Much of what we do is governed by left to right thinking: we start at the beginning and work from there. We react to our situation and problem solve as we go. If you can spend time envisioning your future state, i.e. how you want your business to perform in the future, how you want it to look and feel, then this can be the starting point to indulge in right to left thinking.
Detail the key elements of your future state, then repeat that detail for those key elements as they currently stand. Next, consider how far into the future you expect that future state to be achievable.
Now compare what your business looks like currently to how you want it to look. Think about what needs to happen to make the future state a reality; repeat this for all the key elements you detailed earlier. You will probably need some stepping stones to get from now to then, so divide up your “map” into a small number of steps, e.g. Year 1, Year 2 etc.
Next look at the gaps between now and the future for each key element, then add in what you might expect each element to look like at each milestone. Bear in mind that things like legislative changes could force you to revise certain elements of your future state, which means the road map you have just created needs to remain a living document. By envisioning it at each milestone it makes it easier to break down the required actions into more manageable steps.
This is essentially a design approach rather than a problem solving one, and can be very useful in avoiding unforeseen problems.