Mentoring and coaching for business transformation 

Constant change is a permanent fixture in business and digital transformation. Organisations need to create space and tools to enable their people to adapt to this change. A mentoring and coaching programme can help.

Gita Singham-Willis, Director at Cadence Innova, on “How to Adapt to Change”

Today’s leaders are instrumental in this process, as they will guide and shape a culture that will support people through today’s fast pace of change.

For members of an organisation, whatever their position, it means being able to learn, test, fail, design again, being challenged, and develop new professional and interpersonal skills, without facing ‘punishment’.

Techniques such as coaching and mentoring, when embedded in your team’s daily routine, naturally promote a learning culture within your organisation and help staff members grow.

Amplifying your learning culture and, as part of this, setting up a robust mentoring and coaching programme can support the mechanism of change. It tells your people: “You matter”.

Many studies show that creating an enabling and transformative learning space within your organisation will contribute to generating significant business benefits, starting with the gains that productive, engaged and enlightened teams generate, the innovative power corporate entrepreneurship triggers, etc.

At Cadence, we have road tested a toolkit to help your people adapt to change:

1. Conduct a learning culture baseline assessment 

Your learning culture informs the sense of purpose and shared values that guide people’s progression and performance throughout the organisation.

This baseline shows the spoken and unspoken messages people receive about what is valued around learning, in particular, the messages are being sent through processes, systems, symbols and behaviours; how messages are interpreted by people; and what outcomes they lead to.

2. Define your purpose  

Clarify and communicate the purpose of this learning and support programme, why it is set up and/or amplified. This is not just a “nice-to-have”, it can be a genuine engine for culture change.

3. Identify your learning tools 

There is a range of formal and informal learning platforms and techniques available. Among them, coaching and mentoring are fluid tools that organisations can activate rapidly.

To deploy a powerful coaching and mentoring programme, first be clear about how they fit within the overall direction of the organisation.

  • Coaching focuses on process, creating a space where thinking happens, enabling the recipient of coaching to think of solutions themselves, and developing new habits. It is not advice. You can call on professional coaches or start training people with coaching skills as a powerful internal communication and learning tool.
  • Mentoring mostly focuses on content, examples, direction, and a mentor’s own experience and stories.  It contains a level of advice. It can take place between peers, or with external professionals.

4. Picture what good looks like  

As we support organisations through business transformation, we help them first define the principles of a good learning relationship. For mentoring and coaching relationships, we encourage mentoring /coaching partners to  share a covenant, in which they will define scope, length, boundaries and ways of measuring success and impact.

As the programme spreads out, mentoring and coaching will become a cornerstone of your ways of working. Importantly, at the core of every mentoring or coaching conversation – whether this is part of a formal or informal (situational) context – is the notion of consent and confidentiality.

5. Measure outcomes and benefits

As staff form new habits, apply new knowledge and gain in confidence, it is paramount to capture evidence of change and outcomes throughout the organisation.

Some benefits will be immediate, others will take time to flourish.

Change management is not a one-time project but rather an ongoing exercise that comes with everyday challenges. Therefore, embedding an organic learning culture within your organisation will give you incremental and sizeable benefits.

If you would like a conversation with no obligation about how to set up or amplify a mentoring and coaching programme, as part of your business and digital transformation? Get in touch with challenge.us@cadenceinnova.com

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