Winning Organization:

Balanced Organization

7-S Model

A Managerial Tool for Analyzing and Improving Organizations

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!


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~ Roy Richards

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Shared Values People Power Enterprise Strategy Corporate Capabilities 7Ss Model Balanced Approach to Business Systems Winning Organization Style Winning Organization 7-S Model, 7Ss, Seven-Ss, 7S - Analyzing and Improving Organizations

"Seven-Ss" Formula a Comprehensive Guide to Analyzing the Culture and Behavior of Corporations

By Tomas J.Peters, Robert H.Waterman, and Julien R.Phillips

  1. Strategy the route that the organization has chosen for its future growth; a plan an organization formulates to gain a sustainable competitive advantage

  2. Structure the framework in which the activities of the organization's members are coordinated. The four basic structural forms are the functional form, divisional structure, matrix structure, and network structure.

  3. Systems the formal and informal procedures, including innovation systems, compensation systems, management information systems, and capital allocation systems, that govern everyday activity.

  4. Style the leadership approach of top management and the organization's overall operating approach; also the way in which the organization's employees present themselves to the outside world, to suppliers and customers.

  5. Skills what the company does best; the distinctive capabilities and competencies that reside in the organization.

  6. Staff the organization's human resources; refers to how people are developed, trained, socialized, integrated, motivated, and how their carriers are managed.

  7. Shared values originally called superordinate goals; the guiding concepts and principles of the organization values and aspirations, often unwritten that go beyond the conventional statements of corporate objectives; the fundamental ideas around which a business is built; the things that influence a group to work together for a common aim.

  Yin-Yang of a Winning Organization


Innovation-friendly Organization




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Systems Thinking

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Case Studies

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What is 7-S Model?

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.

9 Signs of a Losing Organization

Consultants at McKinsey & Company developed the 7S model in the late 1970s to help managers address the difficulties of organizational change. 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.

Balanced 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

Shared values are commonly held beliefs, mindsets, and assumptions that shape how an organization behaves its corporate 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 values.

Inspiring 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 (top-down); 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.



Strategy are plans an organization formulates to reach identified goals, and a set of decisions and actions aimed at gaining a sustainable advantage over the competition... More


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 important that 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 Organization

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:

  1. 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 efficacy.

  2. New logic of configuration: specifies a new relationship among strategy, structure, and systems that gives priority to supporting workforce engagement and capability.

  3. 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... More

SYNERGISTIC ORGANIZATION (Ten3 Mini-course) - How To Build a Modern Winning Organization





References and Resources:

  1. "Organizational Alignment: The 7-S Model", Harvard Business School Note, Bradach Jeffrey

  2. "The 10-day MBA", Steven Silbiger

  3. "Extreme Management", Mark Stevens

  4. The Centerless Corporation, Bruce A.Pasternack and Albert. J. Viscio

  5. "Managing Complexity", Robin Wood

  6. "In Search of Excellence", Peters, T. and Waterman, R.

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

  8. "Strategic Management", Third Edition, Alex Miller

  9. Synergistic Organization, Vadim Kotelnikov

  10. Inspiring Corporate Culture, Vadim Kotelnikov

  11. Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF), Vadim Kotelnikov

  12. 25 Lessons from Jack Welch, Vadim Kotelnikov