Here at Elate, we’ve had a front row seat to the rise of strategy and operations, and the impact the Chief Operating Officer role can have early on in a company’s lifecycle. Now, more than ever before, the COO position is viewed as a critical hire that can unlock growth opportunities across scaling companies.
Often responsible for partnering alongside the CEO, the COO is tasked with bringing the company’s vision to life. While driving execution and increasing performance will always be key responsibilities for the role, how that takes shape varies based on the stage of the business.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Kip Zurcher, COO at Authenticx, to get an inside view into what the COO position looks like for a high growth company.
On this episode of Aspiring Ops, Kip highlights his journey into the COO role, and how his range of experiences from Fortune 500 companies to startups shaped his approach to the position. Kip also shares how he balances the pressures of driving efficiency and scalability with a culture-driven approach. For those Aspiring Operations leaders, Kip closes out the episode with three unique pieces of advice he would share with anyone early in their career.
For strategy and operations leaders responsible for unlocking opportunities for growth and removing friction, it isn’t always easy finding the right balance internally. You need to ensure the company is executing on goals, which can create pressure internally. Sometimes this pressure of performance can be overwhelming, and compete with the culture you are trying to build.
However, for Kip and the Authenticx team, culture has been a main area of focus as they’ve continued to grow as a company.
“COOs are always under pressure to figure out how to avoid more spending, introducing automation, finding different efficiencies in the organization, and introducing new ways to find speed to value for our clients, as well as for our own teams,” Kip shares. “All of these thoughts are always fundamental to operations, and as a leader we have to figure out how we balance all of those pressures of what we are trying to find with maintaining a high level of employee engagement, and a culture that we’re proud of.”
The significance that Kip and Authenticx have placed on finding this balance is something many early stage companies can lose sight of as more layers get added to the business.
As Kip shares, his experiences at both later and earlier stage companies help him to evaluate different scenarios accordingly as the company evolves. It’s important for a COO not to lose sight of the foundation your company's growth is built upon, and to regularly revisit the balance between efficiency and employee alignment.
To hear more about how Authenticx is humanizing conversational intelligence in healthcare, check them out here!
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