2.3 Types of European Collaborative Mentoring in a Digital Age

Collaborative Mentoring Between Different Generations

Mentoring has shifted from a focus on senior professionals advising junior professionals. Professionals at any level are identifying their own needs and reaching out to gain assistance or learn from their knowledgeable peers. The concept of Collaborative Mentoring is a way the Mentee no matter where they are in the company or what age they are, they define their needs and fulfil them through a diversified set of individuals or Mentors. This may in some cases engage reverse mentoring by engaging the younger generation entrepreneurs to gain precious insights from their wisdom and intellect to help transform a business for a better or secured future through digital technologies. In the case of Reverse Mentoring or different levels of hierarchy in the business some mentoring roadblocks can occur:

Collaborative Mentoring allows Mentees to develop their own development network in relation to their needs. Their needs can be met by a variety of mentors to include:

Different Mentoring Function Potential Activities
Mentor challenging assignments Assist lead in a critical project Chair a committee
Coaching relationships Developing a conference presentation – “How to cope with a problem with a business partner”
Personal Mentoring How to have conversations in confidence
Skills Mentoring Learning a new software Mentoring through a technical problem
Professional Mentoring Observation of how behave in work settings or business meetings Conversations about career or company role direction

With more than 50% of the world population connected with a digital platform today collaborative mentoring is the right way to achieve long term sustainability

In contrast to conventional mentoring collaborative mentoring intends to play a wider role in helping individuals and businesses to identify their purpose and role. This approach ensures an alliance between the wisdom of older generation and the agility and innovation of the younger generation so that the best of the best intellectual values is conceived.

Collaborative mentoring needs a few fundamentals put in place.

  • Space: offer optimum space to individuals to establish comfort zone and trust
  • Respect: each other’s perception and expectations to achieve mutual consensus
  • Patience: to ensure the right time to ripe to help achieve the intended results
  • Perseverance: stay determined in collaborating with each other for sharing intellect despite delayed results is critical in collaborative mentoring
  • Acceptance: accepting each other’s right perception and expectations to help achieve a common consensus. Also, accepting the negativity is equally important to get back on track.

With more than 50% of the world population connected with a digital platform today collaborative mentoring is the right way to achieve long term sustainability.

In contrast to conventional mentoring collaborative mentoring intends to play a wider role in helping individuals and businesses to identify their purpose and role. This approach ensures an alliance between the wisdom of older generation and the agility and innovation of the younger generation so that the best of the best intellectual values is conceived.

Reciprocal Collaborative Mentoring

With companies become more digitally competent mentors need to not only have the knowledge and expertise but also need to be digitally savvy. Reverse Collaborative Mentoring is where the older generations teach the younger generations with their expertise and experience and vice versa. For example, the older generation may not be digitally competent may often work with digital experts are the younger Generation Y and Z. Topics they can work together with include managing a company’s e-reputation, personal branding on social media, collaborative platforms to optimize sites and products for smartphones and tablets.

This is a win-win relationship as the digital mentors and the traditional mentor, they can both update their skills, pass on their experience and knowledge through practical exercises, mentoring programs and meetings. The goal is everyone will be on the same page and capable of making clear, relevant better decisions that suit the business. This requires a long-term learning approach reverse mentoring isn’t a one-time process, with new digital tools and practices appearing every day you need to have a long-term digital training plan.

Collaborative Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Examples in Europe (Mentorship Circles)

Collaborative Peer-to-Peer Mentoring is predicated on community knowledge and experience, here are some examples:

Bizmentors EU regions providing trans-national business mentoring solutions for local European SME’s that compliments existing national mentoring models and intends to facilitate mentoring for even the most peripheral SMEs in the region.

European Cluster Collaboration Platform an information hub, that drives the competitiveness of European businesses. You get to collaborate and explore this diverse cluster community, identify your potential cooperation partner, and show the world what you are good at!

DIHELP Training and Good Practice Webinars The Digital Innovation Hub Enhanced-Learning Programme (DIHELP), funded by the EU, is a mentoring and coaching programme that is supporting 30 Digital Innovation Hubs, it organises a series of webinars open to the public.

The Cluster Booster Track – Call for European Mentors – is an exciting peer-to-peer learning and booster programme that helps cluster managers to improve their management skills, multiply their business opportunities and open new channels of inter-clustering collaboration at national and international levels.

TCI Mentoring Program – seeks to match experienced mentors, with cluster newcomers and talents in an early stage of their careers. Some of the areas of knowledge and competences for successful cluster practitioners developed through the TCI Mentoring Program include – Cluster Strategy & Organization Skills, Cluster Collaboration & Leadership, Cluster Entrepreneurship, Start-up & Scale-up

GroYourBiz A diverse group of experienced, knowledgeable, and committed businesswomen who are your ‘board’ will hold you accountable to the business goals and commitments you make for yourself.  They share their individual and collective wisdom to help you work through the questions and challenges you’re wrestling with.  And you will do the same for them.

Women Presidents’ Organization, Inc. (WPO) target women presidents of multimillion-dollar companies. The members take part in professionally facilitated peer advisory groups to bring the “genius out of the group” and accelerate the growth of their businesses.

Collaboration Incubator:  The Collaboration Incubator supports deep new ways of collaboration between representatives of different progressive movements and ideas, as well  as utilizing the power of digital tools.

Collaborative Incubators

Incubation – Learn, Develop, Collaborate – During the incubation period, start-ups can actually focus more on service/product development due to the reduction of other financial and managerial burdens; they have access to mentors who are specialised and have a vast experience in fields like developing companies and commercialising in international markets; they gain access to big networks which they can use to find investors and distribution channels; and they will have other people around them who are in the same “boat” with whom they can communicate and collaborate, whether on a professional or personal level.

Women in Communications & Technology (WCT) Mentorship Circlemotto is ‘To build each other’. The WCT objective is to connect members with the region’s most influential and experienced experts in the industry sectors. They help each other develop and advance their careers as mentors through sharing their diverse knowledge and experiences.

Collaborative Workplace Mentoring Schemes

A company offering good mentorship as an employment package is highly attractive particularly to Gen Y generations who want a rapid career progression as a top priority. But they often lack the experience needed to shoot straight up the ladder. Having a collaborative workplace mentoring scheme can help upskill workers, increase employee satisfaction, assist employee engagement, and facilitate effective knowledge sharing. Using mentoring to develop new leaders will futureproof a business or organization and help with succession planning. Millennials who plan to stay with an organization for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor (68%) than not (32%).


It can help develop new leaders and futureproof your organization

Collaborative Group Mentoring

Where one mentor looks after several people or Project Groups. The right technology can help facilitate this type of approach.

Project groups provide a secure space for a mentor to build and develop relationships with multiple stakeholders. They are collaboration spaces where projects get done; assign tasks, share feedback, tag colleagues and post updates. Choose whether your group should be open, closed or secret to manage access and ensure that the right people have access to the information they need.

Intersection Collaboration & Leadership

Case Study; Peter Simoons, Making Business Collaborations Work

Virtually Collaborate with Peter Simoons;

As an alliance and partnership specialist Peter works at the intersection of collaboration and leadership. Based in the Netherlands Peter helps businesses and alliance leaders around the world to create results with their alliances and partnerships. ‘Simoons and Company’ is an alliance-based network organization who work collaboratively with several alliance partners for specialized tasks.

Peter offers:

  • Executive Coaching: to help the mentee unlock their full potential
  • Alliance Leadership Coaching: to help the mentee grow as an Alliance Leader and grow their organisation’s Alliance Capabilities
  • Team Development: a two-day program to develop effective collaborative teams
  • Alliance Masterclass: learn the skills and tools to create and manage alliances and partnerships that deliver results
  • Global Leadership Self-Assessment: The Mentee assesses themselves against the top 15 most pressing competencies for today’s global leader
  • Virtual Coffee: no strings attached exploratory conversation over coffee only online.