Question

Virtual Coffee about Buy In for Operations

  • 10 July 2020
  • 1 reply
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Userlevel 1

Hello Ops Community!

So thankful for the time yesterday that @adamjackowitz took to host our virtual coffee chat on How to Get Buy In for Operations.  The inspiration for the topic was spurred by a conversation starter I’d posted last week (thank you @Briana Okyere for that nudge).   Our trio talked about not only how to get buy in for Operations functions, but also how to influence decision making for products, process improvements and solutions.  It came up more than one time how often Operations team members are in the ‘back’ground making things happen, when we truly do have a place on the center stage!

An ongoing conversation for sure, but our time together was a great start.  Would love to hear your ideas about these questions or others that you might have posed in the group!

  • Does buy in need to come from the top down or is it always a struggle from the bottom up?  There is no one way.  How many Executive team members have promoting the Ops function as #1 on their agenda and how many entry level Ops team members have experience influencing ‘up’?  We discussed that while both of these can be effective, we should not underestimate the power of center-led strategy.  Awareness of enterprise objectives and knowledge of tactical requirements to execute gives many of us the opportunity to make great strides in our companies right from where we sit today.
  • What if they aren’t inviting Ops to the table?  Our function can deliver on wants and needs that businesses didn’t even know they had…so sometimes it could just mean showing up with valuable contributions.  Invited or not.  I shared that I personally would rather spend time becoming impossible to forget (working on producing value!) than asking for or waiting for an invitation.
  • How can this happen virtually?  I’d posed this one to Briana and Adam because my company (which didn’t broadly use digital communication tools prior to moving remote in March) no longer had water coolers to hear about the upcoming projects and initiatives.  However, having been the first to adopt these tools last year, gave us the opportunity to serve as SMEs as the rest of the company came on board.  A willingness to be uncomfortable first / early, opened up opportunities to provide value to the business later.  Score 1 for Ops!  We are now in search of other ways to stay connected and ensure we are on ‘stage’ while still remote.
  • Is influencing different in a small vs. large or public vs. private company?  Yes, just like our industry, product and region might be different; there can be impacts to the ability to influence due to size, regulations or even internal politics.  But Ops’ contributions are the oil to any engine.  The shared experiences of this group can all be learned from and applied, as we have similar goals as our peer functions to keep the engine running smooth and hard as we move forward.  Adam and Briana both offered great insight about the value of knowing your decision maker and structuring your proposals in a way that funnels them to the best answer for the company….and for Ops!

Thanks for ‘listening,’ I look forward to meeting more of the Community over coffee in the future!


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Userlevel 3
Badge +2

Great conversation, thank you for this Aileen!!

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