The McKinsey 7S Framework is a management model developed by well-known business consultants Waterman and Peters (who also developed the MBWA-- "Management By Walking Around" motif, and authored "In Search of Excellence") in the 1980s. This was a strategic vision for groups, to include businesses, business units, and teams. The 7S are structure, strategy, systems, skills, style, staff and shared values.
The model is most often used as a tool to assess and monitor changes in the internal situation of an organisation.
The model is based on the theory that, for an organization to perform well, these seven elements need to be aligned and mutually reinforcing. So, the model can be used to help identify what needs to be realigned to improve performance, or to maintain alignment (and performance) during other types of change.
Whatever the type of change – restructuring, new processes, organizational merger, new systems, change of leadership, and so on – the model can be used to understand how the organizational elements are interrelated, and so ensure that the wider impact of changes made in one area is taken into consideration.
You can use the 7S model to help analyze the current situation (Point A), a proposed future situation (Point B) and to identify gaps and inconsistencies between them. It's then a question of adjusting and tuning the elements of the 7S model to ensure that your organization works effectively and well once you reach the desired endpoint.
Sounds simple? Well, of course not: Changing your organization probably will not be simple at all! Whole books and methodologies are dedicated to analyzing organizational strategy, improving performance and managing change. The 7S model is a good framework to help you ask the right questions – but it won't give you all the answers. For that you'll need to bring together the right knowledge, skills and experience.
When it comes to asking the right questions,