Collaborating Across Borders: Localizing Global Operating Models for Effective Practices

Translating a new global operating model into local realities.


by Nancy Bragard


For an organization as vast and intricate as AXA, getting a new operational model spot-on is an absolute must. But what truly sets the winners apart is their ability to translate this vision into reality – quickly and with unwavering support from managers across all entities worldwide.

This was the very challenge that the company confronted when it came to its security function. The client sought the expertise of Adviso, relying on our proficiency in organizational design and project management to orchestrate an immersive week-long seminar, gathering united security managers from all entities under one roof. Over the course of the event, participants would work hand-in-hand to first foster their relationships, co-create practical solutions and devise effective strategies for enhancing the security function’s operating model.


The task was daunting: bring together 150 participants from across the globe to brainstorm, strategize, and collaborate on the development of the new structure. This was no small feat, but the team was up to the challenge.

The project was run with careful attention to detail at every step. The team – composed of strategy and management consultants, collective intelligence facilitators, event managers and filmmakers – began by carefully overseeing the selection of a location – in Madrid – that would facilitate collaboration and foster creativity. The chosen venue was a modern space with state-of-the-art technology and plenty of room to spread out and work.

Next, the team put together a carefully curated program of activities designed to engage participants and encourage collaboration both in plenary and amongst the regional teams that were formed in the course of the event. The program included a mix of CEO speech, keynote presentations, an Open Space Technology* workshop, breakout sessions, and team-building activities, all carefully designed to build momentum and inspire creativity.

We also made sure to include plenty of time for networking and socializing, recognizing that some of the best ideas can come from informal conversations and interactions. Each region had a specific zone in the room to furnish and decorate to reflect its culture and particularities and receive visitors! Participants traveled from one “region” to another, familiarizing themselves with the different players and their different models and security functions. It was the global security constellation in one room!

As the workshop got underway, we were pleased to see that the careful planning had paid off: participants were engaged and energized, and the collaborative spirit was palpable. Over the course of the event, they were able to design and immediately see the benefits of a new region-based organization that would help the company navigate the challenges of investing in cutting-edge security technologies, developing robust incident response plans, and raising awareness among employees, taking proactive steps to protect themselves and their customers.

The new organizational structure had been a collaborative effort, with contributions from participants from all corners of the globe, and the company was poised to move forward with confidence and renewed vigor.

*Open Space Technology is a meeting format that enables collaborative and creative problem-solving. Starting out with a blank agenda, participants propose topics and lead discussions, move among sessions, and take responsibility for their own learning. The process is driven by the attendees, with no predetermined agenda or external facilitator. It has been successfully used in community building, organizational change, problem solving and conflict resolution, unlocking creativity and generating meaningful results in a short amount of time, relying on the self-organization of committed contributors.

"Teams come together, companies function, societies advance and civilisations evolve thanks to individual commitment that contributes to a group effort."

Nancy Bragard


Nancy is an expert in the awakening of collective intelligence and a firm believer of the empowerment conferred through participatory methodologies, bringing people together in conversation to initiate change. As a bi-cultural and bi-national Franco-American, she is also a specialist of intercultural management, sensitizing managers to the impact culture has on our attitudes and behaviors.



get in touch