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4 Examples of Bottom-Up

Bottom-up is an approach to thinking, organization and design that begins with details with progression towards high level structures. This can be contrasted with top-down approaches that begin with high level structures with progression towards detail. The following are illustrative examples of a bottom-up approach.


Beginning analysis with details such as an investor who shortlists firms based on financial metrics such as debt level before moving to analysis based on management, products, industry and economic considerations.


Beginning design with details such as a shoe designer who begins with a foam that is super bouncy and light before considering high level design such as style.


Bottom-up processes begin with the working level and flow up a hierarchy towards upper management. For example, an IT team that proposes a strategy that is approved by the CIO but rejected by the CEO.


Beginning with details. For example, a dentist who asks the symptoms of a problem before progressing to questions related to your habits or dental history.

Strategic Thinking

This is the complete list of articles we have written about strategic thinking.
Capability Analysis
Concrete Goals
Defensive Pessimism
Design Thinking
Grand Strategy
Known Unknowns
Organizing Principle
Silent Goal
Strategic Direction
SWOT Analysis
Systems Thinking
Top Down
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