Squirrel Marketing Episode 5 – The 7S Model for a Successful Company

Join marketing guru William “Bill” Bronson and successful sports podcaster Jeffrey Cooperstein as they dive deep into the world of marketing and chase squirrels in all directions.

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intro music

My son would say that as a sick beat, it’s dope. It’s dope. So all right, well welcome. I’m Bill Bronson, marketing guru extraordinaire with my trusty sidekick Jeffrey Cooperstein, sports podcasting legend, whoa, legend, legend, okay, and this is squirrel marketing, where we talk about everything marketing, and then squirrel off in all directions.

So last time, we talked about strategic planning, we talked about the SWOT analysis. And we’ve kind of been talking about involving stakeholders involving everybody involved in your business or anyone affected by what you do. And so today, I kind of wanted to talk about the seven S model. I know there’s a lot of acronyms and things. But the seven S model is interesting. And it is arguably the main foundation for any successful business. So I thought it deserved some time.

So seven S model, what it basically is, it’s a set of core competencies. And these are areas of the business that need to be explored, they need to all have a role, they all need to have some equal

effort put into them. And they all work together, they all work together, all of them have overlap. And so what’s interesting about these, it’s, it’s a lot like a friend of mine told me on this, this SEO, Search Engine Optimization model, it’s a three stage model that he calls it a three legged stool. And if any one part is lacking your foot, you’re gonna fall over, right? Well, this seven S model is kind of like that. If any one of these is lacking, you’re going to be lopsided. Now. I’ve never seen a seven legged stool before seven legged stool that would be for a very heavy individual to be what King Henry? Yeah, something like that.

Seven legged stool. I’m a woodworker. Maybe I could make one. Yeah, I’m interested. I will call it the seven s stool.

But yeah, so the seven S model, seven S’S stands for strategy, systems structure, skills, style, staffing, and shared values. And you can Google it, this is this is really, you know, good knowledge.

But basically, let’s just kind of go over what they all mean. And then we’ll talk about how they work together, and how they fit into the strategic planning that we talked about.

So the strategy of course, that’s kind of self explanatory. It’s kind of what we’ve been talking about. Just that’s really everything that goes into it. What’s funny about that? What’s funny about strategies, a lot of people say the word because it sounds cool, right? strictly, yes. Strategic Planning. What are you doing? I’m formulating a strategic plan. Oh, yeah. What is your strategic plan? Well, I’m gonna strategizing and just strategizing it. They can’t really explain what it means. Yeah. Strategy is just your, your game plan for how to get from A to B. How are you going to get from now to the future, from now to your goal? strategy is actually mapping out what to do to get there. So strategy is not your vision strategy is your roadmap, your road map to get to vision, right? So and oh, squirrel.

The difference between a vision and a mission?

A lot of people mix those up. So a vision is what you foresee in the future, right? Not necessarily the specifics about you or your business, right? But how your you or your business affects the world at large.

So, you know, so if your vision is to provide a world where everyone can listen to great marketing advice, you know, then your mission might be to provide regularly published podcasts, with engaging content, to allow people to learn things that they wouldn’t normally learn. That might be a mission. But that’s not a vision, but that’s your intent. Well, that’s more of an intense, more of an internal right, structural thing. And then vision is how that affects the world at large. So anyway, just to clear that up, let’s get back from the squirrel.

Oh, another squirrel. Let’s get back from the squirrel. Squirrel again. No serious. My dog. Oh, we got this new dog. It’s a it’s a Irish doodle. So really huge on dog breeds. It’s an Irish setter, standard poodle mix. She’s beautiful. She’s huge, black curly hair. And she’s got some red tips on the end. And she’s only one but she’s enormous. And she is so smart. She saw a squirrel one time.

And she now knows where that squirrels path is and what time of the day that that squirrel goes where it goes. So this is a real squirrel. This is a real squirrel and my wife even bought one of those squirrel feeders with a corncob screw in and it’s a dried corn cob with corn on it. And so we put it up in the tree behind our fence. And the squirrels go up there and they eat it. And she just sits there, like freakin Silence of the Lambs. I mean, she’s just staring mesmerized by this thing.

So my dog I have a little Yorkie she’s about 10 pounds. Every time a squirrel jumps on our fence she’ll go Berzerk always wants to eat it. Oh, yeah. Nuts. Okay, so back from the squirrels, plural.

So strategy, okay.

Your strategy is your roadmap for getting to your vision.

And, and, of course, the vision is the precursor to it. So the big thing about strategy is it has to be communicated to everybody involved, properly and adequately, you have to communicate big time, your vision, your strategy, their role in it, they have to be pretty black and white. Because I guess if you deviate from that, then your plan gets all jumbled and messed up. So you know, what, once you formulate your vision, your mission, your strategy, stick to it.

Yes, exactly. That’s implementation. Yeah. So during implementation is not a chance for you to make big changes, you can make small changes, because you know, change is inevitable. One of the things that, that people need to understand about life these days is that change is daily and just embrace it. So yeah, you might change your strategy along the way, but you’re not going to drastically change it. And you’re not necessarily going to communicate changes in people’s roles all the time. Otherwise, they got other things to think about. They don’t want to mess with it.

But strategy, one of the things involved in strategy, like I said, is to make sure everybody knows what their role is in it. And there’s a measurement called line of sight.

And line of sight is basically you establish the end goal, you identify the strategy you’re going to use, you identify beneficial activities to get to that. And then you determine a way to measure it. But but you’re also at the same time you’re doing like you do with with a kid where you’ve shown him something way off in the distance, where you like stand behind them, and you put your arm in front with your finger pointing, you see that can you say, Look right through there, and they and so they follow your arm and they follow your finger off into the distance. And they finally see that target you’re trying to point out to them. line of sight is exactly what that is. And you know, it puts it puts a rifle scope on the target for the benefit of the person you’re talking to. And so with line of sight, it’s really a communication tool to help you tell people what your vision is and what their role is in getting there. And then, between you and that target way off in the distance, you see that roadmap that we talked about.

So So yeah, that’s the that’s number one. The second S is systems. And systems is really just the organizational structures, like production control, the business infrastructure, things that employees use to achieve their goals and do their work every day.

Systems really should align with the staffing and skills which are two of the other things we’ll talk about.

But anyways, the systems are in place. They are, for the most part static and it’s really a framework in which everyone works. Yeah.

So the third one is structure. And it’s a little different than systems. Structure deals with the hierarchy.

Such as you have, you have sales people, and then you have a sales manager, you have regular staff, and then you have a staff supervisor. And it’s really the hierarchical structure of the company and that chain of command all that. So it really, it’s important because it handles communication flow. And if it’s done correctly, it’s beneficial. If it’s done incorrectly, then you don’t get quite the benefit.

The big thing about what’s beneficial in Instructure is bi directional communication.

So let me guess. So that’s from employee, to boss and boss back to employee. Yeah, open dialogue, back and forth without repercussion, or retaliation or animosity and all the crap that you see, a lot of times, especially in older owned companies, or older strategy companies, where they haven’t really, maybe embraced this idea that you can have an open two way relationship with your employees.

They’re just sort of workers, you know, and you tell them what to do. And they do it and they report back. But that’s not really what I’m talking about, right? I’m talking about an engaged and truly open dialogue where like, if the employee see something that can be improved or changed, they can voice that to their supervisor without repercussion, well, not just that they can, but the fact that they will, the culture is such that they would worry or they would want to, and that they feel fine about it. And even to the point where if the supervisor is doing something that isn’t right, or is kind of rubbing people the wrong way.

Then the subordinates feel encouraged to have a cordial respectful conversation with their supervisor, and say, I just wanted to tell you, you know, away from everyone else, that I was offended by this and, or that I think that this could be done better.

I have the utmost respect for you. But these things I think could be done better. And to be able to have that conversation is important. So structure is your chance to put in place a mechanism for that dialogue in your company.

So the fourth one, is skills. And that’s all you know, with training and abilities. It’s kind of how the company is strategic aligns the abilities with others, to complement each other. So that some person’s work is not necessarily that big of an overlap someone else’s work. But they complement and work together. And it’s up to you to kind of align skills in a way that you can get everything done. And then think strategically about it. So if something happens to one of those cogs in the wheel, what happens to the whole wheel?

So you may cross train, but then the duties don’t necessarily you don’t have people?

Double, right, they don’t have double duty going on. You just you make sure they know how to do it if they need to. Right, but the actual roles don’t overlap the skills could, which is interesting. I mean, we do that a lot here in power brokerage, because everybody seems to be fairly well cross trained, to some extent, depends on the person, but I can I can do just about everything except for commissions and contracting. You know.

And that’s mainly from my past, but other people, team members are trained to do emails and trained to do campaigns and all kinds of things.

So we have a really good grasp on the skills array here.

But anyway, it really should be skills, training and skills development skills assessment should definitely have a part in every single level of the company, all the way from staff to management, leadership training.

Efficiency training, you know, HR, all the way up to the CEO, coo. And, and everyone should be striving to become better as a leader better as a manager better as a supervisor better as an employee, everyone should have this, this, the company should have this culture where everyone tries to get better, right? No one is like, I’m the best theater is and I’m not learning nothing.

And there’s not a whole lot of people like that anymore. But you’d be surprised that they’re there. So the fifth one is style.

And I’m not talking about four inch pumps. That’s what I was gonna say, I’m interested to see what Yeah, what you have here is like, right, what kind of tie you wear, you know, style is the behavior, part of how the the structure deals with each other. So how the leaders deal with employees and how they interact with each other. So leadership style, it’s sort of, it’s more of a personality style. So it’s a belief style. It’s how it’s how you interact with the people around you, in the organization, and how, and, most really, most importantly, it’s how you interact with your employees. So if you’re a supervisor, it’s your style and how you teach them how you reprimand them how you encourage them. For instance, my style with the team is one way and of course, someone else’s is much different.

I tend to be trusting, I tend to teach people things and then expect them to be done. But then I don’t mind at all giving brace. And I also overlook things a lot because everybody’s human.

But if something’s getting out of hand, I’ll make a little comment. And for me a little comment first for other person, people might be an actual write up. Yeah. But for me, it’s a little comment, just let you know, hey, I’ve been noticing. So yeah.

So that’s the style part. And style combines with another one we’re going to talk about here to really create the organization’s culture. So style is that part of the company culture.

The next one, the sixth one is called staffing. And that really deals with the people who work at the company. It’s a human resources management thing. It’s, you know, who you hire for, what your recruiting practices, how you train them, how you manage them.

In it, like I said, it has some overlap with some of these other ones. But staffing is important, because, for instance, a company might offer performance bonuses, and another company doesn’t. One company might recruit a job fairs, and the other one uses agencies. You know, so your staffing part is really your method for filling the roles needed in the company. The only thing I would say about you, if you’re using like a third party staffing agency, you better have a good trust in them that they’ll find the right people for you. Because I feel like that could get that could get kind of hairy if they’re, you know, just hiring. Oh, this person is the first person we see. Let’s just give him this job. Yeah, so your strategy for hiring the right people is part of it. And in your right, so like a third party staffing agency, there.

I’m going to scroll a little bit but it’s really in line with what this is. So any squirrel, any mini squirrel? So anytime you’re listening to the news or reading an article or listening to somebody about anything, or taking advice from a staffing person, or looking at a candidate that a staffing person brought you all those situations, you’ve got to look at a couple of things. First of all, you got to look at what’s their motivation for talking to you. What’s the motivation for what they’re saying and how they’re saying it their slant on the on the realities of things. What is it? What’s their goal? If their goal is to make money and they make money from you saying yes, or they make money from you watching or they make money from you agreeing with them? Oh, any money motivated thing like that?

Then you’ve got to be careful about who you listening to, and what you believe. So a staffing person, their goal is to place someone with you, and then they make money from it. They make a commission, right. And a staffing person relies on commission for their income. It’s not just a little bonus, it’s their freakin income. So if they bring someone to you, your first question in your mind should be, is this person really a viable candidate? Because this other person is a salesperson? and their job is to put that person with me?

I mean, yeah, that’s what it is. So it’s just like listening to the news. What’s the goal of that news? What is theirs trying to stay relevant? First of all, they only stay relevant if they come up with something controversial to make you listen.

And then so their goal is to create chaos and to make you listen.

And then something else might be their goal is to sell something, you know, so you always have to look at someone’s intent and their motivation before you can trust them. And that’s why I like the the job fairs better. And I guess, you know, maybe like, indeed, or something.

But mainly the job fairs. I mean, if you go to a job fair, anyone you talk to you at the job fair, was motivated to get off the couch and go to it, to talk to potential employers, and to present themselves in person.

That’s got to be a plus in my book. Absolutely.

Indeed, you just upload your thing, and you go back to gaming and eating Cheetos. And you think you’ll be hired.

Are you sitting in a beanbag chair, beanbag chair, rocking chair, rocking theory.

So anyway, all right. So the seventh one is shared values and shared values mixed with style, really equals the company culture. Shared values combines with style, and it creates everything you feel when you walk into a company and you kind of feel how it is there, you know, you get a feeling for it. That’s, that’s shared values mixed with style. Now, but that kind of goes back to the staffing to where you have to make sure that the person you’re bringing in, shares those values, you know, because what if they have a different view on the world, or a different view of what the company should look like?

Well, that’s that’s interesting, you brought that up, because that is that there’s several different ways to look at that. Either you only want to live you know, in an area where everyone is like you and things like you, or you want to live in an environment where it’s a it’s a rich culture of discourse, where people bring well, America, America is a model for this because America is a melting pot of all different cultures, and belief systems, and backgrounds and, and appearances and everything. Yeah. So and what makes America great is that we have this rich, diverse culture.

And I think that trying to make everybody the same is dangerous. Yes. It’s not going to work. And it’s also not going to work to try to pit one difference against another. Because then that tears the fabric of what America stands for all pieces. And, and they do that for control anyway. I mean, really, for the most part, everybody in my neighborhood, and everybody I’ve ever talked to, gets along pretty well. And so this division stuff, it’s all it’s all baiting, and it’s all for the purpose of dividing and it’s all purpose of control. And, and like I said, motivation, you got to look at the motivation. The motivation of people stirring crap up, is to remain relevant. Yeah. And it’s everybody gets along, they’re out of a job. Okay. So I generally love everybody. I mean, everybody, I really, in fact, when we go on vacation, I love going to where the tourists Don’t go. I like going to where their real food is, where their real crafts are, where the real people are in. And it’s not the people pandering to tourists. It’s the real culture of the where we are and we went to Cozumel one time, and we kind of immersed ourselves in the culture and it which was kind of sad.

Cozumel is a highly depressed economy.

Yeah. And they rely on tourism pretty much exclusively. And you’ve got a you got families on mopeds with a baby in each arms. I mean, you got a husband and wife and two babies on a moped.

And they live in it and they live in a shack, that’s, it may only cost five grand. But it’s a 10 by 10 shack with cinder blocks and plywood roof. Yeah, you know, and so it’s kind of sad, but they’re such gracious people. It was it was really heartwarming to interact with the real people, not the tourism.

So yeah, shared values, though. So going back to that, you don’t have to hire people that only align with your beliefs. But you want to make sure that it’s not going to create controversy. So you want to make sure they understand what the culture is.

And, and you want to make sure that they that they’re willing to work within that, right.

You know, it’s the most vital feature of the company is the culture. And it creates momentum.

There’s other things you could force it without the culture, but it’s harder. So the culture though, it’s not necessarily about the people you hire so much as what they participate in when they get there. So you’re not necessarily talking about their personal belief systems.

Although that does come into play, you’re more talking about the attitudes and the behaviors of the staff, when they’re there at your job at your work at your organization. And how they interact with each other. So it’s their shared values. It’s, it’s, it’s those parts of what they believe, that are shared by others.

So they don’t necessarily you don’t necessarily pick out the things that people believe differently. You picking out commonality, right reasons for coming together. So that’s the glue that binds people together is their common shared values. So that you can play up on those and create relationships and build rapport based on the things that you share in common. So that’s more nuance to that.

So anyway, oh, squirrel. I was going to talk about something. And COVID Okay, so, oh, Lord, here we go. Just real quick. They won’t take long COVID unintended consequences.

I every week, I meet somebody, it’s a marketing strategist, and we talk strategy. And so we meet for breakfast, and I haven’t seen quite the layer of dust that I would normally see. Since COVID. Cleanliness is an unintended consequence. Because people are cleaning stuff. Yeah, you know, that layer. Let that half inch layer of dust on your piano teacher’s kitchen counter. I didn’t do piano but yes, I know what you’re talking about. or in the back of the, or in the back of the drama room and heighten? Yeah. Where no one ever cleaned.

All those nooks and crannies now are spotless. You’re right. I mean, that is a positive. Anyway. All right. Well, I think that’s all the time we’ve got. This is Bill Bronson and Jeffrey Cooper Steen for squirrel marketing, wishing you success and happiness. See you next week.

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