Business Perspective is your first step

“Why Perspective First?”

The Value proposition for gathering business perspective before planning.

By Ian Richardson, Managing Partner, Richardson & Richardson Consulting

Tom Paterson was an interesting man [you can learn about Tom’s life here: Heritage | Paterson (]. One of Tom’s favorite sayings was “Perspective before planning, always.” In this blog, we’re referencing the concept of business perspective (The points of view and knowledge, skills, and experience of various areas of the business, including those outside of the organization itself). This adage stems from the analysis of eastern cultures that Tom performed throughout his life. I’ll elaborate on that point for just a moment:

An Exercise in Thinking – Gain better insight

In Western Cultures, there is a general pervasiveness of “speed driven” thinking processes around problems, opportunities, and ideas. We value getting to a solution as quickly and efficiently as possible. This “speed over everything” approach can lead us to a narrow, single facet point of view around problems, even those that are quite complex, or multi-faceted, in nature.

Eastern Cultures, in general, value an approach of gathering business perspective first. Those tasked with solving a problem, addressing an opportunity, or fleshing out an idea will first take time to consider all the angles, or perspectives, around that problem, opportunity, or idea. What is the impact to our organization? Do I know the impact this will have for our shareholders? How will it impact our clients? Our competition? Our community? Is it in alignment with our mission, vision, and values? Does it achieve the impact for our company?

This laundry list of questions (which just scratches the surface of potential perspectives to gather), creates a spiral of thought process around the item being considered. It leads to thoughtful discussion and analysis of the situation, and in general, leads to more robust, well thought out solutions to a situation at hand. They gather business perspective before creating their business plan.

I’ve found it easier to consider this by using a simple diagram – shown below:

Business Perspective - An Exercise in Thinking

An exercise in thinking – Capturing business perspective

What’s the value of business perspective?

Improved outcomes are the general theme I’ve found. Gain understanding of what your customer’s value about their relationship with you before creating a new product or service offering. After gathering this insight, see if the offering improves your value proposition to your client. Ask yourself ‘is the offer “aligned” with my customer’s values?’

Consider where your organization is headed (the vision for the organization). Make sure you account for what items will drive a state of high performance. Ensure your action is going to further your progress towards achieving your vision. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted from what drives performance of the organization. Shiny objects are cancer to a well run company.

Contemplating and reviewing your company’s core values before hiring. You can ensure that the new person joining your team will be set up for success. You can also avoid tension and or strife throughout their team.

Final Thoughts

My father was a fan of platitudes, wisdoms, and fortune cookie sayings. I’ve found that the learnings he shared with me resonate far more often now that he has passed away. One phrase resounds whenever I consider perspective: “You have to slow down to move fast.”

By taking some additional time to consider all your angles, you’re going to end up at a better solution for all involved. You’ll avoid the avoidable mistakes that cost client relationships, good team members, and missed business goals.

If you’re struggling to gather perspective or get your team onboard with the need to do so, Richardson & Richardson can help. Check out our case studies for stories of organizations that we’ve assisted with similar issues and download our white papers for deep dives on tools you can use in your organization. If you’re wondering where to start, book a complimentary session with one of the Richardsons today to come up with a plan on how to move forward.

Always Forward,


Ian Richardson

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