Operations management is an ever-changing and satisfying career for many, but it requires a broad skill set and is not cut for everyone. With as many problems as we are faced with in our work, it seems as if there is never enough time to solve each one without dealing with some adversity along the way. Problem-solving is the essence of what a real professional exists to do. The motive is to minimize problems from recurring – which means we must be courageous enough to tackle them head-on before circumstances force them on us. We must be resilient in our attempt to create and sustain momentum for the organization and people we serve. Here’s an overview of the most problem-solving skills every successful operations manager must have.
Transparency in communication
Transparent communication enables a boundary-less organization for the culture is focused on the betterment of a stronger whole. It welcomes efficient cross-functional collaboration and problem-solving attitude in the entire team. As an operations manager, one must embrace an entrepreneurial spirit where employees can freely navigate and collaborate to connect the dots. In the absence of this, problem-solving is more difficult because you will deal with individual contributors rather than team players, fostered by a cross-functional environment. This is when problem-solving becomes a discouraging task. As a responsible professional, one needs to engage employees to solve problems together. The aim should be to find resolutions and make the organization stronger.
Strong initiative and leadership
In addition to being a good communicator, an operations manager must be a self-starter. Proposing changes to how an organization works, no matter how small or big, requires a lot of initiative, and one has to be able to justify the recommendations. Like any manager, those in operations must be able to lead and motivate employees. They should also be comfortable dealing with employee issues, working in team environments, and delegating work to others.
Problem-solving skills also means being able to analyse timely. The primary role of an operations manager is to direct and improve workflow for services and employees, to ensure the organization runs as efficiently as possible. An ideal candidate is someone who can look at existing processes, examine them, and come up with necessary solutions. Operations management involves a lot of creativity. One needs to be creative and innovative enough to come up with ideas that ensure seamless execution of processes, leading to results.
A solid strategy must be implemented in order to solve any problem. Many professionals attempt to dissect a problem rather than identify the strategy for change that lies within the problem itself. The ones who are comfortable with problem-solving always know the right people, resources and apply knowledge from past experiences. One should connect the dots and map out a realistic plan of action in advance. They anticipate the unexpected and utilize the strengths of their people to ensure that the strategy leads to a sustainable solution.
You can identify an expert operations manager in your organization when problem-solving becomes a seamless process. This core skill enables the organization and its people to grow and work better. Problem-solving is the greatest propeller towards growth and opportunity. Be the professional who shows maturity, acts courageously, and focusses on accountability. Applying each of these lessons can help you become a master problem-solver.