A cONference for operations professionals.
On the 2nd of December, 2021, we held the first ever global cONference for startup and scaleup operations professionals. A massive thank you to everyone who attended it! 🙌
We had a great turnout of operations professionals from across 11 countries, including the UK, US, Germany, Nigeria and Kenya.
We've captured a few of the highlights below, but first off, we'd like to give a MASSIVE thank you to our incredible speakers and sponsors, without whom this conference would not have been possible. 👏
cONference attendees had an opportunity to:
👀 DISCOVER what operations is all about from seasoned operations professionals.
🌱 GROW by learning what it takes to bring you to the next level in your career path.
🤝 CONNECT with like-minded people by networking in our breakout rooms.
🎉 CELEBRATE everything that makes an operations career such a fascinating choice!
Scroll down to see what happened on the day!
The Discover Panel
The Discover panel, moderated by Ben Gateley, CEO and former COO of CharlieHR, and a host of The Culture Ops Podcast, focused on four unique specialities within operations: People Ops, Product Ops, Revenue Ops, and Chief of Staff. The panelists defined each of these verticals and discussed what success looks like within each area.
Our panelists were:
- Scott Amenta, Founder of the Chief of Staff Network and Sylva
- Maria Gyemant, Curator of @PeopleOps and People & Talent Consultant at The People Collective
- Sean Lane, Host of Operations podcast and Senior Director, Field Operations at Drift
- Gerisha Nadaraju, Founder & Host of the Product Ops Podcast and Head of Biz Ops at Dojo
Virtual Exhibition Hall
As ops professionals ourselves, we are huge fans of identifying the best software and services that make our jobs more efficient, so at the cONference we had a Virtual Expo featuring:
The Grow Panel
The Grow panel, moderated by Charlene Chen, Co-Founder of Operations Nation, featured operations leaders at different phases of their ops careers speaking about the various decisions and challenges they have faced in their journeys and providing advice on how to approach these opportunities.
Our panelists were:
- Brooks Busch, CEO & Co-Founder of Elate, and Host of Aspiring Ops podcast
- Marta Kutt, Principal Business Operations at Qatalog
- Mike Strange, Director of Operations at Just Eat for Business
- Kelsey Traher, COO at Marvel App, Co-Founder of COO Stories
The Fireside Chat
We were thrilled to wrap up the day with a Fireside Chat featuring Allison Pickens, Investor and Former COO of Gainsight, and Hari Raghavan, CEO of AbstractOps and former fintech COO.
Allison and Hari shared incredible insights on how operations has evolved over the years and how we as operations professionals need to have a wide range of skills, not only at a micro level but at a systems level.
We opened up the day with 5-minute Speed Networking , and are pleased that there were over 80 networking sessions across all attendees. We sincerely hope that you will stay connected and continue building bridges across our extended network of operations professionals.
After the Discover panel, we broke out into Roundtable Discussions:
- Chief of Staff with Scott Amenta, Founder of the Chief of Staff Network and Sylva.
- People Ops with Maria Gyemant, Curator of @PeopleOps and People & Talent Consultant at The People Collective.
- Revenue Ops with Sean Lane, Host of Operations podcast and Senior Director, Field Operations at Drift.
- Product Ops with Gerisha Nadaraju, Founder & Host of the Product Ops Podcast and Head of Biz Ops at Dojo.
This was an opportunity for attendees to meet other professionals working within the same ops speciality and to ask our Discover panelists additional questions.
One of the many things we're passionate about is celebrating the people, systems, and tools that sometimes receive less recognition and airtime than functions supposedly sexier than operations. So, we decided to host our first annual Operations Nation Awards. These were this year's winners:
Best Ops Books
Measure what Matters by John Doerr and The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Sean Covey and Chris McChesney
Best Ops Podcasts
Best Ops Tool
Biggest Ops Inspiration
Operations communities, including mentor & mentee relationships
Best Label for Ops People
Octoptimist 🐙 (submitted by Isabel Taylor, COO of Fineazy)
Speakers & Panelists
Allison Pickens is one of the world’s top experts on how to grow recurring revenue. She is a thought leader on go-to-market strategy for SaaS companies, having coached thousands of CEOs and executives at both Fortune 500 companies and born-in-the-cloud SaaS ventures. She has experience as an independent board director, COO, P&L owner, and investor.
As the former COO at Gainsight, a $1B unicorn and top customer success software company, Allison scaled the company from infancy to a multi-product platform, creating the category of customer success software. Along the way, Allison and her team developed industry-recognized best practices on how the shift to subscription business models has precipitated a new focus on customer centricity and necessitated significant changes in go-to-market strategy and company organization.
Allison was named one of the Top Women in SaaS and Top 50 People in Sales and Business Development. She is part of the Fortune Most Powerful Women community, which recognized the ideas she has shared in hundreds of conferences, blog posts, and podcasts, including The Customer Success Podcast that she hosted. She co-authored a book called The Customer Success Economy, published by Wiley in April 2020.
Ben is the co-founder & CEO of CharlieHR: an easy, inclusive HR Software used by thousands of small businesses worldwide to organise and improve their teams and management. CharlieHR advocates the use of workplace culture to help businesses attract great talent, retain it and maximise the potential of their teams.
Ben has been working with his business partner Rob since they were sixteen and started CharlieHR after having launched and operated Born Social (a social media marketing agency) for five years. Ben is the host of The Culture Ops Podcast - a weekly podcast lifting the lid on the challenging situations that affect workplace culture every day. Ben is a keen ultra runner as part of Team Cactus and helps to run TACKERS an international ski camp for children who’ve had organ transplants. You can follow Ben on twitter - @BG.
Brooks Busch is the co-founder and CEO at Elate, the leading Strategic Planning software built for high growth companies. With a focus on go-to-market strategy, operational alignment, and the customer experience, Brooks has served in executive roles at various stages of high growth companies.
Before launching Elate, Brooks was VP of Operations at Springbuk, helping to scale the company from $100K to $10M in ARR. Prior to Springbuk, he led Channel Partnerships for Gigya across North America. Brooks began his career in operations and go-to-market strategy with ExactTarget, which was acquired by Salesforce.
Sean Lane is the Senior Director of Field Operations at Drift, the world’s leading revenue acceleration platform. He currently oversees Sales and Customer Operations, and has spent time working across all of the company’s Go-to-Market Operations during his tenure at the company. Prior to Drift, Sean spent over five years leading Revenue Operations, Sales Development, and Customer Success teams at Upserve, a restaurant technology company.
Sean is also the host of "Operations", a podcast that goes under the hood of companies in hypergrowth with some of the leading operators from companies like Salesforce, Amazon, Okta, and more.
Also Co-Founder of Ops Stories, Operations Consultant at Kibun Consulting
Also Co-Founder of Ops Stories, Head of Operations at Sphere
"We wanted to create an accessible space where any operations professional can easily find the right resources and content to thrive in their careers." — Astrid, Aušrinė and Charlene
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