How I Got Here: Guy Peri, Director, Business Intelligence, Procter & Gamble Company Global Business Services

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One thing I've noticed about living overseas is that here in America, we separate business and social life. Over there, it's never separate. Business and pleasure is always together. What was your perception of that?

Absolutely. If you don't have the social relationship, the business doesn't happen. There are lots of examples of that, I think probably in Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Without the personal relationship, there is no trust and confidence to pursue the business discussions. Getting to know the individual and them getting to know me outside of work was really useful.

Tell me more about your present position.

I've been in my present position for about 18 months as Director, Business Intelligence. We have in this Global Business Services organization, analysts that are embedded across the different business units, and we develop capabilities to help our business make better, faster decisions. Filippo Passerini, our CIO and president of GBS, was recognized as Information Week's Chief of the Year. He's been an amazing mentor and leader to me personally, and a number of other folks in the organization. That's just part of his style. That's why I invest a lot of time in mentoring others, because I know how valuable it is for my career.

Is that mentoring part of P&G's internal process?

Absolutely. Because we promote from within, we know that developing that next generation is fundamental to P&G's success. We have a lot of mentoring. We have strong leaders. I think the talent that we bring in is what keeps me in the company. It's very diverse and well-educated, and also very open to new ideas and pushing the envelope. It's an enriching environment.

Besides being mentored yourself, you also mentor others. What's that process like?

I tell my mentors I probably get more out of it than they do. We set ourselves up with people that either seek you out personally or where I think I can add some value. We have meetings, some of which are formal and others are just casual lunches. It's for sharing perspectives, talking about challenges, and trying to get a different angle on a problem that somebody's trying to work out.

What's your favorite part of the job now?

Two things. One is the direct impact we have on the business. It's really rewarding to see that you really are making a difference in how the business operates. The second thing is the interactions we have with such a variety of people, and being able to interact with these business leaders. It's like getting an MBA every day.

What advice would you have for young people just coming out of college?

Two pieces of advice I often give is, figure out what you're passionate about, and then find a career that delivers that passion. People often ask, how do you progress in a career? I think it's about three things: hard work, focusing on being the best person in that job, and continuously transforming yourself. I tell people that if in five years, I'm working the same way as I do now, by definition I'll be irrelevant. You always have to transform your skill set, transform how you work as an individual, and how you work as an organization.

This story, "How I Got Here: Guy Peri, Director, Business Intelligence, Procter & Gamble Company Global Business Services" was originally published by ITworld.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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