Leveraging the sweet spot between Agility and Data

In our previous article Leveraging Data-driven Agility in an Agile World, we explored the notion of data-driven decision making in agile delivery environments, which is vitally important in delivering incremental value. The Oxford Dictionary defines symbiosis as “a...

How to make change management happen in the most effective way

Many things can put your business at risk, including changes to your organisation, people or technology. The current pandemic has put many businesses under unprecedented pressure, and some even teetering on the brink of survival. Crises like this quickly turn change...

Future-ready part 2: Diversity – an essential ingredient for a future-ready organisation

In his seminal 1937 essay, “The nature of the firm,” the economist and eventual Nobel laureate Ronald Coase argued that corporations exist to avoid the transaction costs of the free market. Yet with transaction costs plummeting (spurred by rising connectivity)...

Future-ready part 1: What does a future-ready business look like in the new normal?

The pressure to change had been building for years. Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, senior executives routinely worried that their organisations were too slow, too siloed, too bogged down in complicated matrix structures, too bureaucratic. What many leaders feared,...

Organisation Design: Restructuring or Reshuffling to enable Strategy

Customer expectations are not just changing; they are exceeding the ability of a business to deliver on time. They are looking for alternatives, with more emphasis on experience and convenience. To keep up, companies are evolving their offering to meet the...

Culture PART 2: The role of leaders in a culture shift

In the previous article in this series we examined the effect of COVID-19 on an organisation’s culture. Now, we turn the focus onto the role of leadership and technology in leveraging culture. When an organisation decides to change its culture – be it planned or...

Culture PART 1: Did COVID-19 signal the end for hierarchical organisations?

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, human capital is defined as: “the knowledge, skills, competencies and other attributes embodied in individuals or groups of individuals acquired during their life and used to produce goods,...

Meet MAC’s Executives: Karina Jardim, Senior Executive

“Exceptionally talented consultant” “An absolute pleasure to work with” “Driven by a desire to see people grow” If you know Karina Jardim, you know that these phrases used to describe Karina ring undoubtedly true. She is a name that is valued to every MACer, whether...

Thriving in the Age of Digital Adoption: Embracing the Workforce Ecosystem (part 2)

In the first part of this series, we looked at how the fears of technological innovation are resulting in an unproductive resistance toward modernisation, even as it gains extraordinary pace in 2021. We also delved into the importance of a growth mindset in allowing...

Thriving in the Age of Digital Adoption: Overcoming the Fear of AI (part 1)

“What if artificial intelligence takes over my job? What if I become redundant?” Every one of us has experienced technology encroaching on our lives, more and more so with each year that passes. It appears that technological innovation is a certainty that is only...

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How to fill the gap between Strategy and Execution

Organisations are great at setting their strategy and identifying their goals, but they fall short when it comes to their operating model review and redesign, the key component that enables the strategy and drives the achievement of goals.

Operating models consist of key elements that need to be clearly defined and put in place for an organisation to operate effectively. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. The HOW will look different depending on the size and maturity of the organisation. It is important to note that an operating model cannot stand on its own; a clearly defined strategy and business model is essential.

If the organisation wants to shift from traditional, hierarchal to agile, effective, and customer-focused, yet their processes, technology, culture, and ways of working remain the same, they will never achieve their strategy and aspirations. To put is simply, if you want to be a speed boat but your look, feel and engine is that of a cargo ship, you will fall short.

Before leaders jump into operating model review and design, they first need to decide what organisation they want to be: client centric, agile, traditional, hybrid. This needs to translate into their strategy and business model, which is the foundation and starting point for operating model design.

Key elements the leaders need to focus on to ensure the successful operating model design include:

Clearly defined design principles: Taking the strategy and clearly articulating how the organisation will operate in future will guide the design of the operating model and ensure consistency.

Ways of working: Clearly articulate the purpose and culture of the organisation; “the way we do things around here.”

Structure: Ensure the structure of the organisation will enable the strategy, be willing to change the old to drive the new.

Process: Understanding the current limitations and re-engineering the processes to drive the new capabilities in the organisation.

People: Drive the people agenda. Clearly articulate the new capabilities and ways of working and ensure your people value chain enables what works best for the organisation.

Governance: Define the decisions right framework, delegation of authority and terms of reference to mitigate risk.

System and technology: Understand the impact of historical systems and technology on your new way of working, process, and strategy to identify opportunities to enhance or discontinue.

The pandemic amplified some of the cracks in organisation’s operating models, highlighting outdated technologies and processes, silos, and hierarchical structures with multiple layers that slow down decision making to name a few. The time is now to embrace a new operating model to rethink the way we do things and ensure a clear alignment between strategy, business model, culture, and our operating model.

Leaders need to come together and look at the business holistically, reviewing and reassessing each business unit or area to ensure alignment between the various operating models. All the pieces need to work and fit together like a well-planned puzzle to enable and drive the organisational strategy and culture.

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