ADVANCE Mentoring Programme – introduction/overview
Is good leadership about:
- Knowing all the answers, pretty much all of the time?
- Coming up with clear-cut solutions to complex problems?
- Keeping your thoughts to yourself and not being swayed by other people?
Not so, according to a three-year impact study of ADVANCE, an innovative volunteer mentoring programme developed by Carers Trust for chief executives of Network Partners in The Carers Trust Network across the UK – local charities delivering a range of services addressing the needs of unpaid carers and the people they care for. The traditional ‘heroic’ approach to leadership was considered by participants in the 12-month programme to be much less effective than the ability to:
- Ask searching questions.
- Listen carefully to different views.
- Take time to reflect before acting.
Participating in ADVANCE enabled board members and chief executives to re-interpret their leadership role to fit a drastically changing world – a world where flexibility trumps rigidity every time.
There is much to be learned from the experience of senior leaders who learned ‘on the run’ to enhance their confidence and skills in order to regain control of their lives and organisations.
The independent impact study of the ADVANCE mentoring programme, commissioned by Carers Trust and carried out by Marsaili Cameron and Sheila Marsh from PublicServiceWorks, developed materials to support chief executives, board members and others to work separately and together in a focused way to ensure effective strategic leadership.
Findings from this study fed in regularly over three years to the ADVANCE mentors (senior volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds) and to the Carers Trust design team for the programme. This process enhanced the learning culture that characterised ADVANCE, supported by the work of Lead Mentor, Hilary Samson-Barry.
What materials are available, and how might you use them?
Want a summary of the impact of the ADVANCE mentoring programme?
- Deep Learning for Hard Times (PDF, 219KB) – a booklet summing up the impact of the ADVANCE mentoring programme.
- Info cards – to support implementing the learning in similar local charities:
- ADVANCE Cards A-C (PDF, 190KB) – focusing on building sustainability, strengthening governance and developing partnership/collaboration – the three top issues tackled through the ADVANCE mentoring programme.
- ADVANCE Cards 1-5 (PDF, 351KB) – focusing on transferable skills and practical insights gained by participants in the ADVANCE mentoring programme.
Want to make a presentation or work with a group?
- The two sets of info cards designed to support learning are available in an interactive format:
- ADVANCE Cards A-C interactive (PDF, 269KB) – focusing on building sustainability, strengthening governance and developing partnership/collaboration.
- ADVANCE Cards1-5 Interactive (PDF, 449KB) – focusing on transferable skills and practical insights gained by participants in the ADVANCE mentoring programme.
- The following are also in a print-friendly format:
Want to know more about the ADVANCE mentoring programme impact study and see the evidence behind the summary?
- See the final research report – Creating the Infrastructure to Produce Sustainable Carer Support (PDF, 2,237KB).
Want to discuss ADVANCE further?
If you would like to hear more about the context of the ADVANCE mentoring programme and its introduction, email Carers Trust.