The Operators Guild Pilot wraps up its 6-month initial session in March 2020, so we caught up with Natalie Werve for an update as the initial program winds down to understand the takeaways and what to look forward to in the future.

If you have any questions or interest, you can reach out to Natalie at

What topics are mentors working with mentees on?

With the one-on-one mentorship we’re seeing people have the opportunity to go in-depth and not only get business advice but also work on the grey area where professional and personal development overlap. Some of our mentees are seeking guidance on next steps in their career, others are focused on tackling day to day issues in their current roles.

Similarly, our mentors want to help by offering their experience in a less formal way and developing a relationship with the mentee that goes beyond sharing dry advice. They’re really interested in the growth and development of the mentee and don’t want to be seen as just a business consultant.

How are the one-on-one matches being made?

For our next round, we’ll likely use a similar format, starting with an interest survey to see how many people want to participate and what their profiles look like. Behind the scenes we look at what each person is asking for, their current role and past experience, and a total number of years of experience. Then we start lining up potential matches and seek input from the mentor on who they feel best positioned to help.
What’s working well and what do you think will be different moving forward?

One key thing I want to do differently next time is to follow up and engage more with each participant after the first session, to make sure everyone is off to a strong start and planning their next meeting imminently.

There’s a lot of initial excitement but people are busy and it’s too easy to get caught up in other things, so we did see some dropoff. I want to help people get into a better rhythm upfront or try to switch up the pairings if it’s not working out.

What are you hearing from participants so far?

We’re planning a wrap-up lunch event to give everyone the chance to meet in person and also talk about the program overall.

We’ve learned a lot over this pilot program and the participants have been really generous in taking time to talk with me and offer feedback about what went well and what could be better.

Most people felt really well matched with their mentor/mentee. A few people want more supporting documents to help with goal-setting and overall structure. A number of mentees hope we can attract even more senior mentors to the program.

The goal is to launch another cohort this spring. Right now I’m taking things one step at a time. I’m wrapping up a round of interviews with participants this week and then we’ll discuss and start to incorporate that feedback.

We also have the wrap-up event for the current cohort at the end of March, so once everything’s in place for that it will be full steam ahead on the next group!

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