At a first glance, one might think mentoring is too old of an idea to deserve a spot in the list of L&D innovations. In fact, 84% percent of Fortune 500 companies have internal mentoring programs, according to mentorcliq.
Well, then what is so innovative about mentoring?
Let’s start with a couple of definitions…
What is a mentor? And what is the difference between mentoring and coaching?
According to British professor and prolific management author David Clutterbuck, a mentor is someone who shares his or her own experience, knowledge, and skills to help others develop and grow. Coaches, on the other hand, work to improve the quality of people’s thinking around an issue or change they want to make.
If it seems to you like there’s too much of a fine line between coaching and mentoring, you might be right. In fact, Clutterbuck goes as far as to say mentors are Coaches: “I don’t think it is possible to be really effective, particularly at senior levels as a coach, if you don’t have some experience related to the world the other person is in,” he contends.
At Collective Brains, we call these highly experienced professionals Executive Mentors. We believe that matching role, topic, or industry-specific Executive Mentors who have been there and done that with professionals who want to take the next step in their careers is the lowest-hanging fruit in the vast tree of disruptive L&D initiatives.
How can you structure your internal mentoring program so that you may adequately leverage the experience of your executives to positively impact performance?
Here are some tried and tested ways to accomplish that:
- Make Executive Mentoring Certification a requirement for internal mentors. Few executives are prepared for the challenge of one-on-one development programs. Many of them are more used to telling rather than sharing, more adept at selling rather than influencing.
- Carefully curate Program Development Programs and include in them Executive Mentoring sessions with certified mentors.
- Regardless of what your mentoring software says, make sure your internal mentoring program matches employees with Executive Mentors who have been in the same role, position or shared similar challenges in the past.
- Farm out Executive Mentoring sessions for key talent within your organization. At Collective Brains we offer packages of one, three or six sessions with Executive Mentors that have previous experience in every industry, role or topic of business life.
- Show and tell positive Executive Mentoring experiences in or outside your organization.
- Encourage former mentees to become Executive Mentors once they are promoted to senior roles by offering them the opportunity to become certified.
- Make an effort to measure performance and retention levels of mentored and non-mentored employees.
Want to know more?
Book a free consultation with one of our Program Advisors and let us know how we can help you create other innovative L&D initiatives.