Translating An Operating Model Into Real Work

Bringing in a Big 4 firm to create a new target operating model (TOM) has become de rigeur. But how many operating models are ever put to work? Not many. Some are just displayed reverentially on a pedestal in the C-Suite.  Most are ‘executed’ by an expensive army of consultants – but with very mixed results.

It’s a big issue. Social, mobile and cloud technologies are driving ever more rapid business model innovation and associated process change. But many organizations are locked into ‘a tragic pattern’ (as Brad Power has discussed on his HBR Blog): The CEO launches a new change program with great fanfare, only to shelve it a few years later with little to show for great expenditures of time and consulting fees.

Strategy to Reality - 1The capability to execute well must be one of the keys to breaking out of this cycle.

Why are so few grand plans well executed?  The swirling fog between the TOM vision and the operational realities, for a start. There is no line of sight between the TOM as a ppt deck and the real business.

The primary mechanism for translating strategy into reality – integrated, holistic perspectives and end-to-end processes – doesn’t exist. Instead there are a myriad process fragments, in multiple tools and formats, ‘managed’ in functional silos within a feeble governance framework.

So the exec team has a TOM roadmap, steering wheel and dashboard – but only tenuous linkages to the engine, transmission and brakes.

A process management platform provides the multi-dimensional matrix within which an operating model can be executed – reliably, efficiently and, in compliance terms, safely.

It’s the ability to execute that really matters. It’s what underlies sustainable improvement. In a complex and fast-moving world, that just can’t be done efficiently any more with ppt and email…

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20 Jun 2012    Process: The Emerging Global Business Language

© Text Michael Gammage 2012

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