UnMentoring – 5 rounds in and counting


I posted a while ago about the changes that UnMentoring went through, mainly the switch to a professionalised system which takes all the hard work of administration away and simply connects people. Well after 5 rounds of UnMentoring I was keen to see what was actually happening and how connections were being made or not as the case maybe.

I also looked at the growth over the months as well and whilst it has been up and down there is a steady growth which is good…the initial peak was due to the change from the previous version (managed by excel spreadsheets) to this new system.

UnMentoring Growth Graph


One of the misconceptions affecting growth is that some people think this is just for local government people. UnMentoring is open to anyone who is passionate about the improvement and reform of public services and the broader the people involved the richer and more diverse the conversations. So if you are interested then please sign up.

The interesting thing within the network diagram as each round develops is the number of connections that didn’t get a chance to meet or didn’t confirm whether a meeting occurred. The red lines in the pictures/gallery shows the number of connections that didn’t meet.

I think this is something we need to think about and maybe the monthly commitment is hard to maintain, so we might experiment with a longer time frame and see if that helps people as well as asking a number of people as to some of the reasons why connections didn’t happen. Feel free to share some of your insights on the post by the way 🙂  Without your feedback we will innovate in a vacuum. The previous excel system most probably had the same issues but they weren’t visible in this way, but now its visible we can start to something about it.

One thing we do know is that for some people these random conversations are transformative and the simple offer of connecting people is a valuable service to offer and we can only develop richer and more diverse connections if more people join and connect too. It doesn’t work for everyone although we do have and provide other ways to help people connect such as the events we help put on for example LocalGovCamp#NotWestminster and the new peer groups around things like the Service Standard.

With all the focus on technology and technology innovation, the challenge we want to help address is connecting and bringing diverse groups of people together to find common understanding and to solve problems and improve public services for everyone.





4 thoughts on “UnMentoring – 5 rounds in and counting

  1. It’s now four months since I’ve spoken to an UnMentoring partner. But I don’t think the frequency of UnMentoring should be reduced. There are three different reasons why the last three have not happened for me. One of those reasons is just me being stupidly busy. But the way I look at it, the busier I am the more important it is that I do actually speak to my UnMentoring partners.

    1. Agreed Albert, think it’s sometimes about priorities – Unmentoring seen as an added extra? I’d be intrigued to see how organisations approach this more informal style of learning. Individuals have bought into it, but if you’re given space and permission to do it that makes it a whole lot easier. Personally I think once a month is fine, but it’ll be interesting to see if the lower frequency changes participation rates. Motivation seemed to be more of an issue in our feedback, happy to share that if it would be helpful? My colleague Beth has also written this post on it https://goodpracticeexchange.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/randomised-coffee-trials-encouraging-networking/.



  2. Looks interesting. I must admit that the once a month commitment is a bit daunting – I think I would prefer once every two or three months. But a great innovation 👏👏 [applause] 👍 [thumbs up]

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