I talk to a lot of business people in my day to day travels. I give my elevator pitch when the opportunity presents itself on how I can bring value to an organization. I get a resounding response that every organization needs what you do! The interesting part of all of this is that the people within the organization see this – but senior management are slow to make the decision to engage. So why is that?
There are many things that are competing for a senior leader’s attention today. There are a lot of business challenges that consume their every waking moment. What typically are forgotten are the people that make an organization successful! Just having warm live bodies is not the answer. More importantly it is ensuring that you have the right people on the bus in order for your organization to be successful. What is extremely important then is to have a culture that attracts and retains the “right people” to your organization and ensures that they want to stay with you for the entire journey.
This culture needs to create an environment of continuous learning. Learning that becomes a way of life. That learning is fostered by having a strong mentoring culture. We have a combination of formal and informal mentoring that transpires throughout the working day. We have some of the formal mentoring that takes place outside of the workplace. Mentoring becomes a way of life.
In a Harvard Business Review Blog article written by Sue Ashford and Scott DeRue it was stated that 60% of the companies are facing leadership talent shortages that is impeding their performance and another 31% expect their lack of leadership talent to impede their performance over the next several years. All of this is surprising when in 2009 United States companies spent 24% of their overall training budget ($12B) on leadership development programs.
What the article went on to say was that the best learners make the best leaders. That leadership training is best achieved from real world experiences. This is where your mentoring culture comes into play! You have the continuous learning environment that is fostered through informal and formal mentoring creating the culture that supports the development of your future leadership team in your organization. Now I will caution you now – there will be bumps along the way. The end result however, will be that you will have an organization that is productive and profitably with a strong leadership pool of resources to draw on. You will be an employer of choice where attracting and retaining will no longer be as much of a challenge as it is today. All of this is possible through a mentoring culture and the “power of mentoring.” So why wait till spring, implement a mentoring culture today!
- Good to Great – Jim Collins