Seed World

These Skills are Crucial for Success in an Accelerated World

The business world has changed a lot since Seed Check was founded 20 years ago. Here’s what we do to stay at the top of our game, and strategies you can employ to do the same.

Learn to thrive under pressure. We email results out as soon as we have them, and customers are able to look up their own results online. Twenty years ago, that wasn’t the case. We’ve learned to work well in a business environment defined by speed where we all expect more in less time. As an independent lab, we’ve had full control over our business and can tailor our service delivery to our unique clientele.

Morgan Webb
President & Senior Seed Analyst, Seed Check

Communicate, communicate, communicate. To work well under pressure, communication has to be better among your staff. Customers need to be sure that seed is able to get where it needs to go. For us, that makes same-day purity and germination results key. Tell a customer you can’t deliver, and that could be the death knell for your business.

Be mindful of your staffing levels. We often think modern technology allows one person to do the work of two or three people, but this is pretty much a fantasy often used by productivity gurus to sell books. Since our inception 20 years ago, we’ve added extra seasonal staff, and that has really helped us level-up to where we need to be.

Training. There’s always more to know in seed testing. As science evolves, so do seed analysts. Our staff are always enhancing their knowledge and training is a never-ending process.

Put the customer first. This should be obvious, but making customers happy is your job. That means going above and beyond to get the work done and ensure they are pleased. It can be a challenge for you and your staff, especially when things get really busy and the workload increases. That said, staying focused on the customer and burning the proverbial midnight oil when necessary is an important part of service delivery.

Know your staff. Everyone is different. Some people like to sit and do the same thing over and over again, other people lose focus after a while. The average attention span is about 90 minutes, and often less. In general, people like to switch from task to task regularly. After 20 years, our staff know each other very well and we all know each other’s strengths. This allows us to delegate the right tasks to the right people to make the most of our time.

Check in with yourself. I co-founded Seed Check two decades ago. I was a seed analyst for 10 years prior to that. In a world where most people don’t have the same career for 30 years, I question myself sometimes. There are days where I wonder if I’m still at the top of my game. I wonder if I’m still doing my best for my staff. Am I feeling any burnout? I’m happy to report I still love what I do, but it’s essential to ask yourself these questions and what you can do to ensure you stay engaged in your work, especially if you’re in a leadership role. Your staff and customers will thank you.