One weird trick to design your organisation, in one easy step! (Management consultants will HATE you!)

Don’t design your organisation

  • for efficiency

  • for managing demand

  • for digital by default

  • to achieve strategic priorities

  • by copying best practice

So what do you do then?


  • Design against customer purpose

That’s it.

The predictable value demands presented by the customer, whatever matters to them in helping them solve their problem. That’s the purpose your system should meet.

Here’s what happens when you do….

“Through focusing ruthlessly on what matters to citizens, public-sector organisations in Wales have:

  • More than halved the percentage of referrals leading to statutory funded packages of care, from 24.1% to 10.9%

  • Reduced residential and nursing care placements by 28%

  • Cut average domiciliary care packages from 12 hours to 9.7 hours a week

  • Reduced contacts into social services by 48%

  • Underspent community care budget for three consecutive years

  • Reduced the number of assessments by 30%, and rereferrals” [link]


 By ruthlessly  focusing. Not “doing a bit of purpose on the side”, and not doing it as part of a half hearted customer satisfaction or a spot of continuous improvement.

But taking customer purpose and what matters as their central aim and number one only priority.

Focusing on purpose reduced costs. On the other hand reducing costs would have distracted from and made worse their ability to meet customer purpose. Increasing costs.

Focusing on purpose reduced failure demand. Managing demand would have distracted from meeting value demand, increasing failure demand.

Nobody wants to make an organisation worse, but this is what happens when you focus on things other than customer purpose. It makes people do silly things they otherwise wouldn’t.

If you want to design your organisation to be the best it can be, focus ruthlessly on customer purpose and what matters to them.

This entry was posted in clarity of purpose, command and control, customer, purpose, systems thinking, vanguard method and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to One weird trick to design your organisation, in one easy step! (Management consultants will HATE you!)

  1. Capt crunch says:

    Which customer though?

    Your internal customer or the “real” external one ? How far along the chain do you go?


  2. Capt. Crunch says:

    Oh i hate ‘internal customer’.

    But: what if your industry is a cheerfully cutthroat battle of business bastards, where you can either perform the contract, or face penalties (and likewise you will screw the customer if they dont meet their side of the bargain). Theres no delighting the customer.


    • ThinkPurpose says:

      Honestly I do not know. Perhaps the only point of the post is to engage with “what matters” to the customer, and IF, from objective data, you know they’re cutthroat business bastards, then THAT’S what matters. But I’m just a simple public sector servant, not used to the big bad world of the public sector, so whatdoiknow?


  3. Screaming Lord Such says:

    What matters to me as a customer is getting everything for free. I’d appreciate it if all organisations could just go ahead and arrange that please. No, I didn’t think so.


  4. Pingback: Cloud cuckoo-land | thinkpurpose

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