Operations is all about reducing variance – in processes, quality, production schedule, inventory levels – to the point that the whole set of daily activities works according to a predefined plan. Operations works overtime to reduce disruptions in regular work.
Marketing is all about profiting from Variance – in customer needs, behavior, market dynamics – to the point that the whole product portfolio of the company is Market segments based. Marketing works overtime to recognize and profit from disruptions.
I guess I didn’t think it through when I went for a Marketing and Operations specialization in my M.B.A :)