The goal is to develop a team of players who are willing to systematically learn other people's jobs and teach others THEIR jobs. You have to start somewhere and all you need are two people to start. Ask one person if they would be willing to teach someone else their job. Then ask them who would be a good candidate to teach. Then, work with the teacher to set up a 10 hour curriculum based on their job. Set a specific time each week for the student to spend one hour each week for 10 weeks with the teacher. Some may say one hour is not enough. If the teacher is well prepared when the student shows up, an hour can be plenty of time. Others may say the student can't afford an hour with the teacher. In reality, most people spend an hour a week talking about fantasy football or the Mets. You always make time for things you think are important! At the end of ten weeks, ask the student to get up in front of their peers and present what they learned. Help the student do this. Do it where the work is, not in a conference room. As the leader, imagine this teaching happening a few times per week. Imagine 5 sets of teacher-learner spending 1 hour per week together at all times? That is 260 hours of instruction that occurred painlessly?I tell people that we NEED to develop General Practitioners who make house calls (at GEMBA), not Specialists (experts in the left ventricle of the heart). Encourage and emphasize and reward versatility in people.
Imagine a world where you never miss a beat when people are on vacation? Or imagine a world where people are able to move to different areas (value streams) based on demand? How about when someone retires, you have backup person who may want to step in permanently who has already been trained! This type of load leveling of teaching, done continuously, helps move your business toward recession-proof. It's all about just getting a little bit better every day.