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Move fast to thrive: Intelligent operating model

July 10, 2019


In brief

Agility pays

Move fast to thrive | Intelligent operating model


How can big incumbents get nimbler? They need to start by designing around humans and what they care about, from employees to end consumers. With a culture that promotes authenticity and continuous learning to deliver on a purpose—one beyond a pure profit motive—that keeps the best employees and customers. This lays the foundation for the other characteristics: Liquid, enhanced, living, modular.


Before the dawn of digital, operating models used to be about building walls and keeping an organization impenetrable. Now competitive muscle comes as much from what can be harnessed outside—across partners, suppliers and adjacent companies—as it does from what’s within. Leading companies are building structures that are porous and liquid to seamlessly access people, processes, systems and assets from anywhere.


Continuously adaptive organizations ensure that humans and machines enhance one another. They empower people and automate lower-value activities. They employ machine learning to transform core linear operating processes into non-linear ones that can dynamically respond and evolve. And they harness the power of technologies to make the workplace a strategic platform to drive productivity and wellbeing.


With the help of new technologies and unprecedented levels of transparency, organizations can create entirely new, more flexible ways of structuring and organizing work to adapt to the market. Nimble, self-organized teams―more “organism” than “organization”―prioritize progress over perfection, with a willingness to disrupt the status quo to act at a vastly accelerated pace.


Modular organizations create independent, discrete businesses or capabilities that can be “plugged and played” at will based on well-defined, standardized interfaces. These players can enable multiple operating models under one company to respond faster to their customers and more quickly and effectively partner with the wider external ecosystem to enhance or drive new offers, platform-based businesses and faster innovation.


of executives say ecosystems are important to their strategy.


possess the capabilities and organizational model to accommodate them.

Guiding principles

About the Authors

Diana Bersohn

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Technology Strategy

Till Dudler

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Consumer Goods & Services, EMEA, Africa, and Latin America

Paul Jeruchimowitz

Senior Managing Director Talent & Organization, Operating Model & Organizational Design, Global Lead

Kent McMillan

Managing Director – Talent & Organization, Operating Model & Organizational Design



Senior Manager – Accenture Strategy


Senior Manager – Accenture Strategy


Senior Manager – Accenture Strategy


Senior Manager – Accenture Strategy

Samuel Holmes

Managing Director – Consumer Goods & Services, Operating Model & Organisation Design, Global Lead

Alessandra Zanetti

Managing Director, Strategy, Consumer Goods & Services

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