I thought this was an interesting example of a mentoring process that didn’t require a single mentor or any extra effort, but rather deploys a whole organization to provide mentoring opportunities.
EVERNOTE CEO PHIL LIBIN: We recently implemented something called Evernote Officer Training. I got this idea from a friend who served on a Trident nuclear submarine. He said that in order to be an officer on one of these subs, you have to know how to do everyone else’s job. Those kills are repeated trained and taught. And I remember thinking, “That’s really cool.”
So we implemented officer training at Evernote. The program is voluntary. If you sign up, we will randomly assign you to any other meeting. So pretty much anytime I have a meeting with anyone, or anyone else has a meeting with anyone, very often there is somebody else in there from a totally different department who’s in officer training. They’re there to absorb what we’re talking about. They’re not just spectators. They ask questions; they talk. My assistant runs it, and she won’t schedule any individual for more than two extra meetings a week. We don’t want this consuming too much of anybody’s time.
The thing I love about it is that it follows the most basic approach of a good mentor: do what you’re already doing and invite someone to join you. So simple, yet so effective.