The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is an executive position that has long been a staple of corporate leadership. However, as companies continue to evolve in response to changing market dynamics, there has been a growing debate about the role and relevance of the COO. Some argue that the traditional responsibilities of the COO, such as overseeing day-to-day operations and executing the CEO's vision, are becoming less relevant in today's rapidly changing business landscape. In this article, we will explore this debate and examine some of the ways in which companies are rethinking the role of the COO.
Now, more than ever, a Chief Operating Officer's (COO) vision and proclivity to adapt to change can make the difference for your business, regardless of your industry.
COOs are steadily outgrowing the “CEO’s right hand” moniker. Instead, they’re leading their companies into a new business era, dominated by greater customer-centricity and seismic changes in finance, technology, and real-world issues. Changing market dynamics provides a stellar chance to clarify the COO’s role.
Not all businesses have a Chief Operating Officer, and not all the companies who have one may understand the challenges reshaping this role at the moment. For those looking to fill the gap, an outsourced or COO consultant may change the future of your business by guiding it safely over present-day hurdles and towards the goals that you have set.
The innovation challenges for a COO today
Traditionally, the scope of the role of a COO could involve business strategy at one level, while dealing with the minutiae of operational performance and production targets at another. However, the COO position has evolved to be a visionary for a business’s future and executor of its values.
What has necessitated this shift? Global changes, technology, and the nature of industries, in general, demand an even more versatile operations role. Companies look for leaders that offer more than just business accountability and management. The right candidates for the job should have a good grasp of the world outside the office, as well as empathy towards employees and customers. They should also prove a serious knack for innovation. These traits, and more, will help COOs deal with some of the changes currently being ushered in, such as:
- Emerging technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT)
- Uncertain global markets
- An imminent financial crisis
- Environmental and social issues
- Big data and cybersecurity
- Customer and market orientation
How to rethink the COO role in your organization through outsourcing
Regardless of your niche, an outsourced COO uses the experience garnered by working in a broad range of industries and niches. Your business can benefit from their reliable expertise to set up a feasible workflow, refine your logistic channels, and maximize your resources.
A COO that is well-anchored in today’s world has an ever-expanding role that encompasses these attributes:
- Technology authority
As the barriers between IT and the real-world fade, knowledge is one of the leading criteria that discern between yesterday’s COOs and tomorrow’s innovative leaders. COOs play a crucial part in arranging and directing the road map for a modern organization that supports the business legacy while adopting and implementing new technologies with an open mind and eye toward customer demands.
- Empathic with the new generation of customers
A visionary COO understands that Generation Z has a completely new approach toward businesses, consumerism, and marketing. Social media and e-applications have cut off communication intermediaries and have given them a direct line with the companies that sell them products and services. The power of an experienced COO lies in his or her ability to address multiple generations of consumers without disregarding the company’s goal and vision. They can implement intuitive communication gateways with various target audience segments.
- Aware of present-day global issues
From climate change to global pandemics and social issues, there are ongoing events that can affect the evolution of your enterprise, and that you may have neglected in the past. Today’s COOs must be aware of all these potential threats and turn them into brand-boosting solutions. Present-day consumers tend to favor businesses that embrace environmentally friendly techniques of manufacturing or presentation. They are also more likely to favor your services over those of a competitor if you divert some of the company’s profits to support the elimination of certain issues that plague society.
- Long-term strategist
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the arrival of a potential new financial crisis. The decade that has just begun looks grim for companies that fail to prepare for the future. With the help of an outsourced COO, you can devise a long-term strategy that will help your company overcome financial difficulties in the next few years. A professional operations consultant should support your vision even if his or her fractional contract will end at one point.
- Employee coach
Outsourcing a professional expert as a COO in your company should be more than a move to drive sales and increase brand awareness. It should be an effective way of adding a highly-experienced member to your team who can mentor and advise employees to raise their level of performance.
Fractional COOs are more than simple business advisors. They are industry professionals with the necessary skills and employee engagement attributes to inspire your team members and provide them with viable guidance, too.
- Impartial business visionary
As a CEO, you may have a clear road map for the future of your company. However, planning a growth strategy and executing it are not the same thing. You may need the support of an experienced professional who can help you set the wheels in motion. With an outsourced COO, you get a skilled expert that can enhance your business vision without fearing conflicts of interest. Since their contract is limited, they will not aim to take your position and change management, and in turn, focus solely on your company's fortunes.
How an outsourced COO can help your business
Head-hunting for an operations consultant that fits the bill of a modern COO may prove time-consuming and expensive. Even when you find the right person for the job, you may find that their salary exceeds your budget for full-time jobs. A much quicker and cost-effective method is outsourcing a COO for your company. Focused Energy can provide you with a daily operations expert who helps your business grow even if you lack the resources to employ a full-time employee in this position.
Contact us for a free consultation and the chance to grow your business with feasible solutions for long-term success!