Interim Executive Advice: Create an Operating System for Your Company

An operating system brings organization to the disorder in a company. By creating one, an interim executive can help a company achieve their objectives through tracking progress and milestones.

In the hurry to get things going, start-ups often get disorganized. They are a chaos of people and tasks with no center to bring it all together. If that’s the situation your company is in right now, you need an operating system.

Interim executive advice: Booting your operating system

Sticking to the computer analogy, think of your operating system as the point where the hardware meets the software. The hardware is the people while the software is the business itself. Some companies call this “operating rhythm”.

Operating systems are a predictable system of meetings, communication items, decisions, and leadership. Through this system, employees of the business can know what to expect, what format to follow and when to do it. It creates order and sets a rhythm in the workplace.

Interim executive advice: Have annual meetings

Have an annual meeting that involves everyone in your organization to start the year. Set up a virtual meeting if some employees are out of town or you employ outsourced talent. Include everyone.

In the meeting translate the company’s vision into work steps. Talk about how to monitor and communicate progress against the plan. Envision what the company should be doing and look like in a year and then measure yourself against it as the time comes.

Interim executive advice: Theme your operating system

Start the year with a rallying cry or theme. Center it around some of the big things your company wants to achieve over the course of a year.

Break down your theme into a series of initiatives that translate to work steps for people in your organization. For each initiative, define milestones and specific metrics, and measure them in a report card that everyone in the company can read to understand where the company stands against its goals for the year.

Interim executive advice: Communicate the operating system

Communication over the course of the year always comes back to the same topic: objectives and milestones. Talking about frequently helps track the progress of the company, and helps people understand how to best spend their time and the company’s money towards reaching that goal.

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