Mar 302011

Change: The Nine Boxes Model 

Change: “Piecemeal approaches that are assumed to be The answer are as dangerous as no response at all”

Geary Rummler and Alan Brache

In today’s competitive and rapidly changing business climate, it’s more important than ever to build organizations that can adapt. In order to do this, it is essential to understand your organization as an adaptive system and to design organizational changes using a systemic approach. Failure to do so can lead to suboptimization or a failure to sustain improvements because key performance variables were missed during analysis. Too often, traditional approaches to process improvement yield excellent results for local problems but fail to deliver as promised for the large, cross-functional processes that are the core of your business.

Our methodology is based on two core concepts:

  • The Three Levels of Performance are the organization, process, and performer or people-levels. To effect change in an organization, it is necessary to understand the potential impacts to all three levels. For example, a process change could mean significant changes to job responsibilities and the skills required to execute those responsibilities. Failure to adequately account for these interrelationships is a major cause of failed process implementations.
  • The Three Performance Dimensions are goals, design, and management. Having clear goals at each level ensures alignment to desired results; having robust design at each level maximizes the efficiency of operations; and having good management systems at each level ensures that the organization can survive and adapt to changes in the business environment. A failure in any of these dimensions will also lead to performance problems.

Together, the three levels and three dimensions are known as the “nine boxes model.” We provide both the tools and methodology you’ll need to address the critical variables within each box and ensure integration among the boxes.

The Nine Boxes Model

Goals Design Management
Organization Strategy, operating plans, and metrics. Organization structure and overall business model. Performance review practices and management culture.
Process Customer and business requirements. Process design, systems design, and workspace design. Process ownership, process management, and continuous improvement.
Performer Job specifications, performance metrics, and individual development plans. Job roles and responsibilities, skill requirements, procedures, tools, and training. Performance feedback, consequences, coaching, and support.


To Discuss how these Solutions will add value for you, your organization and/or your clients, Affinity/Resale Opportunities, and/or Collaborative Efforts, Please Contact:

Tom McDonald,; 608-788-5144; Skype: tsmw5752

change, McDonald Sales and Marketing, LLC