A New Leadership & Engagement Framework: Book
THE DEMAND PERSPECTIVE: LEADING FROM THE OUTSIDE-IN
By Anna Caraveli
Why some organizations succeed while others fail was the question that drove Caraveli’s research and book.
Her conclusion was that hierarchical, bureaucratic organizations that are driven by internal priorities and are focused on pushing their products and achievements to the consumers, lack the flexibility and empathy needed to put customers first. Flexible organizations, able to think from the customer’s perspective, driven by customer empathy rather than internal priorities, focused on relationships rather than product sales and organized around customers and their problems, are far better able to constantly adapt to customer needs, innovate and craft the kind of solutions that produce results that count.
Caraveli makes use of, and adapts for associations, the inside-out/outside-in framework of Ranjay Gulati, the Jaime and Josefina Chua Tiampo Professor at Harvard Business School and expert in business growth in turbulent markets, who set about to answer similar questions in his book, “Reorganize for Resilience: Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business.” He concludes that:
“Those companies built around an inside-out mindset—those pushing out products and services in the marketplace based on a narrow viewpoint of their customers…are less resilient in turbulent times than those organized around an outside-in mindset that starts with the marketplace, then looks to deliver creatively on market opportunities.”
Caraveli uncovers 6 factors, deeply embedded in the conventional association model and that put many associations at a competitive disadvantage.
Instead of adding on to the existing model—new programs, strategies, marketing campaigns or methodologies—she believes that these 6 foundational building blocks must be re-oriented from inside-out to outside-in, and from the association’s to the customer’s perspective, namely: the way an organization thinks, learns, defines and delivers value; views and engages customers/members/stakeholders; exercises leadership; measures success, hires and rewards.
The book puts forth and elucidates new concepts about leadership, customer value and engagement and suggests a new path for creating competitive advantage in a turbulent environment. Most importantly, however, it also provides practical and concrete steps for shifting your organization from products to customers. It introduces models for gradually embedding changes in daily routines and small-scale innovations and leading an organizational shift from the inside-out to the outside-in from the bottom up.
To help leaders execute these concepts, Caraveli provides a wealth of cases from associations and other industries and guidance for adapting them for your organization.
Each chapter focuses on a case that exemplifies the topic and contains a hands-on session of exercises and practical tools you can put to use with your staff immediately to begin the journey from inside-out to outside-in.