Are you an ‘outside in’ person, or an ‘inside out’?

I’m not talking about advanced forehand strokes in tennis here; I’m talking about how you approach things in the world of work and life.

I’m an outside in kinda guy. I like to start from the outside, getting the big picture, understanding the whole, before I work my way in to the specific problem or task at hand. I do this because I need the context first. I need to know how what I’m trying to do connects with and affects the other pieces of the big picture. I find it difficult to do something in isolation.

Lots of people are inside outers of course. They move in the opposite direction to outside in folk and I suspect they also have different personalities, different jobs and different ways of working. They don’t need the context, they don’t want outside factors to impair their judgement, and away they go.

Both approaches have their pros and cons though, and I also suspect each type of approach is better suited to a particular job.

Which are you, an inside out person or an outside in?