Mentoring Culture for Organizational Success

A Guideline for Successful Mentoring Programs

Originally Published October 16, 2015, Queen's University Industrial Relations Centre "E-News"

Mentoring is a management practice that can assist organizations in building a desired corporate culture, while enabling the careers of those who are already motivated to pursue one. It is an efficient and effective method of shortening the learning curve of new executives and providing more knowledgeable employees with broader perspectives. New executives with a mentor have a sounding board, as well as the benefit of their mentor’s experience as they navigate through situations that may be unfamiliar to them.  Based upon a foundation of trust, the relationship of mentees with experienced executives can offer a safe place to try out ideas, skills, and roles with minimal risk, while focusing on their individual development needs. 

In this article, I will discuss the impact a mentoring culture can make in an organization, how mentoring differs from coaching, the value of a structured approach to mentoring and the steps to set up a mentoring program.

Successful Mentorships

Mentoring is defined as a professional and confidential relationship between two individuals that assists one of them in developing “business strategies” and acquiring new “technical” knowledge and skills. One mentee concluded, after a year-long mentoring relationship in a structured program I designed for a large public sector organization,[1]that:   “It is an evolutionary process, where mentors become a resource for someone enabling an exchange of ideas and experiences. Avoid matching of those who have known each other a long time… the forging of the relationship is a valuable part of the process.”

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Knowledge Continuity - Both Daunting and Critical

Resources, commitment and culture needed

Originally Published January 16, 2012  in "Canadian HR Reporter"

“This is too complicated and no one will know what you are talking about” — that’s what one respondent to the Pulse Survey said and that’s exactly how I felt when I first encountered knowledge continuity.

A consultant told me CEOs were concerned about the corporate knowledge that walked out the door with departing senior managers, especially when it was unplanned. All the investment in their learning disappeared and the synergy created through their work activity came to a screeching halt, hurting competitiveness and, ultimately, the bottom line.

No matter how brilliant their replacements, the learning curve would entail review, rethink and perhaps even reinvention of what was already being done successfully.

The survey results indicate the ultimate returns on investment from knowledge continuity are a strong leadership pool, seamless continuity of operations and managed turnover. 

Also significant are shorter learning curves for new hires, diminishing corporate brain drain, lower burnout and stress costs, and less reliance on a contingent workforce.

Overall, respondents shared a number of common challenges, including lack of time, expertise, budget, senior management commitment and a general resistance to giving up the power of knowledge. They often find themselves at an impasse in pushing a knowledge continuity strategy.

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Mission Statement

We enable small to medium size organizations reach their highest performance potential. We are guided by professional values, trusting client relationships and clear outcomes. We partner with the client to facilitate the process of review and change towards a desirable work culture.

We Bring Passion To:

The possibilities, in helping you create a better workplace

We Listen To:

What you say and to what you do not say to help you prepare for a successful and positive change

We Build Relationships So:

We can ask you tough questions and you can respond with trust

We Respect Your Mandate To:

Resolve the issues, and acknowledge your ownership of the solutions

We Tell It As We Would Want To Be Told So:

You can realize the outcomes you both need and seek
It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.
Nelson Mandela
People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.
Theodore Roosevelt
There are few, if any jobs, in which ability alone is sufficient. Indeed also are loyalty, sincerity, enthusiasm and team play.