I think it is human nature to want to have your best employee be the face of your company when it comes time to educate your clients or other employees. But just because the person you choose to teach is smart and knows your material, that does not necessarily make him your best educator. But you can train him.
In the late 1960’s Lawrence Peter published a book called The Peter Principle, and it took the world by storm. He basically said employees continue to get promoted until they reach their level of incompetence. Taking a great employee, who may not be your best (or best-trained) communicator, and putting him or her in a position to teach your intellectual property to other employees and/or clients, may push that employee to a level of such discomfort that your education system becomes unproductive.
I’m not suggesting that moving someone into a position of educator is pushing them to their level of incompetence, but I am suggesting that teaching is both an art and a craft, and it can be learned. The art comes from the energy and commitment of the teacher. The craft comes from providing that teacher with a blueprint for education.
All it takes is a few simple steps – understanding “common ground” between the teacher and the student; creating curriculum in a “building block” fashion; and never “over-teaching.” This is the core of any education program. What we do is teach someone to teach, then guide them to applying their new teaching techniques to their own intellectual property. Then we set them loose in front of employees and clients. And this makes everyone stronger.