Organisational agility is about finding the balance, knowing when to act and taking decisive action, often in the face of strong resistance. Having the right data and insights is critical to acting quickly and decisively.

James Fullarton, director of architecture at Smith & Nephew, shares his experience of a data-driven approach to operating model transformation.

“Smith & Nephew had made the commitment to modernise IT, rapidly, such that it could add more value to the business and become a revenue generator, rather than a cost centre.

We started by defining a set of principles that we wanted to achieve from the transformation, such as getting closer to customers, making it easy to do business with us, working faster, having greater accountability and offering modernised services. We were determined that our design approach was data-driven, only making changes that were backed by valid insights and held true to the established principles. The investment case was prioritised to the areas that would give the greatest payback.

We set ourselves a tight timetable to deliver a workable operating model in ten weeks. The transformation has been very successful and is achieving its aims and hitting its targets over time.”

Find out more about operating model transformation and how to become an agile organisation. 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.