8 Trends to Watch in 2023 - Harvard Business School

No. 7 Operational Strategy - Harvard Business School

Operational strategy will be a c-suite imperative
Going back to blocking and tackling this year is on the minds of many chief operating officers and other C-suite leaders as they navigate possible recessionary times. Operational strategy should be front and center of this year’s approach, and smart leaders will be focusing on people, process, and technology as their objectives.
People. Leaders must lean into human capital and invest in people in ways they haven’t done before. In recessions, companies usually shed fringe; If a recession comes, this time leaders need to invest in their remaining people in order to retain them. This includes making hybrid work a priority for employees who want it.
Process. The reality we have learned over the past two years is that, similar to supply chains, process has to be reliable and responsive. The world is so interconnected, and leaders will be challenged to be loose in the way that they implement processes.
"Whatever the long-term vision is strategically, leaders need to operationalize it to drive revenue."
Technology. Leaders must understand the speed at which technology is implemented but also the technological lifecycle, customer experience, and employee experience. Executives tend to get excited by shiny objects, but if their employees don’t understand the technology, customers will ultimately have negative experiences that could impact the revenue stream.
Leaders tend to silo operations and strategy, but in 2023 and beyond, they’re not mutually exclusive. Whatever the long-term vision is strategically, leaders need to operationalize it to drive revenue.