If your intent is to develop a powerful program and not to take too long doing it, and to not have to learn important lessons the hard way, then you will need a mentor for the process. That is why a powerful program strategy is to use someone who is already a mentoring expert, such as a consultant. If you can use their experience as a guide, you can save years of trying things and tons of wasted time and resources. Also, you will achieve your goals sooner and more powerfully.
Be cautious here however, for there are many who will promote themselves as experts in mentoring because they have started or perhaps led a mentoring program themselves, or served as a mentor, or done a study of a specific mentoring program, such as for a dissertation. While each of these experiences are probably significant, they are no guarantee that the person can provide what you need to create and deliver a high impact program in a short amount of time.
Ideally, what is needed is a person who provides all of the following in a delicate balance:
- the experience of a mentoring practitioner who has worked at several levels of induction and mentoring responsibility
- a staff developer who understands change and can facilitate professional growth
- a teacher who knows how to effectively communicate complex ideas to others
- a manager who knows the problems and solutions of program coordination, building support, sustaining a program, and funding
- a visionary who is committed to improving performance and RESULTS through better, more proactive support of employees, and someone who deeply understands the nature of the critical transitions in knowledge management, technology, and the key process changes and integration being experienced in your context.
- a researcher who knows best practice, what is proven to work and not work across the widely diverse field of mentoring programs.
- an experienced consultant who has worked either in your specific field and context, or preferably in many diverse settings and fields.
Put that way, you can see why this range of diverse expertise and experience will only be found in someone who is quite unique. When you find such a person, you will know it has been well worth the effort. They can save you YEARS!
The use of such an expert practitioner can provide you with much needed support and guidance for the developmental process, help you to avoid the detours and potholes in the journey, and eliminate the time and labor-intensive searching and trial and error learning inherent in research by yourself and/or your mentor program leadership
In other words, I strongly recommend that your development team utilize a mentoring expert who can actually be a program mentor and also model mentoring for your committee during the program development, implementation, and refinement phases of the program. That is the best way I know for that committee to understand what they need to create and how to do so successfully and efficiently THE FIRST TIME.
Further, it is the ONLY way I know to develop a program that has a hope of dramatically
increasing employee performance and bottom line results.
To access the IMA list of consultants and trainers in mentoring click here. Then carefully review their information for the specific strengths and experience that your program needs. The IMA only lists these members and does not endorse any specific ones.