Until recently chief operating officers (COOs) have focused primarily on fine-tuning the value chain for speed to market, efficiency and profitability. But the world has changed — at first gradually and now suddenly. Over the last several years, empowered consumers, employees and investors, climate change, geopolitics and technology innovations have disrupted organizations, pushing them to change how they operate. Over the last 18 months, the COVID-19 pandemic turned that slow push into a giant, forceful shove. And COOs have had to figure out on the fly how to operate in this changed environment.
Organizations may still be making the same products and services, but everything about how these products and services are designed, manufactured and delivered to customers is different. This shift is forcing COOs to reimagine their supply chains for agility and sustainability as much as optimization. Across the enterprise, technology innovations are helping COOs transform how the business operates to meet multiple, simultaneous demands from a range of stakeholders — and increasing the chances of cyber infection. Reskilling and upskilling the workforce can help accelerate digital transformations and address cyber risks. And all this in the global context of economic and techno-nationalism.
To navigate this increasingly complex and volatile world, COOs need to reframe their future for operational resilience and sustainability.
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