Virtual Coffee #3: How We Can Think Bigger When Solving Process Challenges

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Today we had a lively chat about scaling processes, as well as job hunting and fund raising during COVID-19. You can sign up here for the upcoming virtual coffee, it’s a different group and topic every time.

We started with a fun ice-breaker: which fictional character would you befriend if you could and why? Our answers spanned from Dumbledore (wise advice from a friend), Jo March (talented independent character) and the Night King from Game of Thrones (complicated backstory). Who would be yours?

Joining @Briana Okyere today were

  • @Sharissa Staples, currently seeking a new role to operate cross-functionally with multiple departments and help improve processes. Sharissa is open to all industry but comes with a background in real estate, hospitality, and healthcare.
  • @Joanna Medin, the CEO of OntheMuV. They offer "Sitmills", a great way to burn calories, walk and exercise safely- while seated, whether at work or home and at any age. More here.
  • and myself, after relocating to LA from NYC at the beginning of the year and am looking for a new role with a tech company who needs help to turn their strategy into a successful execution plan, program manage it and achieve operational excellence at the company-level or a specific area of the business.


We kicked-off our thinking bigger when scaling conversation by joking about Salesforce. I have been through a painful Salesforce implementation to replace our prior software after a rapid scale and would gladly never experience that again. Briana and Sharissa both have had better experiences with it though!

We highlighted the importance of exploring and understanding the actual issue we are trying to solve when scaling. What is the bottleneck you are trying to solve? We agreed that often time a good old spreadsheet hack can get you going for months or years rather than going through the hoops of implementing and adopting more specialized, complicated and expensive softwares.

There are stages in a company scale when you actually need to change the systems in place. When it is time, understanding who are the stakeholders and the users, what are their needs and constraints will increase your chances of successful adoption.

Tools are helpful, especially in remote-work times like now, but as Joana outlined, the more bureaucracy, the more difficult it is to be autonomous. By focusing on cross-functional operations, companies give their teams more ability to adapt. Now is operations (and operators) time to shine!

In this virtual setup, the importance of understanding communication styles and adapting is even more important. Starting with non-verbal cues and body language can help communicate more efficiently during videoconferencing, if you have the opportunity, working with coaches and attending such trainings can improve one’s ability to read others and respond to maintain the engagement that you have more organically when you’re face to face.

We wrapped up sharing our thoughts about operations in a post covid world. Sharissa pointed out that companies will probably be more strategic about how they scale moving forward. For example, will they hire generalists or specialists? It has been difficult for many companies to transition to remote and a lot of people think when things reopen the remote culture will remain casual, but we were all in agreement that it is unlikely to remain the case. While a lot of companies are announcing a more remote culture when offices reopen, we can probably expect a large number to go back to what they are familiar with.

We wrapped up on the topic of reopening offices. Another area that operations professionals should be planning for and ready to discuss 


If scaling businesses is a topic you are interested in, there is a fireside chat scheduled in a couple of weeks, you can RSVP here.


@Briana Okyere @Sharissa Staples @Joanna Medin  let me know if you’d like to add or clarify anything!

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Amazing summary Melanie, love having you continue to join these calls and share your deep knowledge in operations, thank you for posting this! 

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@Melanie Rohat-Meheust Thanks for taking on the write up - it was a productive call and I really enjoyed meeting you and @Sharissa Staples


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