Co-creating your people strategy from the inside-out

November 2017, by Glen Barber

Does your Organisation have a strategy or plan? If so, do you have a people strategy to successfully deliver alignment between employee experience and shareholder needs? 

A well-designed people strategy, sponsored by the CEO, championed by the C suite, and co-created through employee engagement will place the employee experience (personally and professionally) at the centre of the strategic planning cycle. The inclusive nature of an inside-out design ensures the people strategy is not seen as another HR initiative, rather, an opportunity for organisational transformation where employees lead the desired business changes.

There are obvious benefits in engaging the workforce to create change, and even more so in having their involvement in creating the employee experience of a successful people strategy. We each have data on organisations struggling to deliver sustainable change, including Harvard Business Review stating – “60-70% of change management projects fail, 2013”. Failure can be for many reasons, though in 2014 stated change “fails fundamentally because they are conceived as an outside-in process, moving about parts of the organization, rather than an inside-out process which focuses on change within individuals”.

To create an effective people strategy that enables business transformation requires disrupting and re-building the employee experience. The design and facilitation of the people strategy should empower all team members, personally and professionally, to connect their future commitment and output to delivering upon the business strategy. This starts with mapping the employee experience to the desired strategic outcomes, where all team members understand how they do or can add value. The tangibles include improved scaffolding: of work design – organisation structure and levels of work to deliver transformation; recreating the people systems – who and how are we recruiting, welcoming new recruits, performance and recognition etc.; and uplifting employee capabilities – incl. shifting of mindsets, behaviours and future competencies.

When designed and executed professionally, the creation of an inside-out people strategy is one of the greatest opportunities to lay a new foundation for your desired culture while shaping workplace behaviours. People innately believe what they see and by engaging your workforce to create the tangibles of the scaffolding you will bring the company’s Purpose to life through the sharing of their collective Story, while creating visible Leadership impact that invests in shifting from current to future Capabilities and designs the Environment to be high performing

SPEC’L, our inside-out framework sparks engagement at all levels within your business, which can reset culture and drive productivity improvements. If you are implementing a new structure, new business strategy, or digital transformation, then it is time to engage your people and to have them co-create the people strategy and scaffolding, so they own the change you desire to see.


If you would like to bring this conversation with us, you may reach out to Glen Barber at