The COO, Agile and Operational Resilience

Questions arising for the COO in relation to agile and operational resilience working in harmony:

  • How should the COO navigate this delicate balancing act between both operational, even organisational resilience, and business agility?
  • What are the real challenges and issues in trying to balance resilience on the one hand and agility on the other? How conflicting are they?  
  • What systems, processes, even people, can a COO put in place to systematise and account for both agility and resilience at the same time?
  • What actionable and practical advice for COOs would you give so they can try to achieve this balance?
  • What do COOs have to bear in mind in terms of security, access and privacy, i.e. do COOs need to provide robust and resilient services that are secure, yet allow for flexible access and agile services? Please expand. 
  • How can COOs use data to deliver both resilience and agility? How important is visibility on how a business operates, i.e. dashboards, drill down on operational data etc?
  • If COOs get the balance between resilience and agility right, what will it allow them to achieve, where are the opportunities? 

It is a misconception that operational resilience and agility are opposing forces, battling for supremacy, driving in opposite directions, when they are complementary. For any company to progress, embedding resilience and embracing agility is fundamental to delivering enhanced business performance, whilst minimising risk in this pursuit. 

The COO sits at the centre of each company and therefore is well positioned to oversee the adoption of resilience and agile policies and their governance: this statement is somewhat of a simplification as every COO mandate is different, in ownership and influence. To this end, it is their influence on the CEO that is key to success, where leadership, culture, education, governance, and technology are the component parts that enable the marriage of operational resilience to agility to work in harmony.

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