Importance of Mentoring
It takes a combination of soft and hard skills to navigate today’s complex business landscape. Learning from others can be extremely helpful to a person’s success. A mentor is someone who shares their experiences and knowledge so that someone can learn from those lessons in a personal and professional setting. Mentors give advice, share their connections, and provide an encouraging support system for young professionals. Mentorship can be a significant part of overall career success, both early on in a career and even late in one’s professional life.
Mentoring and Innovation: Hand in Hand
Today’s successful organizations are innovators. Innovation and creativity are equated with competitive advantage. Innovation happens in the context of relationships with superiors, subordinates, and colleague. Also in relationships between organizations, customers, and suppliers. Strengthening relationships increases the success of innovation strategy. Mentoring is one way to help strengthen relationships. Mentoring has long played an important role in the business world. In fact, 88% of business owners that have a mentor, say that it is invaluable. Which translates to businesses that last longer, with bigger networks, and more successful business models.
Mentoring at Fineline Printing Group
As a company that has been around for 40 years, Fineline knows about mentoring and innovation. Fineline Printing Group CEO, Richard Miller, recently received the John A. Purdie Innovator and Mentor of the Year Award presented annually by Marian University. The award recognizes individuals who demonstrate a legacy of innovation and a desire to share their knowledge with others. Richard has mentored many through the years, including his son Ric Miller. Ric is now President of Fineline and has gained valuable insight with Richard as his mentor. As a mentor Richard looks at the big picture and helps Ric gain broader skills that will help him innovate throughout his entire career. This mentoring relationship helps to bridge the gap across the generations.
There are many who have been impacted by Richard Miller’s mentorship. Currently working for Briljent, Adam Gulla states, “There are countless skills Richard helped me nurture, including: relationship-based business, sales, marketing, negotiation, networking, innovation, productivity, and automation. He has helped me develop nearly every skill in business.”
When asked to note “words of wisdom” learned from Richard Miller, Gulla notes, “People do business with people—meaning honest, genuine relationships in business are key. When you build true relationships with others, business and opportunities will follow. Never underestimate the value of a personal touch. Richard makes it a point to frequently send personal, handwritten notes to people he connects with, along with other outreach. In today’s world of mass emails and automated messaging, this is significant. It goes back to building genuine relationships with others.”
Innovation at Fineline
Innovation has been a part of Fineline’s business model since the beginning. The print industry has evolved beyond ink on paper to include technology with both digital print options and ecommerce. Our customers have always been the driving force behind innovation at Fineline. Finelink, Fineline’s proprietary ecommerce platform, was designed with customers in mind. As internet purchasing increased throughout the business world, customers needed a way to get their printed pieces ordered and shipped all while maintaining branding standards. Ric guided the initiative for this innovative software and his team created Finelink. Finelink continues to evolve to meet the needs of our customers with both printed materials and promotional products.