Corporate Mentoring: Then & Now

Management Mentors celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year. When the company was founded, Bush senior was president, no one had email (except maybe Al Gore), and a catchy little tune called "Don't Worry Be Happy" won record of the year. Back in '89, mentoring was quite different as well. The biggest change? Technology, of course. But there have been other changes as well. Here's a look at mentoring: then and now.

People have a better understanding of professional mentoring. In the past, people intuitively understood mentoring, but few knew how to implement a good corporate mentoring program. Today, people now know that corporate mentoring involves the following: understanding human nature, considering how adults relate, and learning how to link corporate goals with career aspirations.

People are beginning to get a better handle on the difference between coaching and mentoring. For many years, people used these terms interchangeably. The result? Some corporate mentoring programs were really coaching and vice versa. This led to many unhappy participants who were not in the type of relationship that they expected to be in--or that they needed to be in. Today, we have coaching experts and corporate mentoring experts.

Technology has been the biggest change. Technology has allowed mentoring to become more available to more people at one time. In addition, it has internationalized mentoring so that someone in the United States can mentor or be mentored by someone in Asia or Australia or anywhere in the world where there's a computer and a willingness to commit to mentoring. Web cams, Facebook, and other forms of social media are all new means of communicating and can lead to ways of meeting someone who could mentor you or someone you could mentor.

As a way to celebrate our 20th anniversary, we've launched a new website as well as a corporate mentoring blog. The website has a mentoring resource center filled with tons of useful information, including free podcasts. Take a look, comment on some of blog posts, and let me know what you think!

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