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Weisbord’s Six Box Model

Use this tool to get a quick assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of a business.

In 1976 American analyst, Marvin Weisbord, wrote a paper called Organizational Diagnosis: Six Places to Look for Trouble with or without a Theory. It is widely known as the "six box model". The six boxes have labels which join together to describe the efficient functioning of a company and the model is used to develop an improvement strategy. 

1. Purpose: the starting point of the assessment is to determine what business the company is in and whether there are any expected changes in the future. In effect, this is a vision for the company.

2. Structure: next we look at how the company is organised. This part of the analysis covers who does what in the various departments of the organisation.

3. Relationships: companies are made up of people and their relationships with each other within an organisation and with customers and suppliers are vital to its success.

4. Rewards: people need to be motivated by appropriate rewards not just in money but in the recognition they receive for the job they do.

5. Leadership: this is another vital component of every company. Leadership qualities need to be tailored to suit a company. Leadership styles may vary but they all require trust.

6. Helpful mechanisms: this is the"lubrication" that helps an organisation operate efficiently. In today's companies this helpful mechanism is technology and this could change rapidly over time.

The six box framework is a useful tool for determining the efficiency of an organisation. There is much flexibility in the tool. A quick analysis of each box may point to an aspect of the business that needs a deeper dive.

 

We should also remember that companies operate within a wider environment and it may be useful to complement the 6 box study with an analysis and appraisal of the market and competition.

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