About Innovatemap — 12.14.2021

Mentorship – How We Do It

Lacey Lavies, Executive Partner, Product Strategy & Client Experience

In this business where our product is our people, we care deeply about our team members’ growth and supporting them to create meaningful impact – for our clients, for Innovatemap, and the individual. A key foundational element of continuous growth for our team is through our mentorship model. 

How It Works

Our mentorship is structured a bit differently than most. We do not have an organizational hierarchy that defines who reports to who, but rather, a mentorship model that supports accountability to each other, and a personalized growth path, while being rooted in our values of honesty, excellence, and innovation. This model allows our team members to receive coaching from many angles, to experiment and innovate on cross-team processes and methodology, and support areas of the business that may not be core to their role. 

Here’s how it works.

A team member can have three different types of mentors:

  • Primary Mentor 
  • Secondary Mentor
  • Informal Mentor

A primary mentor is like a head coach for the individual that they are mentoring. They are responsible for guiding professional development, being an ambassador and champion for the individual, and providing ongoing support and guidance. They support the mentee with growth opportunities, goals, and overall work quality.

A secondary mentor is a teacher, guiding the mentee in an area supplemental to where the individual and their head coach are focused. The secondary mentor is like an assistant coach, often focused on specialized skill development or specific methodology. They aim to help round out valued skillsets for the individual.

Finally, informal mentorship is defined by the duo. The mentor and mentee connect and share perspectives, and guidance in the areas they choose to focus on. 

Why It Works

This mentorship model works for us because we tailor it to support how we work, our team structure, our values, and the well-rounded growth of the individual. 

Outside of formal mentorship, our talents and company have always evolved and grown organically. We provide each other with guidance and feedback, we cheer on our teammates and learn through others’ experiments, successes and struggles. 

We view formal mentorship as a super-vitamin on top of this. It enables everyone on this team to excel and evolve more quickly, and with deeper impact. It creates intentional space for coaching, feedback, and thought partnership, outside of the day-to-day work. 

For us, mentorship is a two-way partnership. The more you give, the more you get out of the relationship. The mentee doesn’t simply show up to have wisdom rain down on them, rather, we take individual ownership of defining learning opportunities, setting, and identifying challenges to work through. Mentorship is an invitation for everyone on the team to take ownership of their growth with a valuable coach (or two, or three!) by their side. 

Finally, our approach to mentorship keeps us agile and flexible as a business. We change fast, we adapt fast, and to keep evolving, our team needs to continuously embrace change.  Innovation is born when we let people use their superpowers to do their best work, rather than allowing our job titles or org structure to restrict our impact. 

Mentorship is just one of the ways that we engage with our values and keep our collective curiosity and desire to learn and alive and thriving. We work together for each others’ growth. And everyone benefits from that.