Operational Experience: The Day-to-Day Running of a Business and P&L Accountability

  • Ines Wichert


Operational experience is a key stepping stone on the way to the top position in any organization. It provides a woman with a vital understanding of the day-to-day running of a business. In these roles, women are responsible for operating and improving the systems that produce and deliver an organization’s products or services. Manufacturing, purchasing, supply chain management, distribution and call centre operations are all examples of operational roles (also often referred to as line roles or front-line roles), and there are many more. Which roles are classed as operational depends on the products a company is producing, or the services it is offering. However, operational roles are always at the core of what a company delivers, as opposed to functional roles which provide support services such as human resources (HR), legal and finance. While no modern organization could function without these support functions, they are not deemed to be central to a company’s day-to-day operation. Without operational experience, aspiring to the CEO role is unlikely to be a realistic target unless you are progressing in finance, one of the few exceptions, as chief finance officers (CFOs) are deemed to be credible contenders for CEO roles while no other functional heads are.


Emotional Intelligence Operational Experience Operational Role Middle Manager Maternity Leave 
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© Ines Wichert 2011

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  • Ines Wichert

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