Cultural mentoring works on the same principles as ‘reverse mentoring’ or ‘mentoring up’ which has been popularised in the corporate sector where experienced or older executives are paired with and mentored by younger employees on topics such as technology, social media and current trends. The notion is that while the executive is well versed in the business, the younger staffer can enlighten them on current trends and stimulate their creative thinking. Reverse-mentoring is seen as a way to engage older employees in areas that are often second nature to 20-something employees, whose lives have been more deeply integrated with computers and the Web.
In the case of cultural mentoring, organisations might engage Indigenous elders and community leaders to mentor executives about Aboriginal culture. They share first hand cultural experiences and knowledge, as it relates to organisational and community engagement with Aboriginal people. It can also work slightly differently within an organisation where suitable Aboriginal employees are used to mentor executives along the same lines as the ‘reverse mentoring’ model above.