Levels of Perspective - Perspective 1

Updated: Apr 5, 2020

This month we will continue our conversation of Level of Perspectives starting with Perspective 1 - Organization. Martial Arts has really taught me how important understanding the environment in which you are in is. You must be aware of your surroundings at ALL times in order to be prepared effectively. For example, when I go to the movie theater now, I intentionally find the exit areas in case of an emergency. I would say my awareness was not as keen before martial arts. However, I learned that in order to defend myself I need to know the environment I am in, and what resources are readily available to me if I need to defend myself.

The same is true when we work for organizations. We will begin by our series with gaining an overall perspective of an organization by leveraging tools such as; the business model canvas, functional decomposition (prior blog post on this technique), and Value Stream Mapping. In addition, at the end of this month we will have a special feature announced at the end of this post. You won’t want to miss it!!!😁. I must also mention, these 3 tools are not an exhaustive list of what you can leverage to gain understanding, but will give you a great start, and relatively quickly.

Let’s get started, shall we?

I have found as a consultant, and full time employee, many do not spend time understanding the strategy, goals and/or structure of the organization. The lack of this knowledge can lead to decisions that are very siloed, instead of holistic. The result can produce negative upstream, and downstream impact, as well as, solutions implemented that do not meet the needs of, not only the organization, but the customers. It’s imperative to first understand the organization (environment) in which you work. Take time to understand the foundation that runs the organization. The foundation consist of the vision, mission, strategy, goals, cost generators, customer and stakeholders to name a few. Think about it this way, would you marry someone you did not know? Don’t take into account the reality TV shows out there where this is done (🤣), but think about it for yourself. You spend a lot of your time, energy and skill working for organizations. Take time to get to know WHO you work for, and WHY you work and believe in the organization. This builds a strong foundation for you to succeed in the organization. In addition, when there are days that are challenging you can hold onto the foundation in which you believe to get you through.


One tool I have found to be very helpful in gaining organizational understanding is the Business Model Canvas. I like this tool because it’s extremely easy on the eyes, and is a nice one-pager to get an idea of the organizational model quickly. A business model canvas can be used to document the existing business model, or as a canvas for a new business idea. Many startup companies leverage the canvas to help visually show their business plan without all the pages of granular detail involved in a business plan. In addition, it can bring items to light for new business ideas that may need to be vetted more. Going back to the organizational perspective, it can help to bring clarity to team members in a very visual way, and level set the foundation. Depending on the organization, and the different servi