Traditionally the senior managers become role models for less experienced, but this may not be the only effective form of mentoring. Backward learning, or reverse mentoring, can benefit senior mentors and newcomers. Leaders of large organizations like Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, have used reverse mentoring.
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Reverse Mentoring (2069 KB)
Benefits of reverse mentoring or backward learning include:
- A culture constantly evolving for the better and flexible enough to change and grow.
- A message to newbies that their opinions are valued, promoting a deeper sense of commitment and “buy in.”
- Senior members really can learn much from newer members of the organization.
Reverse mentoring is only effective when senior managers are teachable and humble about the process. If they are open-minded, it gives them the opportunity to expand their own skills and drop obsolete assumptions. Not all ideas offered will be legitimate or embraced, but some will be beneficial!
To learn more about how to implement reverse mentoring, or to check out other business consulting services to help your organization run more smoothly, check out our business consulting services in the Cleveland area or schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Greg.