In his book Modern Mentoring, Randy Emelo states that there are five core concepts that must be understood and used when creating a modern mentoring culture. He suggests that when organizations are seeking to implement this strategy, they should follow these five principles:
1. Open & Egalitarian
This is the idea that everyone has something to learn and something to teach. Everyone can enjoy the process of both advising and learning.
This is what will catapult this program and make it unique and successful! Moving beyond mere demographic diversity, this idea means there is no hierarchal approach to who can be an advisor or a learner. Hence, this is the support of diverse learning connections among employees.
3. Broad & Flexible
No more 1-to-1 mentoring relationships. Learning is dynamic when individuals can wear both the advisor and learning hat within various contexts simultaneously.
4. Self-Directed & Personal
One of my golden nuggets...too often mentoring program administrators select the mentors and determine the areas they will cover based on organizational needs. This idea flips that concept so that the learners are self-directed in their learning needs, and advisors are given the chance to determine their areas of expertise and which areas of focus they can advise on.
5. Virtual & Asynchronous
Allow technology to assist with this process; don't fear it! In today's global market, we need to enable learners with the ability to connect to others. This also allows the organization to scale the program.
I believe that these guiding principles really are the foundational tools to creating a new modern mentoring culture, or shifting from a traditional mindset to a modern one. I find these five guiding principles to be helpful in realizing the role differences from a traditional to modern mentoring culture and the heavy reliance on being open, flexible, self-directed, and broad in reach for remote users.
Food for thought: What other aspects or concepts would you need to incorporate to foster a modern mentoring culture in your workplace? Is there anything you'd need to add or modify to these five concepts?
Editor's Note: A version of this blog entry first appeared on Adriane Gonzalez's blog about Modern Mentoring. It has been reprinted here with permission from the author.