For Cohort 10, we are asking ALL coaches – first time applicants and returning mentor coaches – to complete a coaches application, so that we can capture up-to-date information about our alumni and design effective coaching teams.
Coaching applications will be open through April 20.
Each coach has two responsibilities:
(1) Develop your coaching skills. We meet as a coaching cohort to leverage diverse strengths, perspectives, backgrounds, and connections to make the “sum greater than the parts.” As such, the coaches will take some time prior to the jumpstart to formulate their own team charter to establish roles! The coaching team benefits from seeing the progress across all teams and meets as a team weekly 3:30-4:45pm Monday.
(2) Mentor a Mercury Team. We strive to assign 2 coaches per team in order to provide a better learning environment for both coaches and new participants. Ideally we will have a more experienced coach paired with a new coach–either way our entire coaching team is here to support each other. Your goal as a mentor is to ensure each individual on the team has a resource and task they are accomplishing each week. As a mentor, attending team meetings regularly helps to ensure fidelity and high quality inputs to the innovation process.
The commitment Mercury coaches make, in cohort after cohort, is incredible. Coaches often are pulled to give of their personal time because this work is vital for not only the USAF/USSF but because it also has incredible benefits for professional development and has applications for local units as well. Therefore, just like first time cohort participants, we encourage coaches to be clear with your unit about this time investment and secure your commander’s support.
Here are two important points for you and your commander to discuss:
(1) The 1 week TDY (Monday evening, May 15 - Friday May 20) for the Jumpstart is currently unit-funded for all participants, including coaches. (Excluding the head coach).
(2) During the 12 following weeks, a minimum of 5 hours per week is required– these are typically during the duty day. Many weeks will reach 10 hours of engagement per week, particularly for new coaches who are meeting with the team, making individual connections, and growing their own skills. All coaches should block out:
(a) Monday afternoons, 3:30-4:45 ET for the Coaches Huddle
(b) Tuesday afternoons for live team events (clash, coaching, debrief)
(c) Flex time for personal academic requirements
As part of the application process, supervisors will be asked for their support, endorsement, and a plan for how to give you that time in your week. Coaching alumni assert that the time spent in Project Mercury is a sound investment and helps to deepen your practice and understanding of innovation tools and mindset. Having unit support is imperative to allow each participant to give their best. Coaches participating in and who access this network deliver immediate benefits.
Cohort 10 Schedule
Coaches: orientation/training (1 May and/or 8 May virtual/zoom: 2 hours time TBD)
Prework (May 8-12 asynchronous)
Orientation (May 9 virtual/Zoom)
Jumpstart (May 16-19 TDY) [Location: MGM WERX, Montgomery, AL]
Acceleration (12 weeks, virtual).
Innovation Showcase (15 Aug 23)
After successfully coaching one cohort, you will earn a credential through the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and the College of Engineering in collaboration with Air University: Train-the-Trainer (Project Mercury Coach). Coaches are subsequently given the opportunity to continue their growth through a customized path including additional cohorts, workshops, opportunities to lead and teach, or develop new ideas, leading to recognition as a Senior Coach and Master Coach. These credentials also lead to officer and enlisted SEI for innovation leads.