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hamish@dibleyconsulting.com

 

Conventional Change:
Back-to-Front Thinking

 

Conventional approaches to business change and performance improvement start from the wrong perspective: an internal focus on removing cost by reducing activity and expecting customers or service users to change their behaviour. I call this ‘back-to-front thinking’ and it results in an obsession with activity volumes and ‘bottom-line’ costs. The one problem with this way of thinking is clear: it doesn’t work. Back-to-front thinking always leads to distortion of organisational performance.

 

We need to think differently and adopt a ‘front-to-back’ mind-set.

 

Intelligent Change:
Front-to-Back Thinking™

 

Intelligent change starts with researching performance of service organisations through the external lens of the customer. The way to realise better service and less cost begins with taking a different view. Front-to-Back Thinking™ is about studying customer demand; analysing the nature of activity that this demand generates and achieving sustainable cost savings through the elimination of activity waste. How well an organisation serves its customers informs both strategy and costs.

 

Studying customer demand allows intelligent system and service redesign solutions.

 

We cannot solve the problems we have created with the thinking that created them.

— Albert Einstein

Front-to-Back Thinking™

Challenging Conventional Thinking about Business Change

Back-to-Front

Thinking

Front-to-Back

Demand management – inside out

Focus

Understand demand – outside in

Focus on activity management

Approach

Analyse the nature of activity

Functional specialism/silo response

Design

Demand/value/capability/flow

Costs > Activity = Behaviour change

Logic

Purpose > Process = Performance

Manage budgets, distort the system

Ethic

Learn to improve – improve the system

Arbitrary assumption & separated

Practice

Person-shaped & collaborative working

Managing costs serves to create costs

Costs

Are a consequence of what you do

©2015 Hamish Dibley, all rights reserved

 

Understand demand, create value, reduce cost