Team of Teams Operating Model drives customer-centred innovation at Enable

Enable New Zealand’s General Manager and Workforce Coordinator recently rolled out a new operating model for the organisation that puts more decision-making power in the hands of staff who are closest to our customers.

The new operating model builds on the Team of Teams (external website) concept pioneered by thought leaders like Bill Drayton and retired U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal. In place of a rigid, structured operations model, this concept allows for fluid operations that respond to changing problems and market needs.

In practice, this is already happening around Enable New Zealand. Our staff have self-organised into project teams to complete key outcomes for our Enable2025 change programme, like the rollouts of multiple new service apps earlier this year. And now we’re implementing this model not only for projects, but also for ongoing service improvements. 

Some of the key benefits this model brings to our organisation:

Teams have better end-to-end visibility of problems and solutions

In this model, it is high priority for teams to have the right people—specifically the people that give a project or service the end-to-end representation and visibility that it needs to succeed.

At Enable New Zealand, this might mean inviting staff from the Contact Centre and IT to be part of a User Experience Project. Having the flexibility (and even the expectation) to form teams across traditional ‘department’ divides is helping us identify risks earlier, communicate plans better and deliver outcomes more effectively.

Decision-making power shifts to staff who are closer to the customer

The Team of Teams concept also has significant implications for decision-making. Instead of the hierarchical model where decisions are made at the top, farther away from the customer, the Team of Teams model is pushing as much decision-making power as possible to the space where innovation is needed.

At Enable New Zealand, that’s closer to our customers.

Staff receive more coaching and mentoring and less direction

With more decision-making power given to teams, leaders are freed to provide more mentoring and coaching to staff.

This is the vision Enable New Zealand is pursuing—an organisation where the entire workforce is encouraged to contribute to important innovations and is empowered to do so through development, coaching and support. 

This Operating Model aligns with the agile principles our teams have been adopting over recent years, and it is helping us drive customer-centric innovation for the future. Workforce Coordinator Kelly Toon said “there’s already a lot of innovation happening at Enable New Zealand—this framework will help drive that even more, and it’s encouraging even more people to get involved and share their voice in the process—it’s really exciting.”

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