A program I recently helped deliver with my Allies in Fish Camp brought back memories of life in a setup akin to an Op Centre. If there is an antithesis to the seemingly ubiquitous “silo” mentality in organizations, the Op Centre must surely be it! I’m talking about Op Centres that actually work, of course, meaning they take more than a leaf out of the book of an organic nerve centre.
It is a basic assumption that anyone working in an Op Centre would already be highly competent in his own area of work. If not, they had better get competent. That’s not all. That high level of competence must necessarily translate into helping others working in the Op Centre understand enough of his area of work to be able to discern where the areas of synergy lie, and what problems could conceivably arise when different Departments, Business Units or similar entities work together. Many people you see in a typical Op Centre are not permanent residents, but transients. They represent their respective Departments, Business Units or suchlike and are in the Op Centre to ensure that the organization as a whole is up-to-date with all the different updates and that the organization is still on track. This is essential if the decision-makers are to function as they ought, which is making the right decisions at the right times and giving directions which the Op Centre staff translate into plans and actions.
Obviously, Op Centre-type outfits function very much like a nervous system, like being a very organic nerve centre. I have heard too many complain that they feel unwelcome and unappreciated. Well, that is what happens when you are known only when the organization becomes conscious of pain. Perhaps people working in Op Centres might also like to consider the other function of nerves – to provide pleasure. Maybe then the job wouldn’t be so onerous.