Basic Concept

Operating Framework

An operating framework generally describes a company’s organisational or management structure, along with its processes.

Lisa Lux, E3 Holding SE


The operating framework connects corporate goals and results with the various levers required to achieve them (cause-effect relationship). It is a coherent collection of company guidelines, goals, standards, processes and skills.

The operating framework is like a guide to the inner workings of a company.

The operating framework is neither a boring instruction manual nor a series of process definitions and rules; rather, it is a living document which invites continuous development and is brought to life by its users.

Elements of an effective operating framework

  • Provides guidance as to how the investor and investee are managed
  • Focuses on organisational structures and procedures, rules and values (governance)
  • Keeps track of all levers relevant to a company or group
Engagement levelIs accessible to executives, employees, value creation partners and investors, and invites participation
PerformanceSets minimum standards and promotes a pursuit of excellence
Corporate culture
  • Creates a positive work environment that promotes employee identification with the organisation
  • Engages employees in change processes
  • Simplifies leadership and collaboration
  • Plain language
  • Simple and to the point
  • Easy to follow

The framework also spells out how the company does business, how it defines corporate values and how it promotes a corporate culture. This includes both rational management elements (mission, goals, strategy and measures) and emotional or cultural elements (identity, values, beliefs, principles).

Changing belief systems

Logical Levels model

Vision / mission statement
  • RationalEmotional
  • Mission (role, purpose)Identity
  • GoalsValues, beliefs
  • StrategySkills
  • ActivityBehaviour
  • RequirementsReliance
  • BenefitsConfidence
  • Guiding questions
  • What drives us?
  • What do we want to achieve?
  • Which way do we go?
  • What do we do?
  • What do we need?
  • What is the result?
  • Rational
  • Mission (role, purpose)
  • Goals
  • Strategy
  • Activity
  • Requirements
  • Benefits
  • Emotional
  • Identity
  • Values, beliefs
  • Skills
  • Behaviour
  • Reliance
  • Confidence
    • Guiding questions
    • How are we perceived? Who are we?
    • How do we want to achieve it?
    • How do we learn?
    • How do we behave?
    • How do we work together?
    • How do we feel?

      Source: own representation based on Robert Dilts. Changing belief systems.

      Dilts‘ Logical Levels model is based on the idea that individuals, teams or organisations experience change on six neurological levels. The rational and emotional sides depend on each other and can reinforce each other. Executives tend to underestimate the importance of the emotional side and the associated engagement effect at employee level; that holds true especially during crucial change and longer transformation processes. The framework and underlying processes take account of Dilts’ insights and have been integrated into E3‘s corporate structure and processes.