The Organizational Strategist

October 24, 2011

McKinsey 7S Model – Progressive Change


-Introduction-

In an earlier article, I introduced the strategic and alignment 7S model from McKinsey.  Assessments, like the 7S or the well-known SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats), help establish a snapshot of the status and progress of an organization, product, or service.  These assessments alone do not give lasting value and information as market forces change quickly and often with little notice. As such, an assessment is best utilized as a change catalyst to move the organization forward.

-Applying McKinsey 7S Model Assessments-

With planned change, the destination or future state should be understood first.  This knowledge gives perspective.  Having a future state vision allows one to gauge progress, set targets, and milestones to achieve.  Once the future state is known, the current state can be documented to show a comparison.  This makes it clear what can be leveraged, where the current strengths are, and where there are areas to build or holes to fill.  The gap analysis leads to steps to build upon.

 As covered in the previous article, the McKinsey 7S Model covers multiple facets of an organization.  In order to most effectively change an organization, the foundational characteristics (Shared Values) and broad ranging direction (Strategy) should be addressed first.  Following that, the internal coordination (Structure) and setup (System) should be determined to align to the direction.  Lastly, the more people-centric areas fulfill an organization’s goals and objectives.  That is done via updates to its capability (Skills), individual placement (Staff) and the manners that people interact and work (Style).

 

-Conclusion-

The McKinsey 7S Model is helpful in delivering a comprehensive organizational analysis.  Using that information can lead to a new vision, through internal operation updates, and down to individual abilities and placement.  Mapping out change in its entirety is very helpful in its planning.  The successful execution and management of that change then requires a comprehensive, dedicated, business impact-focused, and sustained effort.

October 2, 2011

A competitive evaluation of Google+

Filed under: Strategy, Technology — Tags: , , , , — Whit @ 3:56 pm

Every once in a while a new technology comes around that takes the spotlight.  In that attempt, Google+ has recently been released and has been gaining traction.  However, will it become a passing fad that does not go anywhere?

The features of Google+, or G+ as I’ve abbreviated it, are very appealing yet much the same as its major competitor, Facebook.  There are differences of course in the future planned areas, such as the video chat that has been advertised.  While the core of means of sharing information remains much the same.  A big usability advantage is that G+ has “circles,” which makes specialized information distribution significantly easier.  There lies a compelling difference between Facebook and G+.

Right now, G+ is steadily growing and has a high utilization rate.  I anticipate this is principally due to the early adopters who are tech enthusiasts and love playing with and sharing techie tools and stories. 

What Google+ can do to make people switch over from Facebook:

  • New, engaging features that will distinguish G+
  • Make the transition easy (port over other social network content like profile information, friends, images, etc.)
  • Link with specialized social networks (LinkedIn as an example) to span across sites for sharing and/or pulling in information

What G+ can do to retain its new users:

  • Continue to make the user experience positive (features, updates, etc.)
  • Maintain the distinctive appeals of G+ and Google’s brand image (simplicity, search/sharing information, links with other Google services)
  • Balance new services with the user acceptance and adoption (The auto-upload of pictures on my phone is an example that makes me hesitant to install G+ there)

Facebook has rolled out many updates in recent years that were very negatively perceived by its users.  What was popular and effective was replaced by convoluted, poor interfaces that confused people and took away what was appreciated.  Facebook has adjusted and evolved over time though.  However, activity like that will lessen the loyalty a user has to the service.  This leads to an opportunity for substitute services, like G+.  However, if G+ were to take the same approach of losing touch with its users, then the same loyalty loss may occur.

Time will tell as to whether G+ wins out on the dominant social network service.  What are your thoughts how it will turn out?

-Facebook’s recent timeline update-

As I was amid the drafting and editing process for this article, I saw on the news that Facebook was going to roll out a large timeline feature to its site.  This was seen as both a means to compete against Google+ and a new feature for Facebook.  This would be a compelling advancement for Facebook if users were to involve themselves and take the time to intimately personalize their information.   It would be a strong point for people to stay with Facebook if their information and interactions are unique.  This also helps if other users are involved, make the connections stronger, and share/connect information together.  That network externality could bring immense benefits.

To brand new social network/navigation users though, Google+ will still likely be an easy entrance point if its general sharing and reading functionality continues to be better.  Facebook would then become the offering for those that have more time and energy to put into their profiles. 

 

Some nice links from Mashable.com that describe Google+:

http://mashable.com/2011/07/16/google-plus-resources/

http://mashable.com/2011/07/16/google-plus-guide/

http://mashable.com/2011/07/01/google-the-pros-cons/

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