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Management model design

Improving your organisation's performance from the core
In search of better performance, most organisations overlook the most important factor: their management model
Business models
are not enough

Organisations spend considerable effort designing their business models. And of course it’s very important for an organisation to know how it creates value for customers. But business models do not deliver that value. People and organisations do. 

What's your
management model?

It’s the job of management to make an organisation function. But how does management do that? Which practices, systems and theories does it rely on? How does the work of management get done? That's what's described in the management model. Can you explain yours?

Most management models hinder performance

Every organisation has a management model. Yet most are not intentionally designed. They are implicit and invisible and suffer from a number of flaws. These flaws undermine performance. And as long as they are not visible, they are very hard to correct.

Design management models that become
the foundation of current and future performance
Make it visible

It's very hard to challenge and improve something that’s not visible. The management model canvas introduces a common language to think about and describe management models.

Understand performance

Once made visible, understand how your management model impacts organisational performance - for better or for worse. Pretty much every aspect of performance can be tracked down to root causes in your management model. 

Design improvements

Use sound management theory to design improvements. Test those improvements in experiments and implement in small increments, one step at a time. No need for large, complicated change programs.

Three ways to engage with management model design


Standard, one day workshop

Map your existing management model and understand its strengths and weaknesses. Gain insights into why your organisation performs the way it does. Develop initial hypotheses for how improve your management model for better overall performance.



Diagnose aspects of your management model in light of a specific performance challenge. Identify root causes. Develop a plan to correct them and improve performance.



Design your perfect management model. Make it fit your business model and specific context. Use sound management theory to develop the organisational capabilities you need for exceptional performance, both in execution and innovation.

When business model and management model
join forces, the result is an organisation that's unbeatable

The better an organisation functions, the better its results. And that’s exactly the job of management: to build well-functioning organisations. How that’s done is described in an organisation’s management model. 


Unlike business models, management models are not generally understood as a source of competitive advantage. Most executive teams can explain their business model. But only very few can explain their management model.


In essence, a management model must answer five questions. How an organisation…

  • …executes its current business model

  • …innovates products, services and future business models

  • …builds bridges to connect both execution and innovation activities

  • …changes, learns and improves over time

  • …enables people to perform at their highest level, both as individuals and as teams.

To accomplish these things, an organisation puts in place a set of systems, tools and practices across a wide range of management disciplines. All of which are shaped by the management theories managers choose to guide their thinking. A well-designed the management model provides a coherent, holistic explanation for how (and why) an organisation works.


However, most management are not intentionally designed, and so they suffer from a number of flaws. They are…

  • …stuck in 20th century command-and-control logic

  • …inconsistent and/or incomplete

  • …not a good fit for business model and context

  • …relying on luck more than on sound management theory


Let’s work together and turn your management model into what it should be: an engine of human performance and a source of competitive advantage for years to come. 

Watch the video
I presented the idea of management model design at the
Nordic Business Forum Speaker Contest Finals in Stockholm (August, 2018) 
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