Outside-in versus inside-out?

When futureproofing your value proposition and business model, keep your options open

The key to success when you’re design thinking? It’s looking at problems and solutions without prejudice. When you do it right, you’ll keep your options open as long as possible, so you can define the best possible outcome without interference.

Sounds logical? Well, it is. But it’s not that easy to put it in practice.

What clients want

Most self-respecting companies do research into what clients really want. They run client sessions to understand what keeps them up at night. And you can’t open your email without stumbling upon an NPS or C-sat filled with thoughts and comments.

And still, corporations only selectively listen to their clients. Hearing what they want to hear. Filtering out the pieces that make sense within the existing company structures and culture.

Our man: Einstein

Solutions are rated by people within the company, payed to know what the client wants – better than the client knows himself. They have an obligation to get a return from the existing assets in the organization. And of course, if you have a hammer, every problem will look like a nail.

Einstein once put it this way: If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, expecting another outcome each time, you’re an idiot. We’re stunned to see this appears to be the way of working in many companies when it comes to product development or value proposition renewal.

What you get is what you’ve got

The root of the problem is often institutionalized before even setting up the roadmap to innovation: archaic company culture, wrong use of technology, working groups formed out of old interests instead of competence…

That’s the difficulty with companies with in-house development branches. These development branches will develop new products or ideas that are tuned to the existing possibilities within the business.

Certainty above innovation

However, the most desired solutions too often require a whole new way of developing, where connecting to smart platforms gives greater ROI than relying on the existing programs.

Look at it this way: the finance department will only see solutions from a cash and risk management perspective encapsulated in the current business model. Why would they release funds for an alternative approach that threatens all the old certainties?

One-way lane vs. effectively freewheeling

Free thinking and real innovation are reduced to a very narrow path, not allowing you to turn around or even switch lanes.

Inside-Out Thinking is the exact opposite of this tunnel vision. It’s a blank page. It starts with carefully hand-picking the team that works on renewal and futureproofing, adding external specialists or third parties if necessary.

It does everything to make sure all options are on the table. Assuring that today’s company isn’t in the way of tomorrows business – so the company can still exist when that day comes.

Your client, the king of hearts

Outside-In is a vision on defining and fixing problems where the client is the center of things. Everything is done from his perspective. Regardless of current conventions, structures, ways of working or sentiments. It neutrally observes the client and objectively defines his problems and pains.

These then are subject to ideation around solutions which the current company just can’t seem to grasp. It implies that certain solutions – maybe even the preferred ones – can’t be offered by the company today because it’s lacking machinery, technology or human resources.

It’s a tough call, but make it anyway

As a result, tough calls must be made. The company must adapt or find a third party that’s more equipped for the solutions at hand. This way, value propositions that are relevant to the client, can be developed and implemented.

And the best thing of it all: they will be compatible with the capabilities of the company.

Want to know how you can put this into practice? Talk to one of our consultants or take the CPI Sales Test.



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