They have limited resources and come from communities with limited role models.
Students keep coming here because they find resources and mentors. The goal is to diversify the health care workforce by providing volunteer opportunities, professional development and peer support to college students and recent college graduates.
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At a federally qualified health center with roughly 40 clinicians and 13, patients, students have plenty of opportunities to get involved, from teaching English classes and facilitating wellness classes to performing administrative tasks such as helping people enroll in the clinic's patient portal. During its first year of operation, the program had fewer than 10 participants.
Even without funding, it grew to include 25 students in its second year and 40 the following year.
Mentoring Undergraduates: Professors Strategically Guiding the Next Generation of Professionals
The capability of a firm to provide value-added products, solutions and services is inarguably dependent upon the firm's competence in these areas. Just as organizations must retain the knowledge and skills of established leaders, they must also focus on developing the next generation of leaders who can effectively lead others toward innovation across complex, dynamic and global organizational settings. Thus, a focus on innovation must be central to filling the leadership gap, yet determining which tools are most effective in this endeavor remains a daunting challenge.
It's National Mentoring month and thus is a good time to explore mentoring as a career development tool. Mentoring can provide critical support for building individual and organizational competencies and can help organizations fill their leadership gaps by developing the next generation of individuals who will lead and manage the work of innovation.
The Future of Leadership Development
Mentoring has gained popularity and attention as an approach to support career development for those advancing through the ranks in all types of organizations. Employees with access to mentoring consistently benefit from these relationships. For example, research shows that people with a mentor report higher salaries, more frequent promotions, higher job satisfaction, a stronger commitment to their organization and a reduced likelihood to want to leave their jobs as compared to people without mentors. It should be no surprise then that the firms that invest the most in mentoring initiatives are often also among the firms recognized as the best places to work in their industries.
I believe it is time to expand our view of mentoring to include the process of leading and managing the work of innovation. Some recent research has drawn a link between the positive impact of mentoring on the work done by creative teams and on the overall process of innovation. Leaders with strong functional expertise and strengths in the creative process and in social skills are more likely to have a positive impact on innovative and creative outcomes.
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Other important competencies include the ability of the leader to make ethical decisions and to act as a buffer against negative consequences, especially for the work done by creative teams. This emerging stream of mentoring research has documented some successful examples of companies that utilize formal mentoring efforts to develop and lead innovation through the use of apprenticeships, role modeling, coaching and peer mentoring.
At Pitt Business, we have a unique approach to developing the next generation of leaders through our undergraduate Certificate Program in Leadership and Ethics. During the past 15 years, we have leveraged experiential learning approaches both inside and outside of the classroom to develop students who can lead others, produce impact, and be effective and ethical leaders among their peers.
Topics such as servant leadership, managing diverse stakeholders, building collaborations and developing a wide array of relational leadership skills are the cornerstone of this approach to leadership development.
Organizations can also be well-served by instituting a formal, executive mentorship program that is dedicated to developing female employees into leaders. Some new hires can be assigned a mentor immediately upon starting work—someone who previously held that role and can help guide them as they get their bearings. Some companies effectively use the appointment of a designated staff member who serves as a career coach to employees.
The development of a diversity and inclusion initiative can be valuable as well. With the proper types of encouragement, opportunity, and mentoring, the stage can be set for organizations to prepare a new generation of innovative female leaders. Name required.
Developing the Next Generation Through Mentoring
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