Inside-Out or Outside-In?

I just read an article by Chief Learning Officer that states "Alignment Starts From the Inside Out." The article is based on research of 1,500 chief learning and development executives who say their organizations will align more closely to organizational objectives this year.

The article describes how performance management, competency development and leadership need to align to organization priorities. I fully agree. Having worked in and with a number of dysfunctional organizations I concluded years ago that companies need an inside-out approach.  I even started a consulting firm to help companies gain this alignment. 

As my blog title suggests, I now question my initial conclusions. Based on discussions with executives it became clear they really didn't have an anchor point to use for the alignment journey. They agreed with my value proposition and asked for proposals on how to achieve alignment, but at the end of the day they had to admit their strategic plans weren't very strategic and their brand destination not well defined. 

Of course this wasn't true of every company. It was true, though, of organizations that most needed my help and were struggling to transform themselves.

So what do well performing organizations do? They continually gain market insight and build relationships with users, influencers and decision makers who keep their organizations on the front end of change. In essence, they use an outside-in approach. I see it time and time again in my work here at the Geehan Group.

The Chief Learning Officer article references the use of customer sat metrics to create feedback loops and even states alignment shouldn't be based on internal HR processes--rather on what clients and employees want.

At the end of the day I'm pretty sure we're saying the same thing. You don't build a company and then find the market. You find the market and then build the company. Whether you call it inside-out or outside-in, what matters is alignment of resources to a market-based strategy. 

What do you think?

Comments for Inside-Out or Outside-In?

blog comments powered by Disqus