February 16, 2014
The overall functioning of organizational effectiveness, operational efficiency, and business performance greatly depends on strategic leadership and engaged business partners. That is, internal leaders and external strategic business partners play a critical role in the design, development, and execution of operation strategy and practices to achieve operational objectives.
In order for operation strategy to be executed successfully, internal leadership must nurture, guide and inspire employees to focus on continuous improvement in their own respective departments and areas. The whole organization must understand the inter-dependencies of their work and priorities in relation to operation management objectives. In other words, all functions of the organization must be coordinated and work seamlessly to achieve a high level of performance in quality, speed, dependability, flexibility, and cost reduction. A culture of knowledge-sharing and learning across the organization will ensure operation objectives are consistently achieved and sustained. This kind of organizational behavior fosters a culture of innovation.
However, business leaders investing and just focusing on the internal operations alone may not improve operational and financial performance. In reality, the challenge of leading business operations is plagued with
• organizational behavior misalignment,
• poor communication of operation strategy,
• assigning operation strategy development to someone else (other than to another senior staff),
• and most critically, lack of external business partner engagement and alignment.
Business leaders must source, engage, and continuously evaluate external business partners to improve operational efficiency, organizational learning and innovation to grow and sustain business performance. In order to drive Apple’s growth strategy, Steve Jobs deliberately optimized entrepreneurial-operation strategy and external partners’ expertise.
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