Switch the Outcome

Just as the problem or challenge can be more fluid than we think so can the outcome.

By switching the outcome, goal or metric you can open up your thinking.

For example,

From: You could make a decision that benefits your organisation but not the customer, supplier or partner (i.e. a win – lose outcome) .


To: What might be a solution or outcome that benefits all parties? (i.e. a win -win).

The key message is that the goals or KPI’s that you set inform your thinking.

If you for example want a disruptive idea around the customer experience you would think differently then if your goal was an incremental improvement.

To switch the outcome requires a greater flexibility in your thinking.

Here is another example;

Rather than working from the problem to the outcome (i.e. left to right) it’s a good idea to switch and think from the outcome back to the problem (i.e. right to left).

If you were trying to develop a new product for example;

Rather than starting with the current product and trying to make a small change you can switch and imagine the ideal solution first.

Then you can design back to the current product.

In this way you create a gap or creative tension between what exists and what could exist.

This might unlock your mind to new ideas and possibilities.

Here is another example;

In years gone by many leaders only considered what was a good outcome for the shareholders, But a more contemporary and desirable approach is to consider the concerns of shareholders and stakeholders (e.g. partners, employees, suppliers etc) and the environment for example.

This switch in the outcome automatically leads to a switch in thinking.

You and your team simply have to think in a more creative way to address the sometimes conflicting outcomes of these different ‘players’.

The key message

Switch the outcome is one of the 6 Switches which can help you think differently.

These are easy to use and form a switch thinking tool kit which anyone can use, anywhere at any time.

Check out the 6 Switches Canvas. It’s simple, practical and free.