A celebrated social entrepreneur, Dave Wilkin is the founder of TenThousandCoffees.com, the world’s largest peer-to-peer mentoring service. With deep experience working with prominent brands, organizations, non-profits, and government entities, Wilkin helps leaders and organizations alike build more diverse relationships and create high performing teams.
And now he’s teamed with Facebook’s Workplace to bring some meaningful mentoring to that platform. He explains some of the thinking behind that to Fast Company. Here are some highlights from that piece:
Wilkin tells Fast Company that several of Ten Thousand Coffee’s clients “love Workplace” when he started thinking about creating an integration. Over a year ago, he says, they brought these clients together and saw the potential value and scale it could have. More than 30,000 organizations use Workplace by Facebook globally, according to the division’s spokeswoman Olivia Calvert. She says that the top five countries for Workplace are the U.S., the U.K., India, Brazil, and Norway, and that it’s actively used in 81 languages.
Ten Thousand Coffees first did a pilot test with five of its client organizations to see how the integration with Workplace would fare. Pilots often start with 20-50 employees and are now scaling, some as high as thousands of employees in over 10 countries, he says.
“We immediately saw thousands of employees in each organization accessing mentoring and career relationships that otherwise would not exist,” says Wilkin. “We also had clients receiving global recognition for the speed and effectiveness of launching a mentoring and networking program.” That speed, he asserts, is under 30 minutes.
“Humans don’t naturally build diverse relationships on their own,” he explains, so it’s up to the employer to drive a culture of inclusion. The AI behind Ten Thousand Coffees is designed to match people who have similar goals for themselves and the organization.
“There’s no such thing as a career soul mate,” he muses, only what the potential matches are between what people want to learn and who would be able to teach them. Consistently and strategically meeting with these different people over time can change a career trajectory.
“Everyone is a teacher and a student,” he contends. The analytics from these matches, he says, prove that 100% of those who are matched are having conversations they otherwise wouldn’t have, even if they met naturally. Great outcomes like learning a new skill, or joining network vary from company to company, he says, but underscores, “Everyone needs mentoring and networking to be successful.”
Read the full story here.