Planning for Long-Term Advisory Needs
Steps to successfully transitioning from the Futurpreneur Canada mentoring partnership to long-term advisory support.
At any stage in your mentoring partnership, you can look ahead to reflect the close of this relationship. As you wind down your mentoring relationship you must evaluate the needs of the business for additional mentoring support.
Consider the following questions as you determine your future advisory needs:
- Is the business experiencing high rates of growth or unexpected growth?
- Are you in operating in a complex business environment?
- Do you need to quickly respond to business issues?
- Are there gaps in your current knowledge or experience that may affect the business?
- Is your industry highly competitive or an emerging market?
There is a range of options available to your business:
The steps in transitioning out of your Futurpreneur Canada mentoring relationship are:
STEP 1: Assess your needs (3 months prior to the end of your mentoring partnership)
- Develop a list of the skills or knowledge that you and your management team lack that
must be supported by advisory services.
STEP 2: Determine the type of advisory support you need (3 months prior)
- Based on the list you have created you can determine the type of support.
- If your list has a small number of topics and each one does not present a significant risk to the business, you may want to simply replace your mentor.
- If your list contains a variety of topics, you will probably be inclined to set up an Advisory Panel.
STEP 3: Identify a profile of the ideal person(s) to provide advice (2 months prior)
- Create a list of the knowledge or experience you are seeking as well as the working style that best suits your needs.
- Complete the Mentoring Profiler to gain insights into your own style and for suggestions on finding a strong match.
STEP 4: Develop a list of potential candidates in your community (2 months prior)
- Enlist the help of your existing mentor to create a list of good sources for advisory support.
- Without compensation, it may be easiest to secure advisors through an introduction from a colleague, friend or family member.
- Highlight the knowledge you admire when you approach the candidate and make the time commitment well-defined i.e. how many hours each month are you asking for?
STEP 5: Selection (1 month prior)
- Whether you are selecting one mentor or building an Advisory Board, you need to have a discussion as part of the selection process. This enables you to confirm you are compatible and also gives your potential advisor the opportunity to learn more about you before his or her commitment is final.
- We recommend making the selection process informal, perhaps a coffee or a lunch discussion.
The key to a successful transition is to begin the process well in advance of the end of your Futurpreneur Canada mentoring partnership. This will give you time to take a thoughtful, planned approach to your advisory needs in the future. We are confident that as you reflect on the value of your mentoring relationship and consider the needs of your business, you will be best able to design your advisory support for the future.