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The secret of a successful business is the operations behind it

Via LinkedIn : After 15 years wondering through sales departments and giving acte de presence as a consultant, I have seen more companies from the inside than most people see in their whole working life. With this knowledge I can come to only one conclusion: People do not appreciate operations.

This, in my professional opinion, is also the reason why so many companies have difficulties staying afloat. This also means that competing with next generation companies in the same core business is much harder, because you lack organization.

An operation touches everything. It is internal project management and finance combined. It is the written and spoken communication between different departments. It is working from the same back office and never have to look for sales and marketing collateral, because they are on the same drive. Everyone knows what to do; there is an operational process. This is all mentioned in the company’s new hire book, which is called “FAQ”. How hard can it be one can/should ask themselves. Well, hard I can tell you from personal experience. Even companies with 20 people personnel have difficulties making the most simple things happen in an orderly fashion way.

The bigger firms of course have intranets and support desks that you can email or give a ring. Of course, this takes ages and you need to enter a ticket number et cetera, we all know the drill. Not a lot of moments in life where I felt appreciated and that my fellow co-workers appreciated the operations side.

It is all in, doing it. Liking it is a whole different story. Like perfectly described in: “The Common Denominator of Success “ by Albert E.N. Gray:

“The common denominator of success — the secret of success of every man who has ever been successful — lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.”
I think this of course is relevant for every department or even person to make it more personal. But I think, considering we discussing operations, this is a 100% relevant. Making plans and inviting people to meetings and not following up is what happens 60% of the time. Of course this is not different from certain other department, but if you build your home on sand, it’ll never keep straight when the water comes in.

The moment your operations are under control, the rest of your company can slack a bit more. Sales complaining about products, finance about clients who do not pay on time, or research about topics? That can all be managed. Not having access to PDF’s, Finance sheets in one-place or event calendars, that is quicksand. When you have given people all they need to perform, it is up to the people to deliver. Operations are about having your house in order. If not, I guarantee you will fail sooner or later. If you do have it all lined up, congratulations, you just made it to the next round.

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