Operations Leadership with Gautam Basu podcast

The Operations Leadership with Gautam Basu podcast provides insights for today’s business leaders on creating value through operations improvement, process excellence, digital innovation, and leadership
Operations Leadership with Gautam Basu podcast. Photo: Aalto University / Roope Kiviranta
The Operations Leadership podcast is hosted by Professor of Practice Gautam Basu. Photo: Aalto University / Roope Kiviranta

Businesses operate under complex, dynamic, and uncertain environments. This requires operations leaders to make value and risk adjusted decisions in ever-changing operating conditions. The skill set for these leaders stretch beyond simple cost reduction and resource optimization.

Today’s operations leaders require a level of strategic foresight; an ability to design robust systems and processes to take into account customer, supply, environmental, and regulatory requirements; implement organizational change which fosters a culture of operational excellence, resilience, and embraces rather than inhibits innovation. This podcast will provide key insights into these topics and more from leading industry and academic thought leaders.

Welcome aboard Operations Leadership with Gautam Basu!

Operations Leadership in Spotify 

Operations Leadership in Apple Podcasts

A few text files of the episodes are available at the end of this page.

Spring 2024

NEW: Episode 20: Reverse Logistics Services for E-Commerce: A Start Up Story (20 May 2024)

This episode's guest is Joose Toiviainen,CEO of Daze. This startup specializes in providing reverse logistics and returns management services for e-commerce platforms. Joose details his startup journey & highlights the critical issues of reverse flows within the e-commerce logistics. 

Episode 19: Transformational vs Transactional Operations Leadership Styles (26 April 2024)

In this episode, Gautam dives into the distinctions between the two distinct forms of operations leadership - transformational and transactional, different contexts & situations when they can be employed, & real life case examples of each leadership style.

Episode 18: Why Operations Leaders Make Great CEOs? (26 February 2024)

In this episode, Gautam explores the trend of selecting outstanding individuals with operational backgrounds who manage to land the top leadership spot in business organizations and the rationale why operations leaders make great CEOs. 

Episode 17: Operations vs Strategic Leadership: Differences in the Scope of Key Leadership Decisions (15 January 2024)

In this episode, Gautam Basu delves into the various distinctions in scope for key decisions and risks that operations and strategic leaders are required to manage. While there are commonalities and alignment between the two leadership disciplines, there are some key differences. We do a deep into this topic on this podcast episode. 


Spring 2023

Episode 16: Analytics Applied to Industry: Approaches & Cases (12 May 2023)

In this episode, our guest is Ramesh Sharda (Vice Dean of Research at Oklahoma State University). Leveraging his long history in data science & analytics, Dr. Sharda provides us with rich insights into his integrative approach to analytics, industries that have been at the forefront in the adoption of analytics tools, and two interesting case examples in developing analytics capabilities: Walmart Logistics and OSU's Medical Innovation Center work in healthcare analytics. 

Episode 15: Bridging Strategy & Execution with Enterprise Performance Management (17 April 2023)

This episode's guest is David Derichs, who is a senior lecturer in the Department of Accounting at Aalto University School of Business. In this interview, David discusses the importance of enterprise performance management in bridging strategy & execution, key financial & non-financial measures, as well as lagging & leading indicators. 

Episode 14: Adventures in Analytics Models (29 March 2023)

Our guest for this episode is Pekka Malo, who is Associate Professor of Management Science at Aalto University's School of Business. During this interview, Pekka goes deep into quantitative analytical models, scalability of such models, and how to build analytics capabilities for business organizations.

Episode 13: Operational Creativity Capacity (14 March 2023)

This episode's guest is author and creativity expert Oana Velcu-Laitinen. In this interview, she provides case examples of operational leaders & companies that leverage creativity in uncertain times and proposes a unique metric called Operational Creativity Capacity for organizations looking to maximize their productivity through creativity.

Episode 12: Current State of Airport Logistics (22 February 2023)

Our guest for this episode is Markku Kuula, who is a Professor of Logistics and Head of the Department of Information and Service Mgmt. at Aalto University School o Business. In this interview, Dr. Kuula discusses some of the broad factors impacting airports, trends around the digitalization of air cargo operations, and an interesting student project focusing on material flows at the Helsinki airport.

Episode 11: Lessons of Sisu and Gentle Power (7 February 2023)

This episode's guest is Dr. Emilia Elisabet Lahti. She pioneered the research on the Finnish construct of Sisu, which denotes determination & fortitude in the face of adversity. In this interview, Elisabet provides valuable insights on how business leaders can leverage their own Sisu in times of disruption. She recently published a book, entitled "Gentle Power: A Revolution in How We Think, Lead, and Succeed Using the Finnish Art of Sisu".
You may also watch this episode: https://bit.ly/3lSZ44d

Episode 10: Insights into Corporate Governance (20 January 2023)

In this episode, we welcome Vikash Sinha (Assistant Professor of Management Accounting at the Aalto University School of Business). During the interview, we cover principles, practices, and structures of corporate governance (CG), why it is especially important in these times, and why it is relevant for operations leaders.


Episode 9: The Origins and Applications of Operations Research (15 December 2022)

In this episode, we welcome Juuso Liesiö (Associate Professor of Management Science at the Aalto University Business of School). Dr. Liesiö provides us with the origins, history, and applications of the field of Operations Research (OR).

Episode 8: Dynamics of the Maritime Shipping Industry (21 June 2022)

This episode's guest is Linda Johnstone Sorenson. Linda is an international operations leader based in Oslo, Norway. She has extensive experience in process improvement, human factors, QHSE operations in maritime shipping. During this conversation, she details the dynamics of the shipping industry and its impact on global trade, human factors related to the sector, industry initiatives to combat negative consequences to the marine environment, and the drivers of technology adoption in maritime shipping.

Episode 7: Evolution of Integrated Business Planning (17 May 2022)

In this episode, Tanguy Caillet (SVP of O9 Solutions) goes deep into the topic of sales and operations planning (S&OP) and integrated business planning (IBP). He gives us his experience on the processes, technologies, and how these solutions have evolved over the last two decades, which has further re-enforced belief that technology is a strong enabler in planning and decision making in global businesses.

Episode 6: Secure Logistics Service Operations (3 May 2022)

In this episode, Gautam Basu has a pleasure to have a discussion with Peeter Torim who is a seasoned operations leader and business executive from Tallinn, Estonia. They discuss several topics around secure logistics services, importance of physical cash, and his experience of transforming an organization from a local into a regional one.

Episode 5: Leading with Creativity (19 April 2022)

In this episode, Dr. Jari Vepsäläinen (post doctoral researcher at Aalto University) offers valuable insights on how individuals, teams, and leaders leverage creativity in coming up with novel and innovative solutions to complex engineering and operational challenges.

Episode 4: The Importance of Operations in Entrepreneurship through Acquisition (5 April 2022)

In this episode, Mikko Järvinen (Partner at True North Search) describes the Entrepreneurship through Acquisition (ETA) model and the importance of operations in value creation within ETA.

Episode 3: Humanitarian Supply Chains (22 March 2022)

In this episode, Dr. Gyöngi Kovacs (Professor of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Hanken School of Economics) discusses the similarities and differences between humanitarian and normal business supply chains, attributes of humanitarian logistics operations, best practices in the domain, and how this might be applicable in the current Ukraine conflict.

Episode 2: Embedding Sustainability in Supply Chains (8 March 2022)

In this episode, Dr. Katri Kauppi (Associate Professor at Aalto University School of Business) provides an overview of sustainability practices in supply chain management with practical examples of best practices and valuable insights on the topic. 

Episode 1: Introducing Operations Leadership (released on 2 March 2022)

In this episode, host Gautam Basu gives a quick overview of the podcast series and provides the rationale for the need for strong operations leadership in today’s complex and dynamic business environment.

Gautam Basu, Professor of Practice in Logistics, works at the Department of Information and Service Management of the School of Business. His interests and specialization lie within the following domains:

  • Supply Chain & Operations Management
  • Digital Operations and Advanced Analytics
  • Operational Value Creation in Private Equity


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