Policy Development and Analysis Utilisation of the McKinsey 7S Model

Jack Prot

The McKinsey 7S model provides an ideal tool to help leaders identify areas within the organisations that may struggle to effectively implement or develop new policy as required. Developed in the early 1980s by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, two consultants working at the McKinsey & Company consulting firm, the basic premise of the model is that there are seven internal aspects of an organization that need to be aligned if it is to be successful. This model tends to support the concept that organisations are organic in nature as opposed to linear. Many leaders and managers of organisations fail to recognise that for an organisation to achieve its goals and objectives all components of the organisation must be working together and must be aligned.

If organisational policy is going to be developed and implemented in an appropriate manner the McKinsey 7S model can give leaders an opportunity to identify areas within the organisation that may struggle for whatever reason to implement the intended policy as required. Effective policy implementation is one of the most difficult components of organisational leadership, and the McKinsey 7S model offers an ideal tool to identify areas that may need support and development within the organisation. The model proposes that an organisation has seven key components. These components are:

Strategy
Structure
Systems
Style
Staff
Skills
Shared Values

Strategy
The way in which the organisation has positioned itself in the marketplace. Its long-term and short-term goals and objectives. What the organisation wants to achieve and how it is to be achieved.

Structure
The organisational management structure. Is the organisation highly centralised, or decentralised. Is the organisation global organisation, National, or local. Management reporting guidelines and chain of command will determine whether the organisation is hierarchical in its nature, and thus more bureaucratic. Or is the organisation flat in nature responsive to staff, and customers needs, and that is more flexible.

Systems
The daily operational procedures and processes that staff members are engaged in to ensure that the organisational objectives are met. In other words the daily activities undertaken by staff to ensure that the job is done. A critical issue for leaders of organisations is to ensure that organisational systems operate in a smooth cohesive manner that enable staff to achieve the objectives in a seamless manner.

Style
The management style adopted by the organisational leadership. Leaders by nature tend either to the autocratic or democratic. This results in an organisation that is either consultative or authoritarian. The style of senior leaders within an organisation is soon adopted by the majority of staff. Management style is one of the significant contributors to organisational culture.

Staff
The staffing levels set by the organisation.

Skills
The competencies and skill level of the employees working in an organisation. Staff skill levels can be supported through education and training, and staff development opportunities.

Shared Values
the values that are shared by both management and staff across the organisation. These are the core values of the organisation and are evidenced in the way in which leaders and staff interact with each other and the general work ethic within the organisation.

Organisational leaders must ensure that each of the above seven components of the company are aligned and supporting each other. It is imperative for new policy to be implemented in an effective manner that each component of the organisation fully understands the policy imperative, and understands and recognises how each component of the organisation must work together the policy to be implemented in a smooth and effective manner.

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