CURT NICKISCH: Welcome to the HBR IdeaCast from Harvard Business Review. I’m Curt Nickisch.
The way that organizations develop younger talent has changed a lot over time. In the 1970s and eighties, psychologists Daniel Levinson and Kathy Kram detailed how the best mentors empower young professionals to forge their identities and realized their dreams, and that this often fulfilled a deep-seated motivation for those mentors to help others.
Companies latched onto this power, they formed initiatives to match seasoned executives with up-and-coming professionals, often from underrepresented groups. The idea was to attract high performers and propel future leaders. Too often though, this arranged system fails to create impactful relationships. You got to get over misunderstandings, mistrust, risk aversion, and misaligned incentives.
And too often the very talent being mentored, cultivated as the future of the organization, leaves.
Today’s guest says this,…