The chief operating officer (COO) is a senior executive responsible for managing the daily administrative and operational activities of a company. As the CEO's right-hand man, the COO is the essential link for the organization, making sure that information circulates through the organization like streams that flow into a river. The COO's challenge is to make sure that these flows are not blocked by concentrating on communication, optimization, and decision-making. The COO typically reports directly to the executive director (CEO) and is considered second in the chain of command.
To enhance collaboration between departments or teams within an organization, operations managers must promote open collaboration, whether by setting priorities, determining the execution path, or assigning responsibilities. Operations managers also need to align teams according to corporate strategy and flatten the decision-making hierarchy. Developing strategic planning skills, using data and design systems, and achieving results by identifying priorities and implementing a strategic plan that encourages communication and collaboration are all strategies that COOs can use to improve collaboration. By moving beyond outdated frameworks and redefining success, operations managers are ready to transform their organizations to a modern operating model.
However, as chief operating officers, they should not be at the center of strategic decision-making because they're looking back. Instead, they should focus on key challenges such as efficiency, alignment, and generating results. By doing so, they can make sure that employees who focus on execution are in line with the strategy and make the strategy itself accessible.