Organizational Assessment with the R.A.I.L.S. System
Every organization is a complex set of systems that work together to produce output in some form or another. The R.A.I.L.S. system is a guide to assess any organization aiming for maximum productivity. An overview of this system is outlined below.
R – Rewards
“What gets measured, gets done. What gets rewarded, gets done well.” Whatever the rewards, the human beings in your organization are motivated by those factors. Compensation, recognition, safety, stability, growth, security… the list is long. Rewards are what motivate us all to do well. Without proper rewards, or with a mismatch between rewards and roles, management will be left scratching their collective head trying to figure out what’s wrong. Assessing the rewards that both exist, and that need to exist is critical to an organizations prosperity.
A – Alignment
If you can’t quote your organization’s purpose, mission and vision, chances are that they are really just a bunch of fluff. Strategic Planning is meaningless without the purpose, mission and vision that should drive it. Many organizations tinker about like a room full of children and toys because they are not truly focused. An organization’s purpose drives its mission. Its mission drives its vision. Its vision drives its strategy, which drives its objectives and then goals. Subsequently, all goals should lead to objectives which align with the strategy, driven by purpose, mission and vision. When all of these pieces line up and the people gain clarity around them, there is no stopping you.
I – Interactions
Organizations are groups of people. People are human. They have human needs and human strengths and human weaknesses. The way in which those people interact can make or break a team or an organization. All successful organizations have great interactions. If those interactions begin to fail, the organization will fall swiftly behind them. Attention and focus must be given to the human and other factors behind how the people interact.
L – Leadership
We depend on our leaders. Some aspire to lead, and others love to support. Regardless of our personal preference, those who lead have a huge impact on the success of our organizations. An assessment of which leaders (both assigned and not) play in various roles, and identifying ideal influences is critical to an organization. If all other factors are in line, and the appropriate leadership is not in place with the right presence, an organization will falter.
S – Systems
Often our systems get the most attention, when really they should fall naturally into place when all of the above are set correctly. Systems include organizational structures, tools and technology that aid job effectiveness and other mechanism that make the work more efficient and productive.