I was on a virtual conference recently.
During the conference one of the discussion points was around reverse mentoring.
Now you might be thinking, what is reverse mentoring and when might it be important.
Chances are you are probably familiar with mentoring.
In essence it’s where you work with someone who has achieved what you want to achieve.
You utilise their experience to help you move forward towards where you want to get to.
You ask them questions.
You use them as a sounding board.
Typically it’s a more experienced person who is the mentor and the mentee is less experienced.
How reverse mentoring is different
As the name suggest, it turns things on its head.
The less experienced person acts as the mentor and the more experienced person becomes the mentee.
Now you might be wondering where reverse mentoring might be relevant in Finance
Let’s think about technology.
Those who are joining finance teams in the early stages of their career (Gen Z) are digital natives.
They have grown up in the digital age. Computers, apps and the internet have been part of their life from the start.
They might not have the experience in finance and wider business skills but they know tech and its potential.
Imagine you have an FD or FC who is in their 50’s. They probably started out their careers with limited exposure to computers.
If I think about my own situation, I was about 10 years into my career before I even started to use IT at work in a significant way.
Does this mean if you are much later in your career you are a technology dinosaur?
At the same time you are never going to see the possibilities in a way a digital native might.
How would it work in practice
Essentially the less experienced person who is tech savvy helps the more experienced person to see the possibilities for technology and maybe even do some one to one training.
The more experienced person understands business, procedures and controls.
By working collaboratively it’s a win-win.The benefit is that there is some great CPD for both parties and also opportunities to make improvements that benefit Finance and the business by utilising technology effectively.