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The most important concepts frequently come out of the most apparent and simplistic ideas. Usually, these are only apparent to us after they are described or the picture is painted for us. The IEM conceptual framework provides each of us a road map for improved effectiveness in today's complex organizations. The six perspectives challenge us to consider cross-functional issues at a higher level of thinking than the separate functional issues. This is the glue that makes a group of functions into one enterprise performing with a focus, mission, strategy and vision suitable for winning in the markets we serve.

IEM is about people, each performing a job in a mosaic of activity in pursuit of goals. Some goals are shared while others may be less than congruent. The benefit of the IEM module is that it avoids the confusion of trying to define every interaction between functions, something that would not be possible. The way functions interact is a special characteristic of each organization. This characteristic is a property of organizations but it differs in character for each organization. The six perspectives concept, however, applies to a broad range of organizations. The characteristics of the individual as they might view their work from each of the six perspectives are generalizable across organizations.

The underlying factor in the six perspectives is knowledge. How might we as members of an organization apply all the knowledge that can be brought to bear on an issue? The IEM concept is one way of leading people in their organiza­tional lives to see issues from multiple perspectives and therefore be able to integrate the resources of the enter­prise. The alternative of trying to define each interaction between functions would create more confusion than ben­efit and would not promote integration but disaggregation, exactly the opposite of our purpose.

The power of the one individual-six perspectives concept becomes obvious. The unit of analysis is always you, the individual, performing your work and fulfilling your role within the enterprise. The six perspectives integrate the resources of the enterprise to meet an enterprise need. Integration of resources means bringing to bear all the knowledge available regardless of where that knowledge resides. The intent of the concept is to guide each IEM candidate through the world of integrated resource man­agement, through all six of the perspectives. The underly­ing belief is that as you walk the path of the perspectives that you are least comfortable with, you will gain an appreciation for how others may view the issue, problem or opportunity. As a practitioner, you will be addressing areas that may be your organizational blind spots.

IEM is not content specific but a way of thinking and functioning within organizations. It is an integrated, thoughtful, cross-functional (as contrasted with multi­functional) way of symbiotically gathering the strengths of the other members to pursue the organization's purpose.
Why is IEM important now? Your career depends upon your ability to see issues and opportunities from many views. Opportunities for greater responsibility emerge from a demonstration of the ability to think on a higher level than just the goals of a single function or perspective.

To be Continued


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