The speed of change and the complexity and global nature of organisations and projects create a need for adaptability and agility that is driving a change in how we organise. Many of us already work in a number of fluid, impermanent and often virtual teams where roles and responsibilities have to be regularly renegotiated and clarified. The implications for how individuals manage their time, their priorities and their development or career are complex, making it more important than ever (especially for Millennials) that they have strong mentoring relationships.
Added to this, the “boundaries” of our organisations are becoming more porous – we are increasingly seeing teams encompassing members from more than one organisation and a greater tendency to be open to collaborations across boundaries rather than trying to replicate resources and expertise that others already have. This increasingly networked nature of our organisations creates a shift in the skills we need. For example, influence, or the ability to “get things done” without direct line authority, is becoming a key skill at every level of seniority and responsibility, where a generation ago it was the preserve of the senior leader.
The capacities that are needed for success in the new organisational world are largely interpersonal and behavioural. They are about “who we are” and how we impact on others and so they are difficult to “train” effectively; coaching is a much more effective intervention.
So what are the possible implications for coach-mentoring implementations?
- Coaching and mentoring have always been particularly valuable in developing “soft” leadership skills and in supporting successful promotions and transitions. In the Sherpa 2016 Executive Coaching Survey, “people who need leadership development” and “ people in transition” represented 61% and 21% respectively in answer to the question “who needs executive coaching most?” There will continue to be a real need for leadership development – and a lot of transitions to manage! By investing in leadership agility and resilience of individuals through coach-mentoring, we invest in the agility and resilience of our teams and organisation. Linking coach-mentoring investment to the leadership capacity of individuals and to preparing for and managing through transitions is likely to be an important part of your strategy. (See The OCM's Executive Coaching offer)
- There is no point building coach-mentoring implementations that wait for a “stable situation in which to improve a team or an individual’s performance. Change, and so the need to develop a response to change, will be constantly with us. This means that coach-mentoring needs to be part of our everyday conversations as well as specific developmental intervention and that the purpose of any coach-mentoring investment is likely to include developing capacity to self-coach. This is particularly relevant to your investment in team coaching where part of the team coach-mentors role must become developing both the team and its leader9s) to challenge their current performance and to support each other to make the changes needed. (See The OCM's Team Coach-mentoring offer)
- The combination of unclear organisational career pathways and the millennial need for seeing opportunities to develop online with their own purpose will create a greater need for mentoring around career development. Developing organisational mentors may be a key investment both in retention and in making yours the organisation key talent wants to join. (See the OCM's Mentoring offer)
- Teams and organisations will be less homogeneous and much more likely to contain people from different national cultures and backgrounds. This, combined with the fluid nature if teams in the future, may well drive a much greater need for cross-cultural intelligence, especially on the part of team leaders and coach-mentors. This will have implications for your development of leadership and internal coach-mentors, as well as your selection of external coach-mentors. (See The OCM's CPD workshop on Change)
This copy was reproduced from Coaching & Mentoring: Practical Techniques for Developing Learning & Performance with permission from Kogan Page