Blog Post

HR Labs Season 5: Using mentorship to unlock talent development

Cornerstone Editors

Episode 3 of HR Labs Season 5 is here!

In the latest episode of HR Labs, host Marc Ramos engages in a thought-provoking discussion with Whitney Johnson, CEO of Disruption Advisors, to unpack the relationship between mentors and employee growth and development. They delve into the S-curve model, which provides a framework for navigating career stages, explore the differences between mentoring and coaching and emphasize the importance of being mentorable.

Listen now on Apple or Spotify (or wherever you get your favorite podcasts for free).

Navigating the S-Curve model for growth

Whitney introduces the S-curve model as a powerful tool for understanding personal growth. Whitney states, "The S-curve could help us answer questions like, why is it so hard to start something new? Why does it become easy once you start? And why do you need to seek new challenges even when successful?"

She explains that the model comprises three key phases: the launch point, the sweet spot and mastery. At the launch point, individuals may feel overwhelmed and discouraged as growth is not yet apparent. Progress feels slow, making it challenging to start something new. However, as they enter the sweet spot, a shift occurs. Growth becomes fast and fulfilling. Finally, individuals may have a dilemma at the mastery stage: stay in the comfort of their expertise or seek new challenges. Understanding the S-curve below by Whitney Johnson/Disruption Advisors allows individuals and organizations to navigate career progression, manage expectations and foster continuous development.

The power of mentoring

Whitney emphasizes the value of mentoring in facilitating employee growth and helping people feel more connected to their work. Distinguishing it from coaching, she explains, "Mentoring is often more informal and enduring." Whitney highlights the importance of being mentorable — actively seeking guidance, being specific in requests and following through on advice. Mentoring allows mentors to make an impact and share their expertise while mentees gain valuable insights, expand their perspectives and accelerate their growth.

Embracing diverse mentoring opportunities

Whitney challenges traditional notions of mentorship by advocating for cross-generational and multidirectional mentoring. She highlights the significance of experienced professionals mentoring individuals at the launch point of their careers and encourages organizations to embrace diverse mentoring connections. Whitney believes such connections break down silos, promote collaboration and stimulate creativity. In today's remote work environment, she observes, "Digital platforms and tools enable seamless virtual connections, making mentoring accessible regardless of location."

Marc adds, "With mentorship at the forefront, organizations can unlock the full potential of their employees and foster a culture of continuous growth." He further emphasizes the importance of embracing discomfort, seeking mentors and harnessing the power of mentorship to navigate unique career journeys and drive long-term success in the ever-evolving workplace. By embracing diverse mentoring opportunities and leveraging digital platforms, organizations can expand the possibilities for meaningful connections and knowledge exchange.

At Cornerstone, we have developed a platform that allows individuals to access valuable mentorship connections and seize growth opportunities. Learn more about how our Opportunity Marketplace can assist you in scaling mentorship to grow your people.

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