Mentorship


Emerging into its Own Value-added Space


Mentorship is an increasing necessity for business to develop the budding internal talent that exists within companies. External factors such as escalating costs of specialist skills, brain-drain emigration and loss of life through the Aids epidemic, are forcing businesses to look internally to develop the skills they need. Even more fundamentally, the face of business is changing rapidly; new challenges emerge daily that require different thinking and innovative approaches.
Many of the conservative practices of the past are no longer relevant in the current, fast moving, global business arena and new skills and thinking paradigms need to be mobilised in order for companies to survive and grow.

The structural face of business is changing; the old ‘exclusive’ and hierarchical profile of business is evolving into a more diverse and ‘inclusive’, networked structure. Our developmental processes need to encourage and stimulate this. Accelerated development is becoming the critical norm, not the exception or the ‘equity aspirin’.

Hand-in-hand with the requirement for intense and accelerated development comes an increasing need to maximise the contribution of the existing specialist talent within the organisation and to harness the wisdom of experience.
The challenge to business is to revitalise, sustain and integrate the experience of the past with the emerging dynamism of leading-edge thinking and practice and so create innovative ways of dealing with the future. Business has to ensure that the unique and specialist knowledge and skill of the organisation is transferred internally to ensure sustained intellectual capital.

The Mentorship process marries these requirements with amazing effectiveness. The skills, knowledge and experience of valued employees is tapped with the specific aim of developing and nurturing evolving talent within the organisation. A well-formed Mentorship programme where Mentors are in touch with their role and have the process skills to be effective in the developmental alliance, can add significant value to the company’s future.
Similarly, Protégés who understand their responsibilities in pursuing personal mastery can develop their skills beyond all perceived boundaries and rapidly emerge as major contributors to the organisation.

The Mentors benefit from the stimulation of being challenged in their thinking around their own knowledge and skills that have moved to the level of unconscious competence. In addition, they can revel in the knowledge that they are regarded as credible and professional role models and receive direct and indirect acknowledgement for their vital role in developing the future talent of the organisation.
Introduced effectively, Mentorship becomes a win-win solution for all parties involved: individual, Mentor and the business.

Article by Jennie Browning
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