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Movement Strategy/Recommendations/Iteration 2/Capacity Building/8

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Mentoring and leadership development[edit]

Q 1 What is your Recommendation?[edit]

We recommend the development and implementation of a multi-stage, systematic global leadership development strategy and mentorship programme that enriches individuals and communities through meaningful engagement both on and off Wiki. The mentorship programme would provide opportunities for continued engagement of those most experienced and expert members of the Wikimedia movement.

Concrete Ask (this is not concrete yet in terms of what is needed here)

Combine retaining talent (reducing the loss of people who gained experience), training talent (preparing those who are prospective future movement leaders) and identifying talent (as systematic participation in a multi-stage training program not only increases the skills of participants, but also naturally select those, who are really committed). 

Q 2-1 What assumptions are you making about the future context that led you to make this Recommendation?[edit]

To ensure equitable and diverse movement growth, we need to improve our activities to identify, build and retain leaders.

We assume that the need for qualified, skilled and experienced leaders from within the movement will significantly increase in the coming years. We also assume that we already are losing a lot of talent, and that we are below the curve in terms of its retention.

Q 2-2 What is your thinking and logic behind this recommendation?[edit]

We need diverse leaders and mentors in the Wikimedia Movement. Until now there were no formal training programs because the WMF and others affiliates didn’t properly invest in developing leadership and mentoring development, this was in part because it was not in its core business. Also, the WMF was not involved enough in developing human power of the affiliates and communities. This would now be the core business of the capacity building unit.

Q 3-1 What will change because of the Recommendation?[edit]

A leadership and mentoring program will have a significant influence on all the Wikimedia Movement. This will be expressed in the following ways:

  • Stronger leadership to the movement (WMF, affiliates, communities and partners)
  • New volunteer roles (mentors)
  • Professionalization of officials in the movement
  • The leadership and mentoring program creates new contacts and collaborations

All of these changes will strengthen the movement as a whole.

Q 3-2 Who specifically will be influenced by this recommendation?[edit]

User groups, chapters, and WMF will be most influenced, as their current governance procedures, as well as leadership selection, training and retention are not systematic, and not connected.

Q 4-1 Could this Recommendation have a negative impact/change?[edit]

We do not see any negative impact to this recommendation.

Q 4-2 What could be done to mitigate this risk?[edit]

The risk should be very low if any at all. But the leadership and mentoring program has to be built with the multiple stakeholders from the communities and with the help of professionals who have already build such programs.

Q 5 How does this Recommendation relate to the current structural reality?[edit]

This recommendation addresses the current gap in our structural reality: our movement, the Foundation, and the chapters are struggling with proper talent identification, skills development, retention, as well as accommodation of veterans with lots of experience, once they step down from their positions in their boards or within their community.

Does it keep something, change something, stop something, or add something new?

This recommendation relies on the current structural reality of existing and former leaders. It also draws on the positive examples of chapter board trainings, but takes the game to the next level, of a series of planned trainings, scheduled up to 3 years ahead in time, and facilitating the enormous experience of former leaders, who otherwise may be losing connection with the movement.

Q 6-1 Does this Recommendation connect or depend on another of your Recommendations? If yes, how?[edit]

Leadership and Mentoring is tightly connected with recommendation 1, 2, 3 and the substantial need to train the trainers with new tools and to empower them in their ground work.

Q 6-2 Does this Recommendation connect or relate to your Scoping Questions? If yes, how?[edit]

This recommendation is related to the question number five of our scoping questions: How do we grow the available tools beyond training, identifying innovative and effective formats?

Q 7 How is this Recommendation connected to other WGs[edit]

We don't necessarily see a connection with others WGs. This recommendation is highly connected to work of R&R, Diversity WGs. It will also connected to Resource Allocation and Revenue Stream. Finance is an important aspect of leadership and mentorship program can be helpful in those subjects.

Q 8 Do you have anything to add that was not covered with previous questions, yet essential for understanding the recommendation?[edit]

Not at this moment.