Change for any business isn’t just inevitable—it’s essential to stay competitive. However, the challenge lies in managing these changes and framing them correctly. This is where the 7-S Model from McKinsey offers an effective solution.
The model views an organization from seven distinct perspectives: Strategy, Structure, Systems, Skills, Staff, Style, and Shared Values. It assumes that all these elements are interconnected, and changes in one area will impact the others. This model assists you in maintaining a holistic view and ensuring all facets of your organization are aligned.
Let’s first address the “hard” factors: Strategy, Structure, and Systems. These areas are often more straightforward to define and measure. They tackle questions like, “What strategy do we employ to achieve our goals?”, “How is our organization structured?”, and “Which processes and systems do we use to accomplish our tasks?”
On the other hand, the “soft S’s” comprise Skills, Staff, Style, and Shared Values.
These might be harder to pin down but are equally vital. They touch on matters such as, “What skills and talents do our employees possess?”, “What is our corporate culture like?”, and “What values do we collectively uphold as an organization?”
Each of these elements influences the others, meaning any change has ripple effects throughout the entire system. Thus, the 7-S Model is an exceptional tool for initiating change processes and determining their direction. For instance, it can help establish the current state of each element and depict the desired state. Based on this analysis, actions can be developed considering the interplay between the elements to achieve the desired end-state.
At Forster&Klevenz, we utilize this model to assist our clients in honing in on their systems. Together, we analyze and evaluate the seven areas of your business and craft an action plan tailored to your specific needs and objectives. Since external factors aren’t accounted for in the model, we often incorporate them when applying it.