About Better Thinking

Our Approach


Our approach is different to traditional consultants, who will often try to impose their "one size fits all" solutions upon you.  Basing our work on the "Vanguard Method" of systems thinking, and using our many years experience applying this approach in large scale service operations, we work with you and your teams to gain a better understanding of what is really happening in your business, taking an "outside-in" customer perspective, gathering evidence and data as we go.  This step is important, because it helps to shatter sometimes long held beliefs about what is going on in the business. This way of working is important, because change is always based on the knowledge gained from this study.  Most importantly, you and your team begin to understand the case for change and take ownership of developing solutions.  Whilst improved processes and systems are an important deliverable, just as important is that we leave you with a team whose own capabilities have been much enhanced.

Why Better Thinking?


Leadership thinking in service organisations is still largely based on principles established by Adam Smith in the 1700's and F W Taylor at the turn of the last century.  We have applied industrial thinking to the design of service organisations, and it just doesn't work.  We are using analogue thinking, in a digital world!

Better Thinking allows us to challenge these outdated principles, to create service organisations fit for the 21st Century.  
Better Thinking is about more than Process Improvement (although better processes are often one of the outcomes of our work). For example, in a Call Centre environment, understanding the negative impacts of targets and incentives can lead to the introduction of a new reward model which is better aligned to customer and business priorities. 

Better Thinking draws on the work of management experts like John Seddon, Peter Senge, W Edwards Deming, and Russ Ackoff.

It is an approach based on data, evidence and (ultimately) common sense!

Our Team

Managing Director, Rob Wilson

Rob Wilson Aviva Better Thinking

Rob has over 30 years experience leading and transforming large scale customer service operations, in the UK and overseas. He is an acknowledged expert in Systems Thinking methodology and Automation in customer service functions. 

Rob was the Head of Aviva's Direct Contact Centre Operations, and following a successful transformation which he led, they were recognised 2 years running by the Institute of Customer Services as "Best Large Contact Centre in the UK".  Rob was also Group Systems Thinking Director for Aviva, responsible for leading a team of 20 consultants working internationally to transform and improve contact centre and back office operations across the Group.

Scott McFie, Senior Consultant


Scott is a former Head of Systems Thinking at Aviva, and was responsible for leading interventions across the UK & Canada in Customer Service operations, and in IT & Change. He has led £100m+ Change Programmes in a variety of business sectors.
Scott is an expert in developing Systems Thinking capability at Executive and Senior Leadership levels, and his experience includes presenting to City Analysts at a Capital Markets Day in London, and delivering Systems Thinking training to over 1000 of Aviva’s senior leaders. 

Senior Associate Consultant, Paul Sell


Paul is an expert in Procurement and Sourcing & Supply Chain strategy. He has 23 years experience working in Financial Services, and has developed strategic partnerships with some of the world's largest vehicle manufacturers.

As Head of Supply Chain at Aviva, he was responsible for £1bn of annual spend across all product lines.

Paul has led Claims Transformation programmes, using Systems Thinking methodology, and he is an expert on the adoption and deployment of Insur-Tech.