Is Corporate Mentorship Passé? By Rodger Harding
Things fall apart…. The centre cannot hold” – W.B. Yeats
We know that fads come and go … then often resurge … the same deal dressed in a different package…!
Conversely, there are many constants – Since time began, perhaps a most basic reality is that people strive to be the best they can; another constant is that no person is an island… We all need help in achieving our goals. There is no doubt that we benefit from a like-minded assistance – Being seen, understood, engaged and assisted… for who we really are… and who we might become…!
If this is Mentorship defined, this constant requirement should not be confused with a perceived abatement of the corporate mentorship trend of the past decade! That programs of this ilk are less popular in recent times is perhaps evidenced by the number of times I hear in my capacity as coordinator/organizer of, and as a participant in several formal mentorship programs: “I am mentored out” or “mentorship did not get me a new job” … “We just did not have time to meet often enough,” “My Mentee was too entitled…”
Oftentimes, such programs, due to excessive popularity, become overworked and banal … A gradual watering-down process that results in a one size fits all experience. So too with mentorship participants – People participate in corporate programs for various reasons. We see Mentees confusing mentor guidance, wisdom and insights with the possibility of a quick network-download and a fast-track to career advancement; we also see Mentors who, without an agenda, resolve to advance deserving organizational and industry members… Wanting to give something back to society… As well as those who have heard that ‘being a mentor will look great on a resume’…!
All too often process triumphs over purpose – Paper matches are made in haste and without sufficient due diligence and little or no follow-up. Similarly, these programs are at times seen by some organizations as a more cost and time effective vehicle to secure professional development.
As night follows day, with ensuing inefficiency and over reaching expectations, formal mentorship programs are losing popularity. The same can be said for the overuse/ exploitation of internship programs that are rapidly losing traction as a must do trend…!
Mentorship has always existed and always will!
I laud those (Mentees) who ask for/allow assistance … I certainly salute those (Mentors) who step forward, identifying excellence/potential and help pave the way to full deployment!
About Rodger Harding
Rodger is a dynamic, free thinking, Business Leadership Consultant. His fierce belief in who/what people are, rather than who/what they are expected to be, has resulted in a consistent demand for his career transition and mentorship expertise from a diverse client base.
His thriving Toronto based practice draws on an extensive business, legal, diplomatic and military experience accumulated internationally over two decades. His fields of expertise are Leadership, Career Transition, Corporate Intelligence Awareness and Conflict Management/Mediation.
Rodger is proud of his ability to access individual contribution within the larger framework of business objectives. His ability to interact effectively with people from all walks of life derives from an interesting career evolution that has ranged from the sophisticated diplomatic lifestyle of Paris, France, to the survival of death threats from mercenaries in the Indian Ocean, as well as the management of multi-million dollar aid projects.
At all times, he highlights the unique role of the individual to contribute to the ongoing evolution of good business.
To find out more about his successful Toronto based consultancy, visit www.HardingIntl.com