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The Weisbord Six-Box Model is a framework developed by American business analyst Marvin Weisbord used to evaluate the performance of organizations. It was developed to uncover organizational issues that get overlooked by senior management and provides a structured way for management to uncover issues without the task feeling too overwhelming.
Description of Weisbord’s Six Box Model
The Weisbord Six-Box Model uses six broad categories to conduct an organizational diagnosis of the issues within company. According to Weisbord, identifying and solving a problem is something that should be done systematically by the people themselves, because they are the most familiar with their own situation. A formal diagnosis is a way to bridge the gap between what is and what should be. Analyzing the six research areas enables organizations to uncover issues and draw conclusions in order to solve internal issues.
- Purpose: Organizational purpose needs to be clear to all employees, and they must adhere to the purpose, even if their personal view is completely different.
- Structure: The organizational structure of an organization contains the bigger picture of power relationships between employees and formal relationships between functional groups. Structure should provide a clear view of who is ultimately responsible for achieving the goals in an organization.
- Relationships: Relationships include individuals, groups, and other functional sections that work together effectively.
- Rewards: Reward systems, both formal and informal, must be analyzed in order to ensure appropriate reward levels are provided, so that employees remain motivated.
- Leadership: Leadership refers mainly to the managers within an organization. Managers need to use the human resources, materials and equipment they have at their disposal in order to achieve the organization’s goals. They also need to encourage collaboration between employees who are working on the same project or product.
- Helpful Mechanisms: Helpful mechanisms are methods that help employees to coordinate their activities. Examples are descriptions of organizational approaches, procedures, seminars, notes, reports, perspectives, or integrated information systems.
The External Environment, while not depicted as a box in Weisbord’s model, is also an important part of any company analysis. This part of the analysis concerns the discrepancy between the existing organization and the way the organization should function to meet external demands. Weisbord defines external demands or pressures as customers, government, and unions. In summary, Weisbord’s model focuses on internal issues within an organization primarily by posing diagnostic questions which have to do with finding and decreasing the gap between “what is” and “what should be.”
Praxie's Online Weisbord’s Six Box Model Tools & Templates
The new online Weisbord’s Six-Box Model template by Praxie allows strategy teams to diagnose the organizational makeup of a particular business using survey feedback taken from across an organization. The survey data can come from company-wide employee surveys, HR interviews and documents, onboarding and exit interviews, as well as interviews with senior stakeholders and leaders. The data from these surveys can provide insights used to populate the Weisbord’s Six-Box Model segments: purpose, structure, relationships, rewards, leadership, and helpful mechanisms. Strategy teams working with leaders can use this model to highlight organizational issues that get overlooked by senior management.
Building this model into an online tool allows strategy teams and leaders to work together closely to develop insights which support the holistic growth of a particular organization. Get started with our Weisbord’s Six-Box Model template.
How to use it:
- Based on your research or other data, enter a summary of your assessment of the organization for each of the six boxes in the model.
- Be concise and enter 3-5 bullet points for each that illustrates the key issues.
- Lay out an action plan for creating your Six-Box analysis.
Unlike most traditional Six Box Model techniques, Praxie’s online Six Box Model tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.