The importance of mentoring support on management team programmes

futureSME Case Study: Eirebloc


You may wonder what the mentor's role is when investing in a management programme for your company, such as the Management Team Development programme offered by ManagementWorks. Business owners and managers need tangible results that will boost performance across all areas of their business, from daily operations to profit margins and market share. LEAP's Mike Gaffney explains the role of the mentor on this programme and how it affects overall business performance.

Mike, what is the purpose of a mentor on the Management Team Development programme delivered by LEAP?

A management team programme should deliver proven business practices, tools and disciplines that can be applied to your business. The role of the mentor is to help the management team members identify how to actively apply those tools to their given situation. LEAP uses the futureSME transformation process - a business model of the future for SMEs taking the best practices and disciplines from highly successful larger companies and designing a unique methodology that allows these practices to be effectively applied to all businesses. It utilises Visual Strategy to create a culture which lasts beyond the programme and which supports sustainable growth. Our mentors are steeped in the best practices of futureSME and how they can be applied. They work closely with the management team to ensure they are applied in the most relevant and practical way to suit the particular needs of the company.

How does that benefit the company?

From the outset of our programme, the focus is on practical application and tangible results.  This is a programme that uses theory to drive changes and secure results.  The mentor has that focus clearly in mind and ensures this is happening at each step in the process.  The mentor works with the business owner and management team to complete the company diagnostic at the start of the programme and again at the end of the programme so there is a clear comparison - evidence of change, evidence of improvements.  So mentoring is a critical component of the overall programme.

Is the mentoring process the same for every company or does it differ by industry and size?

There are some common threads to the futureSME solution, like a visual strategy, and the application of visual management tools. The essence of futureSME is to enable the company to develop its strategic, managerial, operational and adaptive capabilities. What is applied to the organisation often depends on what is most critical to their specific needs.

For some companies, getting the operational side of the business right is the most critical issue. For others it could be having a clear strategy or better managerial capabilities. So the mentoring process is not the same for everyone. There is the same outline regarding the disciplines and practices that are put in place, but how they are put in place, and which areas are prioritised, is very much company specific.

What kind of ROI can a client expect from the mentoring side of the programme?

Business is tough for any organisation so there has to be real tangible benefits, be it increased turnover or profitability, increased market share or new customers. There has to be tangible business performance deliverables.

The best example I can give is ourselves; LEAP has applied the futureSME methodology and we doubled our turnover in 2013 compared to 2012. So it's important for any company engaging in futureSME that they clearly state what business performances they need to see improved, and how that will be measured. We are very comfortable with measuring the implementation of futureSME in a company against tangible financial performance, and other core performances, that the company determine.

For further information as to how the futureSME transformation process is applied to business, watch the Eirebloc futureSME Video Case Study above.


In interview with Des Kirby


Mike Gaffney is the Managing Director of LEAP Leadership. Mike is passionate about helping leaders understand their role and how to effectively execute it, so that there are improved business results in addition to increased personal satisfaction. LEAP Leadership is a provider to ManagementWorks on our Management Team Development programmes.