Benefits of a COO: Chief Organizing Officer
iM Image Marketing, we take advantage of each other’s strengths to market our business clients. About a year ago, I started at iM, and I immediately got to work on the things I like to do the most: writing and organizing. It was easy to fit into the flow at iM and to really make my mark. Now, we affectionately joke that I am the COO, the Chief Organizing Officer.
What does it mean to be the COO? Well, I help make sure that we are staying on track and getting things done. It’s not always spying over shoulders and saying “did you do this yet?” or keeping a list of tasks. A COO takes care of the company as a whole.
How iM Uses a Chief Organizing Officer
We use my organizing skills in a ton of ways, and we’re always looking to improve our systems. Having a COO does just that; it allows you to take a look at your current systems to make them more efficient. For example, when I first started at iM Image Marketing our system to design and build websites was to just build them and maybe use a checklist to make sure we included everything we needed to. Now, we have a specific process to go through, complete with detailed checklists to indicate the completion percentage. As we’ve started to collect the dates we accomplish these tasks, we’ve been able to better estimate the amount of time it will take for us to complete a website development project.
Having one person in charge of organizing tasks also makes it a lot harder for tasks to slip through the cracks. We know our clients get hundreds, if not thousands, of emails per week, and so do we. It’s easy for client requests to get lost in the shuffle, but having one person in charge of gathering tasks makes our work lives a whole lot easier. At iM, we’ve started to make use of task-sharing by enacting the “Five Things” rule. Using Trello, a web-based, task management application, we start out each day with a list of five tasks: two we’re working on, two we’re working on next, and one task that we’re passing to another team member who is better suited for the task. While we may get phone calls with pressing matters, it’s easier to get back on track with our organized and efficient lists.
Finally, a COO always has the information you’re looking for within arms’ reach. Creative personalities tend to be extremely intelligent, but also tend to have messy desks. The right person to be your office’s COO will take lots of notes, have an organized system, and will be able to tell you exactly what time you made that appointment for after you hang up on the phone. They may have their quirks like only writing with purple pen, but they are always listening and absorbing information to sort into different avenues. It’s just part of the way we work!
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