The term mentor goes back to Homer’s saga, The Odyssey: Mentor was the advisor to Odysseus and the friend of Telemachus. Telemachus saw him as an uncle, a wise and experienced older person who took him under his wing, providing him with encouragement and support and allowing him to grow into his responsibilities

In the world of lean, the mentor strives to improve the competencies of his/her protégé and thereby increase the level of problem-solving and improvement within the organization. As opposed to a coach, the mentor possesses expertise and the power of judgement, which is then passed on to the mentee.