The 7S Framework

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Explanation of the 7-S Model of McKinsey.

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  1. Summary
  2. Forum
  3. Best Practices
  4. Expert Tips
  5. Resources

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What is the  7-S Framework? Description

The 7-S Framework of McKinsey is a management model that describes 7 factors to organize a company in an holistic and effective way. Together these factors determine the way in which a corporation operates. Managers should take into account all seven of these factors, to be sure of successful implementation of a strategy. Large or small. They're all interdependent, so if you fail to pay proper attention to one of them, this may effect all others as well. On top of that, the relative importance of each factor may vary over time.


Origin of the 7-S Framework. History

The 7-S Framework was first mentioned in the journal "Business Horizons" in an article "Structure Is Not Organization" by Robert H. Waterman, Thomas J. Peters and Julien R. Phillips in June 1980. It appeared also in "In Search of Excellence" by Peters and Waterman, and was taken up as a basic tool by the global management consultancy company McKinsey. Since then it is known as their 7-S model.


The meaning of the 7 Ss

 

McKinsey 7-S frameworkSuperordinate Goals (also called Shared Values).

The interconnecting center of McKinsey's model is: Superordinate Goals (Shared Values). This term includes higher elevation concepts of what an organization wants to achieve, stands for and what it believes in: purpose, vision, mission, shared values, central beliefs and attitudes. Compare: Strategic Intent


Strategy

Plans for the allocation of a firms scarce resources, over time, to reach identified goals. Environment, competition, customers.
 

Structure

The way in which the organization's units relate to each other: centralized, functional divisions (top-down); decentralized; a matrix, a network, a holding, etc.


Systems

The procedures, processes and routines that characterize how the work should be done: financial systems; recruiting, promotion and performance appraisal systems; information systems.
 

Staff

Numbers and types of personnel within the organization.
 

Style

Cultural style of the organization and how key managers behave in achieving the organization's goals. Compare: Management Styles.
 

Skills

Distinctive capabilities of personnel or of the organization as a whole. Compare: Core Competences.


Strengths of the 7-S Model. Benefits

  • Diagnostic tool for understanding organizations that are ineffective.
  • Guides organizational change.
  • Combines rational and hard elements with emotional and soft elements.
  • Managers must act on all Ss in parallel and all Ss are interrelated.

Book: Ethan M. Rasiel, Paul N. Friga - The McKinsey Mind: Understanding and Implementing the Problem Solving Tools and Management Techniques -


7-S Framework Forum
  How to Use the 7S Model in Education?
Does someone have an idea for using this method for universities or schools?
Let's say that the Shared Value is: moral or justice. What will then be the other six? How does the process go?
Did someone already tried?
Please share experi...
     
 
  7S X 7S Matrix: Tracking the Mutual Congruency of the 7S Elements
I have used the 7S for organisational assessment and analysis. I used it in a 7x7 matrix to check the S's for coherence as whether Structure supports Strategy and so on.
This analysis highlights the mutual inconsistencies between all S's....
     
 
  Competitive Edge with 7S Model?
(How) Can a firm achieve a competitive advantage with the 7S framework?
For me its the shared values and style that make up the competitive advantage of a company. It spells what it really is as an organization, bonds the workforce and competes ...
     
 
  Changes in Shared Values and Staff
The values of the organisation may change over time with changes of personnel entering the organisation from the outside. Especially in a growing company a few things happen quickly:
1. Advent of fresh ideas from outside (new people joini...
     
 
  7S McKinsey for ISO 14001
How is the 7S Model from McKinsey used as frame work for ISO 14001 implementation?...
     
 
  One More S: Solidarity
I think this is a sound model but Solidarity is missing in this model. It should be the 8S model. Solidarity is a concept of oneness. See the concepts of Dr. Abdullah Alama Muhammad Iqbal which has been taken from Quran (the holy book of Allah) and M...
     
 
  7-s Model as Basis for a Project Audit
Could McKinsey's 7-s model be used as a standard/norm for auditing control over projects in organizations. Anyone with experience on this matter?...
     
 
  McKinsey 7-S Model on Innovation
I am interested in the application of the 7-S model on organizing innovation structurally in a company.
For instance: what are the choices available for each S, related to the environment of the company.
In other words: How do you link the ...
     
 
  What is the NEW 7S Framework?
The new 7 S-es are:
1. Superior Stakeholder Satisfaction
2. Strategic Foretelling
3. Positioning by Speed
4. Positioning by Surprise
5. Shipping rules against competition
6. Signalling strategic intent
7. Simultaneo...
     
 
  McKinsey 7-S Background
I am doing a presentation on the 7-S framework and was wondering if anyone knew the first time it was successfully implemented and by who? Any other interesting ideas are welcomed as well....
     
 
  7-S within Government
It has come to my attention that the 7-S Model is rarely mentioned in its completeness when strategic session or planning is performed at government level. Could it be that government leadership is either unfamiliar with the concept, or is it that t...
     
 
  Extra S-es in the 7S Framework by McKinsey
I was able to utlize the 7S model very effectively to conduct the assessment of the state of the public health system for my research thesis. However, the model was limited in coverage of other critical factors that required assessment and was expand...
     
 
  Applying the 7 S Framework. Implementation
I believe the 7's is very difficult to implement at the ORGANIZATION level. So if we would be able to implement the HARD S's i-e Strategy, Structure and System that would be more then enough for a company to gain competive advantage in the market....
     
 

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Best Practices - 7-S Framework Premium
  McKinsey 7S in Fast Changing Environment: A DYNAMIC 7S Model?
Given that the business environment is changing all the time, what are the strengths and weaknesses of using the 7S Model in an organisation?
Is it necessary to update McKinsey’s model for current vo...
     
 
  CDOCi Acronym | CDOCi Tool
You can combine 7S analysis with a method called "CDOCi":
A way of reviewing a strategy or project by getting a team of people to write down their perspectives on the:
- C - Current situation
- D - Desired situation
- O - Obstacle...
     
 
  7S Data Collection and Analysis
What are some of your data collection methods for the 7 S model when using it as a diagnostic tool. The questions provided in the 7S Checklist provide nice direction regarding the "what" we are seeking, but what a...
     
 
  Measuring the Scores on each S of the 7S Framework
Hello all, have there been parameters developed to measure and/or track the 7 elements of the McKinsey 7S framework in detail?...
     
 
  Guiding a Change Program with 7-S Model
How can the 7-S model be used to inform or guide a change program?...
     
 
  Involving Staff in 7-S Framework
Implementing the 7-S can be challenging especially without the buying in of staff and management. How can these people best be involved for a swift strategic change?...
     
 
  Why are Shared Values in the Center of 7's?
Why are Shared Values (or Superordinate Goals) in the Center of 7’s? Please help me... Thank you..^^....
     
 
  Does the 7-S Model still holds true today?
Does the 7-S Model still holds true in today's business environment? Companies are increasing outsourcing their functions, and headquarters are only becoming a virtual company. Look at a company like Nike which has become success...
     
 
  Applications of the 7-S Framework
While some models of organizational effectiveness go in and out of fashion, one that has persisted is the McKinsey 7S framework. Developed in the early 1980s by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, two consultants working at the McKinsey & Company consult...
     
 
  Limiting choice of 'S' in 7S Framework?
While reading for my management course, I couldn't help but wonder if the choice of an alphabet limits the scope and skews the interpretation of a model. When formulating a model, how easy / difficult is it to find a word that starts with a particula...
     
 
  How to Link 7S Model with Leadership and Management
How do you link the 7 s framework with leadership and management. Because when discussing leadership and management most writers say leaders set the major objectives and strategies and managers will transmit and implement this strategies.

...
     
 

Expert Tips - 7-S Framework Premium
 

7S Checklist with Questions for Each S

Here's a list of questions you can use to analyze an organization in terms of the 7S Framework:
STRATEGY:
- What is our strategy?
- How...
Usage (application): Firm Analysis, Organizational Analysis
 
 
 

Categorizing the S-es in McKinsey's 7-S Model

The seven S's can be broken down into:
- 3 Hard S-es (Strategy, Structure and Systems) which are relatively easy to identify and influence...
Usage (application): Strategy, Strategic Change, 7S Implementation
 
 
 

Improved 8S Framework for Strategy Execution

As the business environment becomes more complex and more changeful, James M. Higgins suggests the introduction of the ‘8 S-es of Strategy Executio...
Usage (application): Strategy, Strategic Change, 7S Implementation
 
 
 

How to Identify Potential Problem Areas in 7S?

You can create a 7S Confrontation Matrix with all 7 S-es listed both horizontally and vertically. In the cells or intersections you list the expected ...
Usage (application): Strategy, Strategic Change, 7S Implementation
 
 

Resources - 7-S Framework Premium

Original Article Introducing the 7S Framework

The 1980 Business Horizons article "Structure is Not Organization " by Robert H. Waterman, Jr., Thomas J. Peters and Julien R. Phillips introducing th...
Usage (application): History of 7S Framework
 

McKinsey's Approach to Problem Solving

Presentation about some of McKinsey's thoughts on problem solving, thereby including the 7S-model of McKinsey. Besides the 7S-model, it is also outlin...
Usage (application): Consultancy, Organizational Analysis and Change
 

7-S Framework

Presentation about the 7S framework....
Usage (application): Analyzing the state of an organization
 
 

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Compare with the 7-S Framework: Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change  |  Ashridge Mission Model  |  Strategic Alignment  |  McKinsey Matrix


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