Mentoring Organizations

I recently viewed a video of a speech delivered by Professor Sumantra Ghoshal.  I understand he has since passed and am sorry to hear it, as he seems to have such compelling intellect and advice to share.
In this video, Dr. Ghoshal talks about how organizations create an evironment of unity and direction.  It’s not an easy thing to do and let’s face it…when you’re in a female dominated profession, there are interesting challenges we all see.
Not for profit organizations are typically female dominated.  There are a number of reasons why this can cause challenges but what it comes down to is ensuring the environment is one of collaboration and direction.  This takes some leadership and really really focused goals.
Where I work, my leader is entirely focused on working towards the best service to children and families.  Whenever discontent or gossip rear their ugly heads, she addresses the issues head on.  Frankly…there’s no room for this when we all must be working toward the best interest of the people we serve.
This really makes me feel grateful to be working for a non-profit organization.  If you haven’t worked in the private sector and are now in the public sector, I encourage you to talk to your counterparts who have been in both or at least in private enterprise.  In “The Smell of the Place”, the feeling and inspiration of working for a great nfp is clearly described.  In layman’s terms or circumstances, I recently experienced the definition.
Outside Edmonton, a local optometrist organized a fundraiser for a piece of machinery that assists in cancer treatment.  “The World’s Longest Hockey Game” ended today with a one-sided score, 40 really sore and tired players and over 1,000 volunteers that gave their time and energy to the event.  This has nothing to do with mentoring…technically.  But it does!  These people, players, cooks, maintenance, media, dj’s, sponsors, supporters and donars, are mentors to us.  Aren’t they?  I feel a bit inspired by what they accomplished and hold them to a standard usually reserved for volunteer mentors.  In 10 days, they did what so may of us strive to do year round.
Back to “The Smell of the Place”.  I walked into a mentoring organization’s office every day for nearly 2 years.  Even today, the feel…texture…energy…the “smell of the place” is different than anywhere I’ve ever been.  If you walk in the door of any workplace and feel instantly changed…it’s a place you need to investigate.
We all know that kids do better with positive role models.  We also know, it’s hard to find positive and focused volunteer mentors.  So what is the missing element that we need to discover to motivate and encourage people to volunteer?  Sometimes, we think we know.  We try different things in different ways…and still, we have children waiting.  Please…tell me…what can we say or do to encourage and achieve the volunteer rate we need?
So many of us who match children with positive, supportive role models, really need to know.
Many thanks.