical Path Method / Cause & Effect Analysis (Ishikawa) / Impact – Effort analysis / Risk Analysis / Project Learning Review / Stakeholder Activities / Focus Groups / Individual Interviews / Data Analysis / Responsibility Matrix


8 Field Analysis (Kessels & Smit) / Learner focused versus content focused / Experiential Design model / Checklist Learning Activities / Types of Process Interventions / Guidelines for debriefing group activities / Involvement : look at training / Scenario Template / Statement Game / Checklist for instructional design / Learning Activities /