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CREATING A MENTORING CULTURE Contact: Lori Ames The Organization's Guide 212-620-4080 x12 By Lois J. Zachary, Ed.D. email@example.com Publisher: Jossey-Bass Publication date: May 2005 Price: $45.00/hardcover ISBN: 0-7879-6401-8 "Mentoring relationships offer an opportunity for individuals to nurture seeds in others so they might become blossoms, and blossoms might become fruit, which then nourishes others," writes Zachary. "When mentoring relationships are rooted in the fertile soil of a mentoring culture, they also enrich the quality of organizational life." -- From CREATING A MENTORING CULTURE MENTORING AS AN ORGANIZATIONAL TOOL IS A SMART WAY TO DO BUSINESS, SAYS LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT EXPERT LOIS ZACHARY In New Book, She Reveals How to Create a Culture That Can Enable Mentoring to Take Hold in Any Organization In today's competitive business climate, the need for continuous learning has never been greater. Combine this with employees’ desire to feel connected and to develop deep personal relationships, and the stage is set for establishing a mentoring culture. According to leadership development expert Lois J. Zachary, Ed.D., mentoring is a bottom-line issue that needs to become an integral part of every organization. But, she argues, without a mentoring culture in place, no company can sustain an effective program. In her new book, CREATING A MENTORING CULTURE: The Organization's Guide (Jossey-Bass, May 2005), Dr. Zachary, president of Leadership Development Services, explains what a mentoring culture is, why it is critical, and how an organization can establish one. Known for her consulting work with multinational Fortune 500 companies and national associations to improve organizational leadership practices, Zachary contends, "Mentoring is a smart way to do business. It can lead to increased retention rates, improved morale, more CREATING A MENTORING CULTURE/Page Two increased job satisfaction, accelerated leadership development, better succession planning, reduced stress, stronger teams, and heightened individual and organizational learning." In order to achieve these benefits, however, a mentoring program must be anchored in a supportive organizational culture that values learning and development. In CREATING A MENTORING CULTURE, Zachary – who holds advanced degrees from Columbia University – begins with an overview of mentoring itself, along with a discussion of how organizations can do the groundwork necessary to create a supportive culture. She offers detailed guidelines on: choosing the right people to bring to the planning table, setting an agenda for that first meeting, and establishing ground rules. She also includes sample checklists, the Mentoring Culture Audit (an organizational assessment tool), and many other useful exercises to help people establish a lasting mentoring culture. In Part Two of CREATING A MENTORING CULTURE, the author moves from taking stock to actually growing and nurturing a vibrant, supportive, and sustainable mentoring culture. This begins with developing the right infrastructure – that is, the foundation on which the culture will be built. Zachary points to six essential components that must be part of this foundation. These include the commitment of leadership and time to mentoring over the long run, as well as the allocation of financial, technological, human, and knowledge resources. Once the infrastructure is ready, an organization must then turn to eight key mentoring practices – or hallmarks, as Zachary calls them. These hallmarks include: •Alignment – Mentoring cannot be seen as merely an add-on to what's already in place. Instead, it must be in line with other aspects of the organization so that the business reasons for engaging in mentoring are evident and tied directly to results. •Accountability – Roles and responsibilities for all the key players must be clarified up front, both to manage expectations and encourage self- and organizational accountability. •Communication – Mentoring efforts are more successful when executives, managers, and employees all understand what mentoring is, and how to get involved in it. more CREATING A MENTORING CULTURE/Page Three Two-way communication channels also reveal what's working and what's not, enabling improvements. •Value and visibility – When the right people within an organization talk about mentoring – whether through email, personal contact, media, or formal presentations – the value is reinforced and momentum increases. •Demand – Over time, the demand for mentoring grows, and is stimulated by success. People voluntarily seek out mentoring relationships, and mentors become mentees and vice versa. •Multiple mentoring opportunities – In a mentoring culture, both informal and formal approaches to mentoring are available. Mentoring can also take many forms – including one-on-one, group, and distance. •Education and training – Mentoring education and training contribute significantly to building a more confident, competent, and creative workforce. Networking and support groups may meet regularly to exchange best practices and promote peer learning, and opportunities for renewal education and advance training may be made available for veteran mentors. •Safety nets – Stumbling blocks are inevitable, but with safety nets in place, roadblocks can be overcome and avoided in a timely fashion. CREATING A MENTORING CULTURE offers a concrete roadmap, full of questions and exercises, as well as dozens of examples and anecdotes, for forging a potent mentoring culture. The book also features a CD-ROM, which includes interactive exercises and multiple templates suitable for customization. # # # ABOUT THE AUTHOR LOIS J. ZACHARY is president of Leadership Development Services, a Phoenix-based consulting firm that provides leadership development, coaching, education, and training for corporate and nonprofit organizations nationwide. She consults with multinational, Fortune 500 companies; national associations; and nonprofit, education, government, and health care clients. Her previous, bestselling book, The Mentor's Guide, has become the primary resource for organizations interesting in promoting mentoring for leadership and learning. She received her doctorate and master of arts degree in adult and continuing education from Columbia University, and holds a master of science degree in education from Southern Illinois University.
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