Mentoring is a developmental partnership which enables the exchange of best practice and the open consideration of career opportunities. A successful partnership can overcome the common concern that Business Continuity practitioners tend to sit on their own within different organizations, making it difficult to exchange ideas with others in the field.
The BCI runs a successful Mentoring Programme that is open to all members of the BCI and offers them great scope for improving their knowledge, understanding and practical application of good practice in Business Continuity.
Mentees range from newly qualified graduates looking to take responsibility for their own development through to the more experienced BC Manager moving into a new sector or taking on a new task, and looking for practical guidance from outside their own organization. Equally, Mentees find it useful to be mentored by someone on their own level, who has recent practical experience of a task that they wish to discuss.
Mentoring is a voluntary and largely self-managed process and the responsibility for maintaining and developing individual relationships lies with the members concerned.
The main key features of the BCI Mentoring Programme
- All Mentors are registered with the BCI – currently over 140 registered Mentors
- All Mentors actively work in Business Continuity or related Professional Practices
- All Mentors are qualified and experienced Business Continuity professionals and hold either an FBCI or MBCI
- Mentors and Mentees are carefully matched by the BCI based on learning and development needs
Mentoring is a learning relationship between two people based on listening, sharing and challenging. The Mentor is there to provide an independent view on how the Mentee could manage or deal with challenges at work. The Mentor should remain outside of the situation and should avoid providing straightforward answers and taking decisions for the Mentee. It is more about providing direction rather than answers.
Key benefits of the BCI Mentoring Programme for Mentors include:
- Helping to shape the new generation of Business Continuity professionals
- Sharing knowledge and expertise
- Contributing to the growth of Business Continuity as a recognised discipline in industry
- Supporting the up-skilling and personal development of new and ‘young’ professionals
- Accumulating up to five CPD hours per year on the BCI CPD Programme
The role of the Mentee is to identify Professional Practices that require strengthening. Regular contact with the Mentor is vital to gain and maintain the momentum of progression and development within the BCI Professional Practices. It is the Mentees’ responsibility to seek progression and development in the BCI Professional Practices and to be honest about their desired direction.
Key benefits of the BCI Mentoring Programme for Mentees include:
- Learning from the experts and work with a Business Continuity professional to develop your knowledge of Business Continuity
- Improving your skills, knowledge and competencies across related Professional Practices
- Improving your chances of career progression through supported learning
- All Mentees are provided with a BCI Mentoring Log Book, which serves as a formal record of personal progress, achievements and professional development
Specific guidelines have been set out for both the Mentor and Mentee and these will be provided when registering. The Mentee will also be supplied with a log book where high level objectives agreed at the first meeting, can be logged in accordance with the SMART (specific, measurable/achievable/realistic/timely) principles.
Mentoring is one of the most satisfying things I have been involved in with the BCI. I gain great satisfaction knowing that I’m contributing in some small way towards somebody else’s efforts in achieving their goals and aspirations. If you were a senior practitioner I would ask yourself the question, why would I not want to help others through the experience I have gained in such a specialist and still relatively new profession?
And don’t for one minute think that you can’t also learn anything from your Mentee. I have learned so much from my Mentees over the years that have contributed to my own career.
There is a quote that I think applies well to mentoring and that is “the value of experience is not seeing much, but in seeing wisely”. So why not give the others, particularly the next generation the benefit of seeing more wisely than we did?
Steve Mellish FBCI