When neither a top-down approach nor a bottom-up approach works, exclusively of each other, how might I succinctly label an approach that encompasses both top-down and bottom-up?

  • Perhaps a broad approach. May 16, 2019 at 13:47
  • That term seems a bit broad...
    – purefusion
    May 16, 2019 at 13:49
  • Do you mean this in a business setting? A bit more context might be helpful.
    – S Conroy
    May 16, 2019 at 17:36

1 Answer 1


Think about what these expressions mean. ‘Top down’ has innovation and change decided by the leadership and passed down for implementation. ‘bottom up’ has the process of identification coming from the ‘shop floor’. There is nothing (linguistically) in between.

There is a term, ‘360 degree’ (usually used of evaluation and appraisal) which might fit your bill. It does covey the idea of using ideas from the organisation at all levels.

On the other hand, ‘bottom up’ does not really mean that managements waits idly by to find out what the shop floor thinks. Managers too. have ideas of their own. So you could argue that ‘bottom up’ will do fine.

  • 360* could also feasibly work for inside-out + outside-in, although I wonder if there are other possibilities.
    – purefusion
    May 16, 2019 at 19:50

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