In a recent Q&A email, one member of the InnoLead network asked the following question about innovation mentorship at large companies:
“What types of mentoring programs do other corporate innovation centers offer?”
Below are a few of the best responses. We invite you to post your answer in the comments below.
Designate Innovation “Sherpas”
“At LogMeIn we have a team of people within the LABs group whose whole job is to engage with our employees as ‘Sherpas’ for their innovation journey. We learned early on that the people with ideas don’t always know who to connect with or how to move forward. Our strategic enablement team knows those ins and outs and acts as the connectors.
They also partner with the leadership and management teams to solve today’s problems leveraging innovation tools (i.e. design sprints, lean canvas, etc). This practice builds confidence in the LABs team and its members which in turn makes managers feel more comfortable and confident having their direct [employees] work with and get mentored by us.”
Submitted by Christian Ponce, Director of Strategic Innovation, at LogMeIn.
Create an “Innovation Academy”
“We have developed a formal ‘Innovation Academy’ (20 hours of course instruction) which is designed in a way that participants will be equipped to serve as a resource/mentor in their local work environments. Participants can be nominated by leaders or past participants, or they can self-nominate. We also publish the graduates information on our intranet…so that anyone in the organization can connect/communicate.”
Submitted by Melissa Mancini, Associate Vice President Strategy and Business Development, at UAB Medicine.
Work with External Partners
“We use an external company to facilitate our mentorship program. They match people both internally and externally to our company depending on areas of focus and availability of mentors.”
Submitted by a respondent working in the life sciences industry.