Frank Michael Kraft wrote an interesting piece about “Mentoring in Knowledge Work” today. He builds a compelling case that mentoring will become a part of the workplace of knowledge workers, in a way that managers are a part of workplace today with more traditional routine work. He suggests that managers in the future may find the need to use a mentoring approach — or there may be at least an increased need for it.
When the ACM Mentor Camp was first announced, Frank immediately let me know it was a good idea, and offered to help to define more precisely the role of a mentor. I was thinking mostly about the idea of a person who would mentor on how to use the ACM technology, but he makes a good point that a mentoring approach is applicable to more subjects than the technology, extending to the professional skill of the knowledge worker as well. After all, mentoring is knowledge work itself. We should expect than that ACM mentors would use ACM themselves. What is not obvious is that all ACM users might want to mentor as well. Mentoring and knowledge work are intertwined. Very interesting indeed!