With the proper training, experience, and skills, an individual can fill this role in a variety of organizations, such as a for-profit business, non-profit organization, government entity, or school. It seemed obvious to all of us to split it up that way because of our respective skill sets. So the three of us often had to get consensus around things on our own and tried to limit bumping issues up to him whenever possible. I also had a number of other direct reports, including the head of strategic planning, the general counsel, the head of the Washington, DC, office, and the head of Habitat for Humanity University. Mission #3 : Becoming “COO” My third mission was less well defined because, well, it was about five missions at once. Leading through Crisis: Webinars & Presentations, Leading Indicators of the Future: COVID-19 Edition. They must give advice and counsel as well as provide a voice of reason. I just read a terrific post from Ben Horowitz that he wrote a couple weeks back about the fallacy of Shared Command in companies. The Chief Operations Officer or COO, on the other hand, is a position that also holds a tremendous amount of responsibility. I’ve been intensely involved in learning about the startup world and work for Steve Blank. They hired me as SVP of administration but it took three and a half years to find an SVP of programs, so I sort of served as both for that time. The most salient characteristic of the chief operating officer (COO) job seems to be its variety. 10. Alexander Tuff '03 discusses five key concepts every COO should know. The responsibilities of the job range from very administrative to very strategic and can differ greatly from organization to organization. ; Financial planning skills: GMs are responsible for looking at the future of the business and making key investments and investment recommendations. Startup CEO & COO: An impractical two-headed monster. For example, is the COO a possible future ED learning the ropes? Eventually I had five SVPs reporting to me: development, communications, field operations, program, and administration. A COO will always wear multiple hats and have numerous responsibilities. 1.3 The academy trust must have at least three members, although the Department's strong preference is that trusts should have at least five members. 30 A number of leaders are visibly acting on their stated environmental and social responsibilities in the heat of the crisis. Passion. Before the crisis, many corporations had already been stepping up to greater environmental and social responsibilities, as further codified last summer in the commitment made by the Business Roundtable’s signatories. The role of the COO varies greatly from one industry to another and even from one company to another, which makes it difficult to provide a succinct list of duties. Here are my takeaways. . The COO reports directly to the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). I was the COO, and I hired the other people, set up the finances, established us as a nonprofit, and did the budgeting and forecasting. Once you understand the issues and have clearly communicated them to other senior leaders, you can construct the centerpiece of your 12-month operating plan. This Chief Operating Officer (COO) job description template includes the list of most important Chief Operating Officer (COO)'s duties and responsibilities.This Chief Operating Officer (COO) job description template is customizable and ready to post to job boards. . Surveys can help you get the right information and enable you to measure and articulate key challenges in a non-controversial way. The most salient characteristic of the chief operating officer (COO) job seems to be its variety. As a result, everyone from marketing, sales and operations to … reports to the ED and oversees operations and administration, and/or Of the senior leadership team, the heads of operations, clinical affairs, and information technology reported to me. Second, the CEO, COO, board, and others in the company need to be clear on the boundaries between the CEO and COO duties and responsibilities. We are creating a chief officer of external relations position. It is important to prioritize your findings. Our structure is evolving very rapidly. Miles, “Second in Command: The Misunderstood Role of the Chief Operating Officer,” Harvard Business Review, May 2006. As vice president and COO, I was responsible for running the business day-to-day to allow Allan not to worry about the details and to focus externally and strategically. In addition, we conducted a brief electronic survey of 23 COOs and a series of 16 in-depth interviews about the COO position with nonprofit COOs and EDs representing a diversity of organizational growth stages, budget sizes, funding sources, geography, missions, and individual backgrounds and tenures. Essentially, the development director had two bosses. Give Smart: Philanthropy That Gets Results, Creating a Culture of Leadership Development, One School at a Time, Our latest articles, reports, and other publications, Explore our extensive catalog of articles, reports, and videos, Key ideas we believe have high potential for impact, Leading voices from inside and outside Bridgespan, Get our latest insights delivered to your inbox, Browse past issues of our Knowledge Letter and Leaders Matter newsletters, Video interviews with dozens of the world's most thoughtful donors, Learn about our frequent free webinars on a variety of nonprofit and philanthropic topics. The one constant is the COO's close relationship with the CEO, who is often responsible for defining the role. This job description may be heavily modified or re-created to accommodate your companies specific needs in a Chief Operating Officer. It helps to get a COO with considerable strategic vision because they provide the … The Management to Leadership model is based upon the theory that general managers/COOs are responsible for three major areas: operations, assets/investments and club culture. The other roles all reported to me, so the division of responsibilities with them was easier. Meeting with people at every level and asking the right questions will help you identify these issues. The COO comes second in the hierarchy and reports to the CEO. The COO's roles range from internal operations to strategic development and working with the … The Bureau of Labor and Statistics defines a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as a professional who determines and formulates policies and provides overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. We restructured positions and moved the reports as positions naturally turned over. I was managing the day-to-day operations of the organization. In our experience, Figure 1: Operating models are a critical link between strategy and detailed organizational design Management System Chief Operating Officer Job Description Page 2 of 3 6. The chief operating officer has traditionally been the number two person in the C-suite — the senior executive charged with overseeing all of the company’s business operations. Key skills for the modern CFO. As a new study on this question points out, there are at least three reasons why companies might hesitate to add COO duties to a CFO’s plate:. Research-based insights on how leaders can enact change at different managerial levels during difficult economic climates. The New York Times reported that Twitter’s former COO Ali Rowghani quit the social media giant last summer after seeing his responsibilities somewhat usurped by the advertising arm of the company – ally that to disappointing user figures and Rowghani soon found himself staring down the barrel, and quit before he was pushed. While the variations on how COO responsibilities are structured appear endless, most COO positions can be categorized under one of three basic models: The COO oversees all … The chief program officer was Monique Burns, and she had responsibility for selecting, training, and coaching the new leaders. Small companies might not have a COO at all, while the CEO could be the founder of the company (or one of the founders) or the chair of the board. His focus was speaking publicly, raising money, writing books, doing interviews, seeing the programs, and inspiring people. Creating the COO position freed her up to do more external work but also to be more strategic about how she involved herself internally. Focusing on those 18 responsibilities, we conducted extensive research to determine what mindsets and practices distinguish excellent CEOs. 10. Strive for alignment: It is no small feat to align behaviors, organizational design, compensation, and … I didn’t have particular expertise in education, but I knew how to do all the operational stuff, so I created the structure, wrote the business plan, etc. The COO role is a high-visibility position, requiring strong communication skills and the responsibility of being called upon to positively represent the organization in the community and in the media. The arrangement was that I was the first among equals. But the rest is still classic COO stuff: finance and information technology report to me, and I work closely with our people-development department. In terms of role definition, the places where Wendy and I most frequently ran into each other were those that traditionally fit into the ED purview: marketing and development. This is a scenario the COO needs to be careful of; sometimes, the CEO can be such a disruptive force in the day-to-day business that the COO will spend most of … Some COOs go through the motions, look over daily operations and … Many times it made sense for her to work directly with head of development, but then there were questions about when the development person goes to her versus to me. One of the most critical activities the CEO and COO can undertake when they first start working together is to have an honest and open conversation about each other’s strengths, weaknesses, interest areas, and expectations, and then map that knowledge into an initial matrix of responsibilities. And this is where all common definitions of the COO role start and end. For example, if we were struggling with recruitment, she would delve into that deeply and go talk to people and figure out the recruitment strategy, and she could do that without being pulled in too many directions. As CEO, Jon has a number of chief officer direct reports. A COO’s effectiveness is 100 percent correlated with his or her ability to lead. COO stands for Chief Operating Officer and is a position you will only find in very large companies. Mission #3 : Becoming “COO” My third mission was less well defined because, well, it was about five missions at once. I reported to Millard, and basically the rest of the organization reported to me. With many different interpretations of what the role entails, which can encompass everything from strategic vision to hands-on management, it can be a tricky task for COOs to find a successful balance, both on an individual and organisational level. Nevertheless, most COO positions can be categorized under one of four basic models, and the sample job descriptions posted here correspond to these models. While the variations on how COO responsibilities are structured appear endless, most COO positions can be categorized under one of three basic models: In addition to these variations on how organizations define COO responsibilities, there are differences in how organizations see the COO as a leader in the organization and a member of the management team. For purposes of this discussion, we define the COO at a nonprofit organization as a manager who . The CEO and COO may alternatively be referred to as president and vice president or executive director and assistant executive director. An implementer whose hands-on approach complements the ED’s vision and charisma? This construct more accurately expresses today’s general manager/COO as the professional responsible for the multiple facets of club operations, as well as managing the club’s assets/investments and culture. What is a CIO? He can be reached at [email protected]. In addition to me, he has a chief program officer, a chief people-development officer, and a chief knowledge officer. To learn more about communication and collaboration, he recommends reading:7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and Tribal Leadership. Allan is a physician and was promoted to ED from the chief medical officer position, so his experience wasn’t in operations. [2] Since January of 2004, Bridgespan been exploring the COO role through regular gatherings of executives in the copilot seat in their organizations for broad-ranging conversations about their work. 1. While the variations on how COO responsibilities are structured appear endless, most COO positions can be categorized under one of three basic models: The COO oversees all … COO roles, and the organizational structures in which COOs operate, are highly varied across organizations and even within a single organization over time. Be transparent and open, solicit feedback, and have an open-door policy. 3022 Broadway, New York, NY 10027 212-854-1100 Make sure to clearly articulate your new responsibilities . Category 3: Functionality cookies. I … As such, the COO has long been viewed as the heir apparent, the leading insider candidate to succeed the chief executive officer. The primary goal of the chief operating officer of IT is to meet agreed-upon delivery of IT services in support of the existing business model. We talked often about what skill development I needed so I would be poised to take the position when Allan decided to leave. Jon has maybe 60 percent external meetings. While some of the roles described in the HBR article are not applicable in the nonprofit sector, we found at least as much variety among the 16 nonprofit COOs we interviewed in our research on the COO position.”[2] This diversity is evident in the excerpts below from interviews with some of the COOs. In 2000, I became executive vice president and COO, and I did that job for about five years. Millard [Fuller, founder and then-CEO], traveled 85-90 percent of the time. Most important, though, is the discipline to stick to the boundaries. Chief Operating Officer (COO): A Chief Operating Officer (COO) is the corporate executive who oversees ongoing business operations within the company. I manage those EDs, and that’s now 70 percent of my job. I was Network Health’s first COO. Chief operating office roles, and the organizational structures in which COOs operate, are highly varied across organizations and even within a single organization over time. Perhaps more than any other role, the COO position is tailored—and in some cases created or eliminated—to fit the needs of an organization at a particular point in its development. The chief operating officer (COO) is the second-highest C-suite executive rank after the CEO. It was created by former Gov. Permissions beyond the scope of this license are available in our Terms and Conditions. The COO usually has more influence than everyone else, and sometimes that causes problems. The Management to Leadership model is based upon the theory that general managers/COOs are responsible for three major areas: operations, assets/investments and club culture. The American Bar Association (ABA), founded August 21, 1878, is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. Using data to illustrate problems or improvements helps remove negative emotions. Most importantly, a COO needs to be an effective communicator and collaborator with whom people want to work. Success as a COO also requires some natural inclination for solving complex problems, implementing solutions, and driving change — no matter how big the obstacles might seem. What COOs read. The chief operating officer is one of the most senior members of the executive team. The Management to Leadership model is based upon the theory that GM/COOs are responsible for three major areas: operations, assets/investments and club culture. In 2009, after 15 years of skill accumulation, I was appointed to my first true leadership role as chief operating officer (COO) of risk at CIT Group. Good communication and collaboration are key (see the related links section for some resources on communication and collaboration). Everyone in the organization reported in through me and I reported to Wendy [Kopp, President and Founder]. Because we transitioned to that structure over time, no one who had previously reported to him moved to me. The new COO organization incorporates strategy in order to align resource allocation across business and infrastructure 2 —Importance of infrastructure in current operating environment —Better alignment of infrastructure and strategy —Need for a clearly defined target operating model Role Description of a COO. A COO needs a unique set of skills that bridge the space between the visionary leader at the top and the execution of strategy and ongoing operation of a business. Having a strategic-minded COO advisor allows the CEO to play to his or her strengths: either strategy or operations. Over time, my job evolved into something very different. The rest, including finance, marketing, HR, and the chief medical officer, reported to Allan. These cookies allow a website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you're in) and tailor the website to provide enhanced features and content for you. The Management to Leadership model is based upon the theory that GM/COOs are responsible for three major areas: operations, assets/investments and club culture. The COO role is a high-visibility position, requiring strong communication skills and the responsibility of being called upon to positively represent the organization in the community and in the media. We have looked at having three chief officers reporting to Jon, but each would have a huge portfolio. At the end of the first full year, we had two partnerships with school districts and executive directors for each. Instead, the CEO and COO will commonly divide oversight of the various departments based on the internal business model. Three term sheets (offers) in 6 months.The modern, New COO, especially in an adjunct capacity, should bring innovative, strategic ideas from outside the company, perhaps even outside the industry. It took some time to figure out the COO role, both in the abstract and in practice. To analogize it, the CEO is the corporate commander in chief, and the COO is the second in the chain of command. It basically worked; I managed those areas with a lighter touch knowing that Wendy was more engaged with them. Originally the COO position was divided into two senior-vice-president (SVP) positions: the SVP of administration and the SVP of programs. I am much more internally focused than Jon, so 95 percent of my meetings are with staff about their goals, strategies, progress, etc. I was the COO, and I hired the other people, set up the finances, established us as a nonprofit, and did the budgeting and forecasting. The chief program officer was Monique Burns, and she had responsibility for selecting, training, and coaching the new leaders. I was internal, running the organization. From the time when we first founded the organization, Jon Schnur was the CEO, and he handled overall management, strategy, fundraising, and external partnerships. Identify which tasks require your involvement and delegate the rest. . Pauline Brown on “The Other AI” That Will Transform Business. model as that floor plan and flow. Here you should outline the functions this position will perform on a regular basis, how the job functions within the organization and who the job reports to. Bridgespan® and Leading for Impact® are registered trademarks of The Bridgespan Group, The Campaign to End Chronic Underfunding of Nonprofits, GIVE SMART: Philanthropy That Gets Results, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Know Your C-Suite: The Chief Operations Officer July 3, 2017. FOOTNOTES  Also known as Director of Operations, Operations Director or Chief Operating Officer. . Some tips on how to be the bearer of bad news. When Millard wanted to add a fourth SVP, separating the SVP of communications and development into two positions, the board said, “You have to have a COO.” Initially he resisted, but when the idea came up of promoting me into the position, he was more comfortable with it. is second in command to the executive director (ED), and/or And it helped to have all of the functions report to one person, so we didn’t have an imbalance where some things reported directly to her and others didn’t; a structure like that only reinforces an ED’s inclination to focus on particular areas. Early in my career, I was determined to pick up skills to help me be an effective leader. This is the second highest position in a company as it oversees the operations of the entire company. The co-authors of Second in Command: The Misunderstood Role of the Chief Operating Officer liken the COO role to that of a U.S. vice presidential candidate: The best person for the job is highly dependent on his running mate. What is a CEO (Chief Executive Officer)? Operating models have six elements Many executives think of an operating model as just boxes and lines—that is a mistake. Now that I have assumed the ED role, I haven’t decided whether or not to hire another COO. Note: percentage of respondents who have chosen 9 or 10 on a scale from 1= not needed at all to 10 = absolutely needed. We are still making a lot of changes; we haven’t yet found a structure we feel fully comfortable with. They handle the day-to-day administration and operation of a business. It took a while for people to get comfortable with that setup, but over time they did. A COO needs a unique set of skills that bridge the space between the visionary leader at the top and the execution of strategy and ongoing operation of a business. Depending on the structure of the company, the CEO could report to the board of directors, the investors or the founders of the company. She was out doing a lot of the fundraising herself. The ABA's most important stated activities are the setting of academic standards for law schools, and the formulation of model ethical codes related to the legal profession. It worked, but it was difficult. Strategic planning skills: GMs must ensure the development and implementation of a clear strategic plan for an organization or business unit. Depending on the structure of the company, the CEO could report to the board of directors, the investors or the founders of the company. As such, the COO has a broad set of responsibilities. It’s a tricky thing. . © document.write(new Date().getFullYear()) Columbia University Understanding a Chief Operating Officer (COO) The COO mainly focuses on executing the company’s business plan, according to the established business model, … Responsibilities (This list is intended to show on-going primary duties. I have now served as COO for three different organizations and have found that there are certain inherent traits that every COO possesses, and certain activities and processes that will maximize their impact. The COO must maintain the highest level of integrity and lead by example in all areas. From the time when we first founded the organization, Jon Schnur was the CEO, and he handled overall management, strategy, fundraising, and external partnerships. The COO reports directly to the CEO and advises and carries out specific administrative instructions. Leadership – To be an effective business partner, today's CFO must have the necessary leadership and communication skills. A COO ensures the company has effective operational and financial procedures in place. The primary responsibility of the COO is to oversee business operations, which may include marketing and sales, human resources, research and development, production, and other functions. 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Creating a chief knowledge officer any good at it what skill development needed! Guiding principles position that way because of our respective skill sets chief of. Was easier on their stated environmental and social responsibilities in the hierarchy reports... With whom people want to work Operating models have six elements Many executives think of an organization 's executive.! Easier to develop someone into that position rather than hire someone into that position rather than hire someone into.... Two-Headed monster transitioned to that structure over time they did seems to be its.! Transparent and open, solicit feedback, and coaching the new leaders reports as positions naturally turned over direct..