Organizational Design & Operating Model

What we do

Our consulting teams partner with clients to help them design and implement operating models that translate strategy into effective execution, to deliver results.

A well-designed operating model:

  • ensures consistency of all elements in the organization system through a clear and coherent blueprint before embarking on detailed organizational design;
  • goes beyond structure to specify how the org chart comes to life with clear accountabilities, governance and ways of working;
  • explicitly supports the strategy by emphasizing the key capabilities required to win
  • ensures that critical decisions are made and executed quickly with a sharp focus on value, and;
  • reinforces the positive aspects of a company's culture, heritage and values.

Companies considering operating model redesigns are often prompted by a common set of triggers. These triggers could include: external factors, such as technological disruption or an evolution of the regulatory environment; strategy changes, such as a major acquisition or entry in a new market; or internal challenges such as excess cost and complexity, ineffective decision-making or a founder approaching retirement.

We ensure that our clients have the right operating model to address their specific challenges. Typically, there is often not one right answer, but a small set of feasible options that require objective evaluation in light of each company's unique strategic needs.

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Our Approach

When we help clients redesign their company's operating model, we account for the common strategic and operational pitfalls companies encounter and we incorporate the relevant best practices from our industry expertise.

While we always tailor the approach to a company's specific needs, there are five general steps:

  • Strategic foundation and the case for change: Designing an operating model begins with an understanding of the motivation for change. Whether it's a strategic shift, the need to improve organizational effectiveness, margin pressure, or an external trigger, this foundation ensures that the right set of stakeholders are enrolled in the design process.
  • Organizational assessment: We believe that an objective view of the company's organizational strengths and weaknesses is a critical input into the design and the change management process.
  • Alignment around design principles: Design principles specify strategic requirements that the operating model must support. They also pinpoint aspects of the current organization that could hinder the future strategy and therefore must change, as well as organizational strengths that should be preserved. Design principles help bring objectivity and clarity to what can often be charged discussions about different options for the future state model.
  • Blueprint development: A well-articulated operating model blueprint goes far beyond organizational hardware, touching on the software components—accountabilities, governance, ways of working—that are critical for the hardware to operate. The necessary capability building blocks, including the people, process and technological requirements to successfully deliver the new model are also specified. Should there be contrasting views about the go forward blueprint, design principles help with an analytical evaluation of the options being discussed, helping to reach alignment quickly.
  • Mobilization: Appointing and aligning the right leaders, establishing strong change governance and creating clear implementation, engagement and sponsorship plans—along with identifying critical enablers such as behavior change—is critical to the success of an operating model redesign.

Shifting or redesigning an operating model can present significant change management challenges that must be managed from the start. Supported by Bain's unique approach to change management, called Results Delivery®, we proactively help clients identify delivery risks and provide ways to mitigate them that are customized to a company's unique needs.

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Client results
We share our clients' ambitions. We work to understand their reality and deliver true results—focusing on strategic decisions and practical actions. And we align our incentives with our clients' objectives, so they know we're in it together.
Insights
We develop insights that work for our clients. Our approach and recommendations are highly customized and lead to practical actions. Visit Bain Insights to read more, or stay current on the topics you care about most by downloading the Bain Insights app today.
Team

We work as an integrated part of your team, from frontline to C-suite, to deliver true results and make the changes stick. We have a core group of senior organization focused experts that we deploy across the globe. Bain has completed more than 2,000 organizational projects in the last five years, spanning every major industry.

Our leadership team

  • Eric
  • Eric Garton

    Partner, Leader of Bain's Global Organization practice

    Chicago

    View profile
  • Oliver
  • Oliver Wright

    Partner, Operating Model Product Leader

    London

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  • David
  • David Cooper

    Partner, Leader of Bain's Americas Organization practice

    New York

    View profile
  • Jenny
  • Jenny Davis-Peccoud

    Partner, Leader of Bain's EMEA Organization practice

    London

    View profile
  • Ludovica
  • Ludovica Mottura

    Director, Global Organization practice

    Boston

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  • James
  • James Root

    Partner, Leader of Bain's APAC Organization practice

    Hong Kong

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In addition to the leaders listed above, we have an extensive and diverse team of experts ready to serve the needs of clients worldwide. Please contact us to submit a business inquiry.