About Mentoring Connections
The US Water Alliance’s Mentoring Connections Program advances the development of One Water leadership capacities through 1-on-1 mentoring relationships between rising professionals and exceptional leaders in the field. The program is open to all US Water Alliance members and offers on-the-ground learning and coaching at 10 utilities across the nation.
From October 2020 through May 2021, 10 rising professionals in the program will each be matched with one of the 10 One Water changemakers featured in the leadership report. Rising professionals will work directly with the leaders shadow and learn from utility executives transforming their organizations to One Water. This will include:
Virtual Mentoring Sessions
Each mentoring pair will meet for several 1-on-1 virtual coaching sessions to discuss leadership paths, capacities, and brainstorm around how to address One Water challenges that rising professionals are currently working on.
Utility Site Visit
Each pair will participate in a two-day learning exchange at the changemaker’s utility. Activities will include learning about how to implement One Water; one-on-one coaching; meetings with other utility staff; and a site visit to a local treatment plant, infrastructure asset, or partner organization. Rising professionals will have the opportunity for one follow-up coaching call within three months of their site visit.
Please note: we are monitoring public health guidelines and utility and organization's travel policies closely. We may delay site visits and/or adjust the program as necessary for safety. Thanks for your understanding!
Pre/Post Peer Learning Webinars
In addition, the cohort will participate in two guided sessions with US Water Alliance staff. A preliminary meeting with the cohort will discuss their particular One Water challenges, how the capacities can enable progress and transformation, and strategies for getting the most out of their utility learning exchange. US Water Alliance staff will also work with each rising professional to discuss goals, develop key questions for their time with the utility executive they are paired with, and plan for their exchange. Following the visits, the cohort will reconvene via webinar to report out and share insights with each other and the US Water Alliance.
Each rising professional will be required to draft a brief memo (3-5 pages) on their experience. This should summarize what they learned, how they can apply it to advance One Water in their organization, insights on change leadership, and further recommendations on how the US Water Alliance can support and grow One Water leadership capacities across its member network.
Background on One Water Change Leadership
In January 2020, the US Water Alliance released One Water Change Leadership: The Six Essential Capacities
. The report identified key capacities—knowledge, skills, and attitudes—that enable the One Water transformation we see taking root in utilities and organizations across the nation. Together, these six capacities are an effective framework that can grow current and future One Water leaders:
Set the Vision
Shape the Culture
Foster Possibility Thinking
Build Trust and Collaborate
Adapt and Learn
The US Water Alliance believes anyone can be a One Water leader—and in fact, everyone must be a One Water leader in order to secure our nation’s water future. Change leadership is a practice that is grown and exercised. It is a not a position on an organizational chart or a job title. To accelerate the change leadership needed to advance One Water, we are encouraging the development of these capacities in rising professionals working on our most pressing water challenges and driving change in their organization through an exciting mentorship opportunity.