An operating model transformation gives leaders the licence and opportunity to put everything on the table to genuinely reinvent their organisation. It allows them to create an agile business that challenges the status quo and creates a model that is fit for the future. Sometimes this requires the use of partners to objectively assess and challenge the organisation.

Mary Moore, a senior HR director for various leading global companies, shares her experiences of working with external consultants on operating model transformations.

“Organisations are often ill-equipped to undertake operating model transformation work by themselves. They need external help and a fresh pair of eyes to understand the art of the possible and to guide them on the best ways to think about and achieve the transformation.

Consultancy partners have an important role to play in helping to frame the big questions and encouraging alignment among senior executives, who often have several competing viewpoints on the best path to take. The role of the consultants is to hone these perspectives into a single, overarching direction.

External consultants can demonstrate the benefits of thinking about an organisation in a more holistic way. This is something that senior directors often struggle to achieve as they look at the organisation from the confines of their own department. At the same time, consultants can break up the target operating model into bite-sized tasks. This makes the transformation more manageable and helps the organisation make tangible, step-by-step progress.

One thing for leaders to avoid is becoming too dependent on consultants. Organisations should work with consultants over a defined period of time and then be prepared to take control of the transformation process themselves.”

Find out more about operating model transformation and how to partner for succcess. Download our research report, ‘Transform and perform: The power of organisational agility’, to explore the experiences of 300 business leaders involved in transformation programmes.


James has designed future state operating models and driven transformative change in a range of public and private sector multinationals and leads Gate One’s TOM capability area. A proven problem solver, James specialises in operating model design, portfolio management, customer strategy and experience, and performance improvement.