Reverse Mentoring

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Barry Diller - A big fan of reverse mentoring [Photo by David Shankbone]
Barry Diller - A big fan of reverse mentoring - Photo by David Shankbone

There’s a story of Barry Diller, the famed Chairman of IAC, an internet behemoth with lots of succesful web properties in its very broad porftfolio of technology investments. Diller, now 69, was said to excessively, make use of a concept known as “reverse mentoring”. As the title suggests, the idea is that the typically younger, less experienced person, who has knowledge in a particula area, gives advice to the more senior person. This works amazingly well in a setup with an executive such as Barry Diller. Jack Welch, Management-Guru und CEO of GE is also known for using a reverse mentored decision process.

He, the experience business person, with a track record in print publishing is being told that the company needs to move towards the internet to be sucessful. By asking the modern customer, the young, internet-savvy users, he gets insight into the market he wants to enter. It’s a great and simple concept as long as the senior to-be-mentored person shows humblness and willingness to learn from a less experienced person, which makes this more of a psychological obstacle, then an organizational one.

Does reverse mentoring have its raison d’être also in medicine? Are you aware of a such concepts – maybe even in the hospital or pharma company you are working at?

What could be a use case of this concept in a clincial seeting?

We’d be happy to hear more on this if you have experience with it. This is potentially also a business opportunity  – linking, young, enthusiastic and medically trained people with seasoned healthcare providers, governments, pharmaceutical companies or insurance companies.

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