As announced last month, the white paper Mentoring by FabMob (La Fabrique des Mobilités), an organization aiming to facilitate learning and innovation for actors of the mobility sector, is finally available for all to download (those who read French anyway for now).

Here is a summary of key points. Because FabMob is a community sharing learnings and best practices in a very open way, and because it gathers a pool of experiences and expertise, it is the perfect actor to facilitate mentoring for a diverse mobility ecosystem. But mentoring being an often misunderstood practice, FabMob decided to avoid the following three false good ideas:

False good idea #1: Industrial organizations mentoring startups to get closer to their ecosystem

Other actors have been doing this successfully for many years, so FabMob may not have a specific added value on this. Secondly, mobility actors’ key issues may not be to gain a startup culture, have more intrapreneurs within, or expand their R&D with a startup portfolio. So a pure startup mentoring program might have looked like a good idea on paper but fails to create real added value in the mobility ecosystem because too vague and not specific enough.

False good idea #2: Internal reverse mentoring program to support digital transformation

Juniors mentoring seniors is a great practice to ensure that decision-makers stay connected with current and future play in society, markets, technology, ways of working and living, etc. Also, digital transformation is one of the key changes in the mobility sector. However, reverse mentoring may not be “the” solution for FabMob members, especially because the demographics of any company may not allow for enough juniors who could be mentors, nor does it guarantee that these juniors have experience in the specific organization's digital needs – such as plateformisation.

False good idea #3: External mentoring for intrapreneurial projects

Even though intrapreneurs being mentored by external entrepreneurs is a great way to get a reality check for employees and learn more about a different mindset to get innovative projects on the market, it might not be where FabMob adds value. First, because intrapreneurship is not necessarily what will help an industrial or a government institution understand the mobility ecosystem and its evolutions. Secondly, the complexity of the mobility industry is such that being mentored by someone with experience in entrepreneurship might not be what is most pertinent. Transforming a business towards new ways of paying, for example, may require mentoring by someone from another industry who has experience/insights in that domain and not necessarily from an entrepreneur’s point of view.

All in all, these three examples of the mentoring program are interesting on the surface but do not create enough value for the mobility sector and the members of FabMob. This is why the following three mentoring models have been designed to cater to their more specific needs.

Mentoring by FabMob #1: Culture shift mentoring

Internal mentoring for those who are “in” the target culture to accompany those not there yet.

The leaders of a multinational company realize that the company is two-speed or that cultural differences create real gaps in performance. The strengths and mindsets to innovate or evolve the business seem to exist internally. Still, they are not necessarily deployed and shared uniformly, partly because of the acquisition's historical or recent cultural differences. Without completely distorting the identity of local units (no cloning), managers seek to change the company's culture so that it can continue to serve the strategic ambitions.

For example: Following a new business acquisition, as Renault did with Intel, for example, it is necessary to accelerate onboarding and capitalize on cultural differences to integrate them into the global culture. The idea here is not to impose one culture over the other but to welcome the culture of the other to evolve the global culture. Mentoring is called “mutual” and promotes mutual discovery to integrate best practices and mindsets faster. In their mentoring role, teams define learning objectives, and in their role of mentors, they share their experiences.

Mentoring is here a vector for better dissemination of internal collective intelligence.

Mentoring by FabMob #2: Peer-to-peer mentoring

FabMob ecosystem senior managers help each other – one-2-one mentoring – on common issues to remove the obstacles to ongoing or already decided transitions, such as the challenges that the FabMob community has already identified.

Mobility actors gathered around a table have worked on one or more topics concerning them. Solutions and opportunities for change for their own organization are beginning to emerge. However, for the implementation, they still have many questions. They could benefit from a benevolent “sounding board” (a mentor) to help them think, take a step back, ask the right questions, identify traps and good practices, speed up implementation, and not procrastinate the complexity of a necessary change.

Example: An intrapreneur from a large organization already heavily involved in the transformation of its organization faces many political challenges. He tries to convince EXCOM to switch to open source in a historical context of strong Intellectual Property. He risks giving up, becoming discouraged, and not embodying the change that the FabMob community and himself see as strategic for this organization. His mentor from the FabMob community, a member of EXCOM himself, seasoned on these subjects and experienced in navigating political complexity, can accompany, encourage, reassure and enlighten the mentee to help him pass this critical milestone.

Mentoring by FabMob #3: Agility mentoring

External group mentoring with a mentor experienced in setting up a practice (combination of mindset, know-how, and skills) that an identified population of one or more member organizations wishes to acquire.

Technological evolutions, changes in the historical markets, new competitors are shaking up a company. Its leaders realize that they need to change their practices. They have acquired new tools or methods, but they do not have the internal mindsets and know how to optimize or deliver their alleged benefits. Beyond training in new practices, another type of external support is needed. FabMob being at the heart of an experimenting community and having feedback on these new practices can offer agility mentoring.

Example: An automotive manufacturer wants to switch to more collaborative practices, the cloud, and software. Once again, beyond technical training, these are new ways of thinking, designing, communicating, and seeing the value chain that is difficult to integrate for teams. External mentorship allows mentees to decode the new world they live in and boost the practice over time.

Mentoring by FabMob

The white paper describes each of these three mentoring offers in terms of main principles, organization, ROIs, traps to avoid, specificities (selecting, training, and matching participants, community management, etc.), and the production of commons that can be more widely shared in the FabMob community if you wish to know more feel free to contact us at Innovation Copilots or Gabriel Plassat at FabMob.

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