Head of Operations
Head of Operations
Ask a hundred companies what their head of operations does and you’ll get a hundred answers. And that’s a clue to what the role entails – it’s a job that’s focused on a specific area with the intention of making it run to the board’s aims, i.e. with maximum productivity, efficiency, compliance and performance.
Often, the operations head will have a slightly different title, such as head of HR operations or head of IT operations, as the generic title would not accurately describe the day to day tasks of the role. Essentially, though, you are overseeing the way a particular process, or a range of interconnected processes, work, and ensuring they operate smoothly within the context of the business.
The head of operations slots into the corporate infrastructure below board level, but there will be crucial managerial responsibilities, and the larger the company, the more vital and pressurised your decisions and management will be.
The skills required
Needless to say, there are a lot of skills that are transferable between head of operations jobs in different companies, such as the ability to manage large and complex teams, to interpret strategic aims and convert them into actionable plans, and to report back to the board accurately, candidly and clearly.
It’s likely that the core functions of the business will rest on your shoulders, so this isn’t a role for the indecisive or the weak-hearted, but nor is it a position that suits risk-takers, as everything you do should be planned and justified. Overseeing operations will naturally require excellent communication skills and an ability to delegate and trust subordinates appropriately.
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