I’m a big fan of TED. If you know what TED is, skip down to the next paragraph. If you aren’t aware, TED is a small non-profit dedicated to allowing individuals to share ideas worth spreading. It’s like a central repository for really great innovations. Individuals get a platform to share their stories and ideas with the entire world via the TED website.
On a recent visit to the TED site, I listened to a talk by Dave Eggers. As a writer, he found that he had a lot of down time. He also found that teachers lacked the time to give individual attention to all of the students who needed additional help. He combined these findings and opened a tutoring workshop in a store that sold pirate supplies (for context, watch his inspiring TED talk here).
I’m writing this entry because I found a video case study on the true power of this idea on his website. Those who were part of the effort found that, although mentors/tutors gave students honest and encouraging feedback, those who needed help had to overcome their own challenges in communicating their ideas as well.
What if we could take this idea into the workplace and create centers of competency within our organizations that gave their time and talent to educate others in the business who needed it? What if we didn’t leave all the work up to the trainers? What if everyone in our organizations felt comfortable communicating their thoughts and ideas with each other?
The concept of mentoring is so simple, but it can get forgotten so quickly.
There is immense power in our organizations. That power is in the people who come into work, do their jobs, and go home. Let’s educate them. Engage them. Involve them.