Operations

Successful companies invest a lot of time and resources planning for what they will do next by setting strategy, creating new products and building new relationships and partnerships. And while it requires all of this to stay relevant with the pace of change, someone has to stay rooted in the day to day activities. And, those are the operations managers.

Whether it means trucks running, planes flying or data processing, someone has to watch over every step of a company’s daily activities. This is the team that manages workflow and process from safety to quality control from efficiencies to disruptions. It’s a team of leaders focused on improving the way you do things with minimal disruptions to what is already in place.

And, that’s a challenge. Because as companies keep pushing to iterate faster and evolve every step, operations managers wish things could just stay the course for more than thirty days. Change, no matter how innovative and effective, is always disruptive to this group. Because in spite of what may come next or what may be the better way, these managers have to deliver in some way every day.

As communicators, their message has always been direct: try harder and work smarter. As leaders, they are more focused on outcomes than inspiration. They are tight on measurements and always speak to results. They can be viewed as tough, practical, tactical and bottom-line focused. Their messages have been about day to day reality and less about potential and opportunity.

But, in order for companies to adapt quickly and shift easily, these managers have to expand the message to talk to groups about more than just today. They are respected communicators to employees and their word can validate or negate a company strategy in short order. Employees listen to see if these leaders believe that a new idea is viable and if they seem willing to adjust for a new step or direction. While change is good for companies, it’s hard on employees. Operations managers need to focus on the challenge their teams face trying to manage one foot in today with one eye toward the future.

 

Development Objectives

Our goal is to help operations managers understand their brand and personal influence across an organization. Then, we evaluate their cadence of communication and the takeaways that their employees are looking for. Often, this leads to expanding their content to align daily tasks to a broader vision and company direction.

Through custom programs and coaching, we help these managers reach the following objectives:

  • Gain greater awareness of personal impressions and impact
  • Adopt methodology and frameworks to build clear and compelling storylines
  • Position clear messaging and outcomes for employees
  • Leverage their role to align employees’ actions with company vision

For additional information on how SW&A partners with operations leaders: