For those of you with formal mentorships programs in place for your engineering talent, how are they set up? What’s working and what would you avoid if you were retooling the program?

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Chief Technology Officer in Media, 2 - 10 employees
Some key points involved while setting up were porogram objectives, its structure, mentor identification, program guidelines, evaluation and continuous improvement.
To avoid : lack of Clarity, support and resources, neglecting feedback and evaluation, lack of flexibility.

Director of IT in Manufacturing, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
we have learning & development departement to develop our engineering talent, I think that is working & effective
Board Member in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
One of our big realizations was that everyone does not mentoring even if they are identified as HIPO (High Potential). The rest is based on a structure of connecting them to the best mentor based on their personality traits and goals. Mentors could be from other functions or external.

Big difference between Mentoring and Coaching that I would like to put across here. Mentoring is helping a person develop to achieve their goals. It is about giving them the ability to introspect, and providing a direction from their experience that would help them succeed. 

Coaching is specific to hard or soft skills where the mediation plan is created and monitored with clearly defined timelines and resources - provided or enabled.
Senior Director Engineering in Travel and Hospitality, 10,001+ employees
Apart from the structure, we focus on building trust and ensuring confidentiality... this goes a long way in making the program successful

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CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
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