‘Office Hours’ – working together for a common cause

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‘Office Hours’ is a simple idea – making sure that all people working together for a common cause have a common time and place to brainstorm about solutions to challenges and develop strong camaraderie amongst them. IIT Kanpur Chapter had introduced the concept of ‘Office hours’ and it is now being adopted and implemented by IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay and MAMC chapters.

At the start when our operations were still evolving, it was quite decentralized. Managers and mentors had individual one-on-one meetings at defined intervals and Mentors and Fellows met separately. Some issues that arose were that no-one really knew what was happening with anyone except their own fellow/s. All communication was solely happening over the phone/internet and there seemed to be scope for improvement.

And then there was ‘Office hours’, a more systemic approach with a defined time and place to discuss everything, together – ranging from the nitty gritty of whether a Fellow should focus on accuracy or speed for a given test to broad strategies like how to best assess all Fellows’ track. This ensured that most important challenges and different solutions were shared with everybody all at once. Everyone came to know more about all the fellows and different methods of mentoring and interventions. Tips and suggestion used for one Fellow that worked well, could now easily be shared and applied for the other Fellows. Also, it provided a platform to credit those who put in exceptional effort in the recent week or two. This increased the involvement of all, helping reinforce a community feeling and being a part of a movement. Good going IIT-Kanpur, thank you for ‘Office hours’!

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