In August 2022, I wrote about my experience about how I found moving towards a more progressive, self managed organisational structure at Seed. The structure was all very new and something that we are still working towards getting it 100% where we want it to be. In the process, a lot of great things have come out and are now standard processes in the agency.
To recap, as long as I have been at Seed (and for years beyond) one of the core values of the company has been curiosity – always being encouraged to ask why and expand our knowledge. There is a HUGE focus on learning and development so much so that 20% of our time each week can be allocated to this. What has this meant? Ultimately we have built, and are still building an agency full of people keen to learn and grow. In having this mentality as a core part of our culture, we have facilitated growth and opportunities for EVERYONE at Seed – no matter what position.
Alongside squiggly careers, progressive structures and self managed teams one of the main things that is now rolled out and thriving at Seed is our new Seed pods. This was a pivotal part of our progressive, self managed new structure – so I thought I would do some reflecting on how this has gone and where we are going next!
What is a Seed Pod?
Put simply, a Seed Pod is a group of Seedlings who all work across a portfolio of clients on the same service. Coupled with Belbin Preferences and specialists, each pod is made up of a mix of seniors, executives, client relationships and innovation specialists. As a pod, the team will agree on responsibility and roles on each of the clients within the pod to ensure everything is covered as a group. This ensures that all seedlings get experience in all of the roles they wish to pursue – helping them to develop and grow.
Fika, Maple, Lotus, Sprout & Sage
All of our pods were named by the team in them. Can you spot the common theme? Yes, all planted related as you can tell – although FIKA is actually a Swedish term to get people together to chat over coffee (maybe they didn’t get the memo!)
Each pod specialises in a different service and they all work as a completely self-managed mini team.
We have the following pods in the different services:
- Fika – Social & Creative
- Maple – SEO
- Lotus – PPC
- Sprout – PPC
- Sage – PPC
How has a pod structure taken us to the next level?
Since the pod roll out it has been great to see Seedlings across the agency thrive and develop in their allocated pods. For example, Benjamin has found his niche in innovation and testing whilst Rowan has found his niche in Microsoft Ads. They have now positioned themselves as the go to specialists within that area.
The pod structure has allowed us to match groups of Seedlings within the agency together based on clients, Belbin preferences, skill and suitability.This has allowed us to create the next level pods within the agency to help us deliver our service to our clients.
Alongside this, we have seen smaller cross service mini-pods form based on what areas Seedlings are interested in outside the scope of their day to day responsibilities. For example, we have seen an email marketing pod form from Lauren (SEO), Alicia (SEO), Asieh (PPC) and Myself (Client Services). In combining all of our skills, experiences and knowledge we can gain lots of different perspectives and help to grow Seed as an agency.
We are looking forward to seeing how our pods develop as the agency grows, and what range of skills we will have between us all in the future – Stay Posted!
Don’t just take my word for it, take a read about what some of the team have said about the new pod structure.
The Seed pods are great as everyone has visibility over a smaller number of clients allowing more headspace and time to collaborate and work as a team to achieve the best results for our clients.
– Esme, Sage (PPC Pod)
The pod structure removed any isolation on client work and improved collaboration amongst the team. We ask questions, we share knowledge, tips and worries on a frequent basis which has not only benefited client performance but alleviated individual stresses.
– Jon – Lotus (PPC Pod)
The newer Pod systems allow us to be more concise with our clients. Monday meetings are streamlined, and the smaller pods lets us all have a voice to help solve problems and shoutout big client wins. It’s collaborative, even for newbies like me.
– Montana – Fika (Social & Creative Pod)
I appreciate that it gives us a service-focused approach, while still ensuring effective collaboration with other services like SEO and PPC. The new pod system is also great at bringing the team together and having us working towards the same goal of growing and multiplying our pod!
– Marie – Fika (Social & Creative Pod)
The pod system works great at Seed. I feel it gives us the freedom to collaborate, share insights and build better relationships with each other. As well as increasing productivity and streamlining internal processes, they also allow us to provide a better service to our clients.
– Lauren, Maple (SEO Pod)
The pod system really enables us to work collaboratively across the different departments, allowing us to share knowledge, results, experiments and industry news to ensure we are staying ahead of the curve. It also allows us to have a real focus on our clients to ensure we are offering a high level of service.
– Adam – Maple (SEO Pod)
The pod structure has massively improved the way we work with clients. It has alleviated a lot of worry when going away on holiday as you know you have other members of your pod working on the account. It has also meant that time is split between more people which helps the individuals at Seed but also means our clients get access to a wider range of skills.
– Benjamin, Lotus (PPC Pod)
What’s next for the pod structure?
Of course, the next step is to keep growing the pods as we see the agency grow. This could be due to having new clients on board with us, or service development opportunities discovered as mentioned above. The sky really is the limit!
Looking forward to the future we want to take self-management to the next level at Seed. We are investing our time in creating our own financial and capacity utilisation dashboards so that each pod has a good understanding of the operational side of their pods. We are in the midst of providing training so each Seedling understands every metric, and can understand how they fit in.
From here, we are looking for each pod to take ownership over hiring, internal promotions, holiday allowances and much more as a group. In doing this and providing the training and visibility to each of the pods, we are excited to see how we can grow the agency together!
Watch this space!