As Mr. John Maxwell said once, ‘Change is inevitable’ it holds forever. And to be successful, we must come out of our comfort zones and embrace the change.
Such things hold even for businesses to scale and grow. You should be ready to change and adapt to the latest trends to avoid getting outdated. So, adapting to change becomes necessary.
But the change should make sense to your business as well. You should be aware of your organization’s position to own a change and its implications successfully.
So, to help organizations measure their capability to handle a change, Robert Waterman and Tom Peters designed a model in the late 1970s. It is known as the McKinsey 7s model.
The model describes seven organizational elements that decide the worth and success of an organization. These elements should be in alignment to be successful. Let us learn about the 7s model in greater detail.
Mckinsey 7s framework is a strategic planning tool designed to help an organization understand if it’s in accordance in a way that allows it to achieve its objectives. McKinsey model says that seven factors should remain in harmony to embrace a change and last successful in the marketplace.
As you can see in the diagram, these seven factors are inter-connected with each other. It means a change in a single area has implications for the rest. Also, all the elements are equally important and do not have a hierarchy.
The elements categorize into hard and soft areas. The hard areas are easy for management to change and influence. While the soft areas, depending on the corporate culture or the culture of the organization. And since Shared Values lie at the center of the diagram, this means an organization’s values are vital to each element in an organization and hence can affect invariably.
So, the hard elements are the structure, strategy, and systems. While the soft elements are shared values, skills, style, and staff. Let us understand these seven elements of McKinsey 7s model in greater detail.
According to McKinsey seven s model, seven elements define an organization’s effectiveness, and these seven elements should remain in harmony to make the organization successful in the marketplace. We will learn about the hard ones first.
The hard elements of the 7s framework are easily visible and can be influenced immediately by the organization. These are:
These factors are difficult to examine because the employee capabilities, organization culture and corporate values develop and change continuously. But these elements hold equal importance as the hard elements, for the success of the organization. These are:
So the underlying statement about the 7s framework is that these seven elements need to maintain a balance and align properly to earn a name in the market.
The McKinsey 7s model is generally used to assist with organizational changes such as acquisitions, mergers, restructuring, leadership changes, implementing new policies, and understanding the weaknesses or blind spots of an organization. Various businesses use the 7s model for the following purposes:
You can also use the following steps to implement the McKinsey 7s Model in your organization’s favor:
Step 1: Determine the areas that need an alignment.
To do this, you need answers to a few questions in respective areas
Once you get an answer to all these questions, analyze them, and find the alignment, conflicts, consistency, strengths, gaps, and weaknesses.
Step 2: Determine which organizational design suits you the best. You can do this by finding out what is working best for your competitors.
Step 3: Find out what needs to change. Once you have analyzed all the data from the previous steps, you exactly know which areas need to be realigned. For example, a particular manager’s behavior doesn’t go according to your company values. You have to decide what needs to be changed here.
Step 4: Implement the changes.
Step 5: McKinsey 7s model is iterative. Review the elements after the change and keep changing them to grow effectively.
Let us understand the importance of this model with McKinsey 7s framework with company example. Supposedly there is a startup called Greenwave Electricals. It has 10 employees. The company is based on the vision and values of the owner. At present, the company sells goods in the single market, uses IT and accounting systems, and all its key elements are aligned.
As the business grows, the company now has 50 staff members and sells in diverse markets. Now the newer customer demands require skills in product development, marketing, technology, and financial management.
So the owner analyses the seven s framework and finds out that 7 elements are no longer aligned. She finds out there is a huge technological gap, some staff does not have the necessary skill set, while some do not know the company values. She then aligns all the key elements to reach further heights.
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