Guns blazing for the next generation - NEXTGEN’s Young Guns program
The NEXTGEN Board of Directors showcases a wealth of experience in the channel partners space, but when it comes to business growth, change and life affirming decision making, they’ve been through it all during the course of their careers. Enter NEXTGEN Young Guns, a business mentorship program aimed at sharing knowledge, fostering innovative thinking and giving a platform to the industry’s future leaders.
The concept, initiated by the NEXTGEN Board in 2016, is all about giving back to the IT and channel community. Comprising of our Chairman, Andrew Petering; Non-Executive Directors Steve Murphy and Tim Ebbeck Group; and our Chief Executive Officer John Walters, all four Board members want to encourage talented people to find longevity in the industry and realise the potential for real career success. With an invaluable wealth of collective knowledge and experience, they have all had a major impact in their fields in starting, growing and running successful businesses and want to foster growth and success in the businesses of NEXTGEN’s partners and vendors.
Looking to make a positive impact and invest in their channel partners, the Young Guns program is filled by hand-picking individuals whose businesses are in major transformational change or are in the start-up phase. It is suitable to those who have started, acquired or taken over a business in the last few years. The NEXTGEN Board believes this criteria will allow the mentorship to have the best results for the participants.
“We’re conscious of how hard it is to set up and grow a partner business, you put everything on the line and it can be very lonely at the top,” John Walters said. “We are in a privileged position to give people access to such a dynamic Board. We want people to feel that we are part of a peer group, a community and that we are all in this together. Business relationships are an important part of our business philosophy and we want to establish those relationships in a way that can really foster growth and success,” he added.
Each new program round is launched at a welcome dinner following NEXTGEN’s quarterly Board meeting, where 2-4 new Young Guns are selected to be a part of the program. The initial dinner allows the Young Guns to establish a relationship with the Board members and each other so they can “follow up” and utilise these contacts throughout their career. This can be from a casual coffee to a round of golf and aligns with NEXTGEN’s culture of developing intimate relationships with the goal to provide an atmosphere that encourages thought leadership and one where the Young Guns can also leverage off each other.
“The opportunity to exchanges issues, experiences and concerns in a safe environment can be so helpful in this stage of a person’s career. The opportunity to be able to accept or offer advice or support is also very important, because sometimes you can’t talk freely amongst your immediate colleagues,” Tim Ebbeck said.
Now a well-established program, the next step is to run an inaugural alumni style event in October this year. This will bring the Young Gun Alumni together for idea sharing, thought leadership, networking and further mentoring sessions to enhance their knowledge, growth and development.