My partner James came up with a pretty good idea for opening up more opportunities for career growth at Staq. We call it the "opportunity list": a priority-sorted list of projects that we should be doing, but aren't, because everyone is busy with day-to-day responsibilities.
Opportunities are thing that could potentially be someone's entire job in the future, and would make the company a lot more successful/comfortable in the short-term. Each project is a chance to step up and exercise leadership outside of one's "day job".
Here's an excerpt of the list I just whipped up:
We have similar lists for other departments, so, wanting to set a good example, I picked "contract volley". I'm going to help figure out how to speed up the end of the sales process where specific details of our contracts are negotiated.
My first idea was "let's throw some tech at the problem". I found that there's a whole niche market for contract management software, but none of it looks geared towards a scrappy startup. (I understand why companies do this, but personally if your app has a "Request a Demo" button, I'm gone. I just don't have time to make appointments, and that also implies a much longer onboarding process. Please just let me give you my credit card and start a free trial!)