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existing relationships with clients, which has been another valuable bonus.”

“It really made me think about all I’d achieved. It helped me consolidate my experience and it was great to have time out of the frantic day-to-day to think from a different perspective.”

Mentee comments include: “Te creative industry has very specific challenges. We have non-executive directors, but having a mentor from the industry and having huge respect for that person is key to this relationship.”

“Feeling the change within myself and on the business and seeing the impact and successes from this is fantastic.”

Making a positive commercial impact

Many of the mentees have described the positive impact that having a mentor has had on their business. One mentee describes: “In practical terms, we have seen massive growth in the past 12 months: doubled our staff, implanted amazing new systems to control the growth, moved to a new office, and are managing turnover in a much more controlled way. Part of that was

made possible via the tools I picked up from mentoring, and part from the sounding board of experience.”

Evaluation each year to improve the offering

As the first cohort of this programme was supported through Arts Council funding, evaluation and regular reporting were essential. Key findings from the evaluations were shared and also offered to the

success achieved so far. “Tis is a really fantastic

programme to manage,” she says. “It’s great to see relationships blossom and business transformed as a direct impact of DBA Twenty/Twenty mentoring. “Getting applications in is always

an exciting time of year as well as welcoming the next cohort of DBA members to our brilliant alumni and kicking off the new year on a high.” Across the DBA there appears to

There is a deeply held belief that mentoring conversations create significant shifts in thinking

DBA board and have informed improvements for future cohorts. Tis continues to be a fundamental aspect of the Twenty/ Twenty programme with midpoint and final evaluation reports collated and provided each year. Natasha Papa now heads up

the DBA mentoring programme and is keen to build on the

be a genuine desire from mentees and mentors alike that the programme is continued and shared more widely as there is a deeply held belief that mentoring conversations create significant shifts in thinking. If you are a member of a trade

or professional association and are interested in finding out more about the opportunities offered by mentoring, please contact the DBA via

Emily Cosgrove is a founder and partner in The Conversation Space and can be contacted via info@

Reference 1.

36 | February 2017 |


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