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Organisations, environmental management and innovation
Organisations, environmental management and innovation

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1.2 Multiple perspectives

Although you now have a basis for thinking about organisations as a group of people organised for a common purpose, it is important to consider whether other people, perhaps not connected to the organisation, share similar perspectives about the organisation and its purpose.

Ultimately, the Wren anecdote reveals the importance of perspectives. Not everyone inside and outside an organisation will share the same perspective about the purpose of an organisation and its associated activities.

A modern corollary of Wren’s encounter with stonemasons would be an organisation claiming to be delivering ‘world-class expertise in oil exploration’, an employee in that organisation ‘earning a salary to pay my mortgage for my house’ and an outside observer of the organisation claiming the organisation is ‘focused on profit at the expense of the global environment and people’.

Activity 4 Considering the perspectives of others

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Thinking back to the systems diagram you developed for Activity 3, would friends, family, colleagues or associates agree with your representation of your chosen organisation in terms of its activities and, ultimately, its purpose? How might your systems map be altered to reflect some of these different perspectives?

Provide your answer...

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My systems map is quite focused on the practicalities of the badminton aspects. My fellow players might develop the socialising aspects more – perhaps by adding in food as well as drinks to the post-game activities and choosing a venue where we are able to discuss topics of the day. Exercising might also play a more prominent role for some as well as improving their badminton skills. I’m pretty sure that our various partners might consider the weekly badminton session as a way to meet up with friends and go for a drink afterwards rather than being focused on badminton.

Appreciating multiple perspectives is a key element and skill set associated with environmental management which we will come back to later on. Having had a chance to reflect on organisations, our focus now turns to innovation.