Seven S is a framework to consider manage an organization, which is proposed by Mckinsey & Company.
Superior firms manage themselves by mutually affecting each Seven S. For example, Strategy brings System and Structure. They affect Shared Value and it decides necessary staff and skill and finally generates unique culture. Strategy, System and Structure are called three hard S, and Shared value, Staff, Skill and Style are called four soft S.
Business policy to make or keep competitive superior
HR system, decision making process, finance and accounting policy
Value shared by all employees and long term goal
Organizational capability such as sales power, technologies, marketing abilities
Abilities of employees
Corporate culture or implied norm of conduct
Key findings from Seven S
Three hard S can be changed easily but four soft S cannot be changed immediately.
For example, if a company has product out style for a long term but now
it has to prioritize marketing as below.
Organization by products or customers
Empowerment and delegation
Low cost operation
Voice of customers
Daily cost management
Talented people in the factories
Talented people having experience marketing
Bureaucratic and introspective
In this table, you can understand four soft S is hard to be changed from left to right.
Soft S is sometimes encourages employees to follow the strategy, but it sometimes prevent the company from changing the strategy. If circumstance significantly changes, the company, of course, has to change the strategy with other two hard S. However, it also has to take care of changing four soft S at the same time, because it needs to take longer time to change than changing three hard S.