First Steps into Outside-In Thinking Part 1 – The Challenge

First published by the BP Group 3 years ago here’s some of the mindset behind Outside In.

If we consider the challenges of succeeding in business in the 21st century, most major companies would come up with a similar list:

When they talk about their customers

> Competition is fierce, global and increasing.
> Customers have become rebellious, they realise they have the right to alternatives and they frequently exercise that right.
> Customers have high expectations, they demand more and unless that demand is met they will go elsewhere.
> Customers demand choice, comprehensive information and the best price.

When they talk about their operations
> Operations, structures and business flows are becoming ever more complex
> The process of change is becoming ever more complex as the obvious improvements are delivered and the focus is on looking for new improvements often with diminishing returns
> A significant proportion of change projects under-perform and do not achieve the desired outcome
> There are so many alternative methods to effecting change out there it is difficult to select which one makes most sense for my business

When they talk about their overall business performance

> I fundamentally believe I offer a superior product and/or service but I’m still struggling to make the returns I believe possible
> I strive to be a market leader, I believe we have the capability to be a market leader but the issues above prevent me from getting there
> It is difficult to markedly cut my costs without impacting my service levels
> The impact of the global recession has affected my business and our fortunes won’t markedly improve until the business environment improves.

There may be additional comments however this is typical of observations from companies all over the world. And it is getting worse.

It isn’t though we don’t have choice in improvement approaches. As of 2010 there were over 6000 improvement methodologies all geared to helping organisations improve performance. How do you decide which one works best? How do you ensure sustained business improvement when the average CEO in the 21st century lasts 3 years and each new regime brings fresh ideas but a lot of the same issues?

See more of the thinking, practice and qualify as a Certified Process Professional (CPP)