co-creating the cornerstone of transformation

enterprise operating model & organisation design for a major UK utility

To deliver their ambitious vision, our client wanted to improve operational performance, regulatory outcomes and employee engagement. We worked with them on a radical reimagining of their operating model and organisation design to create a better place to work, improve operational effectiveness and reduce the cost to serve. As the cornerstone of a wider transformation programme, this work spanned the entire employee population and supplier / delivery partners.

our approach

The work encompassed two phases: a 6-week discovery phase followed by nine months of design and implementation of the future state.

In the discovery phase we assessed the current enterprise operating model using a wide range of diagnostics and targeted engagement with key stakeholders. This gave us the full picture from people, process, system, location and economic/cost perspectives, which we used to develop an initial business case for change. To align the leadership around what needed to change, we used systems thinking to highlight the drivers of value – where it was created and lost by the existing operating model.

The design and implementation phase began by looking at the big picture: designing the future state enterprise operating model using our design methodology. An end-to-end process-led approach informed the operating model design, which mapped the core operational and supporting activities across the business value chain. We evaluated the operating model against the outcomes and capabilities needed, agreed the design principles using organisational theory together with pragmatic utility sector knowledge, then built and evaluated operating model options with the leadership team. Once the preferred model was agreed, we designed a leadership structure to support it.

In parallel, we worked with directors and their teams to redesign their functional operating models and team structures, rethinking core ways of working to improve outcomes and effectiveness – eg transitioning from transactional support functions to strategic partnering with new measures of success. To enable and sustain the new operating model, we introduced new governance mechanisms, including an approach for leaders to help drive focus on business priorities.

Finally, we developed the operating model/organisational design implementation approach aligned to the business case and benefits tracking mechanisms which was crucial to embedding change and developing new habits.

our insights

We built rigour into this work by keeping a focus on defining and building capability and resilience in operations, while reducing overhead in support functions.

It was important that the design didn’t over-focus on reducing the cost-to-serve but instead on creating a shift in core ways of working to drive improved outcomes. Key to this was the tailored leadership development programme that coached leaders to understand that their new structures would only pay off by carefully thinking through the enabling mechanisms they needed to construct to bring changes to life.

the results

As this is a sensitive programme, we cannot share benefit realisation figures. But with our benefit focus encompassing cost reduction (ranging from 10-40% – in line with or beyond industry benchmarks) combined with improved resilience, engagement, productivity and compliance, we delivered in excess of a 25:1 return on investment over a period of 12 months.