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Implementing successful mentoring programs: Career definition vs mentoring approach



Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present the challenges posed by designing and implementing mentoring programs when program coordinators, managers and participants may hold different assumptions about what mentoring is and what career development is. It aims to create an awareness of the inherent conflicts between the old and the new definitions of careers when implementing mentoring programs. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is a presentation of the different definitions of careers as well as the different approaches to mentoring and a discussion of the implications of these in corporate mentoring programs. Findings – This paper presents viewpoints on where to focus the attention in designing and implementing mentoring programs to achieve maximum results for the organization as well as for the participants. Originality/value – Human resource professionals, managers and potential mentors and mentees might find value in reading this paper to become aware of obstacles for learning and growth.
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First published in: Industrial and Commercial Training, vol 38 no. 5, 2006
The Definition of Career
“Old meaning: a course of professional advancement; usage is restricted to occupational groups with formal
hierarchical progression, such as managers and professionals. New meaning: the unfolding sequence of any
person’s work experience over time”
– quote from the “Boundaryless Career” by Michael B. Arthur and Denise M. Rousseau, 1996, Oxford
University Press.
The concept of careers has changed with the changing focus in the work place. Moving from the
industrial economy to the knowledge-based economy through the turbulent times of the IT-bubble,
the meaning of career has changed from being an objective, externally defined concept to a
subjective, internally defined concept. Careers used to be for the few lucky ones, most often men,
and the external signs of success were titles, salaries, and moving up the hierarchical ladder – mainly
as a manager. This old definition placed a lot of responsibility on the organization for supplying
careers to the talented and ambitious employees; and if you were loyal and played by the company
rules, and allied yourself with the right people, you could have a lifetime’s career in one organization.
Kirsten M. Poulsen is Director
and Management Consultant at
KMP+ House of Mentoring,
She is an External Professor at
CBS, Copenhagen Business
And she is first and former
President of EMCC DK,
European Mentoring & Coaching
Council (2007-2009).
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In the knowledge-based economy we are now talking about intelligent careers1 and boundaryless
careers2. Technology and knowledge is changing so fast that there can be no guarantee of a lifelong
career in any one profession or organization. Career is now your whole work life no matter if it goes
up, down, sideways or on hold for a while, e.g. while having children or taking a year-long sabbatical
to sail around the world; and the individual is the only one who can determine whether this is a
successful career. This places the responsibility for the career on the individual who no longer can
(or want to) rely on the organization to set the rules and provide standard careers. Each person is
responsible for his/her own market value, and for making good career decisions according to own
subjective criteria - criteria that may change through different periods of life. This requires much
more of each person in understanding his/her own motivation, skills, and ambitions and in choosing
the right opportunities.
The definition of mentoring
When you look at literature from the UK and from the USA it is evident that there are different
ideas of what mentoring can and should do.
In the USA mentors are generally defined as individuals with advanced experience and
knowledge who are committed to providing upward mobility and career support to their
mentees – often called protégés (Kram, 1985).
Even though many researchers and consultants today have started writing about mentors also as
catalysts for development, US mentoring and research into mentoring is still very much focused on
the mentor seen as a career sponsor, advisor and door opener – the expert.
In the UK there is a clearer focus on the mentor’s role as a guide, counsellor and coach. David
Clutterbuck and Nadine Klasen3 talks about mentoring as a ”learning alliance (that is) tapping into
talent”. Clutterbuck argues that whereas the US mentoring model assumes that the mentor have
more seniority and power than the mentee, the most important aspect of the UK model is that the
mentor has relevant experience which is valuable to the mentee and that the mentee takes
responsibility for his/her own learning. Clutterbuck’s position is that career development often is an
indirect effect of the personal and professional development that in turn create more opportunities
for career advancement. The point is that the mentor’s role is to assist in this transition – not to do
the mentee’s work for him/her.
We have come across these three popular ways of distinguishing the different approaches to
mentoring programs:
Sage on the Stage
Guide on the Side
Learning Alliance
Let’s have a look at how these three ways of seeing mentoring fit with the ways of understanding
careers and the knowledge-based economy:
1 Michael B. Arthur, Priscilla H. Claman & Robert J. DeFillippi: Intelligent enterprise, intelligent careers,
Academy of Management Executive, 1995, Vol. 9 No. 4
2 Michael B. Arthur & Denise Rousseau: The Boundaryless Career, Oxford University Press, 1996
3 Nadine Klasen with David Clutterbuck: Implementing Mentoring Schemes, Butterworth & Heinemann 2002
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Mentoring: Sage on the Stage
The notion of the mentor being the important person in the mentoring relationship, the person who
has the experience, the network, the power and the influence, is the picture of the “Sage on the
Stage”. The more important, influential and well-known the mentor is, the more this reflects on the
mentee, in the sense that: “if this person (mentor) will spend his (most often a man) time and efforts
helping this other person (mentee), then this other person must be worth it and have some special
In this kind of mentoring program the mentor is expected to advise the mentee, to recommend
actions, to open doors, and to help the mentee establish new alliances to move ahead in his/her
career. It is the mentor who defines what the right moves are to achieve the right career success,
and success is most often associated with externally visible signs such as title, position, salary etc.
Mentee is seen more as a protégé – a word that is often used in mentoring programs in the USA –
meaning “under the care and protection of another”4.
This way of seeing mentoring is really connected to the old way of understanding career – the
objective definition of career. In this career understanding you must ally yourself with somebody
from “the establishment” – the old boys’ network? – to gain access to power and influence and to
climb the organizational ladder.
Mentoring: Guide on the Side
Looking at the large survey done on mentoring best practices in Canada in 20035, the primary roles
of the mentor still is that of an adviser, a teacher and a model: “Essentially, becoming a mentor
means helping to reveal the life’s dream of the protégé or less experienced person…over time this
becomes a special relationship that supports the personal development of the mentee”. Listening to
this and to the program coordinators and reading the book on the survey, there seem to be a move
away from focusing on the mentor as an important, visible sponsor for the mentee, to the mentor
being more of a guide, supporting the mentee in transitions at work. Thus the skills and experiences
and overall knowledge of the mentor become more important than his/her visible career success and
networks. This is a step on the way to understanding mentoring as a “learning alliance”.
This way of understanding mentoring is moving towards the new career understanding. The mentor
supports the mentee who is taking his/her own career choices on transitions at work.
Mentoring: Learning Alliance
Talking about mentoring as a learning alliance takes the focus completely away from the mentor and
onto the action in the relationship – the learning – for both mentor and mentee. In this kind of
relationship we talk about counselling, coaching, asking good questions and telling good stories. Here
it is not so important who the mentor is, since the mentor is not visible to other people around the
mentee. However, it is important that the mentor has experience and skills that are relevant to the
mentee, since the mentor is expected to offer his/her experience and stories as an inspiration to the
mentee. The mentee is not offered final solutions but is presented with stories that can inspire, ideas
that can be built upon and questions that will lead to reflection. In this way the mentee is able to
4 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc
5 Les Éditions de la Fondation de léntrepreneurship: Mentoring and the World of Work in Canada: Source
Book of Best Practices, 2003 – the work was funded in part by the Government of Canada and presented in a
conference in March 2004 in Toronto.
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build new solutions for him-/herself, and after implementing the new solutions the mentee will
evaluate and discuss the results with the mentor in a new round of reflection.
However, a learning alliance is a two-way street where also the mentor can and should focus on
his/her own learning. Listening to the mentee’s challenges and concerns, hearing stories from other
parts of the organizational hierarchy, observing other people through the eyes of the mentee, and
achieving new knowledge about other professions, gives the mentor the opportunity to reflect on
his/her own behaviour at work, to question his/her own decisions on how to handle challenging
situations, and to gain new knowledge about people, about the organization and about other
This kind of mentoring is very much in line with the new way of understanding careers. Both parties
in the mentoring relationship are responsible for their own learning, for taking action on this
learning, and both parties are responsible for fulfilling their roles as mentor and mentee bringing all
their knowledge, skills and experience to the table in an honest and open way which will create the
best possible learning arena for both.
What happens when the mentoring and career assumptions do not fit?
Moving back to the definitions of careers: objective, external success factors vs. subjective, internal
success factors, we see many potential challenges for implementing successful mentoring programs –
and we have experienced several of these in existing mentoring programs.
Focusing on the “Sage on the Stage” who represents the objective career definition where the
mentor is the expert who can advise and open doors that will lead the mentee in the right direction,
the question becomes what is the right direction? Since market conditions are changing, the economy
is changing and the needs for competencies are changing, maybe the mentor’s perception of what the
right direction is, is not valid any more. This could mean that the mentor is sending the mentee in a
direction that will seem successful in the short term, but will lead to a dead-end in the long term for
both the mentee and the organization. This way of mentoring will only cement the old way of
working and thinking, so if there is a need for organizational change, you need another kind of
Another risk is that the mentee will not be receptive to this kind of mentor behaviour and will react
negatively to the mentor, resulting in a dysfunctional mentoring relationship. This could give the
mentoring program a bad reputation in the organization as well as lead to participants dropping out
of the program, and maybe mentees leaving the company completely.
This situation can happen for various reasons. Maybe the national culture is very focused on
authority and power (think about Hofstede and others presenting the dimensions of national
cultures), or maybe the culture in the organization is very focused on the old career definition.
Maybe you have many employees with very high seniority who has lived the old career definition of
climbing the ladder by being loyal, hardworking and supporting the right decisions and right
superiors. Whatever the reason is, it is important to be aware of these underlying assumptions in the
company and among the managers and employees as you make your decision for a mentoring
Moving to the mentor who works as a “Guide on the Side” we are much more aligned with the
subjective career definition. The mentor is now seen as a catalyst for change and development in the
mentee, so the mentor is still important though not visible to others. Here the mentor is most often
seen as a transition guide, which means that the mentee has already made a career decision and the
focus is now on making the move successful. The challenges here are of a different kind, namely the
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mentor has to find the right balance between giving advice to a person who is insecure and
inexperienced and asking for advice to specific situations, and coaching, counselling and creating
space for reflection for the mentee to find his/her own solutions. The mentor, though, is still seen as
the knowledgeable and experienced person who transfers some of his/her knowledge to the mentee
and guides the mentee into the relevant reflections.
In the “Learning Alliance” we have moved completely into the new career definition. Here there
is a mutual focus on learning and no predetermined ideas of what the right direction or right
solutions are. Both parties realize that they can learn from each other and are open for exploration,
strange questions, creative discussions and new solutions. The mentor’s main role is to act as a
facilitator to create learning opportunities, as well as openly present his/her own reflections not only
on the situation of the mentee, but also on how the mentor can use these reflections in his/her own
work life. These kinds of reflections can again lead the mentee to new reflections and together they
create new insights of value to both parties.
If however, you implement a mentoring program in an organization – especially an international
organization – you risk having both mentors and mentees with different assumptions and
expectations about mentoring programs. This can lead to a lot of confusion and unfulfilled
expectations. You may find mentees in some organizations and countries still are very focused on the
old career definition, and they will expect mentors to support and direct them and to give them the
“right” answers. They will not be satisfied with a “learning alliance” mentor. In fact you will find
mentors and mentees at all points of the scale, which will challenge you in designing the mentoring
program and the matching process to fit the people and the organization.
How do you deal with these challenges?
Of course there is no single right solution to these challenges. The main issue is to be very aware of
the potential problems that may arise from different assumptions about career and mentoring.
This places a great deal of responsibility on those who design and implement the mentoring
programs. It is in this phase that you need to consider different underlying assumptions in relation to
what you wish to achieve through the mentoring program. You need to make quite sure what the
purpose of the mentoring program is, and how this will support the goals and strategies of the
organization. You need to be certain of how top management thinks about mentoring and how they
will act to support the program both as top managers and as mentors; and you need to establish
clear criteria for selecting the right mentors and mentees as participants in the program. Remember,
those you choose for the mentoring program will become role models for the other employees in
the organization, and it will send a strong signal to everybody about what the “right” behaviour,
values and performance is in this organization.
Holding individual interviews with all relevant candidates for the program – both mentors and
mentees – can be very valuable to really understand their motivation for entering the program and to
explore their expectations as well as their assumptions about the roles of mentoring. This is an
excellent way of gaining knowledge that can be helpful in the final selection of candidates and in
matching mentors and mentees.
Seminars and workshops to introduce the participants to the mentoring program as well as to train
in the roles of being mentor and mentee are also valuable in creating a common platform for the
program. Participants need to understand the purpose of the mentoring program and identify their
own goals. They need to understand and train in the roles of mentor and the mentee, and they need
to learn how the mentoring relationship can unfold and create learning for both parties – learning
that will also be beneficial to the organization. The better prepared and trained both mentors and
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mentees are, the better they are able to create results together avoiding the traps of
To ensure that you as a program coordinator take all these elements into account when designing
and implementing mentoring programs nationally or internationally, we encourage you to find and
develop your own generic model for mentoring – a model or checklist which will help you consider
all the relevant aspects of mentoring program as well as whether a mentoring program is the right
solution to the development need in your organization.
Mentoring – from the participants' perspective
Mentoring is a learning partnership between two people with
different levels of experience and with the potential to achieve
new learning, new insight and personal growth.
Mentoring is about creating synergy between two people in a
learning alliance.
Mentoring – from the organization's perspective
Mentoring is a strategic development activity that supports
the organization's vision, goals and values and the
participant's own development needs and wishes.
About the author
Kirsten M. Poulsen is the owner and Director of KMP+ House of Mentoring, which she founded in
Kirsten is a leading-edge thought leader, author and consultant specialised in the field of mentoring,
where she designs and delivers high impact mentoring programmes focused on leadership, talent
development and diversity across the globe.
She is an external Professor at Copenhagen Business School on mentoring and coaching in an
organisational context at bachelor and master level, a regular speaker at international conferences,
and the author and co-author on several books in English and Danish on mentoring, leadership, talent
and organisational development.
Kirsten has a corporate background of more than 25 years as management consultant to major
international corporations and as Nordic HR Director for SAP, specialising in leadership, strategy and
Lean; and she has an MBA from IESE Business School in Barcelona and Bachelor degree in
International Business from Copenhagen Business School.
Kirsten is the first and former president (2007-2009) of EMCC Denmark (European Mentoring &
Coaching Council).
See more about Kirsten M. Poulsen & KMP+
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Appendix: The Mentor+Model
From our work with mentoring and careers we have developed our own definitions and model for
Original version (2003) New version (2008)
Area 1:
The Core
Mentoring subjects
Developing the Relationship
Learning and Development
The Mentoring Conversation
Mutual Evaluation
Area 2:
Goals & Results
Personal Skills
Professional Competencies
Knowledge Sharing
Culture, Values and Unwritten Rules
Clear Personal and Organizational Goals
Personal Skills
Professional Competencies
Knowledge Sharing
Cultural Understanding
Career Development
Active Listening
Area 3:
Program Structure
Program Purpose
Top Management Team Commitment
Introduction and Training
Program Evaluation
Matching Mentor and Mentee
Rules, Roles and Responsibilities
Supporting Materials
Program Coordination
Program Purpose
Program Management
Area 4:
Top Management
Through a process of analysis and validation the Mentor+Model and the Mentor+Survey was
developed from the 2003 into the 2008 version. The Mentor+Survey includes 72 basic statements for
the respondents to answer in the new version.
... Mentors can actively encourage and challenge mentees to think about their different career options, how to progress in developing a career of choice, and how to achieve their short-and long-term career goals (Gannon & Maher, 2012). Emotional and psychological-social support can help to achieve more subjective outcomes, such as greater self-esteem, commitment, and decreased stress (Allen et al., 2006;Poulsen, 2006;Underhill, 2006). Role modeling can help the mentee understand professional and ethical business behavior, culture, and expectations within certain business functions (Poulsen, 2006). ...
... Emotional and psychological-social support can help to achieve more subjective outcomes, such as greater self-esteem, commitment, and decreased stress (Allen et al., 2006;Poulsen, 2006;Underhill, 2006). Role modeling can help the mentee understand professional and ethical business behavior, culture, and expectations within certain business functions (Poulsen, 2006). ...
... For post-secondary students who are matched with an industry professional, career development might mean narrowing career options from a wide variety of choices (for example, finance, accounting, marketing, human resources) or investigating options within an already chosen career (for example, within accounting: auditing, cost accountant, tax expert, financial analyst). Exchanges in the career development process might involve helping the mentee create a network (Haggard et al., 2011); observing mentor's work activities; participating in professional development workshops with the mentor; and discussing career paths to guide the mentee to make his/her own decisions (Poulsen, 2006). Other activities might involve developing effective job search strategies, including resume preparation and interviewing skills. ...
Using the theory of social exchange, we investigated the mediating role of a good match between commitment and personal character (independent variables) and achievement of mentorship program objectives (dependent variables). Even though mentorship programs are designed to fulfill their designated objectives, the extent to which they are achieved is often not fully known. The focus of the study is a post-secondary professional mentorship program offered Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, which matches undergraduate and graduate students with business professionals. Data were collected primarily through questionnaires. We found that commitment (both the mentees' commitment and the mentees' perception of their mentors' commitment) and the mentors' character are important variables to actuate the exchange mechanism for learning to occur. These input variables are significant in predicting a good match and ultimately in determining whether the mentee's expectations are met, which had not been tested through an empirical analysis in prior literature. Also, our findings suggest that the importance of the mentor's personal character as a role model must be considered in the matching process. Care must be taken to customize the match to the needs of the specific mentor and mentee. Based on the findings, several suggestions are made for improvement of mentorship programs.
... While in a traditional mentoring relationship, more than expertise, experience is being sought for, in a reverse mentoring relationship, expertise in one domain is highly valued. A traditional mentor is usually selected based on the years of experience, power, influence, and the network one has, and the focus is more on sharing organizational knowledge and wisdom (Poulsen, 2006). In reverse mentoring, usually high potential younger employees who have a specific expertise in one particular topic are typically chosen to be the mentors. ...
There is dearth of studies exploring the likelihood of reverse mentoring practices being accepted or resisted in diverse organizational contexts. Moreover, prior studies on reverse mentoring have focused on the formal programmatic implementations instead of exploring the informal instances where senior employees learn from their junior colleagues in organizations. To address these gaps, we pose the question: What are the factors necessary for formal and informal reverse mentoring to succeed? We utilized a qualitative methodology based on in‐depth semi‐structured interviews with 10 globally located learning and development professionals from Asia, Europe, and the Americas who are often tasked with executing mentoring initiatives in their respective organizations. Our findings indicate that reverse mentoring can be successfully practiced both formally and informally if such practices are aligned with the cultural preferences of the context.
... The KMP+ Mentor Model (fromPoulsen M. K., (2006). "Implementing successful mentoring programs: career definition vs. mentoring approach". ...
... From discussions and surveys it became clear that an online mentoring project that could be coconstructed by the mentors and the mentees, and could distribute ownership to all the participants, would to a large extent fill the gap in development experienced by the doctorandi. This focus was on mentoring models where either the mentee or the mentor is centred, and is temporal, and for the specific purpose of obtaining a doctorate qualification (Poulsen, 2006). ...
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Purpose: The UFS’ Postgraduate School (PGS) aspires to enhance dynamic postgraduate education and career development, and to facilitate the development of twenty-first century doctorateness of doctorandi. International best practices work well for traditional doctorandi; however, non-traditional doctorandi need nontraditional interventions. The PGS accepted the challenge to develop a tailor-made extension of the existing programme. This paper is intended for doctorandi and postgraduate support units in this era of exponential growth in postgraduate enrolments and limited growth in academic staff appointments. Design/methodology/approach: In the first Action Research (AR)-cycle the PGS responded to negotiated requirements, and developed an e-mentoring programme that included components of group- and peer-mentoring. Then, the doctorandi identified an additional requirement. This led to the second AR-cycle and illustrated the value of AR’s participation and co-constructing. Theories, concepts and constructs of Developmental Action Inquiry, Action Research and Developmental Psychology support the design. Findings: The result was a self-mentoring programme that encompasses lifelong career ownership skills; research and scholarship; doctoral education; academic practice and development; as well as the discovery of literature that supports and furthers the passion of the PGS. Originality/value: The self-mentoring programme is generic and transferable, and only very basic MS Word and Internet access is needed.
This chapter focuses on the need, purpose, and benefits for college presidents to develop change leadership skills. The college presidency is evolving, and if leaders are to perform at their best, preparation for emerging challenges is essential. To prepare for these challenges, and to position themselves for future career opportunities, aspiring leaders benefit from developing change leadership skills. Change leadership refers to the ability to inspire and engage others to support a shared vision during times of change.
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The objective of the study is to determine the effect of cultural intelligence levels of hotel employees on conflict management styles, correspondingly, to study the effects of cultural intelligence and conflict management styles on career satisfaction of hotel employees. In the study, conflicts between employees and guests were examined. The target population of the study is the employees working in 5-star hotel businesses in Turkey. Findings showed that the cultural knowledge affects problem solving positively; forcing, avoiding and career satisfaction negatively; cultural ability affects avoiding positively; problem solving negatively, in addition, cultural metacognition affects compromising, yielding, problem solving, avoiding and career satisfaction positively. It was also found that compromising affects career satisfaction in a positive way. It is thought that the results obtained from the study can provide important information concerning cultural intelligence, conflict management styles and career satisfaction to the owners, managers and employees of the hospitality industry and academicians working in this field. Due to the fact that there are limited studies on these issues in the international tourism literature; it is considered that the study is important as it is possible that it can contribute to the literature and new studies.
Information technology creates supremacies by using or exploiting human resources or business which already exist. The objectives of this study are to examine and explain the influence of IT resources on knowledge management capabilities mediated by organizational culture. This study indicated that IT human resource does not influence Knowledge Management Capabilities. This suggest that that the existence of a good and qualified IT infrastructure in Indonesia does not easily assure the running of knowledge management even in Universities which knowledge is regarded as the foundation of their business process. Further, it assumes that culture plays an important role, to which they have tendency to follow top-down direction, affected by surrounding environment rather than initiating to exploit one’s own capability.
Mentoring programs play a valuable role in higher education. Formal mentoring processes and relationships increase the overall perceived quality of an educational program and the professional success of new hotel management graduates. To evaluate an established mentoring program in higher education, a single case study of the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School at Torrens University Australia (BMIHMS @TUA) was developed and that is presented and discussed in this chapter. The evaluation of the mentoring program found that mentoring relationships enable mentees to build knowledge and skills, develop networking opportunities, build confidence, and gain self-reflection abilities. The chapter offers insights and recommendations for higher education institutions to consider when setting up mentoring programs. The knowledge gained through this research will assist higher education institutions to better prepare students for a transition to work through mentoring whilst enhancing the quality of educational courses.
This article aims to present the lifelong education system of Chile from a functional and institutional point of view, in an attempt to describe its strategy. This paper covers both formal education and graduate studies, which were analyzed systematically from the institutional framework and experience of Chile. A comprehensive review of open access data of Chilean higher education was performed, analyzing human capital investment and access to post-secondary education. The main findings are based on the lack of coordination between the educational levels and postsecondary education which make career progression and integration difficult, obstructing tenure and qualifications valuation by employers. In an ageing society such as that of Chile, workers may be forced to take up continuously training courses to sustain their situation inside the labour market. If there is no coordination between training and educational system, workers will face major difficulties in being considered as employable. This work opens the question of lifelong education policies in less developed countries such as Chile, which is facing the same demographic phenomenon as developed countries, but without the same level of resources or institutional development. This article concludes with the requirements for the design of this kind of educational policy.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the operating factors influencing a cross-organisational mentoring initiative created to support leadership development. The research provides insight on participants’ views and mentoring practices around planning and preparation of mentoring relationships, to inform future training of leaders. Design/methodology/approach The research is inductive in nature, using an exploratory approach via a two-stage qualitative analysis. The qualitative data were gathered via interviews with the initiative partners and questionnaires distributed to all mentors and mentees involved. Data were gathered at the outset of the initiative and one year later. Findings Emergent themes revealed that centrally driven criterion-based matching was deemed effective, with skills and experience of mentors perceived as more important than seniority. Support from senior management was of paramount importance at all stages. Clear personal and professional objective setting was vital at the outset of the mentoring relationship; however, a degree of fluidity in direction occurred over time. Planned periodic meetings to share experiences, aid reflection and gather feedback from individual mentors and mentees groups was requested. Finally, while the mentees should drive the process, it was recognised that mentors may be required to take the lead initially. Research limitations/implications It is recognised that wider generalisations are limited; the initiative would require replication with a number of different participants to increase validity. However, as the research is exploratory in nature, there is value in the initial research findings with potential for replication within other organisations and for other cross-organisational mentoring initiatives. Practical implications The research provides a number of useful themes which practitioners could use to explore the creation of a cross-organisational mentoring scheme and provides benchmarking indicators for this. Originality/value This is an innovative approach to leadership training that can be seen in the limited literature and theory related to cross-organisational mentoring as a leadership training tool that the design team, a partnership of HR academics and HRD professionals, were able to access.
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"Mentoring at Work" is about relationships in organizations that enhance individuals' development in the early, middle, and later career years. What began as a study of mentor relationships between junior and senior managers in one corporate setting evolved into a program of research designed to clarify the nature of a variety of relationships between junior and senior colleagues, or between peers, who provide mentoring functions. The primary purpose is to present an intricate and realistic view of mentoring, to delineate its potential benefits and limitations, and to illustrate the various forms of developmental relationships that can exist in work settings. I have brought an open systems perspective to this project. This means that I assume that relationships are significantly affected by the context in which they evolve and by the expectations, needs, and skills that individuals bring to them. Thus, I set out to understand how individuals' career histories and current situations, as well as the surrounding organizational circumstances, have jointly shaped the essential characteristics and evolution of their relationships with mentors, proteges, and peers. Throughout this book I address three distinct audiences. First, for individuals at every career stage, I discuss a perspective on mentoring that I hope will discourage the "search for the right mentor" and encourage systematic self-diagnosis of relationship needs as well as strategies for building relationships that provide relevant developmental functions. Second, for practicing managers, I outline the major forces that must be taken into account when creating a context that stimulates an effective mentoring process. Finally, for human resource specialists and organizational researchers, I consolidate the available research to date and outline strategies for intervention and further research that will help improve the quality of worklife and organizational effectiveness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Executive Overview While the new paradigm of the “intelligent enterprise” has captivated the imagination of managers and management scholars alike, few have considered its impact on people's careers.¹ Thus, as a point of departure, we take up that challenge. By exploring the competency-based, learning-centered view of the intelligent enterprise, we suggest its complement, the “intelligent career.” The intelligent career involves the development of “knowing why.” “knowing how.” and “knowing whom” competencies, and, as we will show, promotes a new set of principles to underlie intelligent enterprise employment arrangements. Finally, we suggest how career actors, managers, and human resource professionals can rethink popular employment practices and prepare for the new career world.
Mentoring and the World of Work in Canada: Source Book of Best Practices
  • Les Éditions de la Fondation de l'Entrepreneurship
Poulsen is the owner and Director of KMP+ House of Mentoring, which she founded in
  • M Kirsten
Kirsten M. Poulsen is the owner and Director of KMP+ House of Mentoring, which she founded in 2000.