Why are operations really all about people?
Operations really are all about people because it takes individuals, as well as teams, to carry out the plans of an organization. A company's set of policies & procedures, strategic plans, marketing initiatives, production plans, and more rely on the knowledge, skills, and competency of their employees. An enterprise can have the best laid out plans, the best written policies, and such, and they can fall flat on their face because their staff did not carry out these plans as management required.
People are the driving force behind successful companies. Well-trained, enthusiastic employees who buy into the objectives of the organization ensure that a company has the best chance to achieve their goals. The day-to-day operations of the enterprise will run smoother because employees have a vested interest in the outcome of their activities. There is no guarantee that the company will achieve all of their goals and be successful with every program they implement. However, they will have a better chance of succeeding because of the efforts of qualified, productive employees.
No business operation can function without people - even if they automate to some extent - they will still have employees responsible for overseeing this automation. They will also have management and supervisory personnel who will make business decisions based on the company's automated activities. A company can never really take the human element out of their corporate business model.
Business operations are really a vehicle for human ingenuity and creativity. The plans and activities of an organization are the road map for people to use their talents and skills to advance all the goals of a company. When senior management motivates employees and rewards quality work accordingly, they will plainly see that their operations are more finely tuned and contributing to the company's bottom line. Their business operations can only exist through people who carry out the company plan.