By Kirsten M. Poulsen
Director and Mangement Consultant, KMP+ House of Mentoring
Leaders and executives are facing many challenges in their daily work. Living in an ambiguous and volatile world and often in a matrix organisation with many influencers and stakeholders, makes it difficult to make decisions and feel confident that the decisions are right. There is a need to test reality and find clarity that can be difficult to handle alone, which creates a need for confidential conversations with experienced others who are not the direct manager.
Modern mentoring can provide these confidential conversations where mentees and mentors can test their understanding and ideas, explore meaning and solutions and find ways to navigate in their world.
Modern mentoring creates meaningful relationships across the organisational boundaries and provides mentors and mentees with a learning partnership where both can gain new insight, new learning and grow in their respective roles and careers. At the same time, modern mentoring engages the participants in developing the organisation and the business.
Five Key Learning Points for Mentors and Mentees
From the many international and global mentoring programmes that KMP+ House of Mentoring has helped design, implement and evaluate, here are five key learning points mentioned by mentors and mentees:
- How to build a network of alliances across the organisation to be better informed when managing their own part of the organisation. Gaining more insights into other parts of the organisation and learning from how other parts of the organisation are handling their challenges.
- To manage in constantly changing conditions – and finding the right balance between management (KPI’s) and leadership. To manage the complexity and diversity of the business, and develop a global mindset.
- To move from the manager role to the leadership role, and create compelling visions for leading change.
- The importance of being a role model and being clear on my own values.
- More clarity in terms of what I want in my Career.
Advice for implementing successful modern mentoring programmes
Based on interviews with our international clients, we have identified some of the most important dimensions for ensuring successful implementation of modern mentoring in organisations:
- Ensure top level ambassadors and sponsors who can be role models for the programme, who will communicate the strategic value of the programme and ensure understanding that this is a strategic activity building the strengths of the organisation.
- Combine the mentoring programme with strategic topics to increase the impact of the programme as well as integrate the mentoring fully into the talent and leadership development initiatives.
- Having a strong, competent HR function that understands the business and the organisation, who will proactively and systematically follow up on mentors and mentees to ensure progress and quality.