Outside-in Strategy: Positioned for success

Developing customer-aligned strategy

For leaders at all levels, and all who would support the strategy process.

Are you leaving value on the table for others to pick up first? Learn how to:

  • Develop your own outside-in (customer-first) strategy
  • Include others in the strategy development process
  • Focus on outcomes as you pursue strategy together

Module #3 of an integrated programme centred on leadership, strategy, and outcomes

With yearly and monthly Agendashift for Business and Agendashift for Individuals subscriptions, there's an affordable plan to suit you

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Recognising the challenges

Whatever your scope – team, team-of-teams, something bigger – likely you experience one or both of the following:

  1. Your competitors better positioning themselves and their products in the eyes of your customers – and actively maintaining that advantage
  2. Your products, services, capabilities, and innovations not aligning effectively to their “strategic needs” that best define your purpose and direction

And then there’s the hidden competition:

  1. Customers managing to muddle through without your help
  2. Outsource (or oblivion), because your host organisation can’t differentiate you from the alternative

If any of that applies, you are leaving a lot of value on the table – value that others might get to first. Outside-in Strategy: Positioned for success is for you: it’s for all who may be called upon to lead, support, influence, facilitate, or coach customer-first change in the transforming organisation.

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Learning by doing:

  • Structuring an outside-in approach
  • Developing a coherent strategy with clear objectives, starting points, and measures of success
  • Keeping outcomes in the foreground as you pursue strategy

Outside-in strategy in the language of outcomes – a winning combination!

What sets us apart – the fundamentals

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Three principles guide everything we do:

  • Keep asking the agreement on outcomes question:
    What if we put agreement on outcomes ahead of solutions?
  • Keep bringing outcomes to the foreground
  • Keep finding new places for strategy to happen

For the big strategy occasions, for those everyday interactions, and for everything in between, we help leaders at all levels put those principles into practice:

  • Having the kinds of conversations that too often get missed
  • Working backwards from key moments of impact and learning
  • Engaging with their organisations in all of their complexity

What you'll be doing

This module follows the 5-part structure of the Outside-in Strategy Review (OI-SR). For your scope – you’ll be working on your own strategy – the review poses in outside-in order a sequence of challenge questions that launch strategy conversations for each of the following 5 ‘layers’:

1. Customer

"What’s happening when we’re reaching the right customers, meeting their strategic needs (their needs, our strategy)?"

  • Your customers, their "struggling moments", and the meaningful progress you will help them make
  • What it's like when you are meeting their strategic needs, and the key challenge in the way of that

You’ll finish this chapter with strategic context and a definitive "Ideal" for the Customer layer, the springboard for later conversations (chapter 5).

2. Organisation

"When we’re meeting those strategic needs, what kind of organisation are we?"

Looking back to Customer and forward to Product:

  • Competition, surrounding organisation, suppliers, other stakeholders
  •  Operating model, values, ethos, reputation, perception, structure
  • The time dimension – what's changing,  where we need to be, and who we want to be

3. Product

"Through what products and services are we meeting those strategic needs?"

With Customer and Organisation very much in mind:

  • Product positioning and the qualities that justify it
  • The jobs-to-be-done by your products and services
  • Economic decision-making

You'll be thinking not only about individual products and their features and qualities, but about the jobs they do as a whole.

4. Platform

"When we’re that kind of organisation, meeting those strategic needs, delivering those products and services, what are the defining/critical capabilities that make it all possible?"

Where the relationship between outside-in and inside-out strategies matters most – a virtuous circle when it is working well:

  • Core IP and hard-to-replicate capabilities
  • Integration with business processes
  • Internal capabilities and their qualities
  • Innovation and your ability to leverage it

5. Team(s)

"When we’re achieving all of the above, what kind(s) of team(s) are we?"

  • External relationships, internal structure
  • Team-level skills, capabilities, and performance
  • Ways of working, behaviours, development

And then – already properly contexualised – Ideal, Obstacles, Outcomes conversations for the 5 layers combined, organised into strategy.

Is this for me?

If any of these apply:

  • You're a leader in a transforming organisation
  • You desire change and want it approached in the right way
  • You aspire to leadership 
  • You have something to contribute to the strategy process 
  • You support others in that journey
Yes, I'm in!

Brought to you by Agendashift Academy co-founder and three-time author Mike Burrows

 Mike's pioneering work in the pursuit of the wholehearted and deliberately adaptive organisation brings a needs-based and outcome-oriented perspective to leadership, strategy, and transformation.

Mike has real-world experience as a global leader in world-class organisations and clients in government, finance, industry, and the not-for-profit sectors.

It's part of something bigger

Outside-in Strategy: Fit for maximum impact is the third of four modules of Leading with Outcomes, the Agendashift Academy’s core curriculum. Take them at your own pace and join a growing community of leaders in transforming organisations who are learning to put outcomes before solutions.

The modules in recommended order:

  1. Leading with Outcomes: Foundation
  2. Adaptive Organisation: Business agility at every scale (parts I and II) 
  3. Inside-out Strategy: Fit for maximum impact
  4. Outside-in Strategy: Positioned for success (this module)

Experience it your way

The choice is yours:

They're not even mutually exclusive! Each format brings a different experience, and not only is repeat participation common – each one certified – we make it easy and cost-effective.

Subscription plans: Agendashift for Individuals and Agendashift for Business, each with a risk-free 7-day trial. If you aren’t completely satisfied, just cancel your subscription before the end of your trial period.

Agendashift for Individuals

£245 + VAT

Yearly (most popular)

  • Access to video content and supporting materials for Leading with Outcomes
  • Invitation to our community on Circle
  • Two one-hour Ask Me Anything sessions per month
  • Access to resources – worksheets, templates, infographics, and more
  • Watch on your laptop, phone, or tablet
  • 7-day free trial

Exclusive benefits

  • Access to all event and conference recordings
  • 25% discount on public workshops and coaching services
  • 50% discount on Agendashift conferences
Subscribe now

Agendashift for Individuals

£24.50 + VAT


  • Access all video content and supporting materials for Leading with Outcomes
  • Invitation to our community on Circle
  • Two one-hour Ask Me Anything sessions per month
  • Access to resources – worksheets, templates, infographics, and more
  • Watch on your laptop, phone or tablet
  • 7-day free trial
Subscribe now

For multiple subscribers, check out Agendashift for Business. Easy and cost-effective access for every leader and aspiring leader in your business, with benefits not available to individual subscribers.

Frequently asked Questions

How Leading with Outcomes works for you