McKinsey 7s model

The McKinsey 7s model is a great tool to think about organisational changes in the wider system, environment and context. It recognises for improvements to be made and sustained, there are several factors that need to be aligned with a central shared purpose.

It has a combination of “hard elements” (strategy, structure and systems) which are easily identified and “soft elements” (shared values, skills, styles and staff) which are less tangible and are influenced by things like culture.

This model is a great way to understand how elements are interrelated in an organisation and whether there are missing elements that need realigning. It can also help you identify gaps you’ve not thought of or identify unintended consequences.

The framework is based on “The art of Japanese management” a book that reviews how the Japanese have been successful in increasing success and productivity.

Here’s a pictorial based on the seven elements which are easy to refer to when carrying out organisational improvements. Just ask yourself the appropriate questions in the pictorial to help you understand if you’ve got all the right elements aligned to make your change successful. You might not need all the elements for some changes, but, the questions will help you think beyond your change idea and start to think about the organisation the change will operate in.

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