One area that’s under appreciated by many entrepreneurs is the value of educating team members on how different aspects of the business work. Much like Jack Stack argues for extreme financial transparency in his book The Great Game of Business, there’s also value in taking time to make sure everyone has at least a cursory understanding of different departments and key drivers of the business model.
Here are a few ideas to consider helping a team better understand:
- How does gross margin differ from revenue and profit, and why is it so important?
- How does recurring revenue differ from other types of business and why is layering revenue on top of previous revenue such an important concept?
- What’s a day in the life of sales, marketing, support, services, engineering, and/or operations look like?
- What topics on the simplified one page strategic plan need more discussion?
- What marketing programs work best and why? What are some engineering infrastructure changes we need to make on the horizon and why? What are the major challenges for sales right now?
People inherently want to grow and learn as part of their own journey, and providing a more broad-based education in a startup helps. Spend time educating the team and the team will return the favor with more ideas and innovation.
What else? What are some more thoughts on the idea of educating team members on a wider range of topics than normally expected?