As business culture evolves, and companies increasingly embrace technological advances, the role of the COO is one whose strategic importance continues to rise.
In recent years, C-suite roles have evolved to meet the ever changing needs of business, and few more so than that of the COO. Traditionally, the position of COO has been thought of as a ‘back-office’ role, acting as the operations arm of the CEO, managing day to day activities while the CEO focuses on strategy, business opportunities, and growth.
Tasked with ensuring optimum performance for business support functions, the rise of technology as a principle driver of business efficiency has seen a shift in the COO role. As technology plays a greater part in shaping organisational design, the COO will play more of a role in driving business strategy.
Technology is a clear driver for business growth, but requires full C-Suite collaboration in order to be successful. Again, this puts the COO front and centre of identifying and analysing the needs of the organisation, and delivering transformative technological solutions to address them.
By working closely with C-Suite colleagues to promote these technologies, and continuing to monitor the use of new solutions, the COO can transform all areas of the business by maximising productivity and collaboration.
By introducing essential management skills alongside these operational efficiencies, the modern COO allows organisations to more easily transition into larger, global businesses.
Trust is also becoming a driving force behind the COO. Where CEOs face increasing pressure from stakeholders to take on a more public facing role, the COO will take a role in facilitating collaboration across the business, encouraging dialogue and bringing together people, operations and technology across the business.
The COO’s ‘digital first’ approach can also directly benefit employee satisfaction, as they increasingly look to their employer to be at the forefront of new technologies that benefit not only operational effectiveness, but also facilitating excellent employee engagement.
This use of technology in improving trust and engagement also extends to a business’ external communities, with the COO encouraging the adoption of technologies that secure and improve the customer’s experience.
As companies continue to get larger, and operationally more complex, the presence of a COO brings experience of innovation, technology, and leadership could be the difference between success and failure.
The modern COO uses their business acumen and awareness of new technologies to underpin business development, bringing together all aspects of a business in its pursuit of excellence, and facilitating collaboration in the C-Suite in order to achieve it.
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