Recommendation # 8: Mentoring and leadership development
Q 1 What is your Recommendation?
To ensure equitable and diverse movement growth, 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 an outlet for further engagement of those most experienced and expert members of the Wikimedia movement.
Our recommendation for leadership development is to 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?
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?
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.
Q 3-1 What will change because of the Recommendation?
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 and partners)
- New volunteers role (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?
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?
We do not see any negative impact to this recommendation.
Q 4-2 What could be done to mitigate this risk?
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 professional who had already build such programs.
Q 5 How does this Recommendation relate to the current structural reality?
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?
Leadership and Mentoring is tightly connected with our recommendation for Core Capacities, and the sustancial need to train the trainers with new tools and be able to empower them in their ground work.
Q 6-2 Does this Recommendation connect or relate to your Scoping Questions? If yes, how?
This recommendation is related with 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?
We don't necessarily see a connection with others WGs.
Q 8 Do you have anything to add that was not covered with previous questions, yet essential for understanding the recommendation?
Not at this moment.
Q 9 Who needs to make a decision on this Recommendation?
The decision needs to be made at the WMF level, as it requires global resources allocation to the program. Running the program by affiliates is possible, but less optimal - the affiliates could be responsible for daily operations, but should be assigned a separate budget to freely operate without the need to prioritize the program in relation to their regular operations.
Q 10 How should the decision be made?
A pilot one-year including 2-3 skills development workshops should be announced. Volunteers to mentor and teach should be acquired from current Advisory Board members, former boards members, as well as current boards members.
Q 13 What are the concerns, limiting beliefs, and challenges for implementing this Recommendation?
A significant limitation is that we are only relying on internal capacity and may have deficiencies in that respect.
Q 15a What is the timeframe of this Recommendation in terms of when it should be implemented? 2020, 2021, etc.
2020 and onwards.
Q 15b Does this Recommendation have an urgency or priority? Does the timeframe for implementation depend on other Recommendations being implemented before or after it?
It is long overdue, and it is not dependent on other changes, and therefore it should be implemented ASAP.
Q 16 How should the implementation of this Recommendation be monitored and evaluated? By who?
The community oversight bodies emerging from other recommendations, for the time being the WMF. The methods of evaluation should be developed gradually, by involving feedback and suggestions from seminar leaders.