"Recent studies show business coaching and executive coaching to be the most effective means for achieving sustainable growth, change, and development in the individual, group, and organization."

- HR Monthly

Mentoring and coaching are fast becoming methods of choice for organizations to groom the next generation of leaders and to help employees gain new insights and abilities. Coaching and mentoring can involve everyone from the C-Suite, to teams, to new hires, and a coach or mentor can play myriad roles - designer, facilitator, instructor, coach, or mentor - to help individuals or teams become more efficient, effective, and productive.

In Robert Barner's article on page 38, he focuses on what makes managers successful as coaches in their quest to build trust, listen effectively, provide clear performance feedback, and model effective leadership behaviors. Barner examines the role managers play in helping employees gain new insights, competencies, and leadership qualities, writing, "As a managerial coach, one of the actions that you can take to help your coachee is to educate this person on how they might need to change their brand image as they move from one work setting to another."

In the cover story on page 32, Randy Emelo from Triple Creek points out that "one of the tough challenges for companies today is finding systemic ways to tap into the vast pools of knowledge that exist in their organizations, and then creating effective ways for that knowledge to be shared among employees. The use of an open and broad mentoring program can address this issue."

Ensure that your company has a coaching or mentoring strategy in place to grow the next generation of leaders or to transfer knowledge from current leaders to future leaders. The fast pace of business is leaving little time for employees to develop the critical skills that are needed to keep up with customer demands and stiff competition from other companies and industries.

According to a recent International Coaching Federation study, more than 40 percent of respondents who had experienced coaching chose coaching to optimize individual or team performance - a major competency in today's competitive business environment. If coaching and mentoring are proven methods to help groom tomorrow's leaders, transfer valuable institutional knowledge to others, and enhance individual or team performance, then they need to be a part of your learning strategy.

Paula Ketter

Editor, T+D

pketter@astd.org