Starting Backwards To Work Forwards


In business and in life we get lots of great ideas on a regular basis and some actually make it is far as our ‘do’ list. And we start with our plan and may even complete the task very effectively but then realize that what we’ve achieved isn’t what we actually wanted to achieve. And that’s because we haven’t really considered what outcome we want.

Simon Sinek’s book ‘start with why’ is all about starting backwards to work forwards. As he says "because in business it doesn’t matter what you do it matters why you do it". And if you don’t know your why then the outcome isn’t going to be what you wanted.

So every time you are considering implementing something, making a change, introducing a new way of working, a new system or developing a new product or service consider what the outcome is that you want. And then work backwards. Or to put it another way ‘why is it that you want to …?’

And the same for any goal that you have in business or in life, what is the outcome that you really want?

In 99.9% of cases if we dig deep enough it’s because whatever we are doing makes us happy or at least somewhere on some level we think it will because that’s the way that 99.9% of us wired. Even if we aren’t the ultimate customer of whatever it is that we’ve created.

When you know the outcome that you want to achieve the simplest question to ask is what was the last thing that is to be done to achieve that? And then ask what has to have happened to be able to achieve that step and so on. And very quickly you’ll work backwards and know the key stages that will deliver the outcome that you want.

Tips for ‘why’

Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle will explain why, how and what very succinctly – make a cup of tea and watch this Ted Talk it will explain ‘why’ in business very well. And let me know what you think and if it changes how you think about business…