Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Reverse Mentorship

Swapping ideas

How many times have you helped a coworker with their email, shown the boss how that facebook thing works or tried to teach your parents how to text? Or maybe you are the one asking for help. You want to learn, but technology seems to be outpacing you, and this younger generation with cellphone permanently implanted to their texting finger tips can just do it faster.

My new facebook page Crystal Cattle has information on a internship and tonight's #agchat mentorship topic
Enter the reverse mentorship.

I have been hearing about this business idea for awhile, and I often encourage the people I work with mostly - farmers and ranchers - to take advantage of younger more tech savvy people, especially when it comes to video and social media.

Today, I came across this story on Mashable's Business page - Why Your Buiness Should Consider Reverse Mentorship. The concept - pairing those younger, fresh out of college, social media savvy new hires with experienced, business savvy professionals.

A have a few years of experience under my belt now, but I still feel like I could refining my marketing, decision making and salesmanship skills from someone that has been in the industry for years. On the flip side I would love to see more of those industry leaders blogging, tweeting and facebooking.

In the article the reverse mentorship team spend 30 minutes together for the work day began. The end result was...
“[I] got him on Facebook; put his speaking gigs on YouTube; he’s on LinkedIn; we wrote 53 blog posts together over the course of a year, and you can tweet him.”
So what if you want to be mentored where do you start? Your church, the college kid that grew up next to your farm, your children, younger grads in your office. These young people are all a wealth of knowledge. And to those that are younger and understand social media, video, blogging, etc., feel free to market you skills and offer help. You never know where it might lead.


  1. I'm not even 30 yet and I feel like I need a reverse mentor sometimes....technology moves so darn fast any more! What an interesting idea. I hadn't heard of reverse mentoring before.

  2. You're right on - as usual, Crystal. Having recently changed my professional carrer to a different sector of the Ag Industry, I have encountered a huge learning curve. Our company has DEEP roots of folks who have been here for 25+ years. We are fresh off a sales meeting where we had eight new employees introduce themselves (myself included) and then the 25 yrs+ did the same thing. We aren't doing a great job of encouraging interaction between these groups - but there is great potentail here for "reverse mentoring" and my co-workers and I are actively pursing this option as an onboarding assest to the company.
    Thanks for posting this subject - makes us not feel so alone :)

  3. iafarmwife.com and Anna feel free to use or pass the idea on.

    Erin I hope you get more comfortable in your new job setting. I think what you are going through it quite common. Just remember you each have lots to learn from each other! Good luck.

  4. I LOVE this concept! I would love to be mentored and offer any wild knowledge that I have with others ;)

  5. Thanks - don't get me wrong I am very comfortable and really enjoy my job - just completely understand the benefit of this concept now that I am in a situation that could really use it :)


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