Doctoral Project Abstract
Mentoring the Future of Organizations
This thesis addresses multiple elements facing organizations today. To remain viable, they must recognize the transient nature of leaders. Moreover, they must recognize that organizational future relies on new leaders prepared to take the mantel of leadership from retiring leaders of past generations. Key to the discussion is new leadership prepared not preparing to lead. Prepared suggests developing relationships between leaders who mentor and followers who seek leaders' tutelage. Protégés and those who mentor have long-term relationships in which both advance skills, knowledge, and ability. The mentor can share history, mission, and vision while empowering the protégé to experiment and learn. The mentor also develops new skills learning new technology from protégés. Within the activities of mentoring high potential protégés comes sharing values from the past with a vision on the future. Further, this thesis acknowledges that mentoring across generations requires knowledge and understanding of different generational traits and values. Both the protégé seeking mentoring and the mentor have to accept their trait and value differences, seek a common core of traits and values upon which to build a foundation that allows a relationship to grow. Complicating a protégé/mentor relationship is culture and cultural contexts in which partners may find themselves. We generalize cultural context as high or low based on geographic and cultural concepts of relationships. With the Jo/Hari Window as an example for opening the window of trust by reducing hidden agendas and blind spots, leaders and workers across cultures can learn the value of dialogue in seeking shared values. While most U.S. business relationships exist in low context, there are generational differences even in the U.S. in which low context directness is an incorrect approach. The final analysis is that future is a plural word versus singular. People and organizations view future based on multiple decision choices. The strategic value of mentoring the future adds value to leaders, followers, protégés, and the organization. Leaders know when a protégé is ready to step into new roles when seeing protégés use what they have learned in the real world of daily activities.