Educating our employees.

I’ll never forget when a friend of mine from the corporate world told me that he was getting his MBA . . . and that his employer was paying for it.

I did a headshake for a second and then of course, realized why . . . that employer knew that his employee would be more valuable (translation: make more money for the company) if that employee had more of an education.  The employer had obviously measured the ROI on the grad school investment and come up with a positive number . . . so they paid the bill.

This kind of perk is found all throughout the traditional business world.

And it should exist in the Broadway world as well.

Ok, maybe not MBAs or JDs, but here’s the thing . . . we work in an industry where many, many people work in fields that they didn’t study in a formal setting.  For example . . . we’ve got Actors that have become Company Managers and then Producers (that would be me, by the way) without the benefit of formal training.  Of course, there is nothing better than on-the-job experience, especially in an oh-so-nichey industry like ours.  But would a few marketing classes hurt?  Or accounting?  How about contract law?  (I actually took a lot of these courses on my way up, and read a crap-ton of books about these subjects to help further my education.)

At my office, my employees know that if they want to take a class, online or otherwise, that I think will contribute to our company, then I’ll pick up the bill.

And I think all offices in our biz should have that policy.

The more educated we are, the better choices we make.  The better choices we make, the stronger our business becomes.

So if you’re an employee in the theater world, and you want to expand your knowledge to help your company and your industry grow, find a class in something . . . I don’t care if it’s at NYU or The Learning Annex . . . and ask your employer for some tuition reimbursement.

And when you make that ask, include evidence as to how long it’ll take you to recoup the cost of that class with your new found knowledge.

That’s something that no employer can resist.

And you’ll help our business take another step closer towards being a traditional business at the same time.


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– 57 Days to Godspell!  Read the day-by-day account of producing Godspell on Broadway here.

– Win Free Admission to Digital Marketing Boot Camp for Arts Marketers!  A $795 value!  Click here.

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.