A new strategy and operating model position a major global defence contractor for growth

A new strategy and operating model position a major global defence contractor for growth


Our client was the Australasian division of a global defence and commercial contractor.

A defence contractor sought to capture market opportunities

As it prepared for the next phase in its growth, the organisation engaged Nous to review and reorient the organisation’s strategy to position it for major growth opportunities, and then to design an operating model and organisation structure to enable the strategy.

Nous led deep consultation through a robust process

To shape the strategy, model and organisation structure, Nous ran a three-month program that featured significant executive engagement.

We undertook a thorough market scan of potential opportunities, and used five key tests to prioritise strategic growth opportunities:

The opportunity to work with Nous Group was a thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable experience. The team brought exceptional skill and expertise, which enabled [our organisation] to navigate strategic transformation. The ability to build strong relationships, to maintain process discipline and to provide timely advice to executive leadership were particular strengths of the Nous team.

Chief of Staff, Australasia, global defence and commercial contractor

Five key tests to prioritise strategic growth opportunities: performance history, expected revenue uplift, ease of mobilisation, market attractiveness, alignment with parent company

We then developed an operating model, incorporating the value chain underpinning the proposed futures businesses and the key capabilities required to govern activities and deliver quality services. We assessed operating model maturity (evaluating more than 20 capabilities), defined the desired target state for critical capabilities and costed the priority projects that would bridge the gap.

Nous also worked with the CEO and a small advisory group to design the updated organisation structure, applying Nous’ proven six-step process to:

  1. establish design principles to test organisation design options
  2. develop multiple structure options, each with a different focus and orientation
  3. determine the optimal form (centralised, centre-led or decentralised) of internal functions
  4. evaluate structure options for strengths and weakness against the design principles
  5. mentor the transformation team to develop the organisational design for the next level down
  6. develop a detailed cost calculation tool to support implementation.

Nous worked with the client team as an integrated transformation team throughout to ensure communications and change were carefully and purposely managed. The executive team was also closely involved at each stage.

The new operating model and organisation design have won support

Nous’ close collaboration with the CEO, rigorous design processes, and frank and transparent engagement developed the CEO’s deep understanding and confidence in the process, and a clear narrative to take to the board and staff. The strategy, operating model and organisation structure have been implemented.

What you can learn from this organisation

  • Setting strategy is critical, but not sufficient: organisations must ensure they are set up to deliver the strategy.
  • CEO and executive team ownership and involvement are critical in strategy and operating model development.