Nicky Bicket

Nicky Bicket (1973F), our UK Branch Secretary, has agreed to coordinate the ODU Global Mentoring Programme. I can think of no one more suitable to take on this critical initiative.

Nicky has written to all the branch secretaries to outline the programme’s objectives and processes, as well as to all (the non-UK) mentors who very kindly signed up at the time of the programme’s launch. The Programme has restarted in earnest, and the response from ODs across the world has been overwhelmingly positive.

We believe this is a unique, valuable and differentiating benefit for ODs wherever they are. Through the mentoring, younger ODs can, and already do, benefit from OD mentors who possess a huge range of skills, experience and wisdom.

The purpose of the Programme is to support the ODU philosophy of “ODs helping ODs”. The objectives of mentoring are to assist ODs to achieve their potential and to help them align their personal values, objectives and goals to the world in which they work and live. The job of OD mentors is to challenge, guide and advise mentees who come up against career choice dilemmas, workplace obstacles and to even assist those who are relocating. Or, frankly, with any problem wise counsel would be helpful.

How it works: Once a mentee signs up, Nicky contacts possible mentors before putting the mentor in touch with him/them. Mentoring can be a one-off exchange or a six-month relationship. Meetings can take place face-to-face, or via email and/or Skype. Each instance is different and depends on the objectives of the mentee and the availability of the mentor (constraints and expectations to be established up front) . The frequency and nature of the communication is left to both to decide. And because of the communication options available to us, it doesn’t necessarily matter that Mentors and Mentees are not in the same country or city.

Thank you to the 271 OD mentors already signed up. Most are based in South Africa and the UK, but also in the USA, Australia, Mexico, India, Tanzania, Singapore, the UAE, Hong Kong, New Zealand, France and the Cayman Islands. They cover 76 specific fields. These numbers, and breadth and depth of influence, is sure to increase.

If you are not already a mentor and would like to be one, or would like to access a mentor for advice and guidance, sign up at https://form.jotformeu.com/61863512428356

Nicky will report regularly on how the programme is progressing. The wonderful response to date means this will be one of the cornerstones of the ODU. And like many similar organisations, the fabric of your Union will be strengthened through this initiative. I urge you to be involved.

Remember that mentorship has always been a part of the Bishops learning experience. It is worthwhile to reflect on those teachers who have contributed positively to one’s experience. The efforts of many great men and women should be celebrated in this expansion of a Bishops ideal; already etched in stone. This ODU initiative hopes to build on that tradition.

Bruce Jack

Old Diocesan Union. Campground Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town | Phone: +27 21 685 1829 | odu@bishops.org.za

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