I&D Mentorship Program

The I&D Mentorship Program serves as the local shop for mentors and mentees. A place that feels warm and welcoming while creating space for bold and brave conversations.
World's Largest Coffeehouse Chain
Service Design Ethnographic Research I&D Strategy

For the past 10 years I have focused my time (work, school, and extracurriculars) helping people achieve their full potential. It has been a wonderful journey to serve others and bring this passion to life.

At work, this passion had led me to take on the exciting project of developing a c-suite I&D mentorship program for the world's largest coffeehouse chain. As the Innovation Design Lead, I led and crafted an initiative that will transform how we use mentorship programs by creating a sustainable culture that helps minorities become the leaders of tomorrow.

Problem Statement

"How might we transform the company’s culture to enable the BIPOC*community become leaders in the organization?"

A commitment to diversity and a diverse leadership team is necessary for organizations to continue to innovate and form connections with customers and partners. In our client’s organization, there was not enough representation from the BIPOC community. The organization made a public commitment to increase minority representation in senior leadership roles but needed to develop a culture that fosters diversity

*Black, Indigenous, People of Color

Proposed Solution

Our solution was to develop an I&D mentorship program that takes the needs of mentors and mentees into consideration. The aim of the program is to create a cultural change in the organization that will enable a sustainable pipeline of successful BIPOC leaders.  

Through combining my design thinking skills and my passion for empowering minorities, the team and I designed the mentorship program. Below are the phases to our approach:

Stakeholder Analysis - User-Centric

The first part of the project was to perform ethnographic research of key stakeholders using design thinking methodology. Our insights were used to tailor the program based on the mentors and mentees needs. To the right is the approach we used to gather information:
  • Conducted surveys with 200 employees to understand their mentorship experiences, desired goals, and mindsets. This allowed the team to intentionally pair mentors and mentees.
  • Conducted 20 interviews with a broad cross-section of the mentor and mentee population to identify their goals, influences, pain points, feelings and needs. The interviews ultimately shaped 3 personas that helped design the program blueprint.
  • Crafted tailored elicitation activities to engage employees and meet the needs of stakeholders based on what they need to "know, feel and do" at different points of the program to drive awareness, understanding, and buy-in.

Discovery - Culture Change

Motivated to build a sustainable program, it was important to research behavioral science best practices to create the cultural change in the organization. We leveraged insights from other industries, books, and our own experience to develop content that empowers mentors and mentees to use throughout the program and cascade down in the organization.

Understanding Mindsets

From industry research on how consumers interact with loyalty programs, we developed mindsets to better categorize the stakeholders. The mindsets below were kept in mind while designing the program to ensure long-term strategic engagement.

  1. Strategists are intentional on how a program can help them achieve their career goals.
  2. Believers are willing to invest more in a program but expect to receive more in return.
  3. Passengers prioritize clarity of the program requirements over other benefits.
  4. Status Seekers use recognition to professionally benefit themselves / peers around them.

Modular I&D Curriculum

Understanding the need for structure and flexibility, we partnered with the client to co-develop a curriculum of 11 modules for the participants to leverage throughout the program. The topics drafted are meant to be used as “menu” items that each pairing could anchor on throughout the program.

Mentors and mentees will prioritize what I&D and career development content to review in each meeting to best serve their needs and drive the most significant impact

Power of Moments

Using my experience from the Oil & Gas industry, we leveraged the concept of safety moments at the beginning of every meeting and created I&D moments. I&D moments are used to build trust and create a safe space where I&D challenges and ideas are shared in the organization. Inspired by the concepts from the book Power of Moments, we built a toolkit for the I&D mentorship program.

The toolkit presents the client with  tactics to leverage and create intentional conversations and activities throughout the program. Understanding these moments allows the mentors and mentee  to have a trusted language and shared environment for growth.

Journey Mapping- Blueprint Design

Inspired by all the findings, I crafted multiple workshops to co-develop a detailed blueprint of the program. The blueprint details the project plan, the mentees’ and mentors' journey, plus all the “behind the scenes actions” that the HR team needs to execute and drive the program. Below is a snapshot of the high-level journey I designed to guide mentors and mentees throughout  the I&D Mentorship program.

  • The topics are modular, mentees can select one of the 11 outlined topics to review in each meeting.
  • Mentors will be awarded bonus compensation at the end of the program based on program participation and mentees’ satisfaction.
  • The HR team conducts 3 community energizers throughout the program, that allows participants to network and learn from one another.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the project was conducted remotely. I used several virtual tools like Mural to bring to life the service blueprint to life. The team and I conducted several mini-workshops to build-out the step by step interaction for Mentor and Mentees plus the "behind the scenes" for the HR team.

All client sensitive information has been removed.

Program Impact

The I&D Mentorship Program was created to build and sustain highly engaged, high performing and a diverse workforce at all levels to attract and retain top talent within the organization. Below are the top themes that had an immediate impact from the project.  

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