Apr 26, 2013

Reverse Mentoring about Social and Digital



In my new role as a "digital and social" subject matter expert in HR, I was approached by two senior (non-HR) leaders of the firm to be a "reverse mentor" to them in the "social and digital" domain.

What is Reverse Mentoring?

As Krish Shankar of Bharti Airtel says in this article:

This concept, being increasingly adopted by savvy, new-age organisations, turns the old paradigm of mentorship into a higher and more effective collaborative effort. The clincher here is that the younger person becomes the mentor and the seasoned senior professional the mentee. Typically, the mentee has more overall experience (as a result of age) than the mentor (who is younger), but the mentor has more knowledge in a particular area and therefore reverses the conventional relationship.
Clearly, the modern-day notion of an exchange of ideas and knowledge has changed, especially after the phenomenal expansion of the social networks, and the digital and mobile marketing platforms, blurring the rigid and accepted norms of relationships between individuals, teams and organisations. Today, an exchange of ideas is no longer restricted to an inner circle of influence, the purview of designations and age.
Reverse mentoring can re-energise older employees, keep younger workers engaged and improve relationships between the different generations in the workplace. For example, junior mentors can help managers understand how to motivate and retain young workers. They can also share first-hand knowledge of a younger customer base — critical for companies aiming to tap the youth market.

So yes, it has been an interesting experience in my first few mentoring meetings. Will blog about more experiences soon :)