What is 7-S
The Seven-Ss is a framework for
analyzing organizations and their effectiveness. It looks at the seven key
elements that make the organizations successful, or not: strategy;
structure; systems; style; skills; staff; and shared values.
Signs of a Losing Organization
Consultants at McKinsey & Company developed the
7S model in the late 1970s to help managers address the difficulties of
The model shows that organizational immune systems and the many
interconnected variables involved make change complex, and that an effective
change effort must address many of these issues simultaneously.
Organization: 5 Basic Elements
7-S Model – a
Systemic Approach to Improving Organizations
The 7-S model is a tool for
managerial analysis and action that provides a structure with which to
consider a company as a whole, so that the organization's problems may be
diagnosed and a strategy may be developed and implemented.
The 7-S diagram illustrates the
multiplicity interconnectedness of elements that define an organization's
ability to change. The theory helped to change manager's thinking about how
companies could be improved. It says that it is not just a matter of
devising a new strategy and following it through. Nor is it a matter of
setting up new systems and letting them generate improvements.
To be effective, your organization
must have a high degree of fit, or internal alignment among all the seven
Ss. Each S must be consistent with and reinforce the other Ss. All Ss are
interrelated, so a change in one has a ripple effect on all the others. It
is impossible to make progress on one without making progress on all. Thus,
to improve your organization, you have to master
systems thinking and pay
attention to all of the seven elements at the same time. There is no
starting point or implied hierarchy – different factors may drive the
business in any one organization.
Smart Business Architect
Shared values are commonly held beliefs, mindsets, and assumptions that
shape how an organization behaves – its
culture. Shared values
are what engender
trust. They are an
interconnecting center of the 7Ss model. Values are the identity by which a
company is known throughout its business areas, what the organization stands
for and what it believes in, it central beliefs and attitudes. These values
must be explicitly stated as both corporate objectives and individual
Culture: 5 Elements
Structure is the organizational chart and
associated information that shows who reports to whom and how tasks are both
divided up and integrated. In other words, structures describe the hierarchy
of authority and accountability in an organization, the way the
organization's units relate to each other: centralized, functional divisions
decentralized (the trend in larger organizations); matrix, network,
holding, etc. These relationships are frequently diagrammed in
organizational charts. Most organizations use some mix of structures –
pyramidal, matrix or networked ones – to accomplish their goals.
are plans an organization formulates to reach identified goals, and a set of
decisions and actions aimed at gaining a
sustainable advantage over the
Systems define the flow of
activities involved in the daily operation of business, including its core
processes and its support systems. They refer to the procedures, processes
and routines that are used to manage the organization and characterize how
important work is to be done. Systems include:
"Style" refers to the cultural
style of the organization, how key managers behave in achieving the
organization's goals, how managers collectively spend their time and
attention, and how they use symbolic behavior. How management acts is more
what management says.
"Staff" refers to the number and
types of personnel within the organization and how companies develop
employees and shape basic values.
"Skills" refer to the dominant
distinctive capabilities and competencies of the personnel or of the
organization as a whole.
The New-Generation Adaptive
Adaptive organization is a new third-stage
organization based upon radically new logics of content, configuration, and
change based on human capabilities rather than limitations. The three new
logics for adaptive organizations include:
New logic of content:
requires that concepts of strategy, structure, and systems are broadened
to include a greater emphasis on human values, goals, capabilities, and
New logic of configuration:
specifies a new relationship among strategy, structure, and systems that
gives priority to supporting workforce engagement and capability.
New logic of change: asserts that people seek meaning in work
through accomplishment and contribution to shared organization goals,
and specifies a top-down-bottom-up sequence of development activities...