„Target Operating Model“– more relevant than ever or „fairly outdated?“


How are we all faring this autumn 2020?

We find ourselves in hectic, reactive, and disruptive times. Nothing is as it used to be. The good old times seem to have vanished – well, if they were at all so. However, not just appearances are deceptive; the current crisis has fundamentally changed many things and will continue doing so. One could say we live in unpredictable times. Or with a chuckle of despair: “Maybe we best approach it the agile way”.

Unpredictable does not mean agile!

Precisely this excuse, “I cannot plan and organize, hence I’m working agile!” is one of the many myths and half-baked truth clouding the subject of agility. Agility is the exact opposite. Step by step, we’re drawing closer to a defined “target picture”. We’ll do this in “sprints”- which in the athletic sense means “covering a distance in the shortest possible time” or in the “scrum” sense “relatively short time intervals in which developers or designers implement a limited and exactly defined range of functions”.

Change is a marathon!

Even if we subdivide into smaller sections the distance we have to cover, it still does not get any shorter. Transferring this logic to the change processes in corporations: We have a marathon ahead of us. With well-marked sections, refreshment stations and “stakeholders” spurring us on. But what will hold in the end? The “target picture” in our mind – and the personal pride of achievement when crossing the finish line.

The target picture is the engine!

So, what exactly is this ominous “target picture”? For us it is a visualized, preferably simple depiction of a state defined and desired by us – true to the motto: A picture is worth a thousand words. And this picture contains within itself the story we want to tell.

It is our conviction that the right target picture aids in coping with phases of difficulties. The picture’s origin and manifestation can be very different along the way. Initially -as is always the case- it is about the “purpose” (highly recommended: Frank Dopheide of human unlimited (www.humanunlimited.de), after that -mostly- about the brand (highly recommended: Eibo Schulz-Wolfgramm of K16 (www.k16.de)and ultimately about the functional target picture -at twowayys we call this „Target Operating Model“ – or its big brother „Future Operating Model“. But let’s not go into a debate about definitions and synonyms at this point!

If not now, then when?

Coming back to the thesis in our caption: We believe that today, more than ever, “target pictures” are indispensable as they provide orientation, assurance, stimulus and identification. For better for worse.

Or to conclude with a wonderful quote by Dr. Miriam Meckel:

We have to adapt to the fact that there is no normal anymore. There also isn’t any new normal. There is only lasting change. And he who seizes this without fear, with assurance and courage will probably have a relatively good life.”


And what more could you ask for?


For more information or even a discourse on the Target Operating Model, do not hesitate to turn to Christoph.Schmidt@twowayys.com, Sabine.Forner.ext@twowayys.com or Joerg.Petters.ext@twowayys.com. Alternatively, you could also email us at Info@twowayys.com

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