Do you have a culture of coaching in your organization? If not, can you be sure you’re really getting the best out of your team? What’s the difference between coaching and mentoring, and when do you need one or the other?
These were some of the questions posed last night at the latest instalment of the bi-monthly Converge event, held by the Business Marketing Club (formerly Collective), which focused on the role of mentoring and coaching in B2B marketing. The event took place in the swanky and sometimes downright odd environs of Kensington’s Exhibitionist Hotel, where the likes of Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and other members of the YBA (Young British Artists) community had previously displayed their wares and courted controversy.
Fortunately, the BMC’s remit is far less controversial or confrontational… although event chairman Dave Stevens (who is also chair of the BMC and marketing director at British Land) did attempt to push our aesthetic boundaries with a particularly striking floral shirt.
Along with the networking (which is an essential part of any BMC event, aimed at bring marketers from across the B2B marketing community together) those assembled heard some fascinating insights from professional coaches and mentors Hilary Gallo and Kirsty Lewis about the experiences they have had in working with individuals on how to develop their careers. And we heard from BMC members Katryna Turner and Nicola Pestell of Really B2B about their experience of mentoring and coaching, and how they have benefited from it their careers.
There was an awful lot of great insights and much to learn about a topic which many marketers (be they inhouse or agency) find easy to brush under the carpet, without recognising its significance in both personal satisfaction and organisational effectiveness.
A key observation for me was the extent to which marketers should consider an organisation’s attitude to coaching and mentoring during the recruitment process – if a potential employer is not warm or at least open to such activities, should prospective employees look elsewhere? Our resident experts clearly believed that they should.
Most important of all, however, was the evening’s role as the formal launch of the BMC’s own mentoring programme, matching junior marketers seeking to boost their careers and enhance their development, with senior colleagues who are looking to give something back, and help develop the next wave of talent. If you’re a marketer (inhouse or agency) either one of those groups, and would like to get involved, please get in touch with the BMC. They’d love to help.
After the panel discussion and Q&A, it was back to the bar for further networking and pontificating. That’s certainly something that B2B marketers seem to need little help with.
Well done to the BMC on another cracking evening.