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Building a World-Class Operations Team
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Building a World-Class Operations Team

We are in the midst of the rise in Strategy and Operations. More and more companies are investing earlier and more heavily into the people, processes, and solutions that will empower Strategy and Operations leaders to unlock growth and opportunity within a business. 

Our most recent guest on Aspiring Ops, Toby Carrington, is one of the global operations leaders shaping the future of operations at high growth companies. As the EVP of Global Operations at Seismic, Toby has played a key role in helping the organization unlock growth and scale into the industry-leading sales enablement platform that it is today. 

On this episode of Aspiring Ops, Toby shares how he’s helped build a world-class operations team, and the focus he’s placed on finding team members with a complementary skill-set. He also highlights the role Operations plays in Strategic Planning, and how OKRs have helped drive alignment and execution throughout the company. 

For those leaders looking to build a leading Operations team and amplify their impact across the business, this is an episode you won’t want to miss.  

Our Takeaway

One of the most interesting points of Toby’s interview was how he has helped prioritize the responsibilities being taken on by Operations at Seismic, and the way his team thinks of their impact across the business. 

“Something I see in some companies is that Ops is being positioned as being given more strategic work to do, but actually, certain leaders are just passing off their responsibility to the Ops team,” shares Toby. “What’s important is that Ops leaders know when they need to have ownership over certain aspects of the business, and when they’re in a support role.” 

This is such an important point that Toby brings up, and it reinforces that while Operations can remove friction, they are doing so in partnership with other teams. Operations isn’t a catch-all for the work that other leaders don’t want to take on, but rather a way to ensure teams are aligned and empowered to deliver on initiatives that are key to the business. 

One way in particular to ensure Operations drives the necessary alignment and support is to clearly outline the involvement they will have in Strategic Planning. In fact, Toby mentions this as one of the most important ways in which Operations teams can move from tactical to strategic thinking. 

“The planning process is the number one tip that I would suggest for people looking to move out of the operational level detail to strategy,” said Toby. “The annual planning process is the topic to lean into, because some organizations simply do planning top-down. A board has an expectation of, ‘Do this amount of growth, and this do this amount of things.’ That might still happen, but the best way to get started from an Ops point of view is to really lean into (planning) with data.” 

Unlike ever before, Operations plays an important role in the growth and evolution of a business. With the increased involvement, it’s important for leaders to think about three main areas when building their Operations team: 

  1. Clearly set a Charter for the Operations team
  2. Build a team with a complementary skill-set
  3. Define what the Operations team will support vs what it will own within the business 

By defining the ‘why’ behind your operations team, you can effectively communicate ‘how’ Operations can work throughout your business. 

Interested in learning more about Seismic? Check out their site here.

Want to learn more about how Elate is working with today’s leading strategy and ops executives? Request a demo today.

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