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Why Senior Leaders Should be Strategic about Operations to Achieve Operational Excellence?

Senior leaders in some organizations may not truly be in a strategic role. They may be senior in terms of their position in the organizational hierarchy but their role is more Operational than strategic.

One example of the above would be the delivery head in a small services company. Due to the size and scale of the operations the delivery head would have a large operational focus in her profile.

There may be account executives or business unit heads under the delivery head but the delivery head would be pulled into many routine affairs and hence would operate mostly in an operational role.

Achieving operational excellence in such organizations thus becomes a challenging proposition.

However, for any small company to become a large company and not only that but a truly world class company at that, things need to be different.

The delivery head and head of the organization in such organizations need to deliberately adopt a strategic approach to operations to lift the organization to a higher trajectory.

Senior leaders are supposed to retain a strategic outlook despite the pressures on them to operate using an operational focus.

Being strategic in such a context to achieve operational excellence would mean the following:
  • Senior leaders should not say that delivery folks should only focus on delivery. Delivery folks have to necessarily deliver but also work in parallel to analyze and improve how they work. Of course, the improvements would be facilitated by an excellence group but you can't expect operational excellence by discouraging time spent by delivery folks with the excellence group
  • Senior leaders should go all the way to encourage people at all levels to energetically participate and proactively contribute in improving and evolving the organization's systems and processes by being an active member of task forces, councils and committee's (which may at times be virtual in nature) formed for such activities.
  • Senior leaders should provide visible and vocal support to improvement initiatives. Of course, smooth functioning of delivery operations is essential but then the faster the organization starts looking at operations beyond its day-to-day dynamics of today to how it needs to be evolved over a longer term, the better it is for the organization's tomorrow.
  • Senior leaders should maintain a positive and professional outlook while chartering the excellence group. One of the way they can ensure the excellence group meets its charter in helping the organization to achieve operational excellence is to drive culture and change management. Unless the senior leadership is capable enough to lead manage changes and be the primary change catalysts nothing much with change.
  • Senior leaders should focus on operational excellence with a constant view of the need to continuously and continually improve, evolve and align the systems and processes with the changing business needs. They should deem operations to be important but also know that operational excellence also has to run in parallel, and in hand-to-hand with the operations.
It is clear from above that strategic focus can help the organization to secure its tomorrow. Senior leaders should be concerned primarily about the tomorrow.

They should focus on systems and processes that not only ensure operations are conducted smoothly today but also bring about operational excellence so that operations are conducted smoothly tomorrow as well.

This post first appeared on Business Process & Improvement, please read the originial post: here

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Why Senior Leaders Should be Strategic about Operations to Achieve Operational Excellence?


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