Provocation of the month:
"The Inside-out force is as powerful as earth´s force of gravity."
If we don’t consciously counteract the Inside-out force, it will guide us and our organization to be focused on ourselves. We have learned to counteract gravity and that is why we are able to function and make things happen.
What would happen if we suddenly ceased to counteract the force of gravity? We would fall flat on our faces. What happens if we don’t consciously counteract or balance the Inside-out force? We would become completely focused on everything that involves ourselves, our career, salary, car, office, bonus, profit, dissertation, etc.
We need to stimulate the Outside-in force in ourselves so that we can live a life which is balanced and has a long-term perspective and work in a business which is balanced and has a long-term perspective. We are all dependent on the world around us. If we benefit ourselves at the expense of others, we or future generations will sooner or later have to “repay”. It is short-sighted and dangerous to constantly live with an Outside-in and Inside-out imbalance in our way of thinking and acting. This imbalance can occur in a relationship, in an organization and in a country or a region.
From the Outside-in and the Inside-out
With Lots® for the development of leaders, team and business or organization we are trying to make ourselves and our customers aware of what it means to think and live from the Outside-in and the Inside-out in a long-term perspective. We have been working towards this for nearly 40 years in more than 50 countries and we are looking forward to the next 50 years.
We would not exist today if we hadn’t tried to live close to our customers and close to what is happening in the world. This is the Outside-in. At the same time we have had to answer to the expectations from our customers and stakeholders through an active development of our products and co-workers. This is the Inside-out. We know from our own experience how hard this can be and we understand therefore also the challenges that our customers are facing. Our experience is that we all face similar challenges and that it is up to us to react and act upon signals and not let the imbalance between the outside expectations and our reactions grow through ignorance or lack of awareness. Inside-out. Otherwise the necessary changes will become traumatic for those involved.
We are often impressed by our customers. They are aware, up to date and make constructive changes. For instance, the international hotels chain which adapted and is growing and developing despite a drop in business travel and increased teleconferencing; the Swedish consumer products company that has become a major European force by seeking compatible relationships; the problem riddled school in Jerusalem, Israel which has now become a model school where people seek to be admitted; the new school in Ramallah, Palestine that is both politically and religiously independent; the city council that dares to challenge the established system of old thinking and works across cultural and political boundaries; the telecom business which used cellular technology to open up new communication possibilities in Bangladesh, and personal development possibilities for women; the young managing director who quit a job in which he found no joy and today lives a much richer private and professional life. Common for all the people in these organizations is that they are actively trying to think and work from the Outside-in and Inside-out in a long-term perspective.
All change starts with ourselves
How good are you at balancing thinking and working from the Outside-in and Inside-out? We all need to reflect on this from time to time. Some people are better at keeping this balance than others. We can learn and be inspired by them. You are welcome to write your own letter of reflection or contribute with an example on our website. Examples from both the private and the professional side of real life help inspire others. What happened to Swedish downhill skiing when Ingmar Stenmark came? What happened to golf when Tiger Woods came? What happened to tennis when Björn Borg came? Such examples are to be found in all countries, in all areas. The power of the good example is great.