Limiting choice of 'S' in 7S Framework?

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7-S Framework > Best Practices > Limiting choice of 'S' in 7S Framework?

Limiting choice of 'S' in 7S Framework?
While reading for my management course, I couldn't help but wonder if the choice of an alphabet limits the scope and skews the interpretation of a model. When formulating a model, how easy / difficult is it to find a word that starts with a particular letter that succinctly describes a concept? To my untrained mind, values like respect, collaboration, openness and others seem to fit in just as well and they don't start with a 'S'. Consider other frameworks out there like the 3C or the 4P in marketing. Did the choice of a particular alphabet leave out important building blocks? I for one can't tell..

Hello Mahamood, 4P's refer to Product, Price, Place, Promtion. But there is no end to it. Actually Politics of a country is the most important P. Similarly Packaging, Power, Pace are also equally significant. Similarly although you speak of three C's, we can add as many C's as we want.

7S Framework
It is really amazing to see how well models can fit into words from same alphabet. Or usually things can be divided into two/three main categories. Beyond the limitation or possibilities with words underlying theoretical concepts are more important. Key aspect of 7s framework lies in the interaction of hard and soft constructs such as strategy and style etc. Now any scheme that can comprehensively and distinctly cover these hard and soft factors would suffice.

Every framework aims to simplify things. That's what they are all about. You wont find a perfect one. One letter of alphabet is used to help you remember that's all. Basically it is up to you if you use a framework in a given situation or not.

Use of one letter mnemonics
I think the use of single letter mnemonics is ill advised, to be blunt. If the model is important, you'll put a copy on the wall and look at it and use it frequently anyway. I think many models really stretch to use the letter instead of the natural item that should be there. As a consultant I have seen dozens of these one-letter models and personally I can remember models if the concept clicks true much easier than trying to remember the 5 S's or whatever.

Many Words have the Same Intent / Meaning
Krishna, Director, India, Member
English language is one that comes to rescue in such circumstances. While attempting to define a critical building block, many words could come to one's vocabulary that would describe the intended concept. Out of those group of words, a philosopher attempts to choose those that could be used for better retention and retrieval.
So that is how the cycle flows, not the other way round!
That said, we can identify many other principles in use that do not have any linkage to a single character. Consider Henri Fayol's 14 principles, Deming's 14 points of management, perspectives in the Balanced Scorecard, etc.
In a nutshell, the intent is not to create rhyming philosophies, but rather to include all critical building blocks and see if a substitute word starting with a common letter could contribute is the rhyme!

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