Spring 2020 will go down in history as a time when the world struggled with the scourge of Coronavirus. It decimated economies across the globe sending many businesses to the cliff edge – many fell over, way beyond rescue or resuscitation. Other businesses survived, adapted, and moved forward in new and innovative ways. Some, such as Spotify, Apple and Netflix were already well-placed to do so and in a position to provide inspiration to others. They had already taken on board the concept of Agile Company Structure. Gearing itself up for a successful future, greatcontent is now using the concept to create an expertise and value-driven organisation.
- 1 Why reorganise?
- 2 How the greatcontent Agile Company Structure works
- 3 The future is agile and great
Since its launch in 2011 as an online content marketplace, greatcontent has thrived by being flexible, offering a high-quality product, and reacting quickly to the demands of the market. When companies expand, their processes need to adapt as well otherwise vital flexibility is lost. In a young company, roles can lack definition with everyone mucking in together. With expansion, however, this model is not sustainable, leading to stress and conflict. Team members aren’t sure of their roles, activities are duplicated, and toes are trodden on. Staff morale and business suffer.
What’s in a name? Why renaming (and reorganising) helps.
Traditional organisations have a ‘waterfall’ hierarchy. The ‘boss’ is at the top of a pyramid of staff layers. This hierarchy is static, stifles creativity, and slows down decision making and innovation. Stuck in their defined roles, no-one wants to rock the boat by making suggestions that could benefit the company. In agile organisations, everyone has a common purpose that is based on their talents, skills, and experience not just their position on the payroll. With agility, a company builds a stable base allowing it to adapt and evolve at greater speed and with greater efficiency than before.
Outline of Agile Company Structure
An agile company splits its personnel into small teams, each owning part of the company’s running and development. Team categories are given the names of
- Squads (also known as scrums, crews, parties, units, factions, troops, lineups) and
Squads are at the core, each with a definite task to achieve. Team members are autonomous and self-organising. Together, they have the tools, skills, and experience to achieve their mission. They are led by the ‘squad owner’, chosen for expertise, not power.
A Tribe is a group of squads covering a similar business area. Each Tribe Leader is management level and provides a creative environment for the squads.
Chapters have members selected across squads and focus on particular developmental topics. They meet regularly, promoting the cross-pollination of ideas and tackling new challenges. Chapter Leads are line managers responsible for HR and staff development issues.
How the greatcontent Agile Company Structure works
greatcontent – mission, vision and values
greatcontent’s mission is to ‘facilitate the creation of high-quality multilingual content’ by bringing together ideas, creative talent, and state-of-the-art technology’. Embedded in this are its values of
- openness from every stakeholder
- supporting stakeholders to achieve common goals
- working with the best creative talents and technology
- flexibility and decision-making freedom
These values fit perfectly into the model of tribes, squads, and chapters.
An overview of the Agile Company Structure model to greatcontent
Whether you’re a greatcontent client or among its talented team of linguists, an overview of our new agile structure gives an insight into how we plan to build on our success.
Client Services Tribe and Central Services Tribe: with leaders drawn from management level who holistically oversee the squads.
Eight squads – four within the Client Services Tribe covering:
- New Business
- Project Management
- Account Management
- Business Development
and, four within the Central Services Tribe covering:
- Talent Community
- Finance / Admin / HR
Four Chapters support the squads:
The future is agile and great
When an Agile Company Structure is successfully implemented, team members are empowered. They drive forward development and have a stake in the company’s future success. If you want to join the greatcontent family check out our vacancies! If you want to share your experience of an agile way of working use the hashtag #agilecompany at LinkedIn or Twitter! We are looking forward to hearing from you!
Text: Leonie Yeates