Want to be a Great COO? Help Your CEO Identify Areas of the Business that will Benefit the Most from being Systematized!
The primary responsibility of the Chief Operating Officer (or COO), in any business, is to turn the Chief Executive Officer’s (or CEO’s) company vision into a reality.
Every company has repetitive tasks that need to be completed on a recurring basis, and unless these procedures are documented and systematized, bottlenecks will inevitably crop up. As result, the overall productivity and efficiency of your company will suffer.
Even so, your CEO may not necessarily see the need to systematize your business. They may not see the value in documented procedures. If so, what do you do?
Follow along with this step-by-step guide on how to help your CEO identify areas in your business that would benefit the most from being systematized, and help them to understand how systems will make their vision a reality.
1. Help Them Identify Tasks in the Business That Should Be Eliminated
In all likelihood, there are tasks in your business that can be completely eliminated. These are non-productive, non-revenue-generating tasks that are nothing more than busywork in the grand scheme of things.
These tasks are taking away from the overall production of your organization. They are making it difficult for your team members to focus on what they need to be doing, and are making it unclear as to what they should actually be putting their time and effort towards.
For example, you may have time allocated to marketing your business on Pinterest. However, your stats may show that Pinterest isn’t actually directing much or any traffic to your website, thus making it a low-return, low-value activity.
Every task needs to be evaluated, but you should consider eliminating any activity that doesn’t correspond to the function of your business.
2. Help Them Identify Tasks That They Are Currently Doing But Don’t Enjoy
More than likely, your CEO is currently handling tasks that they don’t particularly enjoy. This is taking away from their time and energy that could be better allocated.
The fact of the matter is that someone else could be handling these types of tasks. Delegating lower value tasks can free up more of the CEO’s time so that they can engage in work that they enjoy and are good at.
Moreover, there may be a team member that would actually enjoy taking on these tasks. Your team members are all different individually, and some of them might have strengths or passions in areas that your CEO does not. Take advantage of these strengths.
Author and former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers Michael Hyatt notes that the tasks that you dread are the first ones you should be delegating. They are holding you and your organization back.
He relates the story of helping his daughter, Mary Crimmins, identify what tasks she should delegate to her virtual assistant first. His answer? Anything I don’t enjoy and am not good at.
Entrepreneurs – especially those in creative fields – often feel like they need to be suffering for their work to be meaningful. This is a misnomer. They should be delegating what they don’t enjoy.
3. Help Them Identify Tasks That They Are Currently Doing But Aren’t Good At
Is your CEO working on tasks that they aren’t particularly good at? Unless your business is systematized, chances are good that they are wasting time on things they don’t do well. It’s better for your CEO to be working in their strengths rather than their weaknesses.
You should be able to find a team member that is good at tasks that the CEO isn’t. People like to work in their strengths where possible, and if you can find an employee that is more competent at specific tasks, you can give them these duties. The employee in question and the CEO will both be much happier as result.
Ultimately, someone else can be handling the things that the CEO isn’t good at, and be doing them more efficiently. If there are tasks that need to get done that the CEO isn’t good at, it would be best to look at delegation as a possible solution.
James A. Baker, founder and CEO of Baker Communications suggests that good leadership always delegates. It’s not a sign of weakness, and managers that fail to delegate tend not to stay in management for long.
4. Help Them Identify Repetitive Tasks That Are Revenue-Generating
Prioritizing revenue-generating activities will help to increase a company’s bottom line. Every business desires to be more profitable, and identifying moneymaking tasks could lead to greater profits.
Urgent tasks often get in the way of moneymaking activities. However, urgent tasks aren’t typically where the money is made, and they end up being low-value, low-return efforts in the grand scheme of things.
If you want to boost your company’s profits and help your CEO do more meaningful work, you’ll want to list and prioritize the high-level profit generating tasks and put more effort into each of them.
Mike Michalowicz addresses a common issue in business; many entrepreneurs tend to get weighted down with huge to-do lists, and yet very few of those activities actually bring in revenue. Much of their time ends up being swallowed up by busywork instead of work that brings results.
However, money is the lifeblood of your business. You must prioritize revenue-generating tasks as well as tasks that serve your customers if you want you company to thrive.
5. Help Them Identify Bottlenecks in the Business
Certain tasks and processes can become bottlenecks in your business, and the CEO is no exception. If you want to eliminate these bottlenecks, you will need to start documenting procedures.
The first thing to do is to find the biggest bottleneck in your business. The most time-consuming and repetitive task would likely fall under this category.
This procedure needs to be documented, and once documented, then delegated. Incidentally, this process can be repeated on any other bottlenecks you identify as being significant.
By identifying and addressing bottlenecks in your business, you can make it run more efficiently, and that is the goal of systematizing.
For example, if you had a bottled water operation, realize that the entire process can only go as fast as the bottleneck allows. If the bottling, capping, labeling and boxing of your water could be done at 40 bottles per minute, but your labeling machine can only handle 12 bottles per minute, your production is only as fast as its bottleneck; in this case, the labeling machine. The speed of your operation would continue to be 12 bottles per minute unless you found a solution for your labeler.
How To Quickly Get Started On Documenting Procedures
Now that you’ve helped your CEO identify areas of your business that can be systematized, it’s time to start documenting procedures.
At this point, you can focus on creating Minimum Viable Procedures. You may not be able to systematize your entire business overnight; but you can start now by putting together basic frameworks for repetitive tasks.
Also refer to How To Quickly Systematize Your Business by creating a Minimum Viable Procedure for each repetitive Task that You do to learn how to put together Minimum Viable Procedures.
Systems allow your business to run more smoothly. Though systematizing your business will take time and effort, the long-term benefits will far outweigh any short-term challenges.
When your CEO begins to see that you can help them make their vision a reality sooner rather than later, they will be far more receptive to the changes you propose. After all, you are trying to help them, and make the business be more profitable.
Streamlining your business procedures can make your company more productive. Your employees will be better equipped to do the work they were assigned to do, and they will also be far more efficient when they have processes to follow.