McKinsey 7-S Framework LO28656

Date: 05/30/02

Replying to LO28605 --

>Subject: McKinsey 7-S Framework LO28605
>Several years ago I posted a note on LO which also enquired about the
>research base for the 7S model. I got zero response. ... The nearest I
>got to the whole mystery of the 7S origin was an apocryphal story about
>people at McKinsey trying to keep Tom Peters under control during a
>one-week workshop.


No brilliant insights. I had forgotten about this model. The spider
diagram always looked cool, but I no longer have any copies. As I
understood it the knowledge base to support it was very similar to what
Peter's described in a recent Fast Company article on "In Search of
Excellence." It was mostly experience based (personal) and they needed
some type of a framework to talk (and hopefully think) holistically. The
model evolved through several iterations and was published in the
Quarterly. I went back to McKinsey's website after reading your post.
No easy to obtain information is available anymore, they no longer
reference the model. As I recollect the model was somewhat short on time,
technology and people as key strategy components.

There were certainly no scientific studies done on the model. Which does
not bother me. It was useful in its day. Sometimes we forget how
recently planning evolved as thinking thing. It was really in the 1970's
that people began to talk/think about strategic planning. And, of course
the initial efforts were longer on programatic stuff and somewhat short on
"thinking." Which is a very normal thing for people to do as they try to
figure stuff out and share the knowledge.

Best wishes,
Michael Bremer
The Cumberland Group


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