4-3-2 organizational model
There are tens, maybe hundreds of organizational models. We studied tens of them including some of the most popular like Galbraith Star Model, McKinsey’s 7S model, Weisbord’s six box model, Nadler-Tushman Congruence model or Burke-Litwin model. Especially the last one, Burke-Litwin model, is worth to study and is probably better than our model in some respects and use cases (but worse in others, for example not including tools and internal environment could miss some opportunities to implement organizational culture and not distinguishing between a resulting product/service and metrics can lead towards too much process-orientation and less product-orientation).
Our model can be seen from several abstraction levels. On the highest abstraction level, it’s just Basics (basic inputs with the most influence) -> “Machine” (the “how” part) -> Results (what the “machine” produces given the basic input from “basics”). An abstraction level below is the 4-3-2 division with 4 areas in the basics, 3 areas in the “machine” and 2 areas in the results. But we can go into lower abstraction levels and, for example, divide People & Structure into sub-areas like Needs, Skills, Values, Motivation, Rewards, Promotions, Structure, Teams, Climate, Relationships, Roles and Responsibilities, Hiring, Training, Firing, …
Our 4-3-2 organizational model:
- External Environment
- Policies & Processes
- People & Structure
- Internal Environment, Tools & Resources
- Product/Service & other Results
We build our organization-related methodology (checklists, templates, processes, …) on this organizational model. Example: In a relationship with Organizational Excellence, we try to achieve Organizational Excellence primarily through Organizational Culture and Leadership. When designing culture, we have quick theoretical checks to check the prototype system of values (desired culture) via congruence with the external environment, organizational purpose and individuals in leadership. When implementing or changing organizational culture, we do it via the behavior of Leadership and via the remaining 5 areas of “Machine” and Results (Policies & Processes, People & Structure, Internal Environment & Tools, Product, Metrics). Details of how we do that will be in other articles.