Art of Mentoring - Bringing Australia to Austin
Posted on 11/07/2022 by Austin Chamber
“We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we are on today, the Tonkawa, Lipan-Apache, Karankawa, Comanche, and Coahuiltecan people, and pay our respect to their elders past, present and emerging,” is the opening statement in team meetings and webinars at Art of Mentoring, a HR tech company that designs strategic mentoring programs for corporates, associations and government departments in Australasia and North America. The opening acknowledgement is just one of many globally conscious business practices and customs that CEO Alex Richardson has brought to Austin from his home country of Australia just two months ago, along with a fresh perspective on how transformational mentoring programs can empower organizations.
Art of Mentoring was co-founded in 2013 by Alex and his mother, global mentoring expert, Melissa Richardson. The combination of Alex’s deep understanding of technology and Melissa’s mentoring mastery presented an opportunity to leverage technology to mobilize strategic mentoring programs and help organizations attract, develop and retain their people. Art of Mentoring has since grown into a dynamic mentoring software platform that has built and supported some of the world’s largest mentoring programs across a variety of sectors such as Government, Defense, Membership Associations and Corporates in countries all around the world.
“My passion is in enabling and connecting communities of people to work together more effectively, creating unexpectedly pleasing results for people, and their organizations. At the core of this is enabling conversations to go beyond coffee catch ups and move into the transformational space. It is also about human centric design principles being applied to programs that are designed to solve problems or build opportunity,” says CEO, Alex Richardson.
Under his leadership, Art of Mentoring continues to push the boundaries of unlocking the potential of powerful relationships enabled by technology and has expanded to a team of nearly 30 mentoring experts, some with more than 25 years of experience running mentoring programs. In 2022, Alex chose Austin, Texas, as the U.S. headquarters and moved his family here in August. While mentoring has been an important part of Alex’s life, he also has a passion for music that runs deeps, which saw Alex study sound engineering and go on to produce albums throughout Australia, Africa and Brazil, which is part of what drew him to the capital of the Lone Star State. Other reasons for opening the U.S. HQ in Austin include the dynamic and inclusive culture of the city (including the friendly people, nature, and food), it being such a hot spot for tech companies and top talent, and the family-friendly atmosphere.
“It’s a great time to be in Texas and a great time for mentoring – with so many people now working remotely, the traditional workplace and structure around how we work has fundamentally changed. Mentoring can help to support personal connection, manage change, reduce isolation, and allow employees to continue to thrive and grow in their career paths.” says CEO, Alex Richardson.
While many organizations know they want to provide their employees or members with an effective mentoring program, not all mentoring programs are equal. Art of Mentoring focuses on creating truly meaningful mentoring relationships. With average satisfaction rates around 90 percent, unheard of in the mentoring space, Art of Mentoring combines evidence-based international mentoring standards with the latest technological innovations to develop measurable and scalable programs. One of the most unique offerings is their online mentor and mentee training programs, which have taught more than 100,000 mentors and mentees how to effectively make the most out of their mentorships.
The company’s logo, featuring the geese, is another fun and unique attribute of the tech company. “The geese in the Art of Mentoring logo represents the mentor/mentee relationship. In the natural world, the geese flying at the front of the flock improve the aerodynamics to make it easier for the followers to fly, and the geese at the back honk to encourage front geese to keep pushing forward. They are constantly shifting position meaning the ‘Mentor’ could be leading from behind or in front, sometimes just flying alongside,” explains Alex on how they came up with the concept.
It's things like that which attract new employees to the fast-growing Art of Mentoring. With an 80 percent YoY growth last year and adding three new employees in Texas the past 2 months, they are rapidly expanding. Art of Mentoring offers flexible working arrangements (including full work from home options) and a full suite of employee benefits (medical/dental/vision insurance, 401K, paid holidays, PTO and vacation time). One of the team members described it as, “Art of Mentoring has attracted a team of people who are dedicated to making a difference for others. There is a genuine sense of team and caring for each other here, that is rare to find and extremely precious. It extends to how we interact with our clients, who often say they feel like our people are part of their own team, such is the level of client care and service. We genuinely like each other and despite being a virtual company, there are strong connections and bonds between us. Everyone contributes to making Art of Mentoring a great place to work.”
Art of Mentoring works with U.S. organizations like HR.com, Philips, Kiva, LG, Toyota, Equiti Group, Zimmer Biomet, and more. They are the premier mentoring software company for associations and governmental entities in Australia and have already been building partnerships and clients in that space in the U.S. One of Alex’s first moves was attending the annual ASAE conference in Nashville in August with his new Texas-based Senior Account Executive. Attending the major upcoming association, government and HR-tech based conferences is part of the U.S. expansion strategy, as well as partnering with Texas associations, corporations, and government agencies.
If you’d like to give Alex a warm Austin welcome, you can connect with him on LinkedIn.
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