In my role as project manager at the Polytechnic Institute(*), I have set up a mentoring programme with an industrial client with the aim of bringing about the transmission of knowledge from senior scientific and technical experts to promising young scientists. The programme has the following characteristics:

  • International involvement (Europe / USA)
  • Participants are grouped in threes: one Mentor to two Mentees. They might plausibly be based at three different sites and/or in two different continents.

This pilot programme was conceived according to a “formal” arrangement whereby the management team directs and launches the programme and chooses the participants. However, each group of three is then allowed to organise itself so that the objectives they have given themselves – and communicated to the management team – are met.

The mentoring programme includes two meetings attended by all Mentors and Mentees: one at the beginning of the programme and another after nine months of experimentation. Between these two meetings, our Franco-American team monitors all the groups of three.

We combined our skills with those of Alterval, using the Mentor/Mentee profiles they have created and adapting them to the profiles of scientific and technical experts. This profile was accompanied by an additional communication profile; feedback from Mentors and Mentees was overwhelmingly positive. During the initial meeting, they were impressed by the accuracy of their transmitter or learner profiles and the consistency with their communication profiles.

Encouraged to discuss their profiles, the ice was quickly broken between Mentors and Mentees; they decided on common objectives and working methods in their groups of three, which turned out to be effective and well-chosen. This is particularly important where long-distance mentoring relationships are concerned. The profiles and match-ups were also of great value to our team in our monitoring of the groups.

My collaboration with Gilbert and Grégory was much more than simply supplying profiles; it was rich in exchange, based on a shared experience and conviction that mentoring is an effective way of creating long-term connections and a dynamic of learning – between individuals and within organisations.

The learning situations implemented by the groups are bursting with creativity – and efficiency. The programme continues…

Sylvie Jeannequin – Project Manager – Polytechnic Institute

(*) An organisation situated at the crossroads of scientific and managerial culture, the Polytechnic Institute specialises in ongoing training, support and advice for the development of individuals, teams and organisations.