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Suggests that formal mentoring schemes are on the increase in response to the rapid pace of change and the need for people to network in lean delayered organizations. Defines mentoring as a one‐to‐one process of helping individuals to learn and develop and takes a longer‐term perspective which focuses on the person’s career and their development. Reviews the experience of best practice organizations using mentoring and draws on a feasibility survey of managers in a 10,000 strong global engineering company. Typical problem areas are that expectations and objectives may be misunderstood, the formal framework may not fit the culture and it can be hard to find suitable mentors. Discusses the strengths of mentoring, some of the pitfalls, and factors which help to make mentoring work effectively. Asserts that you should be clear what you want out of mentoring, communicate thoroughly, carefully tailor the programme to the needs of participants and the culture, train the mentor and set up evaluation and review methods.