Invest in leadership development to hit org targets

A major two-year study urges organisations to invest in future leaders, particularly frontline leaders, to improve workplace performance and innovation. The report found 40% of companies are not hitting key performance targets due to under-investment in the next generation of leaders alongside concerns that local executives are relying too much on gut instinct to make decisions.

Effective mentoring allows emerging leaders to test ideas and gain a fresh, experienced perspective on leadership, management and performance.

In our recent NextGen Mentoring programs 75% of participants said their overall performance had improved, 73% improved influencing and negotiating skills, 85% are making better decisions while 84% of CEOs in a recent HBR study stated mentoring had made them more proficient in their roles faster.

Read the key findings from the 2016 Study of Australian Leadership by the University of Melbourne and Centre for Workplace Leadership.

It is the largest ever survey of leadership in Australia. SAL surveyed almost 8,000 individuals across 2,703 organisations and 2,561 workplaces. Respondents included senior leaders (such as CEOs), workplace leaders and specialists (such as HR managers), frontline leaders and employees

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Mental health leader wins scholarship

The Director of Programs for national charity SANE Australia has won the 2016 McCarthy Mentoring Not for Profit Executive Scholarship which seeks to support and inspire a leader in the sector and help them achieve their goals.

Sarah Coker, Director of Programs, has the responsibility to manage a diverse range of innovative activities to help improve the lives of Australian’s living with mental illness.  SANE Australia’s key focus is preventative health care and early intervention through support, training, and education.

“I am honoured and excited to be the recipient of the McCarthy Mentoring Scholarship for 2016. I believe my mentor will help me achieve my goals by providing a sounding board to talk through issues and obstacles that I am facing at work and by providing exposure to other ways of thinking and working. This is a wonderful opportunity for personal development and I hope it will also allow discussion of innovative ideas from an external perspective that may lead to opportunities for SANE to grow.” said Ms Coker.

McCarthy Mentoring received a significant number of applicants that demonstrated the high calibre of leadership in the not-for-profit sector. We would like to thank all applicants for expressing their interest and congratulate Sarah on winning our scholarship.

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Why successful entrepreneur seeks mentor.

The vibrant Nicole Eckels, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Sapphire Group, Glasshouse Fragrances and Circa Home shares her story being mentored by one of Australia’s leading women, Geraldine Paton AO. Click here to read.

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Well structured programs increase ROI

You’ve recognised the value of mentoring to address a business challenge – whether it is succession planning, retention, supporting diversity, building leadership capability or driving change.

Yet successful mentoring programs take thought, planning and careful design to ensure maximum impact and outcomes for the participants and organisation.

Following best practice guidelines and a structured process will help achieve the best results. Here are five steps to follow when setting up your organisation’s program:

1. Formalise and design the program.

Clearly define the objectives and goals of the program. What does success look like for participants and your organisation? When designing the program consider the selection criteria, structure, participants, matching and resources. Set a clear time frame for the program to keep participants focused.

2. Communicate and identify champions

Position the program as a reward and recognition program that is highly valued by your organisation. Identify internal senior champions to inspire participation and promote benefits. Ensure all stakeholders are aware of the program, its objectives and the professional development opportunities for both the mentee and mentors. This will foster a mentoring culture and drive commitment to the process from all parties.

3. Provide training and resources

Provide training to both mentors and mentees on how to get the most out of the experience. Discuss their roles and responsibilities, the level of commitment required and mentoring best practice guidelines. Clarifying expectations and roles will build a more effective mentoring relationship.

Offer tools and resources to help facilitate and structure the process. For example, our one2one online resource increases structure and guidance to the mentor and mentee and shares tips and advice on how to get the most out of the relationship.

4. Connect carefully

Matching is critical to the success of the program. Consider goals, expectations, experience and personality of both parties. Each mentee needs to have the right person to challenge, stretch and guide them. The organisation can match strategically to help drive innovation, collaboration and communication across business areas and skill sets.

5. Measure the program’s effectiveness

Measure and evaluate the program’s effectiveness against goals and key business performance indicators. Reporting also helps participants to stay accountable and encourages them to reflect on key learnings and outcomes. Communicate the results to leaders, managers and participants.

When done well, mentoring can be a powerful unique professional development tool that delivers strong results.

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HBR research: CEO’s need mentors too

 “With the right mentoring at the top, everyone stands to gain.” HBR April 2015

Harvard Business Review investigates the emerging trend of CEOs accessing seasoned counsel by engaging the services of experienced leaders from outside their company.

The result: “we are convinced that more CEOs should connect with mentors rather than assume that theirs is a burden to be shouldered alone.”

CEOs are routinely making decisions concerning matters they’ve never before tackled. They are tested by decisions and management situations that they haven’t encountered.

“In such high-stakes situations, CEOs need wise mentoring.”

“Mentors … are role models who have ‘been there and done that.’ They can offer timely, context-specific counsel drawn from experience; wisdom; and networks that are highly relevant to the problems to be solved.”

Interviewing a new CEO of a giant insurance company, they found he was certain he could benefit from the perspective of someone who had been down similar roads before. He believes the mentoring has made a very real difference to his performance – and his companies.

Of the CEOs with formal mentoring arrangements surveyed:

  • 71% were certain company performance had improved as a result
  • 69% were making better decisions
  • 76% were more capably fulfilling shareholder expectations
  • 84% said mentors had helped them avoid costly mistakes and become proficient in their roles faster.

Read more about McCarthy Mentoring’s Executive Mentoring Program and mentor network.

Read full article CEOs Need Mentors Too by Suzanne de Janasz and Maury Peiperl, Harvard Business Review, April 2015

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