Natural Educator 3819 positions the connection between environmental change and organizational transition.
Then, takes those insights and links them to the mentor-mentee arrangement.
Change and Transition
Considering the amount of dialogue about change and the workplace, this article is not about rehashing what has already been written - videoed - debated - discussed.
Instead, I make a connection between organizational change and transition, and then, the arrangement between a mentor with a mentee.
Change and transition are two sides of an organizational boundary.
Change is the external environment
Transition is the internal situation
In other words, change is what happens to an organization and transition is the organizational response to the change.
"Whereas change pushes ... transition pulls."
By no means is this statement absolute ... it does suggest a perspective of their connection and arrangement - if only as a starting point!
Boundary is the delineation between external environment and internal situation.
- It's a human construct placed on the situation.
- It's a necessary requirement of stakeholders to comprehend the situation ... to move a complex situation into a complicated situation.
- It's more efficient and effective to deal with a complicated situation/issue than a complex situation/issue.
A boundary is moveable and transient, and exists on various levels depending on the attention and intention given. At minimum, a boundary is an "organization requirement" and "a personal need or shared need to make sense of the organization of work."
Applying Above to Mentor-Mentee Arrangement
When a mentor and mentee get together ... they decide the boundary of their arrangement and relationship.
Because the mentee is tapping into the mentor's lived experience, the boundary is small - that is, the sphere of mutual influence is small for both.
The mentee is a change source for the mentor as the mentor is a change source of the mentee until such time as the mentor and mentee work within a shared boundary. Ten, the change source can be many variables including the organization if the mentee-mentor are in a Mentoring in the Workplace Program.
Knowing this "mutual change source" occurs, the mentor can guide the mentee forward. The initial interactions are about guiding the mentee's transition to the change the mentor is offering.
Change surrounds every challenge - Dr. Linda Hines
Side bar 1 ... the mentee has set up a boundary based on current knowing and doing. Call this the mentee's internal situation. Therefore, the mentor is first situated in the mentee's external environment until such time as the mentee welcomes the mentor in their situation (think truth, trust, and transparency) balanced by the mentor being ready, able, and willing to co-create with the mentee.
Side-bar 2 ... the mentor has a boundary as well. For the mentee to access the mentor's space, the mentee must share truth, trust, and transparency.
Side-bar 3 ... When the mentor and mentee agree to the relationship and arrangement, then they co-create a space that neither could have created on their own.
Now they have a shared internal situation with other change sources influencing them.
Herein, is the wonderment and wanderment of mentorship, mentoring, learning as a mentee, and serving as a mentor!
More About the Mentor and Mentee Boundary
With mentoring - to start - the boundary is often set by the external requirements. The personal boundary is set and explained during the initial conversations between the mentee with mentor, and the mentor with mentee.
Afterwards, a shared boundary is found where change sources affect the arrangement and the transition response is more than if the mentor and mentee went about their work separately.
Sense-making is an important attribute of a mentor. In many ways, the mentor straddles the shared boundary. The mentor is answering the questions of the mentee who is drawing from the mentor's lived experience while listening to insights, interpretations, and inspirations.
That is, the mentor is drawing whatever they can from the external environment that will help in the proactive mentoring in the internal situation of the mentor-mentee arrangement. And the mentor is asking the mentee to bring questions from the external environment to situate the answers the mentor shares and in real time.
As this mentor-mentee boundary shifts (again, the boundary is movable and transient) change and transition reposition. It's a dynamic balance!
Two Workplace Examples:
When the organization change and transition shifts, it influences the mentor-mentee change and transition situation
(e.g., a economic downturn requires integrating two teams, the mentee - with one year of management experience and in a Mentoring in the Workplace Program - is reassigned to manage and lead the new, expanded team with the departure of a experienced team manager/leader).
In some cases, the mentor-mentee change and transition situation can influence the organization change and transition
(e.g., mentoring the new CEO).
Organizational Side-Bar ... Action:
Identify the change sources for your organization of work – based on STEEP:
Personal Side-Bar ... Action:
Identify your past and present change sources – persons, places, things – that have influenced your perspective of life, work, the world.
Of the persons, who were your mentors?
Describe the change and transition story of that arrangement and relationship - if only to share gratitude!
A Deeper Consideration of Transition
There are three levels of transition nested in each other – transaction, transform and transcend.
- At the transaction level … change has persons administering their tasks for results … doing the tasks correctly – efficiency.
- At the transform level … change has persons managing their tasks for accomplishments … doing the correct things – effectiveness.
- At the transcend level … change has persons leading from their tasks for breakthrough
… doing the significant things – relevance.
From a book I wrote ~ Hobbs, S., & Karringten, D. (2001). Cultural Transition. Calgary, AB: The International Institute for Cultural Transition
In Closing Natural Educator 3819 ...
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