Revenue Growth: Using the McKinsey 7S Model

Every company, team, or a business unit has objectives to achieve a high level of performance. How does a CEO or a VP of Sales or an executive leading another team go about figuring out if the organization is going to achieve its intended objective?  Below is a summary of the 7 key elements from the McKinsey 7S Model and these need to be aligned and need to reinforce each other. The 7S Framework can help you identify what needs to aligned to ensure or improve the performance.

Tom Peters (author of “In Search of Excellence“) and Robert Waterman were consultants at McKinsey and developed this model with the idea that there are 7 internal elements of the organization that must be aligned for the company to perform successfully.


When To Use the 7S Model:

  • Improve the performance of a company
  • Analyze how potential changes will affect the company
  • Align departments and processes during a corporate change
  • Determine how to implement a new strategy or changes to the strategy


Hard Elements:

  • Strategy
  • Structure
  • Systems


Soft Elements:

  • Shared Values
  • Skills – core competencies
  • Style – corporate culture, internal accepted norms and behaviors
  • Staff – people & talent


From MindTools – here are the 7S Checklist Questions 

What is our strategy?
How do we intend to achieve our objectives?
How do we deal with competitive pressure?
How are changes in customer demands dealt with?
How is strategy adjusted for environmental issues?

How is the company/team divided?
What is the hierarchy?
How do the various departments coordinate activities?
How do the team members organize and align themselves?
Is decision making and controlling centralized or decentralized? Is this as it should be, given what we’re doing?
Where are the lines of communication? Explicit and implicit?

What are the main systems that run the organization? Consider financial and HR systems as well as communications and document storage.
Where are the controls and how are they monitored and evaluated?
What internal rules and processes does the team use to keep on track?

Shared Values:
What are the core values?
What is the corporate/team culture?
How strong are the values?
What are the fundamental values that the company/team was built on?

How participative is the management/leadership style?
How effective is that leadership?
Do employees/team members tend to be competitive or cooperative?
Are there real teams functioning within the organization or are they just nominal groups?

What positions or specializations are represented within the team?
What positions need to be filled?
Are there gaps in required competencies?

What are the strongest skills represented within the company/team?
Are there any skills gaps?
What is the company/team known for doing well?
Do the current employees/team members have the ability to do the job?
How are skills monitored and assessed?