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Cultivate an Operations Mindset

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A member walks up to the front desk and says, “this doesn’t work,” holding up a seemingly out-of-commission power strip. The front desk host spends 15 minutes trying to find another power strip alongside the member, wandering around from room to room, lifting the lids on the carefully hidden storage containers beneath a long row of benches.

No luck.

The member leaves, content to find another solution, but the problem goes unsolved.

Moments later, the host plugs the power strip into the wall and mutters to herself, “I think this works…”

On the other side of the continent, one coworking staff member asks another, “So all the billing data was migrated into the new system?”

“Yes,” comes the reply.

Just to be sure, staff member #1 logs in and starts by checking out a random member profile. One after the other, each profile tells him he’s found a big problem and that he’d better get to work on it. It happens to be Friday and the next billing cycle, as well as the roll-out of an entirely new billing system, is on Monday.

These stories get at the core of what it means to be in operations: solving important problems in the most effective and efficient way possible and identifying single points of failure that could spell disaster.

In story one, had the host been properly trained in operations, she would have verified the existence or source of the problem before attempting to solve it.

In story two, staff member #1 prevented a potential billing disaster which could have easily resulted in very angry members and lost revenue.

The morals of the story: train your staff to have an operations mentality, always verify the source or mere existence of a given problem, and always verify the completion of high-impact projects.

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