How does one become dispensable? Is it unachievable?
I say it is. To an extent.
"But Matias, you just proclaimed how the COO's job is to become dispensable" — I hear you. It is because becoming dispensable, by itself, does not mean anything.
I'll use the OKR framework to illustrate.
Is becoming dispensable an inspiring, concrete, clearly defined goal? Yes.
Does it help measure and determine when the goal is complete? No.
That makes being dispensable an objective.
Which is not enough. And sadly, that is where planning usually ends. You must define key results to determine how and when you have achieved the objective.
These are just examples; the key results are likely entirely different for your situation.
So here's my thought:
By itself, becoming dispensable is an unachievable utopia.
You make it achievable by determining the results that make you dispensable.
It's the final job of any COO.