The McKinsey 7S model is a useful framework for reviewing an organisation’s marketing capabilities from different viewpoints. The power of the McKinsey 7S model is that it covers the key organisation capabilities needed to implement strategy successfully, whether you're reviewing a business , marketing or digital strategy.
It also works well in different types of business of all sectors and sizes, although it works best in medium and large businesses. The beauty of this framework is that the elements are self-explanatory, although I have outlined some guidance for applying it later in the post.
The 7S model can be used to:
In summary, the 7S stand for:
You can review each of the 7S to assess how the capabilities of an organisation can be improved as the starting point of creating an action plan.
This example considers some of the issues related to introducing digital technology into an organisation. A theme familiar to Smart Insights readers.
The contribution of digital business in influencing and supporting organisations’ strategy. The key issues are:
The modification of organisational structure to support digital business. The key issues are:
The development of specific processes, procedures or information systems to support digital business. The key issues are:
The breakdown of staff in terms of their background, age and sex and characteristics such as IT vs marketing, use of contractors/ consultants. The key issues are:
Includes both the way in which key managers behave in achieving the organisation’s goals and the cultural style of the organisation as a whole. The key issues are:
Distinctive capabilities of key staff, but can be interpreted as specific skill-sets of team members. The key issues are: staff skills in specific areas such as supplier selection, project management, content management and specific e-marketing media channels.
7. Shared values
The guiding concepts of the digital business or e-commerce organization which are also part of shared values and culture. The key issues are: improving the perception of the importance and effectiveness of digital business amongst senior managers and staff it works with (marketing generalists and IT).
Superordinate goals is an alternative term for the 'Shared Values' used when the model was first created, but not replaced by a more meaningful term!.
Waterman, R.H., Peters, T.J. and Phillips, J.R. (1980) Structure is not organization. McKinsey Quarterly, in-house journal. McKinsey & Co., New York.
By Annmarie Hanlon
Annmarie Hanlon is the Smart Insights expert commentator on online and offline marketing strategies for business. Annmarie is the MD of Evonomie and author of Quick Win Marketing, and co-author of Quick Win Digital Marketing. She runs social media workshops in the UK and Ireland and shares marketing tips and news in her blog, B2B Marketing. You can follow Annmarie on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.
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