The main challenge that faces the management systems community is as Charles Handy, the philosopher and writer on organizational behaviour and management, says “not to let our past, however glorious, get in the way of the future”. Rereading Handy’s book, Beyond certainty – the changing world of organizations, published in 1995, reminded me just how quickly things have and are changing.
When I was doing my MBA, we looked at organizational structure. It focused on all the different types of structures, i.e. the way organizations operate and, back then, the most common one was bureaucracy. People’s views of what an organization 1) is have changed since then.
The article (see pages 4 to 9) by Oswald Dodds, my predecessor as Chair of ISO/TC 207/SC 1 (see box, “ Tribute to retiring SC 1 Chair ”) recounts the evolution of the group responsible for ISO’s standards for environmental management systems and some of the challenges it has and continues to face.