Lean and Mentoring – An Organization Perspective based on the Practice of Mentoring

Written by Stephen Hobbs

Lean and Mentoring is a post from Doug Lawrence. One of many articles that will appear in the WELLth Blog.

Doug serves as Director of Education and Co-Founder of the International Mentoring Network. 


Imagine an organization that has implemented Lean and a mentoring culture. 

I recently read a commentary in the Leader Post which was entitled “Lean is a culture of improvement”. The article was written by an emergency physician that has been immersed in the Lean methodology and got to see first-hand the benefits of this methodology.

Some interesting comments:
1) Lean values people – and creates a continuous improvement cycle,
2) Lean wants to get the best work from people – work they are trained for and enjoy doing,
3) Lean is not a cult but it is a culture – a culture of not affixing blame but seeing mistakes as opportunities to learn and make things better,
4) It does take time to implement – but it does engage employees at all levels, and
5) a culture of trust while not there in the infancy does in fact grow as time moves on and people work together.

So let’s look at mentoring in an organization. 

Here are my observations:

1) Mentoring is all about people and creating a trusted relationship. We wouldn’t be building a trusted relationship if we did not value the people we were working with in a mentoring relationship. A mentoring culture creates a learning and development environment which truly is a culture of continuous improvement, 

2) Mentoring is about personal and professional growth. We want to see people be the best that they can be and with that come the professional growth that also impacts the organization,

3) Mentoring is ideally a culture in the organization. We grow on a personal and professional basis. Errors in judgement are seen as opportunities – it is okay to make an error in judgement as that is how we are going to grow and create opportunities for improvement and change,

4) Implementing a mentoring program will take time. Implementing a mentoring culture will take longer but has long term effects on the organization. With a mentoring culture in place, we will have created engaged, empowered and accountable employees. To be engaged and empowered our employees will have developed critical thinking skills that have come out of the effective mentoring process and

5) In a mentoring culture trust is paramount. This is the first phase in the relationship building process is the development of trust.

I am glad that someone took the time to spell out for us the value of Lean in an organization.

It is value that touches the organization but more importantly the people that make the organization what it is today. They are the most important stakeholders/shareholders in your organization.

Expose them to the “gift of mentoring” and provide them with tools such as relationship building, effective communication, the Socratic Method, and critical thinking skills and you are well on your way to creating that learning and development environment – an organization of continuous improvement.

The journey will be long but well worth the time and effort.

Embrace the “gift of mentoring” and provide your employees with the tools that they need to be successful in the creation of a Lean environment in your organization - “Can you afford not to?”


Doug Lawrence is the founder of TalentC®.
He serves as Director of the International Mentoring Community of which he is also a Co-Founder.
And, he is a Wellther with WELLth Movement.  

Doug shows organizations how mentoring will encourage workforce culture to flow in harmony (mentors), improve productivity from employees (mentees), reducing costly employee onboarding improving the bottom line (organizations).

Doug is an International Certified Mentor Practitioner (ICMP), an International Certified Mentor Facilitator (ICMF), and has obtained his Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring and his Certificate of Competence – Mentor from the International Mentoring Community (IMC).

Doug is an international speaker and author about all facets of Mentoring. He published “The Gift of Mentoring” in 2014 with his second book set to publish in 2020.

Doug works with organizations to establish mentoring programs, influence mentoring as a culture, and provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals of all backgrounds and levels globally.

To contact Doug: https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

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the end of this post Lean and Mentoring 4119

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