As a chief operating officer (COO), you are tasked with leading the organization and driving change. To maximize your impact, you must have certain inherent characteristics and be able to solve complex problems, implement solutions, and drive change no matter how big the obstacles may seem. You must also be flexible when working with diverse teams, have good communication and collaboration skills, and be able to identify areas for improvement. Meeting with people at all levels and asking the right questions will help you uncover issues that need to be addressed.
By talking to people at various levels of the organization, you will gain insight into decision-making processes. It can be useful to categorize this information to more clearly understand problems that affect the entire organization and not just at the unit level. Surveys can help you get the right data and allow you to measure and articulate key challenges in a non-controversial way. Using facts to illustrate problems or improvements helps eliminate negative emotions.
Once you understand the issues and have clearly communicated them to other senior leaders, you can build the centerpiece of your 12-month operational plan. However, misalignment isn't limited to overall strategy and execution. Without connecting business, business and functional strategy, the impact of your organization's execution will be very limited. As an operations manager, it is your responsibility to align operations with multiple levels of strategy.
To attract and retain the ideal chief operating officer for your company, create a detailed job description. The operations director must coordinate all departments, such as sales, legal, marketing, IT, human resources and business development. The high-level executive is also responsible for some team leaders, such as the marketing director, the chief financial officer, human resources and customer success if there is no CCO. The operations manager needs to optimize business workflows to meet established standards and results.
The operations manager must also manage KPIs and review the efforts of other teams. This requires creating an operational strategy that takes into account the individual performance of the team. As the director of operations, you must ensure that all the managers you have are needed to make decisions and not complicate execution. By aligning teams according to corporate strategy and flattening the decision-making hierarchy, operations managers are prepared to change their organizations to a modern operating model. The first unique challenge of the chief operating officer is to align operations with the organization's vision.
As an operations manager, it's important not to allow your teams to confuse the idea that “more work” equals “better work”.The functions of the operations manager also include setting the tone for the functioning of a culture; this can be the difference between an autonomous and trustworthy culture and an intensive, bureaucratic culture. While operations may be in charge, information management is critical to the operations manager's process. A platform achieves this by focusing on the main challenges as chief operating officer: efficiency, alignment, and driving results. However, operations managers often have outdated frameworks or models for managing operations. Operations managers must support open collaboration, whether by setting priorities, determining the execution path, or assigning responsibilities.
However, as chief operating officer, they shouldn't be at the center of strategic decision-making because they're looking back. Because traditional data is often viewed backwards, operations managers have a limited and delayed perspective on the performance of operations and, more importantly, what needs to change. Organizational hierarchies are inevitable, but as an operations manager, you must constantly review and improve structures at every level of the organization. By focusing operational culture on open communication, trust and free flow of information, you can successfully modernize your operations. In managing daily microoperations, the operations manager must include practical execution in the macroeconomic area of the strategic vision.