In this short interview CIMA Learning and Development Officer, Veena Naik, talks ‘online mentoring’ with MemberWise Founder, Richard Gott, ahead of her keynote session at Harnessing the Web 2014.

Firstly Veena was asked why she thought mentoring was important for CIMA Members –

‘Mentoring is important for our members because it focuses their attention directly on particular their strengths and areas that require personal or professional development. If provided effectively we believe it can be a powerful and well valued benefit of membership.’

Veena was then asked for her thoughts on why a growing number of associations and membership organisations are providing online mentoring services –

‘We have seen a high level of member demand and this has been a key driver. As a pro-active professional body it was a natural development in terms of our member value proposition. The provision of online mentoring is such a powerful tool that can make demonstrable changes in our members’ knowledge and skill and the knock-on effect is improved practice. You can’t get much better than that!’

Rich questioned Veena about why CIMA had chosen to take their mentoring services online:

‘We took our mentoring services online because it enabled the service to be scalable. The functionality required made a manual process unviable so harnessing our website made complete sense. It means that we can provide a fully inclusive service that is both cost effective and quick for members to access.’

Veena was finally asked for her top three recommendations for membership bodies considering similar online mentoring services.

‘I recommend choosing the audience and markets carefully after thorough research, engaging and involving members/students consistently and regularly measure success to ensure online mentoring is delivering the right results both for your organisation and its members.’