Outside In origins

The actual of origins of Outside-In thinking go way back into scientific management, and in fact Frederick Winslow Taylor "The first step in gaining control over an Organization is to know and understand the basic processes." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Winslow_Taylor) whose discussions around efficiency directly involved the need to be quite specific about the deliverable in external terms. We now call that the Successful Customer Outcome with a set of metrics that underpins its definition.

Virgin Mobile were one of the first companies to truly venture into the territory as we now understand it. In the book (I must claim an interest) published in 2006 - Customer Expectation Management (Towers/Schurter) we tell the story of how they emerged, understood the needs of a 'new' customer, and accordingly after 2002-3 organized themselves around a set of principles quite different to any existing model. You can link to an article and the book from here http://bit.ly/8cYXhB

The phrase Outside-In has been used in marketing terminology (for instance I came across its use at Salford University, England when I was studying for a marketing diploma in 1983.) I don't think the sentiment is in anyway a new one however the rise of the Digital Consumer has really thrust Outside In into the limelight as an here and now pragmatic approach to aligning organizations for immediate and sustained success.

In terms of modern reading The Outside-In Corporation was authored by Barbara Bund was published in 2005-6 (see http://www.theoutsideincorporation.com/). Since that time several authors have added to the understanding including:

Interview Harvard Business Review with HBS
Professor Ranjay Gulati (book review)

Interview Wharton Business School with WBS Professor George Day (book review)
Outside In Forrester Research (book 2012)


The BP Group pushes the CEMMethod(tm) as the means to the end (http://www.cemmethod.com) and it is a broadly accepted approach by people who have completed the BP Group CPP qualification since 2005-6.

So is there anything new really? What is certain the time for OI is here and now.

PS. New book, yet to be released (as of 14 Feb 2013) authored by Ram Charan, "Leading in uncertain times", has Outside In as a central theme.  You can link with Ram here.

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