Is your company failing at recognizing and growing internal talent? Unless you are leading in a spunky tech start up company, it’s likely that your team is older and staffed with people who are at the top of their careers. That means a few years down the road, your company could face extinction. If you want to build a sustainable organization, it’s worthwhile to consider a mentoring program to grow your own superstars.
Mentoring as an organizational growth strategy has been around for a long time, but the focus has shifted from one that relies heavily on senior staff helping younger team members move into a power role to one that is focused more on holistic growth and development. This Tech Republic article captured it really well. Here's a snippet:
"But mentoring has evolved over the past decade, according to Les McKeown, president and CEO of Deliver The Promise, a Tiburon, CA, consulting firm that specializes in mentoring. 'Until about 10 years ago, a mentor was almost universally seen as an older, senior person who would take someone more junior ‘under their wing,’ helping the protege in whatever manner seemed right to them at the time," he said. "Today, mentoring is less power–related. It's less about seniority and teaching, and more about sharing and development. In its purist sense, mentoring is about supporting and developing the all-around growth of the protege, not just making them better at their job.'"
You can’t begin a mentoring program unprepared or you will risk it unraveling. You can get started by using some of the tools at Mentoring.org. To begin a responsible mentoring program, they identify five key attributes:
1. Is a structured, one-to-one relationship or partnership that focuses on the needs of mentored participants.
2. Fosters caring and supportive relationships.
3. Encourages individuals to develop to their fullest potential.
4. Helps an individual to develop his or her own vision for the future.
5. Is a strategy to develop active community partnerships.
And to help you take it one step further, here’s an excellent presentation on how to launch an effective mentoring program.