Flexible Future

The fundamentals of how we run our businesses, says Hanne de Mora, have not changed at all. The speed with which companies have to adapt to changes, however, is increasing rapidly.

What are the biggest changes regarding the transformation of operating models?
Well, we’ve been changing operating models consistently. So, there’s nothing new per se, because the fundamentals remain the same. You get a revenue stream onto something because you have a product or a service and there’s a segment out there that’s interested to pay money for that. And then you have a set of related costs.

Fundamentally, this has – in this new world we all talk about – not changed at all. Now, what has changed is the speed with which we need to adapt and change the way we are operating. We probably have to do this more – and more often than we did in the past.

Hanne de Mora
... is the co-founder of Zurich-based consulting firm a-connect. The Norwegian still spends about 60 percent of her time at her company. Additionally, de Mora is a member of the boards of Volvo AB, Finnish engineering firm Outotec and the business school IMD in Lausanne.

Part of changing the operating model is also cost efficiency. How does this play into the discussion?
If you are a company and you don’t have a crystal-clear value proposition, you don’t know how to differentiate yourself and you are in an increasingly commoditizing industry, the way to protect part of your margin is by cutting costs. I don’t think we will get away from that. And frankly, there are huge amounts of inefficiency in organizations. And that's frustrating for the employees as well.

How does a-connect’s business model play into all of this change?
We did not disrupt the consulting industry. What we actually disrupted was the bottleneck. How are we helping companies flexibilizing, if you like? It’s not by asking if people can add additional labor costs to their books. It’s rather by offering businesses to come and ‘rent’ a person or a small team from a-connect, to augment their internal team. It’s a defined project, which means there’s a start, there’s an end, and there’s a cost to it.

Because typically, companies tend to staff or resource to the peak. And what we help companies do is take out that peak, so they can maybe resource at a slightly lower level.

Hanne de Mora was a speaker at the EY "Women in Industries"-Event on November 15 in Zurich: www.forbes.at/artikel/transforming-operating-models


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