Summary of Rethinking Organizations from the Outside In

Talent, Leadership, and Culture

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Rethinking Organizations from the Outside In summary
External stakeholders define an organization’s value better than its talent or leaders. Why not listen to them?


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An outside-in view of a company can benefit leadership, ensure that employees commit to the right things, and increase share prices and trust in the company. Business professor Dave Ulrich makes a compelling argument for companies shaping their business around external stakeholders’ expectations. He argues that inward-looking companies may wrongly focus on factors that don’t add value – organizational structure, leadership that doesn’t align with the company’s brand, and a culture that doesn’t match with the way customers see the company and its staff. getAbstract recommends Ulrich’s alternative view to business leaders.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why customers define an organization’s value better than its leaders or workforce;
  • How customer expectations can be used to improve talent, leadership, and culture; and
  • Why organizational culture is more important than structure.


Customers define an organization’s value better than its leaders or talent do. The best organizations give great service, inspire investor confidence and benefit their communities. They achieve this by nurturing a productive workforce and a good culture and by empowering their leaders. Leaders need ...
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About the Author

Dave Ulrich is a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and a partner at the RBL Group.

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