Assignment 1: Your Organization’s Workforce Strategy

McKinsey developed the 7S model over 30 years ago and it has become a staple of organizational assessment ever since. The model is a simple tool that can be used to understand the alignment of an organization around 7 critical components:

  1. Strategy
  2. Structure
  3. Systems
  4. Style
  5. Staff
  6. Skills
  7. Shared Values

In this assignment you will examine 5 of these 7 components in the department or organization where you work. The Strategy (mission, vision and goals), Style (leadership), Staff (numbers, driven by budget), Skills (competencies) and Shared Values (the norms of behavior) all directly affect your workforce strategy. The workforce planning process is critical to distribute talent across an organization and to identify competency and personnel shortages in the organization, both for the short term and the long term.


Using your current workplace, or an organization with which you are familiar, write 5 paragraphs describing and assessing your department or organization, using the questions below:

1. Strategy – How well does your current workforce strategy align with and supportyour organization’s current business strategy?

2. Style – What is the prevailing leadership style of your department or organization (e.g., participative, autocratic, collaborative)? Is it the appropriate style for the challenges you face?

3. Staff – Do you have the numbers of employees needed to execute the current organizational strategy? If not, how do you intend to address the shortfall?

4. Skills – Do you understand the competency requirements for your department or organization? Do you have the required competencies represented by your current staff? If not, how do you intend to address the shortfall?

5. Shared values – Do the people in your workforce understand the norms of behavioryour department or organization requires? How do you ensure the continuity of those norms?

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