The Challenge is Set
Johann Spilk was frazzled. He couldn't understand why he'd done it. Why had he just staked his reputation on something that he had only just been convinced himselfwould work? He sighed.
Shrugging off his jacket, he hung it up before greeting a couple of colleagues. Then he checked in with his assistant (as always, here before him and already organized for the day ahead), sat down behind his desk and took a sip of the over-priced and highly calorific coffee he'd started drinking since giving up smoking during Ramadan a few months ago. He turned on the computer screen and logged in, ready to prepare for his day of meetings.
Johann's first meeting was with Debra, a young “up and comer” currently doing a rotation in the finance department working on a company-wide project. He didn't really know much about her as they had never come into contact.
At a workshop the previous week, Debra had been identified both as “talent” and “at high risk”. In other words, she was doing her current job really well and was likely to be able to move up at least two levels in the next three years, but was known to be actively looking for a new job. The exec team wanted to keep her but she had just been turned down for a promotion as they felt she wasn't ready for the next role yet.
So far so good. But then Johann had had the bright idea of suggesting that she be given a place on a new mentoring programme he had set up.
Background: about two years ago the new HR director at the time, ...