EY Faculty Connection - Issue 38

DNA of the COO

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In the The DNA of the COO, we uncover a compelling story of a wide-ranging role that still needs to fight to justify its existence, despite having a clear rationale. To offer much-needed insight into what it is to be a COO today, we analyzed the results of two surveys incorporating feedback from over 500 COOs and other C-suite executives.

The results make it clear that COOs have far-reaching potential to shape future success for organizations. Click to learn more and download the report.

The DNA of the COO: time to claim the spotlight

College students eyeing the C-suite from campus must of course consider what skills they need to develop and what career experiences they need to pursue to get there. In our recent study The DNA of the COO, we reveal that successful COOs must possess, among other skills, a mastery of change to help translate strategic vision into action.

Key takeaway
The role of COO often defies a “one size fits all” description

The role of the Chief Operating Officer (COO) often defies a “one size fits all” description. But why is so little known about the role of the COO, despite its long history? To offer much-needed insight into what it is to be a COO today, in this report we explore the role of a COO:

  • As one of the C-suite’s toughest roles
  • Thriving on the adrenaline of complexity and change
  • As a stepping stone to the top job
  • As a role not yet strategic enough
  • In rapid-growth markets

The DNA of the COO is based on our analysis of two surveys. It comprises a shorter February 2012 pilot study of 200 COOs; and a comprehensive April 2012 survey of another 306 COOs and senior operations professionals across Africa, America, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. In the second survey, a further 43 respondents from across the C-suite were also polled to give their perspective on how the COO is perceived by the rest of the management team. Click here to download the report.

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