The McKinsey 7S – Seven basic factors to improve the strategy of any organization

The McKinsey 7S is a model that identifies the seven basic factors which have to be present in any organization.

This methodology is used to check if the implementation of the company strategy is consistent with the reality of the business. If not, you will have to make changes to align strategy with reality.

How works 7S?

The McKinsey 7S defines multiple factors to consider, which are divided into two groups:

– Soft skills: Shared Values, Members Skills, Style and Staff.

– Hard skills: Strategy, Structure and Systems.

The model seeks to highlight that the goal is to obtain the perfect combination between the seven factors. Thus, taking into account all factors, we will improve the results of our company.


The seven factors to study

The 7S method is composed by 7 factors, connected between them with a central element that is called “shared values”.

The factors are:

1. Style: The style is the culture of the organization. Normally is the direction who establishes the basis of the behaviors and the best practices that will shape the style and the way of being of the company. They should be the leaders and they have to behave correctly to set an example to the other employees of the company.

2. Staff: Employees are one of the most important parts of any organization. That is why the way to behave the human resources may be aligned with the company strategy.

3. Systems: It includes the internal processes and the information systems that enable the operation of the company.

4. Strategy: That is how we manage the company resources to achieve the objectives, considering a long term period. It could be compared with the brain of an organization.

5. Structure: This is the way the company is organized. The structure can be departmental or otherwise, with a linear, matrix, divisional hierarchy or other. It also can be separated geographically (local, state or multinational), centralized or decentralized management, etc.

Structure also may depend on the legal form that has the entity (corporation, limited cooperative, joint venture …) and the expansion model (franchises, organic, mergers…).

6. Members Skills: It refers to the skills and capabilities required by the organization’s members. It can also refer to the know-how of the company.

7. Shared values: The shared values ​​are the heart of the company. It’s what unites its members and aligns them all in the same direction.



The best of the 7S model is that it is a diagnostic tool to understand why some organizations are inefficient. Having analyzed the weaknesses and making changes, it will lead to an organizational change that can significantly improve the way of working and the results.


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