The chief operating officer, or COO, is a very important person in a company. They are the ear of the organization and implement the strategy of the company. Their job description may vary from one company to the next, but they all have a common goal: achieving the desired results while keeping costs down. A COO has many responsibilities, including overseeing human resources, accounting, and planning. Read on to learn more about the role of a COO.
COOs are change agents
Some companies name their COOs to oversee a particular strategic imperative, such as a turnaround or a planned rapid expansion. These change-agent COOs require undoubted authority to make these decisions. One example of a successful change-agent COO is Ray Lane, who was hired by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison in 2006 from consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton to turn around an organization that had experienced trouble in sales and marketing.
When the company is experiencing a decline in sales, the CEO may call for heightened quality control. The COO may instruct the human resources department to hire more employees specializing in quality control. Likewise, the COO may initiate the rollout of new product lines. In addition to managing day-to-day operations, the COO may also oversee marketing, research and development, and production, as well as internal affairs.
When asked about their biggest challenge, COOs identified increased competition as the biggest challenge they face. Sixty-three percent cited increasing competition. Increasing client needs and regulation also ranked high. Budget was the largest issue for financial services COOs, while asset managers didn't name it among their top issues. And while the financial services industry's COOs have a lot of challenges, the asset management industry remained relatively unaffected.
The role of the COO may sound like a simple computational function, but it requires extensive human relations skills to be successful. The COO must ensure that the corporation's vision and mission are met efficiently without creating burnouts, dissatisfaction, or dissatisfaction within the organization. Hence, the COO must have a direct and open line of communication with the entire organization. In addition to this, a COO must be well connected with all levels of management.
In some cases, the role of the COO is more about supporting the CEO than it is about executing the CEO's vision. A COO can serve as a mentor and guide to the young CEO. Sometimes, a young CEO will be appointed to lead a rapidly growing business, while a COO can help develop the CEO. When the CEO takes over the role of CEO, the COO role may disappear or be restructured.
They implement a company's strategy
A COO is a leader who implements the strategy of a company. A COO is responsible for the overall direction of a company, from the direction of the product line to the overall management of the company. They must have a strategic mindset and the ability to plan and plot the most efficient way to get things done internally. They must also have the ability to multitask and handle multiple tasks within a variety of departments. They must have the knowledge of how various departments work and how their nuances affect each of them.
They oversee human resources
A COO can be a very powerful person, but there are many different roles that a COO can fill. In the traditional HR department, the chief human resources officer (CHRO) oversees the entire employee lifecycle. This is the top-ranking position in an organization and is responsible for developing human resources strategies and plans for the organization. In the past, a COO reported to the CFO or COO. The role has changed, however.
Although the COO has traditionally overseen day-to-day operations, the role of HR is expanding. Companies are now putting the HR department at the forefront of crisis management and business continuity. Some COOs even report to the CEO. In addition to overseeing human resources, a COO oversees a company's business plan, which outlines the goals and strategy of the organisation. By focusing on these areas, a COO can maximize the impact of his people and the business.