Mentorship: A Prerequisite For Organisational Resilience And Sustainability – Akata


    The imperatives of mentoring and the associated concept of coaching as a scheme that equips business leaders/Directors with competence to develop successive generation of leaders that keeps their organizations thriving and growing amid the challenges in our business clime has ones more taken front burners.

    This is given that the long-term survival and growth of organizations is underpinned by several factors built around people and succession, and includes adaptive management structure and processes, operational excellence/ resilience, good governance.

    These factors are marked by responsible, accountable, fair, transparent leadership practices and a sound stakeholders’ relations management.

    These postulations came tops in the keynote address by Dr. Grant Onokurefe Akata at the Networking and Knowledge Sharing Programme of the Young Directors Forum (YDF) of Chartered Institute of Directors (CIoD) held penultimate week at the Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos.

    In the address which centred on the topic: ‘Inclusion: A Pathway to Organisational Sustainability’, he said character, competence, sound on-boarding process, and progression of the people from one generation of players to the other, at board level, management, and the workforce, all determine if the organization can survive long term.

    He further added that for the process to be robust, knowledge, experience and skills also remain important, emphasising that in the schematic, three broad competency characteristics are identified thus Knowledge, Skills, and Mindset/Character, with elements of the third crucial to the mentoring process.

    Mentors are more like models, people with pedigree, respected professionally, who possess track record and are of good character.

    Naturally for the process to be robust, knowledge, experience and skills also remain important.In conclusion he said “Initiatives like this should help Directors shoulder their responsibility to balance competing priorities and achieve sustained outcomes for their organizations.

    Circumscribed on experience-mining and sharing, it is a veritable source of wise nuggets that can nurture business leaders’ for success”.

    He added, “PWC -2023 CEO agenda setting report titled, Africa Business Agenda: Business operating perspective, commented on insights for organizational sustainability and performance, listing key areas CEOs should focus.

    Such areas are diversification of products and services, operational excellence through alignment of core competencies, prioritizing talent attraction and retention, ESG and cybersecurity & risks management.

    CEOs agreed that the balancing act is central to business success and CEOs should be adept in this; short-term solutions must have a long-term view as this is critical to curtailing waste and reinvesting resources in areas of differentiating capabilities; Drive collaboration with stakeholders to achieve balance while optimize talent acquisition and retention to drive value which should be complemented by automation strategies and build trust of stakeholders through robust ESG practices.

    Once CEOs and their teams supported by a vibrant and competent board drive adaptive and resilient strategies, they would deliver sustainable organizations that can weather the headwinds.

    The Institute of Directors which got Chartered recently was founded on May 17, 1983 as a frontline promoter of good governance practices in Nigerian companies and the Public Sector.

    Through its various activities, CIoD Nigeria had helped develop professional standard of directorship, and provided best practice guidelines for company directors to perform their duties effectively up to the international standards.

    The Young Directors Forum (YDF) of the Chartered Institute of Directors CIoD is primarily an assemblage of directors who are young in age and in experience on the board and cuts across the SMEs, quoted companies and unlisted private companies.

    These young directors are brought together for capacity development and mentorship, with the aim of giving them the right tutelage to grow their leadership experience, exposure and corporate governance skills, culture, practices, as well as standards.

    Dr. Grant Onokurefe Akata, a Management Consultant/HR Specialist and Corporate Governance Enthusiast is the Managing Partner of Govak Consult and Trainers Limited.

    Dr. Akata who until recently held this position concurrently with that of the Secretary General of the Shipowners Association of Nigeria SOAN.

    He was Managing Director of NLNG Ship Manning Limited (NSML), a subsidiary of Nigeria LNG Limited – a position that marked the peak of his formal career of about 35 years post-graduation consults and he also facilitates training programs for Business Membership Organizations (BMOs) and reputable companies.

    They include Institute of Directors ((IoD), NECA, CIPM, SOAN, Lagos Business School, University of Port Harcourt Business School, and University of Lagos Business School (where he is an appointed Facilitator in the EMBA programme).

    Prominent at the event were President and Chairperson of the Governing Council of the Institute, Dr. Ije Jedinma, FIoD, Mr. Bamidele Alimi, Director General of CIoD, Alhaji Borodo, 1st Vice President of CIoD and Mrs Folasade Akinmusire, Chairman YDF

    Others are Mr. Eyo Eyo, Vice Chairman of YDF, Mr. Ahmed Rufai Mohammed, Chief Chris Okunowo and other Council and Executive Management team of the Institute.


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