Reverse Mentoring is an interesting take on the traditional mentoring model. With the traditional mentoring, information and learning flows from the top down; from the older, senior-level official to the younger subordinate.
In the case of reverse mentoring, the opposite is true. Here, the younger individual will take the role of a mentor, and the flow of information goes from the subordinate to the superior.
Through reverse mentoring, not only is the free flow of information taken in its purest form, but it encourages the involvement of lower-level employees and keeps the upper-level ones grounded in current events and techniques.
Why is it really called "Reverse Mentoring"?
Should this change?
Regardless of what you call it, Reverse Mentoring has several tangible benefits. By encouraging the free flow of information between junior and senior employees, it keeps the younger employees engaged, the older ones' skills up to date, improves engagement and retention rates of the junior workers, and builds a trusting company culture across the board. A company culture that supports the experience and knowledge of all its workers will have far more loyalty, engagement, and adaptability than a company with a rigid power structure.
That being said, the stigma associated with learning from your subordinate can definitely be an obstacle to implementation. Referring to it as just "mentoring" can further imply this stigma. So, if you're starting to implement this technique, it might be useful to allay concerns this way. All-in-all, whatever you call it, reverse mentoring is a valuable part of any development kit.