Why it works

Empowered cross-functional teams aligned by shared principles outcomes and measures of success are the best way to navigate uncertain and unpredictable environments.

Through shared outcomes, cross-functional teams and pods are better able to collaborate with a common purpose and mission, which enables them to continuously identify, prioritize, and break down risky assumptions, and then use their collective capabilities to “swarm” both opportunities and challenges accordingly.

The success of this approach is predicated on a culture change and mindset shift: One where everyone in the organization believes that those closest to the work and to the customer — aka, the product teams or the pods — are best suited to make decisions for the product and on behalf of the customers’ experience. In traditional command and control environments, the executive leadership are thought to “know best”. Part of shifting to the pod approach will be to ensure the most senior stakeholders in the process can relinquish (at least some) control to the collective wisdom of the pods.

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