What’s the “Secret Sauce” that Lets Only Some Companies Go Outside-In & Put Customers First?


Share on LinkedIn

Lior Arussy from the Customer Experience side of business just relayed an interesting observation in a Customer Experience Group (Linkedin) post?that executives frequently claim only new organizations can go customer-centric because you can’t change the DNA of more mature companies. He was asking for contrary examples, and I fed him a bunch (Best Buy, UPS, USAA, most upscale hospitality chains). And I actually forgot among the toughest environments for migrating to customer-centricity?retail car dealers?where multiple regional networks have now successfully crossed the threshold from inside-out to Outside-In.

But Lior’s question started me thinking about commonalities among companies adopting O-I versus starting that way. And after cogitating more than a bit on this question, including revisiting many years’ worth of clients?some who crossed the threshold, others that got part-way before flinching, I believe I did find the “secret sauce:”

The recipe is: one part steely-eyed recognition that customers now hold the upper hand in buyer-seller relationships; one part shrewd assessment of how to take advantage of this customer empowerment; and one part dispassionate willingness to redesign their organizations from top to bottom?and from the customer in?regardless of where the bodies fall (or fly). And BTW, not one ounce of goody-two-shoes empathy for customers. O-I is a cold, calculated business choice for companies that successfully migrate from inside-out to Outside-In.

Companies that try to go O-I because “it’s the right thing to do” don’t get far. While leaders are empathizing with customers, they’re also empathizing with employees and dithering over decisions about which people and what silos have to be moved around, aside or out to make way for a customer-in designed organization?which needs fewer employees, supervisors, managers and executives than an inside-out company, not to mention greatly shrunk silo walls.

Other views?

Republished with author's permission from original post.


  1. Hi Dick You’re so right. If they don’t get that this is about $’s, makes business sense and is hard then they are just playing at it. What valuable business strategy change was ever easy ? I’m so glad we seem to be moving on from the theory to the coal face realisation of all the good intention. Every CEO needs to pick up his own “baton” and run with it. You can’t just wave the baton around then put it back in the desk drawer. That’s a recipe for disappointment and no change.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here