Updated: May 11
As a COO, you may not necessarily have time to establish connections and relationships with other COOs, but it is one of the most important things that you could ever do for your career. COOs need to continually think about establishing connections with other COOs, which is not only critical for growing an organization’s customer base, but it is also vital for COOs to have an avenue where they can easily relate with other COOs and talk shop.
Connecting with other COOs can help an inexperienced COO brainstorm new ideas, work through operational complexities, carry out market research and so much more. But first, what’s the difference between connecting and networking?
It is essential to establish that although connecting and networking may sound similar, the two concepts couldn’t be more different. Networking involves interacting with other business people to exchange information and developing contacts, especially with the plan to further one’s career. Networking is an activity that can either breed success or failure.
Connections, alternatively, are based on relationships in which an idea, thing, or individual is associated or linked to something else. A connection is something that develops successfully after networking. As such, the role of every networking event should be to build relationships.
We get, the role of a COO is a tough one. So if you are one of those COOs that ‘never has time to go to connect’, here are some great reasons why you need to connect with other COOs:
Connecting with other COOs can create avenues for new business
If you are a COO that’s charged with the responsibility of scaling your organization or if you are a COO that simply wants to improve the bottom line, then establishing connections with other COOs can help you get where you need to be. In any business, creating connections and relationships while expanding outreach can have a significant impact on your businesses’ bottom line.
Furthermore, new connections can grow to become strategic partners, investors, and even acquisition or merger candidates. Indeed, a huge number of capital infusion and mergers candidates are derived from connections as well as referrals. Having a vast network of connections can help improve COOs’ options or access.
Connecting with COOs is important for finding new ideas
Sometimes what a COO needs are inspiration and ideas. In such instances, the need to connect with other COOs should be strategic, but with a social element. Most COOs, even from different industries, face a similar set of problems- inventory that won’t go, high employee turnover, low morale, lack of capital, and more. Connecting with other COOs allows one to find how they are dealing with similar problems at work. When COOs share their issues, it’s a lot easier to find solutions.
Along with boosted visibility, establishing connections can bring opportunities to develop relationships with like-minded COOs thus building a sense of camaraderie that can sustain a COO through the darkest and stormiest nights. If you are a COO that’s ever found him or herself in need of a resource or just a fresh take on things, connecting can help you find the answers that you need.
Connecting with COOs is important for learning to occur
Connecting with other COOs is an excellent way of identifying business bets practices or industry benchmarks, especially in the case of an inexperienced COO. Learning from other more experienced COO is a valuable strategy for all executives, not just COOs. Connecting with other COOs is also vital for staying on the cutting edge of technology, as well as new business trends. These types of connections tend to yield ‘inside’ information that can give one COO a competitive advantage over competitors.
So what’s the best way to create connections with other COOs?
Consider making one on one connections
You’ve probably heard before that all the best business ideas are discussed over a million cups of coffee. Having a series of conversations with other COOs can help other COOs grow their business and expand their skillset. Establishing these connections can begin from anywhere whether from an introduction at a conventional networking event or a referral from another COO or friend.
The more individual the conversations are, the more opportunities plus conversations, and thus more business they present. While talking about one’s business, creating solid connections is all about listening. Listening is what creates understanding and when a level of understanding is established, that’s typically when the mutual benefits begin to appear.
Group opportunities are great too
In addition to creating one on one links at a personal level, COOs should also seek out opportunities to engage with groups of like-minded COOs. Being a member of industry associations or business memberships can have considerable advantages such as having special access to industry data or reports, introductions to potential business partners or suppliers.
In general, joining groups or associations can add credibility or legitimacy to not just your business but among other industry COOs or CEOs. Associating oneself with other COOs in the same industry or geography can be just what is needed to open doors and expose one to new opportunities.
In the business world, it’s about who you know, not what you know. That’s why creating connections with other COOs is so important. For a COO to thrive, he or she needs to have enough reliable connections. Whenever one COO needs something, he or she can easily reach out to these connections to receive the required assistance.
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