Mentoring in a connected world

By Dr Lydia Cillie-Schmidt

Deloitte in their 2018 Global Human Capital Trends report “The rise of the social enterprise” highlighted the move towards organisations with increased internal collaboration and integration, as well as increased engagement with external actors. Deloitte mentions in this same report that as organisations have to redesign themselves to keep up with all the changes, they are also struggling to create new career models and build new skills across the workforce. Mentoring has been used for a very long time to build skills in organisations and it stands to reason that the way in which mentoring is done will also evolve as organisations and the definition of careers change.

The impact of the Millennials in the workplace is also changing the face of mentoring. Zimmerman ( mentions that there’s been an emergence of a few different types of mentoring: co-mentoring or reverse mentoring, micro mentoring, and group mentoring.

Randy Emelo in his book “Modern Mentoring” (2017, ATD Press), describes modern mentoring as a form of open, social and collaborative learning where everyone can participate, and people meet in large groups to learn from and share insights with one another. He states that it broadens the scope from one-to-one and top-down connections and makes them many-to-many and across all levels, functions and locations.

Randy describes the difference between traditional mentoring and modern mentoring as follows:

Mentoring Programme Traditional Modern
Purpose Career Advancement Broad learning
Participants Mentors are senior leaders and protégés are high potential employees Advisors and learners can be anyone in the organisation – open, egalitarian and diverse
Connections One-to-one Many to many
Duration Long-term As long as needed
Method Face-to-face Virtual and asynchronous
Design Top down and matched by outside administrator; Tightly administered Flat, self-directed and personal; Broad and flexible

Source: Randy Emelo, 2017. Modern Mentoring. ATD Press.

Although we may not totally agree with the view of traditional mentoring depicted in this table, it is clear that Randy’s view of modern mentoring reflects the move towards more collaboration and connection as described in the concept of the social enterprise.

Organisations have already started to implement hybrid methods of mentoring where there is a blend of traditional and modern methods. Best-in-class organisations implement a blend of formal and informal approaches, individual and group-mentoring, face-to-face and e-facilitated approaches (systems and apps) for mentoring.

Just a few of the examples of mentoring Apps and Systems that I found on the internet are:

Mesensei –

Unibly –

Mentor and Track System – (Educational environment)

Mentorloop –

Score –

MentorcliQ –

Chronus –

MentorCloud –

Wisdom Share –

eMentorConnect – www.

Mentorink –

Achiiva –

At the Talent Hub International we use the TREK Learning Experience Management System ( to facilitate the mentoring process.

No matter what you do at your organisation, it is clear that as organisations and the concept of a career are changing, that mentoring is also evolving, creating exciting opportunities to design effective mentoring experiences for the changing world of work.



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