Professor’s book generates guidance for Operations Directors during Covid-19

Photo of Professor Chris Edger

Chris Edger, Professor of Multi-Unit Leadership at Birmingham City University, has published a vital new book to help senior field leaders in the hospitality industry adapt to a post-Covid landscape.

A new book for ambitious leaders 

Outstanding Operations Directors – 31 Case Studies Showcasing Excellence, available now via Amazon, has been written for ambitious hospitality Area Managers who wish to ascend to the level of Operations Director (OD) during these challenging times.

It has also been designed for incumbent ODs who want to outperform their competitors, as well as recruiters who wish to accelerate OD impact and performance.

The research for the book draws extensively from case studies from CEOs, MDs and ODs from Mitchells and Butlers, Marston’s, Greene King, the Stonegate Group, McDonald’s, Caffé Nero, TGIs, Premier Inn and many more.

This yielded a comprehensive insight into how operational leaders can achieve success during seismic disruption.  

A much-needed publication

Chris, who has taught over 800 hospitality field leaders on his courses and programmes at BCU, felt that there was a real demand for this publication.

“Most Area Managers on my programmes have posed the question – ‘what does it take to get to OD level?’” Chris said.

“I also felt that the time was right to investigate this hitherto under-researched pivotal role – particularly in light of the challenges posed by the current pandemic”.

“It is an enormously demanding role that can often encompass being responsible for anything from 100-300 units, up to eight area managers, and around 3,000 staff.

“A book was badly needed in the sector to define the nine core competencies and twenty-seven key practices of outstanding ODs, especially in this Covid-19 new normal.”

Outlining steps to success

Edger’s book discusses several technical, behavioural and cognitive skills that Operations Directors will need to burnish and improve in order to be successful in a post-COVID world.

Alongside a need to be more adept at digital and sales marketing skills, big data analysis, and artificial intelligence, ODs will also need to ramp up their empathetic skills in order to cope with other challenges amplified by the crisis.

“Employee wellbeing concerns, for example, have always loomed large for ODs, but have been accentuated by Covid-19,” Chris says.

“More time and patience will need to be spent on pastoral care and the sensitive handling of stress management issues, if ODs are to optimise human capital in what is a notoriously demanding industry.”

Well received findings

Chris’s new book has been well received, with bulk orders flowing in from a number of leading hospitality organisations and impressive rankings on the Amazon book sales charts.

“It has been received enthusiastically by the hospitality industry,” Chris says. “Clearly there was a demand for this kind of research enquiry into a role that had never been empirically investigated and defined - until now!”

Chris Edger is the author of thirteen books on field leadership, service branding, events, franchising and advanced business coaching. His latest book is available now