An expanded McKinsey’s 7S Framework prospective
The balcony’s view
Able to see the big picture from the balcony is not an easy task, especially when
managers are busy with day-to-day operations. The balcony‟s view plays an
important role in the process of lifting a manager in a leadership position. If for a
moment you compare the day-to-day operational to a dance floor, you will
notice that while spending the whole evening to the dance floor, you will be
aware of what happens in your immediate vicinity. Much energy will be spent
on dancing and avoiding other people dancing. At the end of the day you‟ll
think that the dance and the music were great. If instead you had a chance to
go to a balcony, you would have noticed several different details. For example
that not all the people were dancing with a certain selection of music or some
of them were close to the center. The balcony view would have provided a
different experience of that evening.
Basically the balcony‟s view is helping in understanding the big picture, to
reflect continually on what people are doing, to encourage then to making the
needed changes, to keep the vision and provide the right guidelines.
The complexity of large organization require a very broaden prospective when it
comes to understand how organization can be measured. The balcony‟s view
helps to recognize what is important for share / stake-holders and how are they
are related with the company‟s vision. Leaders and managers shall be
interested in exploring and evaluating competitive dynamics, financials, market
evolutions and technology. During this process leaders will be able to analyze
historical financial performances, values and aspirations. All these relevant data
can give a good snap-shot of the company‟s health.
The balcony‟s view is particularly important also in understanding the
organizational structure and how each element is co- relate in the organization.
Michael Goold and Andrew Campbell have defined 6 critical elements1 : work
specialization (how activities are separated in different jobs),
departmentalization (how to coordinate common tasks), chain of command
(the authority line that clarify who report to whom), span of control (how many
people can each manager effectively control), centralization and
“Well designed organizations?” by Michael Goold and Andrew Campbell – Harvard Business School 2002
decentralization (concentrating or pushing down the decision making process),
formalization (how the job needs to be executed and standardized).
To be effective in our balcony‟s view Jack Weber, in his Note2 introduce a useful
framework developed specifically to understand complex organizations. This
framework was initially developed by Mc Kinsey Company to relate several key
elements in a dynamic relationship.
The 7-s framework
The 7-S framework was introduced in the late 1970s, thinking about
organizational effectiveness seen as structures. It was more like “who does what,