Management Mentorship for Veterinary Professionals

What is Management Mentorship & Why is it Important?

In the veterinary world we often see informal mentoring between lead vets and junior vets or lead nurses and their nursing team. This is known as intra-organisational mentoring, where both the mentor and the mentee come from the same organisation. We all know that this model can be fantastic and has many merits, however it is often limited by lack of time on the part of the clinical professionals. 

A number of studies have also shown that intra-organisational mentoring can have a number of issues:

  1. Both of the individuals in the relationship are part of the same culture and may not be able to see the cultural issues objectively enough.

  2. Both the mentor and the mentee may be part of the same internal political landscape and, as a result, this may negatively impact both the relationship and the advice given.

  3. There are very likely to be power dynamics in that the mentor is usually in a more senior position. This has been shown to inhibit mentee progress.

Another obvious issue in vet practice we see often is that once someone reaches management level their access to a mentor stops. So, effectively your support structure collapses right when you are taking a huge learning leap.

Inter-organisational mentoring schemes, where the mentor comes from another organisation have been shown to be particularly useful for developing managers and leaders.

With inter-organisational mentoring, the management mentor can help the mentee to understand and unpick the organisational culture and political landscape significantly more objectively. Additionally, a number of studies have shown that having a mentor outside of the hierarchical landscape can have a positive impact on the mentoring relationship and learning.

 

Mentoring is, in effect, a knowledge management process. One of our challenges is gaining access to outside expertise and integrating it with internal knowledge. Inter-organisational mentoring schemes have been found to be an effective way of not only doing this, but engaging in open innovation, whereby ideas from outside the organisation are brought in and used to transform either the products, services or processes of the incumbent organisation.

Our 1 hour mentorship sessions for vet professionals include:

 

  • 1:1 session dedicated to helping a management professional grow into their role.

  • Leadership support from someone outside the organisation. 

  • Problem solving

  • Knowledge sharing.

  • Direction to contacts and resources.

  • Practical tips, training and advice.

  • Goal tracking.

  • Self reflection.

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