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Chapter Seven - The Knowledge Quest

Mentoring for resilience

"And that’s why you should invest your time and funds in our idea. Thanks.”

Sitting in front of a group of junior colleagues, I listened to them practice pitching for an internal business competition. It made me feel like a panel member on Dragon’s Den but without the considerable bags of investment cash! Their performance managers had suggested that they find a mentor within the knowledge team and I happened to be in the right place at the right time.

I enjoy mentoring. It actually ties quite nicely to knowledge management. After all, it’s about sharing experience and skills to support and realise the potential of others in their own development and work.

The junior colleagues came from different departments and backgrounds but were unified by their competitive spirit, boundless enthusiasm, and openness to receive suggestions. I encouraged each colleague to explore their own ‘superpower’ and network connections asking whether they had tested their assumptions and collated data. They prepped, they refined, they prepped some more and then pitched in front of several senior business leaders.

They didn’t win. It was a kick in the teeth, but this is real life.

I invited them to a debrief session. We talked through what didn’t go well, what did go well and how they could adapt for next time. The session helped to address the disappointment (fail fast to move forward) but also served to replay the positive memories and the camaraderie of putting together their pitch.

I was really proud of them.

Shared learning


- Mentoring isn’t always about winning. It’s about sharing knowledge and learning. 


- Talk about failure because this is critical for growth and adaptability.

- Set aside time for review and reflection to apply learning and build resilience.

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