First Steps into Outside-In Thinking Part 4b) – Sustained Focus and Reduced Complexity

Outside-In is more than a series of tools and techniques to view and improve our business. It is designed as ‘practical thinking’ or a ‘business attitude’ to be orientated to as much of the business that the practitioner or management requires. If implemented to the greatest degree then a company may design and represent its organisation charts around the customer with the customer as the driving central theme. It may represent performance measures using Outside-In measures as its KPIs.

The thinking does not prevent other techniques to be used in analysing and improving our business but it does ensure Successful Outcome is maintained as a central theme even when CEO’s, boards and senior managers change. If focus is only maintained at a tools and techniques level they tend to be pigeon holed into a specific silo and more likely to become forgotten or ignored as the latest panacea for change raises its head.

Taking the Complexity out of how we view our business

One of the issues that change practitioners face is that of the underlying complexity of the business we are trying to improve or change.

How many changes to the way we do business seem obvious once we have identified what they are but somehow eluded us when we are looking at our businesses as a ‘haystack’ of processes?

When we move from high level management representations to process detail, a much more complex picture emerges which we have defined on the basis on that’s what we do. But if we look at that process again from the customer viewpoint then the process is very different. Outside-In shows that the way we traditionally view process is an illusion and prevents us from viewing business in a way to enable significant change.

Viewing what we do from the perspective of the customer enables us to think of performance change initiatives that would never been possible if we had studied our business from the traditional left to right top to bottom basis inherited from the industrial change.

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