Why mentoring matters in a hypercompetitive world

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 27 June 2008




(2008), "Why mentoring matters in a hypercompetitive world", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 22 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/dlo.2008.08122dad.007



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Why mentoring matters in a hypercompetitive world

Article Type: Abstracts From: Development and Learning in Organizations, Volume 22, Issue 4

Harvard Business Review, January 2008, Vol. 86 No. 1, Start page: 115, No. of pages: 7

Purpose - To warn that professional services firms (PSFs) have been so busy making money that they risk losing talented staff. Design/methodology/approach - relates the authors’ study of PSFs over seven years. Discusses four principles: mentoring is personal, not everyone is an A player, choice assignments are in short supply, and mentoring is a two-way street. Findings - the mentoring process has disappeared at many PSFs. The idea that a standardized mentoring system will work is an illusion. Partners in PSFs tend to concentrate on A players, but B players - the majority of the staff - also appreciate attention, and most staff have a high need to achieve. Competition for market share is so intense that there simply are fewer plus assignments to be shared out, so that junior professionals feel that the partners are not interested in their development. However, not all responsibility for mentoring rests with partners, and associates need to actively attract mentors. Practical implications - shows that PSFs depend on their intellectual capital for success, and must retain it. ISSN: 0017-8012 Reference: 37AF865

Keywords: Employee development, Mentoring, Professional service firms, Retention

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