Strategy is a plan developed by a firm to achieve sustained competitive advantage and successfully compete in the market. What does a well-aligned strategy mean in 7s McKinsey model? In general, a sound strategy is the one that’s clearly articulated, is long-term, helps to achieve competitive advantage and is reinforced by strong vision, mission and values. But it’s hard to tell if such strategy is well-aligned with other elements when analyzed alone. So the key in 7s model is not to look at your company to find the great strategy, structure, systems and etc. but to look if its aligned with other elements. For example, short-term strategy is usually a poor choice for a company but if its aligned with other 6 elements, then it may provide strong results. Structure represents the way business divisions and units are organized and includes the information of who is accountable to whom. In other words, structure is the organizational chart of the firm. It is also one of the most visible and easy to change elements of the framework. Systems are the processes and procedures of the company, which reveal business’ daily activities and how decisions are made. Systems are the area of the firm that determines how business is done and it should be the main focus for managers during organizational change. Skills are the abilities that firm’s employees perform very well. They also include capabilities and competences. During organizational change, the question often arises of what skills the company will really need to reinforce its new strategy or new structure. Staff element is concerned with what type and how many employees an organization will need and how they will be recruited, trained, motivated and rewarded. Style represents the way the company is managed by top-level managers, how they interact, what actions do they take and their symbolic value. In other words, it is the management style of company’s leaders. Shared Values are at the core of McKinsey 7s model. They are the norms and standards that guide employee behavior and company actions and thus, are the foundation of every organization.
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