McKinsey 7S in Fast Changing Environment: A DYNAMIC 7S Model?

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McKinsey 7S in Fast Changing Environment: A DYNAMIC 7S Model?
Hlalani Moyo, Student (University), Zimbabwe, Member
Given that the business environment is changing all the time, what are the strengths and weaknesses of using the 7S Model in an organisation?
Is it necessary to update McKinsey’s model for current volatile times? How?

Responsiveness in the Face of Rapid Changes
Bob Sutton, Guatemala, Member
Greetings from volatile Guatemala :) In my opinion in the face of uncertainty and change we often react and forget to cover the fundamental bases. The 7S Model provides and reminds us about the key elements for success and provides a framework to research/reflect/review/and respond to change. It it not overly rigid when applied with vision. However keep it light and complete and respond to change - aligning all 7 elements for continued success.

Change Chain Reactions
Nihad Almahrooq, Consultant, Saudi Arabia, Member
The 7S Model offers a great outlook for laying down the prospective or ontology in creating change for a company. However a selective qualified team is outmost necessary, for adaptive change chain reactions happen.

Combine 7-S Model of McKinsey with Osterwalder
Pavlov, Management Consultant, Russian Federation, Member
This model is outdated and requires conversion. This model should be combined with the business model of Osterwalder. Thus, the factor "System" is itself a business model, and the other factors are the resources. In this form the 7S model can be used effectively.

McKinsey 7S in Fast Changing Environment: a DYNAMIC 7S Model?
Dr Robin C Hesler, Canada, Member
I think the model is flexible enough to use in a changing dynamic environment as it offers some good guidance and frameworks that you can put into context with other models and theories out there.
All models are outdated actually. You have to take them as a starting point and put them into the context of what your environment really is and the types of personalities that one is dealing with.

To me this model also brings in the much needed re-focus on ETHICS which has been an issue in the business and political worlds we all live and work in. Kudos to McKinsey for raising this very important factor. Organizations need to be ethically and morally focused. That said; ethics and morals vary from every culture right down to the lowest level so one has to keep that in mind.

The 7-S Model is the Hardware and Software of Every Business
Dr. Vishal Dilip Chavan, Professor, India, Member
The 7-S model with its 7 elements (all equally important for smooth functioning of organization is comparable to the hardware and software of an information system.
Visionary leaders plan these elements in advance for their organization and they ensure successful adoption of these elements in the right configuration mix.

Adapting to Change with McKinsey’s 7-S Model
Gandhi Heryanto, Management Consultant, Indonesia, Premium Member
The McKinsey 7-S model consists of 7 interdependent elements which can be categorized as 3 hard elements (strategy, structure, systems) and 4 soft elements (shared values, skill, style, staff). This framework is used to ensure that these 7 elements of the organization work in harmony.
In the current volatile times you might redefine the hard elements to adapt to the situation. The soft ones are less tangible and influenced by the organizational culture and are difficult to adjust.

Adapting to Change with Soft Elements
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
@Gandhi Heryanto: I agree with your categorization in hard and soft elements and also that the 4 soft ones are probably even more difficult to change than the 3 hard factors.
However, in order to make an organization more agile /flexible, I believe the soft elements are at least as important as the hard ones. So best not put them aside too quickly just because they’re more difficult to adapt.

Proper Diagnosis of the Organization
RD Bertsch, MSM, Consultant, United States, Member
McKinsey's 7S Model can still be very effective. However, it is important to diagnose people behaviors within the organization. The behavior will determine how to address the soft elements towards shared values, style, and skills. After all, culture is one of the key elements in driving behavior. With a global drive toward diversity within organizations, it would seem important to examine people and group behaviors toward the soft elements and give credence to the findings in the application of the model.

The Role of Leadership in Bringing all 7 Elements Together
Bernard O, ICT Consultant, Kenya, Member
I think Leadership is what makes all this work. It plays a vital role in bringing all elements mentioned by McKinsey together….

Leadership, Change and McKinsey’s Model
RD Bertsch, MSM, Consultant, United States, Member
Bernard, I concur that leadership has everything to do with the success of change. Especially so in relationship to the soft elements of McKinsey's Model that can be challenging. Leaders need to MODEL the way through example, inspire shared vision, change processes, empower action in others and show appreciation. All of these factors relate to leadership behavior, and that is the reason why it is important also to diagnose people's behaviors for appropriate leadership approaches.

Implementing McKinsey Model in Industries
It depends on the size of the organization and its business. For example microindustry is recommended to implement the 7 elements of the McKinsey 7S Model with the 4 soft factors first and the rest later (i.e., research, reflect, review and respond to the change). Next the three hard factors. However it is not a strict order.

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