Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Six Box Organizational Model for Small Business: Escanaba Polo Mallet Co. Example

Businesses thrive when they continuously seek new levels of organizational performance. Learning organizations adapt and those that are dying fail to adapt. Escanaba Polo Mallet Co is a new start up so we have lots of learning to do. Sometimes we can make decisions on the cuff and other times we need a model to help us formalize options. Marvin Weisbord (1976 p431) combines "bits of data, theories, research, and hunches into a working tool that anyone can use.". Below you will find the 6 boxes for formulating a conception of a business and where it can improve. 

1. Purpose: What business are you in? (Mallets and possible future polo gear)

2. Structure: How to divide up roles and responsibilities. (We are small so roles are multifaceted)

3. Rewards: Do activities have incentives. (Incentives are based on performance of the business.)

4. Helpful mechanisms: Are there adequate coordinating technologies (Process of scaling with technologies.)

5. Relationships: How the organization handles conflict. (Easy return policies and active constructive dialogue. Support our products with exceptional customer service)

6. Leadership: Does someone keep the other boxes in balance? (Yes...small business ownership means many hats)

The model does well simplifying/oversimplify) and considering the wider factors in organizational management. It is provides an opportunity to view the organization from different perspectives to highlight potential issues and determine whether a strategy is being effectively executed. Business is a process of consistent improvement and having models such as this can help in formulating a proper review. You can gain some more insight at Guide to Weisbord’s 6 Box Model

As a start-up we are small so many of the roles will be multifaceted. However, as an organization grows and creates specific roles there will be increasing complexity to these boxes. They aren't able to be answered among a few people and will lean more into formal analysis (or at least as formal as possible.) Using this as a guide as we grow helps to ensure we are thinking through the many options and having a balance approach.

"Weisbord, M. R. 1976. Organizational diagnosis: Six places to look for trouble with or without a theory. Group & Organization Studies 1(4):430–47."

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