Influential and instrumental, operating models are a vital link connecting business vision to an organisation’s design and ultimately to a company’s success or failure. In a truly remarkable way, operating model design acts as connective tissue between theory and reality. Yet effective operating model design tends to remain one of the least understood organisational topics and continues to evade armies of sophisticated professionals. In the first of our three-part series on high-impact operating model design, we look at the (often overlooked) role of operating models in achieving business transformation, particularly their role in enabling and supporting desired behaviors.
What drives business transformation?
Often it’s the need to compete, to grow, to adapt to changes in markets, technology, customers, the workforce, and society in general. Like many of these forces, today’s business transformations should be revolutionary, rather than evolutionary (it’s not easy building the organisation of the future), compelling operating model design to become more holistic, nuanced, and sophisticated. The customer-centric organisation demands a structure that secures internal behaviors that drive customer value. Yet, the continued existence of failed business transformations has prompted us to consider a key question:
Why do employees fail to make the necessary behavior changes, rendering transformation efforts useless?
Stepping back to move forward
What if first, before designing an operating model, before implementing a technology, changing metrics and rewards, restructuring roles, or spending money on flashy campaigns, leaders reflected on how each individual or group should behave in order to make the target state operating model a success? Companies across industries are realizing and adopting this new way of designing operating models. This new way focuses on end behaviors that not only activate an operating model but also organically drive the desired value case, as opposed to the old way in which operating models were designed to support an established value case without consideration of the end behaviors. This design approach often left a void because the operating model did not consider behaviours, leaving nothing in place to drive the value case. A behaviour-driven operating model establishes a customer-centric organisation that organises around behaviours to drive profits.
Source: Deloitte Consulting LLP
We’ve just looked at the “what” of high-impact operating model design. In part two of this series, High-impact operating model design in action: Realising the ultimate influencer, we’ll take a closer look at “how” operating models influence behaviors.
Tiffany McDowell is an Organisation Transformation & Talent principal in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Human Capital Practice, where she focuses on helping companies improve performance by building organisation structures to execute new capabilities through their workforce.
Uzair Qadeer is an Organisation Transformation & Talent manager in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Human Capital Practice, where he specializes in organizational development with deep focus on supporting culture, change management, and talent strategies. Uzair has delivered transformative organisational strategies work both in the United States as well as internationally.
Julia Rudansky is an Organisation Transformation & Talent consultant in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Human Capital Practice and focuses on organisational strategies, talent, change management, and strategic communications.
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