Mentoring with Hampshire Police at IBM Hursley

During the summer, we were approached by Hampshire Police to engage in a 6 month Mentoring Programme. The police believed their future leaders could learn a lot from the private sector, and likewise IBM could gain a lot from them. Typical challenges Hampshire Police identified were emerging threats, leadership, new technologies, staff morale and staff well-being. Equally the police service is world renowned for its ability to manage risk and provide exceptional customer service in the most challenging of circumstances, something we all agreed IBM could learn from. The idea of a cross mentoring scheme came from some research Hampshire Police had previously carried out, revealing that cross sector mentoring can develop longer term relationships, paving the way for meaningful future attachments and secondments. Something we may consider further down the line.

On Thursday 30th November, we hosted a launch day in Hursley to kick off the Mentoring scheme, organised by the Foundation Unite Community. We had 8 individuals from both organisations take part, as well as key sponsors attending the event, such as Hampshire’s Assistant Chief Constable Ben Snuggs. The purpose of the launch event was so both parties could meet, and by the end of the day, they could self-select who they would like to be paired up with as part of the programme.

We started the day with talks from both Hampshire’s ACC Ben Snuggs, and IBM’s Andy Astbury, Sales Director of Public Sector, followed by some demonstrations of the key technologies IBM are currently developing for the UK Police Forces. Firstly we presented our Master Data Management solution,  demonstrating how we can provide a single trusted view of the customer and how critical government departments can share data. Secondly we showcased our Digital Asset Management Solution (DAMS). The police are suffering from a data overload. The amounts of information they are receiving is increasing rapidly, much in unstructured formats and located across multiple trusted and untrusted sources and they are struggling to have somewhere to store it. Our DAMS solution allows the forces to collect and manage all digital media, for the police, partners and the public. This was a very engaging session with lots of discussion throughout.

Next we arranged an ice breaker to allow the participants to really get to know one another in the form of ‘Speed Networking’. We thought they may need a little encouragement to get going but how we were wrong! The room was full of noise, energy and enthusiasm as everyone got to know each other better.

After lunch we had a Design Thinking Workshop, ran by IBM’s CTO for UK Central Government, Dave Shave-Wall. The session began by creating Empathy Maps. Something that stuck out from both sides were the values that both organisations had; ‘proud, committed, loyal’ were key words used. Of course, no organisation is perfect….(!!!) And so we highlighted  some areas for improvement, which we focused on later in the session. We worked collaboratively on some ideas on how we could get better… and funnily enough, both sides highlighted ‘process’ as an area for improvement! We hope to continue building on these ideas throughout the 6 month scheme.

To finish the day, we couldn’t have our guests leave without having a tour of the Hursley labs to see all the exciting technology demonstrations. Hampshire were particularly impressed with the Virtual Reality in Space Demonstration.

The day was deemed as a huge success, and we received lots of positive feedback from both organisations. We are looking forward to running the rest of the programme and to continue building a strong relationship with Hampshire Police. Thank you to all those involved. If anyone would like to learn more about the event/programme, please contact Natalie Coaten (