Do you have trouble defining how you will best function in an organization? How about confusion over your title?
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We are going to learn a little bit more about how operations complement you and help you figure out where you fit into an organization. Often, people come to me and tell me about their skill sets, what they have done, and their experience and wonder “where do I fit, what should I be doing, and what should my title be?”
Today is all about designing and putting a purpose on where you fit in an organization and I’m going to give you a few pointers on how you can stop the guessing.
Determining How You Fit
There are so many women who will downplay their skills, which in turn earns them less, they don’t reach the goals that they want as fast as they could, and they don’t serve in their highest and best ways. I want to help you understand what your highest and greatest place is in the business and design a path for you to grow.
With these tips, I believe this will help you understand and build an expectation and a personal development plan.
Step 1: The Outside of the Organization
What is your function?
When I talk about function, I mean either the front side or the backside. The front side is the marketing side, and the back side is the operations side. There is actually a 3rd side once a business gets big enough, which is the delivery or face to face side.
In the beginning, leaders own all of it. Eventually when businesses start to scale or gain momentum, you’ll find that the leader will get busier and the intensity of things that need to be done increases. They will find their natural pull… which function of the business they are naturally strongest in.
Most of the time they will lean towards the marketing side, because it is a lot harder for someone to sell their passion than it is for them to show up and sell. If they hold onto the marketing piece, then they will need someone to take over operations.
Ask yourself: Do your strengths naturally align with marketing or operations?
Marketing creates, attracts, sells and secures business. Operations creates the foundations through your team, your financials, data, project management, finding efficiencies through systems and processes and also that service and delivery. You can see just how much work each of those functions take, which is how we start to build organizations.
Step 2: Look Inside the Business
Inside each function, there are 4 layers. They include vision, strategy, management and implementation.
Vision: the place where a vision is cast, where big goals and questions about success come from.
Strategy: providing solutions that are going to be based on research, experience, and our own knowledge.
Management: the oversight of the day to day; people processes and delivery
Implementation: a role that is task focused.
There are 4 different layers of the marketing side and of the operations side of business. Every layer has to be covered or owned by someone in the organization. In a new business, the owner covers every one of them.
“One reason why business feels so heavy at first is because you are one person focusing on the front and the back side of the business.”
As you grow, you will bring in support on one side or the other, and will recognize your weak side vs. your strong side. Sometimes I see leaders who don’t have clarity, but this exercise can help them get clear about what level of person they need to bring into the business.
You can’t outsource all of the operations to one person, and the reason that you can’t is because you cannot hold all 4 layers inside of one person. When the owner realizes operation is their weak side, they have to decide what they are going to hold onto from the function of operations.
Most of the time the business owner will hold onto vision and strategy. What they really need from an operations support perspective is someone to help them do the task, and eventually they will want someone to manage those tasks so they are not doing it all. It is their job to determine what they are going to delegate.
Here’s where operators come in. You get to determine what layer you fit in as a service provider; strategy, management or implementation (vision is typically reserved for the CEO). You need to pick the level you are most confident in. Often there will be a blend where you are holding both strategy and management or the management and implementation layer.
When I talk about strategy, management and implementation… which fits you best? Once you decide, secure work for that specific layer and design your own plan around it. In corporate, you would devise a development plan with your leader, but in small businesses, this doesn’t often happen. I hope this can serve as your guide.
Director of Operations is a combination of the strategic and the management level; we do not own implementation. This is a dreamy state for many of you in the management and implementation layer. If you are there, I would love for you to join us in the upcoming Scope Creep Solution.
The Scope Creep Solution is a 5 day sprint to improve your project management skills and develop in your career. It will give you an opportunity to brush op on your techniques as a project manager, evaluate the opportunities you have, and take action.
I want you to choose a path, marketing or operations; and then I want you to identify the level you are working in and go after opportunities that fit. DO NOT short side yourself! This is the way to hold yourself responsible and accountable for continuously raising the bar. Let’s grow!
If raising the bar means becoming a Director of Operations, the applications are now open!
Weekly Ops Activity
I want you to tell us what layer you are currently operating in: vision, strategy, management or implementation (or a combination). Join the conversation in the private FB group!
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