Have a good SWOT!

If you are involved in strategic analysis for your company you certainly are familiar with SWOT analysis, where you lay out your company's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Strengths. Today I will cover the comprehensive use of SWOT analysis beyond filling out the table and addresses the actual use of the information to formulate actionable strategy.

How to SWOT?

The fundemental elements of SWOT are the four quardrants mentioned above. Notice: Strengths and Weaknesses are internal facing (where does my company lack or enjoy certain skills, capabilities, scale, knowledge, technology etc) whereas Opportunities & Strengths are external facing (the market, economy, competitors, etc). Here is what yours might look like:

Typically you will have a few folks together in the room to brainstorm through these items and settle on the four blocks of the SWOT. Now comes the fun part: what do you do with this information?

SWOT Strategies

Next you brainstorm strategies to:
  • Use your (internal) Strengths and take advantage of (external) Opportunities (SO Strategies)
  • Overcome (internal) Weaknesses by taking advantage of (external) Opportunities (WO Strategies)
  • Use (internal) Strengths to avoid (external) Threats (ST Strategies)
  • Minimize (internal) Weaknesses and avoid (external) Threats (WT Strategies)

Here is how you would lay this out:

Why don't you share your own implementations/ideas in SWOT analysis?


Anonymous said...

Good post and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you for your information.

Bogdan said...

Excellent synthesis of the whole SWOT execution process. It reminds me of the book "Good Business" written by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. In his book he describes this need that a business should respond to a concrete market need. Your writeup on SWOT gives the tool to perfectly position in that "market need" Prof. Csikszentmihalyi talks about.